Published Sunday, 22 September 2013
9.5million households are struggling to cope with the cost of living. (© Getty)
A third of those surveyed told Which? that they are struggling to feed themselves or their family.
Almost eight in 10 shoppers are concerned about the increasing cost of food, with almost half spending more of their available income at the supermarket compared to a year ago.
Food prices have risen over and above general inflation by 12.6% over the past six years, according to the Office of National Statistics.
Incomes, however, have stagnated.
The poll found 60% are worried about how they will manage their future spending on groceries if prices continue to rise, and 41% say the cost of food is a source of stress.
Almost a third say they struggle to feed themselves or their family because of the cost.
Around 9.5 million households in the UK are currently struggling to cope with the cost of living.
A separate survey by the consumer watchdog found one million more households are feeling financial pressure compared to a year ago.
It found 40% are likely to cut back spending on food in the next few months.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "While people seem to have accepted their grocery bill going up, stagnating incomes and rocketing food prices are causing stress and worry and leaving people wondering how they are going to cope.
"Supermarkets need to make it much easier for consumers to spot the best deal by ensuring pricing is simple and making special offers genuinely good value for money."
He added: "Politicians need to put consumers at the heart of their economic policies to tackle the rising cost of living and to support growth and prosperity."
Dan Crossley, executive director of the Food Ethics Council charity, said: "As the global food system becomes more deeply trapped in the strangleholds of resource constraint, climate change and population growth, rising food prices are an almost inevitable fact of life.
"Food businesses and government need to start planning now for that future by taking urgent action to tackle the issue of food affordability, including the introduction of measures such as a living wage.
"They also need to develop robust policies that make healthy food affordable, rather than peddling 'cheap' food that is costing us dear in terms of our health and our environment."
© UTV News