More than one in five (22%) UK consumers cited rising food prices as their first or second biggest concern, compared to 18% two years ago – according to Q1 figures from Nielsen.
This makes rising food prices the third biggest concern, overall, amongst UK consumers and the second-fastest growing concern over the last two years (4% more UK consumers than in the first quarter of 2011) after rising utility bills (with 8 per cent more).
The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions, established in 2005, measures consumer confidence, major concerns and spending intentions each quarter among more than 29,000 internet consumers in 58 countries.
Finances dominate biggest concerns
When looking at UK consumers’ first and second biggest concerns, the top six from a list of 20 are financial issues. After rising utility bills (a top-two concern for 31% of people) comes the economy (23%), rising food prices (22%), debt (19%), job security (18%) and rising fuel prices (14%).
e.g. In Q1 2013, 31% of Britons cited rising utility bills as their first or second biggest concern
After rising utility bills (8% more) and rising food prices (with 4% more), debt and job security (both with 3% more) saw the biggest uplift in concern. The economy and rising fuel prices are now the biggest concerns for 7% fewer people.
“It’s hardly surprising that finances dominate our concerns,” said Nielsen managing director for UK & Ireland Chris Morley.
“Almost one in three UK consumers have no spare cash once they’ve covered their essential living expenses, much higher than the one in five across Europe as a whole. Furthermore, almost nine in 10 consumers think we’re in a recession and, amongst those that do, only 15% think we’ll be out of it within a year.”
Quality of life concerns greater than crime or terrorism
Following financial concerns and immigration – reported as a top-two concern by 12% of UK consumers, as it was two years ago – the next most pressing concerns are dominated by quality of life issues.
Health is a top-two concern for 10% of Britons, followed by children’s education and welfare (8%), work/life balance (7%) and parents’ welfare and happiness (6%). These figures are generally in line with those from two years ago.
In comparison, crime was cited by 5% of Britons, compared to 3% for terrorism (down from 7% two years ago) and just 1% for war (down from 6%).
Global warming is a top-two concern for just two percent of Britons – as it was two years ago.
Morley said: “The media news agenda is dominated by financial and violent issues – such as terrorism, crime and war – so it’s easy to forget that close-to-home issues like general health and family wellbeing are the concerns that are really on consumers’ minds.”
e.g. In Q1 2013, 8% more Britons cited rising utility bills as their first or second biggest concern than did so in Q1 2011