Consumer pressure on brands’ pricing builds as cost of living crisis worsens

The survey of 2000 adults was commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium.

The number of consumers looking to brands to help them through the cost of living crisis by keeping their prices fair has increased by 5% since May, while those wanting brands to freeze the price on their value-range products or services has leapt up by 22%. This is according to an autumn survey of 2000 adults, commissioned by the IPA and carried out by Opinium.

These latest results are a follow-up to the IPA-commissioned spring poll in which a separate sample of 2,000 adults were asked for their response to the same question: 'what would you most like brands to do to support customers during the cost-of-living crisis'?

Most popular answers, for all adults, in October 2022 vs May 2022

  • Keep prices fair - 60% (up 5% from 57% in May 2022)
  • Freeze price on value-range products or services – 44% (up 22% from 36%)
  • Offer more value for money promotions - 37% (vs 33%)
  • Reward existing customers’ loyalty - 32% (vs 30%)
  • Increase the number of promotions they offer - 29% (vs 28%)

Gender and generational differences in October 2022 data

These autumn poll findings also show significant differences across gender and age split with women and over 55s most concerned with price and value:

  • 64% of women want brands to keep prices fair vs 55% of men, while 48% of women want to see prices frozen on value-range products vs 39% among men respectively.
  • 71% of those aged 55+ and 61% of 35-54s wish to see prices kept fair, dropping to 42% among 18-34s.
  • A similar story is seen when looking at the number of people wanting a price freeze on value-range products - something desired by 51% of over 55s, 47% of 35-54s and just 29% of 18-34s.

Least popular answers, for all adults, in October 2022 vs May 2022

In terms of the ways consumers are least wanting brands to support them, the bottom three responses are:

  • Entertain and make customers laugh/smile – 4% (vs 5% in May)
  • Engage directly with customers to develop new solutions and ideas – 8% (also 8% in May)
  • Offer affordable customer finance (e.g. interest-free credit) – 10% (also 10% in May)

Says Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA: "When we first carried out this poll back in May, inflation levels were at a 40-year high of 9.1% and now we have hit 10.1%. It is no wonder, therefore, that as the cost of living crisis really takes hold, consumers are continuing to look to brands to keep their pricing fair.

While stretched themselves, brands must ensure they assess their pricing and subsequent marketing strategies accordingly, particularly when engaging with their female and older audiences for whom this need is even more pronounced.

Paul Bainsfair, Director General, IPA
Download the full data
Last updated 01 May 2024