Shopper pessimism around Brexit grows

Brexit: unzipping Britain from EU

Research among 1,000 shoppers carried out in the first week of March by HIM has confirmed a growth in pessimism around the likely impacts of Brexit.

Over four in 10 consumers (43%) believe their personal finances will be worse off as a result of Brexit. Younger age groups in particular feel apprehensive with over half (52%) of 25-34-year-olds believing they will be worse off.

Almost three-quarters (74%) of UK consumers believe that food prices will increase after Brexit, with one in four expecting food prices to increase a lot. Older shoppers are more likely to be worried about rising costs of food, as are Scottish shoppers –  37% of Scots expect food prices to increase a lot.

Most consumers (64%) are not planning on making any changes in their shopping habits in order to prepare for Brexit, but 13% of consumers are planning on “stocking up” on food.

Mostly, these shoppers are stocking up on tinned and canned foods (74% of those stocking up on food have begun stockpiling this category). This is followed by packaged grocery products e.g. dried pasta, tea (52%) and cleaning products (45%).

One in four consumers are planning on saving money or reducing their household expenses to prepare for Brexit.

Just less than half (43%) of those saving money ahead of Brexit are doing so by cutting down on their food shop. It is older shoppers who are most expecting food prices to rise: among over-65s (who are trying to save money), 55% have cut down on their grocery shop, compared to just 37% of millennials.

Given that older shoppers are the heartland of convenience, the worry is that this is the channel to see the squeeze.