Over 80% of Belgians concerned about rising cost of living

Over 80% of Belgians concerned about rising cost of living
Supermarkets have been eager to present themselves as sensitive to the cost of living crisis in a bid to win over customers. Credit: Belga/Eric Lalmand

Rising energy prices, along with purchasing power, are the main concerns of over eight in ten Belgians, according to a survey by the Trade for Development Centre of Belgium's Federal Government’s development agency.

The three main concerns listed by the survey are rising energy and commodity prices (85%), purchasing power (83%) and health (80%). Pollution and climate change close the top five with 77% and 73% of respondents, respectively, saying they are concerned about these issues.

"Addressing the various crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, energy cost and price increases and climate change, 80% of respondents confirmed that they have an impact on their choice criteria – versus 52% in 2020, when Covid-19 was the only issue on the radar," the survey found.

80% of Belgians say they are adapting their purchasing behaviour, at least slightly. In practice, this means that price has become even more of a determining factor in the choice of food products, with 60% of people saying they pay attention to it, compared to 37% in last year's survey.

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For responsible consumption, 46% of Belgians consider whether a product is locally made or produced the most important factor. Fairtrade comes second (17%), followed by organic (16%). Over 60% of respondents indicated that they do consider it important to be able to buy local and/or fairtrade products, even if it is not their main concern.

Again, price is the main obstacle to responsible consumption for 61% of respondents. Advertising and the lack of responsible products in shops were tied for second place with 25%.

The Trade for Development Centre study was carried out among 1,504 Belgians from 16 years old between 30 June and 11 July 2023.

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