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UK household purchases of food and drink

26 April 2018

The UK Government has published Family Food 2016/17, its annual report on household purchases of food and drink.

The survey provides estimates of household and eating out expenditure on food in 2016/17, alongside analyses of changes in household shopping behaviour in response to food price inflation in recent years.

Using comparisons between low income households and all households it is possible to examine the greater effects food price rises may have on vulnerable groups in society. 

The survey covers about 5,000 households across the United Kingdom each year.

In 2016/17 the amount that an average household spent on all food and drink, including alcoholic drinks and food eaten out was £43.18 per person per week. When inflation is taken into account, the amount spent was 1.1 per cent more than 2015 and 0.1 per cent more than 2013. Household food and non-alcoholic drink purchases formed the largest share at £26.34 per person per week.

Since 2013, expenditure on household food and non-alcoholic beverages in real terms has fallen by 3.2 per cent and eating out expenditure has risen by 9.5 per cent. 

  • Household purchases of fresh and processed vegetables (excluding potatoes) have shown no clear trend in the last 5 years, following a sharp fall. Fresh green vegetables have shown a slight downward trend, offset by a 5 per cent increase in purchases of other fresh vegetables. Purchases of processed vegetables, which account for about 30 per cent of the total, have been largely stable despite fluctuating in the most recent few years.
  • Potato purchases continued their long term downward trend, with a 6.8 per cent reduction since 2013. Purchases of processed potatoes were chips and crisps and these have been relatively stable over the last ten years.

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