As our various politicians try their luck with the British economy, we’ve chosen not to look at the financial pyromaniacs but at the brands trying to do good during the cost-of-living crisis.
With groceries a huge source of anxiety for many, supermarkets like Iceland are firmly stepping up to the dinner plate. The Iceland Food Club offers interest-free loans between £25 and £100 on a pre-loaded card to be spent in-store, easing the pain of essential groceries. Tesco have even added a simple round-up option to checkouts this year, enabling shoppers with a little more cash to support food banks.
And while some food retailers have come under fire for allegedly scrapping lower-cost items, Boots has committed to a price freeze on 1,500 own-label products till the end of the year as part of its Price Lock Promise.
Food waste apps are also responding to the increased demand. Food sharing app, Olio, has been urging households to “share their spare” to help someone living nearby – while food listings have already jumped by 53% since last year. And through a partnership with FareShare, Olio believes it can redistribute 200 million free meals by the end of the year.
Over in energy – another major pain point – Octopus Energy are sending staff to customers’ homes to share tailored energy-saving tips, going above and beyond. Overall, they aim to visit 500,000 customers in need to dispense handy advice.
Meanwhile in the car world, the boss of Halfords has warned that the cost of living crisis is creating a risk to road safety, with drivers opting for older cars and struggling with maintenance costs. The retailer has consequently rolled out a range of initiatives from pledging cheaper MOTs to dropping prices across 2,000 car essentials.
What these brands show – and what our government could learn from – is how in tough times, focus doesn’t have to be limited to reputation and survival but the meaningful differences we can make to people’s lives.