The lastest statistics from the Office for National Statistics reveal that sales from food shops have fallen by 0.1% year-on-year in the three months leading up to September.
The figure is alarming, because this is the first time a fall in food sales has been recorded since records began in 1986 - previously sales have increased year-on-year regardless of the economic situation.
The drop suggests that, as well as switching to economy and standard lines, consumers are actually cutting back on the amount of food they are buying. Experts believe that meat will be the first thing that consumers cut out to save money.
Nick Gladding, retail analyst at Verdict, told The Telegraph: ""Meat is usually one of the most expensive things in people's shopping baskets, so it's one of the first things families cut back on if they are trying to save money."