A no-deal Brexit could influence consumers' shopping behavior by putting some food imports at risk and limiting the choices available on local shelves, Jessica Exton, behavioural scientist at ING's consumer economics team, said in a note.
Changes in how the UK will import some food items if it exits from the European Union could affect the choices available to consumers in stores, Exton said. "This leaves us asking the question: will my local supermarket continue stocking my standard grocery shop? Or will I be faced with different options on the shelves?"
She said post-Brexit grocery stores may not be able to stock up everything they did earlier as there could be changes in importing arrangements. Consumption decisions might also need to change, given "retailers are already testing longer-lasting varieties of fruit and vegetables, and simplifying their imported product ranges," she added.
Consumers could be forced to choose new food items given fewer options available in the supermarket, affecting those are particularly comfortable buying the same thing each week.
That may not be all that bad. "If we are forced to choose new foods that we end up loving, we will have been nudged to find products that are more suitable to our needs rather than relying on habitual behaviours," Exton said in her note.
Costs related to administration and transportation in the Brexit aftermath will make grocery products more expensive, she said. Prices in the local grocery stores will shoot up as supermarkets will pay more to get the goods on their own shelves.
"The need to renegotiate the inter-European import agreements will also have an influence on the prices. Throughout the year, imported goods from the European Union represent 30 percent of the food on local shelves of British grocery chains," she said.
"While Brexit survival boxes remain a gimmick, changes to price and variety will affect many, prompting consumption shifts for some, frustration for others, and even unconscious changes in a few. But when it's your favorite cream biscuit that disappears, that's when it will really hit home," Exton said in her note.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.