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British consumers 'particularly concerned' about post-Brexit price rises


Spiralling holiday costs were a concern for 35 per cent, and 26 per cent feared higher prices for clothing and shoes.

Mintel's British Lifestyles report, a survey which is in its 27th year, tracks consumer spending across all major markets.

However, Brits are increasingly prioritising spending on leisure activities and experiences over material possessions, in what has become known as "the experience economy". Growth was recorded in nearly all the 17 sectors tracked by the survey, although it was lower across all fast-moving consumer goods markets, largely due to the ongoing price war between supermarkets.

And beyond rising prices, Britons are most concerned about "bigger picture" issues such as the United Kingdom economy, the future of the NHS and the state of the environment rather than their personal situation. By contrast, people appear less concerned by issues relating to their personal situation, with almost half (48%) of all adults concerned about their ability to pay bills and less than two in five (37%) anxious about their level of debt.

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According to Jack Duckett, a senior consumer lifestyle analyst at Mintel, the research underlined consumer concerns over post-Brexit price increases.

Mintel research underlines particular concern about the rising cost of in-home food and inflation is undoubtedly going to squeeze household budgets.

By 2021, it is projected that Britons will spend £1.4 trillion per annum, with growth of 17% expected over the next five years.

"However, broader consumer confidence is still relatively strong".

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"It's the bigger picture issues that the United Kingdom faces, such as the NHS and the economy, that are the main concern, rather than people's own finances".

Indeed, the leisure and entertainment market grew by an estimated 3.2% in 2016, outpacing the 2.4% growth estimated for the clothing, footwear and accessories category.

One in three (33%) say they have tried eating less meat, while half (50%) of those who eat fish say that for health reasons they are eating more of this than a few years ago.

The war on sugar has refreshed sales of bottled water - and the upcoming 2018 soft drinks levy means there will be no let-up.

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Consumers' habits were also being reshaped within the grocery market, with sales of bottled water growing 9% to £2.2bn in the wake of the drive to cut excess sugar in British diets. And 21% say their pets have been a source of happiness.

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