Call for retailers to offer a Kids Food Guarantee


Parents call for supermarkets to do more to support access to healthy essentials as families struggle with the cost of living

Parents are strongly supporting calls for Britain's supermarkets do more to prevent the cost of living crisis damaging children’s health as millions face an increasing struggle to afford food.

Responses to a new survey* commissioned by The Food Foundation show parents want special offers and discounts to be extended to bread, milk, fruit and vegetables, with budget ranges available in convenience branches as well as main outlets.

This would help prevent lower income families from being forced to switch to cheaper alternative foods that have poor nutritional value and increase the risk of obesity. 

Latest Food Foundation data* show almost one in four households with children (24.4%) report experiences of food insecurity - that is having to skip meals, go hungry or go a whole day without eating.

Worryingly, there has been no substantial improvement over the winter, showing not enough is being done to protect children from the negative impact of high food prices on their diets. 

A new briefing from The Food Foundation highlights how continuing high levels of food insecurity are likely to affect the diet of much of the UK population with particularly serious long term health consequences for low-income families who bear the brunt of price rises.

Poor-quality diets are a major contributor to the health crisis which has been slowly building in the UK. Over a third of children leaving primary school in England are now categorised as having an unhealthy weight and by adulthood, two thirds have overweight or obesity. Children in more deprived areas are more likely to have obesity than in less deprived areas.  

The impact of price rises on diet is apparent in The Food Foundation’s most recent survey. Data released today* show that food insecure households are more likely to be buying less fruit – 57% of food insecure households said they were cutting down compared with 11% of food secure households. 

There is a similar picture for vegetables with 42% of food insecure households saying they were cutting down compared with 6% of food secure households, and fish where 54% said they were buying less compared with 14% of food secure households who said they had reduced such purchases.  

Lower income households already consume less of these healthier foods on average and any further reductions in intake are likely to worsen dietary inequalities and subsequent ill health. 

The Food Foundation is calling on food retailers to support its new Kids Food Guarantee, a roadmap of best practice actions to guarantee children can eat well during the cost-of-living crisis and prevent lasting damage to their health and wellbeing. See here for more.  

Anna Taylor, Executive Director of The Food Foundation, said: "Most families in the UK rely heavily on the major supermarkets for food, so we’d like to see the retailers stepping up to meaningfully support families with children through the cost of living crisis.

"The Government also has a critical role to play in tackling the cost of living crisis and ensuring everyone can afford and access the food they need. Action is urgently needed in both public policy and business practice to address this crisis."


*YouGov survey methodology  

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 10,814 UK adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st January and 3rd February 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults 18+. The figures presented from the online survey have been analysed independently by The Food Foundation and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Comparison to older figures is from a series of previous surveys conducted with YouGov commissioned by the Food Foundation. Population calculations made by the Food Foundation using 2021 mid-year population estimates (reference). 

  • We ask the following questions to explore how many households have experienced food insecurity:  
  • Having smaller meals than usual or skipping meals due to being unable to afford or get access to food  
  • Being hungry but not eating because due to being unable to afford or get access to food  
  • Not eating for a whole day due to being unable to afford or get access to food 

If they answered yes to any of these three questions, they are classified as food insecure. We ask them if they had experienced this in a) the last month and b) the last 6 months. The questions are based on the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Security Survey module. 

Food Insecurity Tracker

Kids Food Guarantee

Please contact: Jo Ralling on 07770 500858 or email

Twitter: @Food_Foundation 

The Food Foundation Podcast
For more in-depth analysis and lived experience listen to our podcast

With thanks to The Nuffield Foundation for contributing funding to our surveys:

The Nuffield Foundation
The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance social well-being. It funds research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare, and Justice. It also funds student programmes that provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in quantitative and scientific methods. The Nuffield Foundation is the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Ada Lovelace Institute and the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory. The Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit 

About the Food Foundation
The Food Foundation is a charity working to influence food policy and business practice, shaping a sustainable food system which makes healthy diets affordable and accessible for all. We work in partnership with researchers, campaigners, community bodies, industry, investors, government and citizens to galvanise the UK’s diverse agents of change, using surprising and inventive ideas to drive fundamental shifts in our food system. These efforts are based on the continual re-evaluation of opportunities for action, building and synthesising strong evidence, convening powerful coalitions, harnessing citizens’ voices and delivering impactful communications.        
Registered Charity Number 1187611.

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