Spanish consumers reducing fish purchasing, switching to canned and frozen products
One-third of Spanish households are reducing their consumption of fish and meat as a means of coping with record food inflation.
Spanish consumers are also increasingly shifting to cheaper canned and frozen products as a means of dealing with higher food prices, according to consumer rights group OCU.
OCU published the results of a survey it conducted in January 2023 that showed two-thirds of households in Spain are now buying more generic products and sale items than before inflation began sending food prices soaring across the European nation.
Higher prices for foodstuffs have driven governments across Europe to move to take regulatory action to stem the tide. In France, the government is pushing the country’s major supermarket chains to combat high inflation by agreeing to sell certain essential goods, including fish, at discounted prices. And Spain Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez approved a tax cut in January that included cutting the VAT on basic foodstuffs from 4 percent to zero, while offering a EUR 200 (USD 212) subsidy for families making less than EUR 27,000 (USD 28,700). The law also upped pension payments by 8.5 percent and extended reductions of electricity and gas taxes.
"As we did with energy and fuel subsidies, the government is going to ensure that VAT reductions and aid to farmers are directly and immediately passed on in food prices,” Sanchez said in announcing the cuts.
Despite the move, food prices in Spain continued to rise in February, with food cost inflation hitting 15 percent, even as the national inflation figure hovered above 6 percent. The cost of making Spain’s national dish, paella, has risen significantly with the price of rice rising 20 percent in the past 12 months and the cost of olive oil shooting up 30.5 percent, Bloomberg reported.
In response, Spanish citizens have planned demonstrations to demand Sanchez take further action, and some elected officials are advancing food-specific legislation designed to tamp down prices ...
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