A couple with three or more children are expected to spend just over £5000 a year on food by 2017, according to study conducted by Kellogg’s. The study also found that single parent households with more than one child will see their food bill rise by £341 within the next five years. Those who are retired will have a £285 higher food bill by 2017, a worrying sign when the London Assembly say the elderly are not currently being served enough by foodbanks and other emergency food services.
In a wide ranging report chronicling the extent of food poverty across Britain, Kellogg’s joined up with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), to measure food poverty and consider its implications for businesses, shoppers and the government. This survey looked at the average food bill for different sized households from 2007 to now, and looked at how much they are likely to be spending by 2017. You can see our interactive graph on the findings here, but we’ve broken down each five years below.
As this graph shows, the highest amount being spent on food in 2007 was a family with three or more children at £3,791, but it was single parents with more than one child that spent the highest amount of their income on food, putting aside 12.8 per cent (£1,919) of their income for food. The numbers using foodbanks for this period was considerably smaller than today, with the Trussell Trust only having 22 foodbanks nationwide, as compared to its 345 now. However 2007 was also the year of the financial crash and real wages in the UK dropped by 4.5 per cent.
By the end of 2012, the Trussell Trust had a network of 292 foodbanks across the UK. Single parents with more than one child were spending 13.2 per cent of their income on food. Retired households spend nearly £2500 on food. Overall, the average household annual food bill was £2,940, a rise of 17.5 per cent from £2,502 in 2007. The government’s Family Food Survey found that in 2011 Brits spend an average 11 per cent of their income on food. This rises to 17 per cent for the the 20 per cent of households with the lowest levels of income.
By 2017, Kellogg’s expects a significant rise in the cost of food bills. The average household annual food bill is expected to increase by £357, reaching an £3,297 per annum. A single person living on their own with no children will be spending nearly £1700 on their food (£1,679), an increase of £182 from 2012. Single parent households with one child and more than one child will expect to spend £244 and £341 more on food within the next five years.
With an anticipated rise of £357 over the next five years, single parent, low income and elderly households could find themselves in food poverty. Kellogg’s have said that because of these findings they will donate 15 million portions of cereals and snacks to people living in food poverty in the UK over the next three years. But it is vital that the Government does not leave it up to food banks and companies like Kellogg’s to save those slipping into food poverty.