Cost of living crisis: 3 simple ways to support your workers as food prices rise

Kimberly Hurd
CRO
Collective Benefits

The cost of living crisis is deepening day by day. A recent survey showed that three quarters of UK adults expect it to negatively impact them. In another, carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), half of respondents said they are now buying less food than they used to. The numbers are dizzying – with inflation recently hitting its highest rate in forty years at 9.1%. 

Alongside soaring fuel costs, it does seem the rising cost of food has been one of the most bitter pills to swallow. 93% of respondents in the ONS survey mentioned above said food prices are the main reason their cost of living has increased. Between April 2021 and April 2022:

  • the price of pasta rose by 50%
  • the price of rice rose by 15%
  • the price of bread rose by 16%
  • the price of minced beef rose by 16%

A recent survey of our own members echoes the results of the ONS survey. It revealed that the most common reasons people are struggling with the cost of living crisis are fuel, followed closely by food. Other areas of worry included rental costs, and mental health.  

This begs the question – what can on-demand businesses do to show their workers that they’re not alone? That they do have the support of the platforms they work for? Helping them tackle their food bill is one idea – and it’s easier than you might think to do. 

Let’s take a look.

Budgeting and stock-check apps

We’re all familiar with the situation – you get to the supermarket to buy ingredients for dinner, have no idea if you’ve already got some of those ingredients, and so double up.

UK households throw staggering amounts of edible food away each year. (This report states UK homes chucked 4.5 million tonnes of food in 2018). It follows, then, that cutting down on this waste is one of the most logical ways to save money. 

The scale of the food wastage problem is reflected in the fact a plethora of apps have popped up in recent years that are focused around tackling it. There are also some great budgeting apps out there that can make a huge difference when it comes to understanding where your money is actually going – something that’s going to be all the more important as the food prices we’re familiar with are abolished by huge percentage increases. 

Pointing your workers in the direction of these, or paying for a subscription for them, is an easy way to help them out in the face of rising food costs. Here’s a quick list of apps to try:

Grocery management apps

  • KitchenPal lets you take a full inventory of your fridge and also provides unique recipes based on the ingredients you have
  • Fridge Herotracks the contents of your fridge and freezer
  • Cozzocreates an inventory of store cupboards and fridge, and creates shopping lists for you
  • EatBy lets you scan food, then reminds you when it’s getting close to its use-by date to help you avoid waste

Budgeting apps

  • Snoop – keeps an eye on your subscriptions, lets you categorise spending, and shows you new ways to save
  • Plum – builds a picture of your finances to help save and budget
  • Revolut – lets you set limits to stick to your budget, and shows you deep-dive insights about your spending habits
  • Emma – automatically categorise your expenses, sets budgets, and cancels wasteful subscriptions 

Deals & discounts benefits programme

We know this is a bit self-promo-y 😬 – but there couldn’t be a more crucial time to draw the attention of on-demand businesses to our savings benefits programme. Through adopting it, you can help your workers cut down their food bills with discounts at major supermarkets like Asda, M&S, Sainsburys, and Morrissons. Plus they can get deals at places where they can grab food on the go, including Costa and Crosstown Donuts. 

Our programme has proven popular with platforms like GoPuff, Stuart, and Wolt. It’s designed specifically to help workers save everyday, so they can take home more of their hard-earned pay.

Research shows that the majority of flexible workers would rather have a lower paying job with benefits than a higher paying job without. And this really does translate into tangible results for businesses, who find it easier to attract and retain loyal workers when they introduce work perks. 

Financial education

Studies show that financial education can help lower stress in those who are experiencing money worries. So taking steps to help improve your workers’ financial literacy could be one valuable way to help them cope with soaring food prices.

You might choose to send a weekly newsletter with tips and tricks. Or you could offer to enrol your workers on a course, set up a hub on your website, or enlist the help of an expert to run a simple financial education Q&A session.

As workers grapple with these exceptionally difficult times, taking actionable steps to show them you care might just be the thing that helps them stay afloat. And ultimately, this can only be a good thing for your business – because you’ll be cultivating a pool of happy, motivated workers, who feel appreciated enough to stick around.

By the way – if you want to learn more about how our deals & discounts benefits programme can help your workers save, just head here 😌.

June 29, 2022