Dec 21st, 2022
4 mins

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have published their Family Food 2020/2021 annual report, which presents the results from the 2020/21 Family Food module of the Living Costs and Food Survey, covering household shopping and eating habits.

Around 5,000 households were surveyed annually, where they recorded their expenditure on all purchases, including food eaten out, over a two-week period.  Where possible, the quantities were recorded in the diaries, but otherwise they were estimated.  The datasets covered a detailed set of food and drink types, and were broken down by a number of characteristics including region, income, household composition and occupation, amongst others.

The report found the following:

  • In 2020/21, the amount that an average household spent on all food and drink, including alcoholic drinks and food eaten out, was £39.71 per person per week. When inflation is taken into account, the amount spent fell by 17.8% since 2019/20 from £48.31 and by 16.3% since 2017/18 from £47.43. In 2020/21 households spent £34.25 on all food and non-alcoholic drinks, down by 16.1% in real terms, from £40.84, since 2019/20.
  • Households spent £36.38 on household food and drink (including alcohol) in 2020/21. This increased by 10.4% in real terms from £32.95 in 2019/20. £31.56 of this (or 79.5% of total spend) was on food and non-alcoholic drinks, up by 8.8% in real terms, and £4.82 was on alcohol, up by 22.3% in real terms, since 2019/20.
  • Expenditure on food and drink eaten out fell by 78.3% in real terms from £15.36 in 2019/20 to only £3.33 in 2020/21. £2.69 of this was on food and non-alcoholic drinks, down by 77.3% from £11.83 in 2019/20, and £0.64 was on alcohol, down by 81.9% from £3.53 in 2019/20.
  • In 2020/21, the percentage of spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks for the average UK household was 14.4%, up from 10.8% in 2019/20. The lowest 20% of households, by income, spent 18.3% of their expenditure, up from 14.7% in 2019/20. This was due to hospitality businesses having to close during Covid lockdowns and households buying more food to eat at home.
  • Purchases of the majority of household foods saw a clear increase, with the most prominent being sugar, alcohol drinks, confectionary, cheese and vegetables (excluding potatoes) that increased by 23.7%, 20.3%, 18.8%,15.7% and 11.1% respectively. However, this was not the case for eggs, bread, cakes, and biscuits which saw a decrease in purchases in this most recent financial year.

To read the report in full, click here.



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