UK workers rely on employer rewards to fund grocery shopping as cost of living crisis bites
12th April 2023, London: Perkbox, the global rewards and benefits platform, reveals new proprietary data showing Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco reward redemptions* by its users has increased by over a quarter (27%) between February 2022 and February 2023, demonstrating the extent to which employees are relying on their employer to support with household expenditure including groceries.
Proprietary data from Perkbox’s platform, which supports more than 4,500 companies, includes the supermarket redemptions of over 80,000 UK users, shows rising food prices are pushing workers to increasingly rely on supermarket rewards from their employers to make their food shops more affordable. Comparing the number of redemptions in February 2022 and February 2023 for three of the UK’s largest supermarkets we can see:
- Asda redemptions increased in use rising by 32%;
- Sainsbury’s redemptions increased by 31%; and,
- Tesco redemptions increased by 18%.
This rise in reward redemptions reflects the pinch being felt by Brits in comparison to last year, with ONS data showing inflation at 10.4% in the 12 months up to February 2023.
Worker wellbeing hit by higher prices
The impact of inflation on employee wellbeing and the opportunity for businesses to plug the gap by providing additional support to their workforce is clear. New research from Perkbox found that over a third (38%) of workers are spending over a quarter of their monthly income on food shopping, according to a survey of over 2,000 UK workers.
Additionally, over a quarter (26%) of employees have been severely affected by the increase in food prices. When it comes to the impact of financial pressure on employee morale, the research found 22% are worried about their ability to pay their bills and other life expenses because they’re spending more on food shopping.
Gautam Sahgal, CEO of Perkbox, comments on the findings:
Our data clearly shows the impact of rising food prices, which are pushing employees to the limit and impacting their ability to cover their basic costs. This further emphasises how important the role is of employers in supporting their workforce through times of economic difficulty.”
“There are many ways businesses can do this outside of obvious solutions such as salary increases, including a specialised rewards and benefits programme to celebrate great achievements, values and milestones. The key here is to ensure employees have the freedom to choose the rewards that provide the greatest benefit to them and their individual circumstances. Businesses that adapt to the needs of their workforce, particularly during economic uncertainty, will find they can beat the competition in the battle to attract and retain the best talent.
About the data
Perkbox’s proprietary data is based on the number of supermarket redemptions by users between February 2022 and February 2023.
*Perkbox operates a points-based system where users are allocated points by their employer. These points can be used to redeem rewards, including discounts at stores including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda.
About the research
The research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Perkbox during February 2023. It surveyed 2027 UK full-time workers between 10.02.23 – 14.02.23. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
Perkbox is the global rewards and benefits platform that allows companies to care for, connect with and celebrate their employees, no matter where they are and what they want. With over 10 years’ experience, Perkbox is trusted by more than 4,500 companies with users across the globe. Its location agnostic platform helps companies with diverse and dispersed workforces harmonise their Employee Value Proposition (EVP) — keeping each employee happy, healthy, and motivated.