Has 'greedflation' impacted British consumer’s purchasing decisions?
June 27th, 2023, Kineree Shah

Has 'greedflation' impacted British consumer’s purchasing decisions?

In the economic landscape, the phenomenon known as "greedflation" is gaining significant attention. This term is applied when businesses increase their prices due to inflation and do not lower them even when their costs fall, effectively locking in higher profits. It is also relevant when a company's operating costs remain steady, yet they raise their prices simply because others are doing so. To comprehend the breadth and implications of greedflation, a recent YouGov survey asked 2,006 British adults to identify the categories in which they have noticed this phenomenon over the past six months (since January 2023).

Three in five Britons (65%) say they have observed greedflation in the food and beverage sector – the most across all categories listed. In clothing (32%) and air travel and hotels (29%), about three in 10 consumers have perceived a persistence of high prices. Nearly a quarter of Britons have observed greedflation in mobile phones or network carrier services (28%), streaming subscriptions (26%), medicine (23%), and cosmetics (22%). As for automobiles (19%), tech products (17%) and financial products (16%) less than a fifth have detected greedflation. Compared to other categories Britons have noticed greedflation the least in video games (9%).

But how is this phenomenon influencing Briton’s purchasing decisions? Switching to less expensive brands or alternatives was the most common response across categories. This trend was strong among food and beverages (42%), cosmetics (41%) medicine and healthcare products (41%), clothing (40%), and travel (40%). In contrast, tech saw a little less than a third (32%) of their consumers shifting to more economical options.

About a quarter of consumers who noticed greedflation in food, travel, clothing, cosmetics, mobile phone and related services, and streaming subscriptions stopped buying certain products or services altogether (25-30%). This proportion rose slightly for financial products (31%), medicine (33%), and automobiles (34%). Consumers who observed greedflation in tech products (36%) and video gaming (27%) were mostly likely to cease buying them compared to other categories.

As for reducing the frequency of purchases, around a quarter of consumers reported doing so for clothing (24%), travel (23%), tech products (23%), and cosmetics (23%). For mobile phone or network services, streaming subscriptions, automobiles, financial products, food and medicine or medical products this trend was observed among one in five Britons (19-21%).

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on June 2023 with a nationally representative sample of 2,006 adults in GB (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race to be representative of all adults in the GB market (18 years or older) and reflect the latest GB population estimates. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.