The UK consumer organisation Which? has launched a campaign – Affordable Food for All – because Which? says millions of families are skipping meals to survive the cost of living crisis and with the price of essential products soaring, supermarkets have a crucial role to play to help everyone.
Which? also conducted a consumer survey on the rising cost of food and developed a priority places for food index to identify where people are most likely to have difficulty access affordable food. This work is available here.
The campaign calls on supermarkets to commit to clear pricing; better access to budget ranges that enable healthy choices; and more offers for those who need them most. It includes a 10 point action plan for supermarkets.
The Queensland Consumers Association says that the campaign objectives and many of the actions and priority places for food index are very relevant to Australian consumers.
The 10-points in the action plan are:
- Make unit pricing prominent, legible and consistent in-store and online so price comparisons are easy across different brands and sizes of packaging.
- Provide clear unit pricing for promotional offers in-store and online so that people can work out whether they really are the best deal.
- Provide a basic range of essential budget lines for affordable as well as healthy everyday choices that are available across stores, but particularly in locations where people most need support.
- Consider adapting minimum spend requirements for online deliveries to increase options for households in areas with poor supermarket access.
- Tailor marketing budgets and promotions, including through loyalty cards, vouchers and other offers, to support people where they are most likely to be struggling.
- Promote the uptake of the healthy start and best start foods scheme, with a particular focus on the priority local areas where there is a low level of uptake.
- Provide additional support or ‘top ups’ where people are able to be identified as in particular need – for example linking them to the healthy start or best start foods schemes and other targeted promotions.
- Offer straightforward price reductions rather than multi-buy offers that require a bigger initial spend, may lead to more food waste and can make it more difficult to eat healthily.
- Make more promotions available for healthy and sustainable foods, including fruit and vegetables, building on evidence of where promotions drive effective outcomes (such as 60p fruit and vegetables).
- Underpin these actions by promotions, recipes and advice that make lower-priced, healthy and sustainable foods tasty and appealing to the breadth of communities that are served.
Prepared by CFA Executive Member Ian Jarratt, of Queensland Consumers Association. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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