People queuing at the Dundee West End Community Fridge

A cost-of-living crisis occurs when disposable incomes in a significant number of households are no longer sufficient to cover essential needs for food, heating, transportation and a minimum level of leisure activity. Scotland, and indeed the rest of the UK, is currently experiencing an enduring cost-of-living crisis which started in 2021 when a rapid rise in inflation caused prices on food, energy and other essentials to rise dramatically.

The main aim of this project was to explore consumer resilience during the cost-of-living crisis and the scope for various stakeholders to co-create solutions to help consumers cope with the crisis.

The project achieved this aim through the following activities and outputs:

  • A series of interviews with consumers and stakeholders to understand the lived experience of the cost-of-living crisis
  • A stakeholder symposium which explored the potential to co-create rapid-response solutions to the cost-of-living crisis
  • Graphic minutes from the stakeholder symposium captured by two artists
  • A video casebook sharing consumer stories of the cost-of-living crisis and stakeholder perspectives
  • A report which gives voice to consumers’ lived experience of the cost-of-living crisis.

Programme Team

Prof. Thomas Boysen Anker, University of Dundee

Prof. Kathy Hamilton, University of Strathclyde

John Landels, National Social Marketing Centre

Dr Nadia Zainuddin, University of Wollongong, Australia

Roos Schyns, PG student University of Glasgow

Dr Karina Sorochynska, University of Strathclyde


Final Report



  • Visual Minutes

Artists Claire Stringer and Jenny Capon from More Than Minutes captured insights during the stakeholder symposium:

Two artists are sitting facing a large sheet of paper on the wall, showing a work in progress of their illustration. Hand-drawn illustration entitled Cost of Living Crisis Symposium showing a skyline of apartment blocks, key phrases and vignettes showing people in situations of daily hardship. 

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