Social Justice

Food price comparison site that helps 'hundreds of thousands of people' faces closure

Trolley.co.uk will "save people a lot of stress and a lot of work" amid the cost of living crisis, its co-founder said.

Food comparison site Trolley is at risk/ Image of trolleys

Food comparison website Trolley is at risk of closure. Image: Unsplash

A food price comparison site helping “hundreds of thousands of people” struggling with the cost of living is at risk of closure.

Trolley.co.uk has just days to raise £28,000 so that it can stay afloat. The free website and app is a “lifeline” for people who are facing financial hardship. Users can search for any product typically bought in supermarkets and find the best deals. 

Co-founder Saeed Ibrahim said: “Right now, there’s hundreds of thousands of people using Trolley. A lot of people who really need it will be affected if it closes. It’s bigger than all of us. We’ll be able to help and save people a lot of stress and a lot of work.”

Inflation is at a 40-year-high, with the prices of family favourites continuing to soar at an alarming rate. Trolley released a Grocery Price Index earlier this month to raise awareness about the soaring prices of everyday items. 

The price of cooking oil is up by 26.6 per cent, for example, costing an average of 67p more than last June. Nappies are 95p more than last year, a rise of 12.7 per cent. Spreadable butter increased by 70p, a 22.9 per cent increase.

“There are so many mental health implications with finances,” Ibrahim added. “It’s really difficult. Over the last two years, especially, there’s been so much misery. We just don’t need this on top. We just want to help in any way possible and help as many people as possible.”

Trolley collects the daily prices of products at major stores across the UK. In total, they have data for around 6,000 products.The website was launched by a group of friends just over a year ago, initially only meant as a small idea which would help their friends and families. “It just kind of grew in a blink,” Ibrahim said. “About a year ago, we had about 2,000 daily views. Just yesterday, we had 27,000 daily views.”

At a time when so many people are struggling with money, food comparison websites can be a lifeline. Ibrahim added: “We want to create a product and platform that we don’t charge to use, no matter who you are or where you’re from – whether you are a pensioner whose pension isn’t enough, a single mother with a family who is on benefits, or someone that’s in the middle of the city and is working two jobs just to get through. 

“We want to open up to everyone. Trolley has never made any money. Now we have this licensing fee that we have to pay as we’re not making any money. It’s a bit of a problem as you can imagine.”

All of the £28,000 raised in the fundraiser will go towards a licensing fee which allows them to put all the information about supermarket products on their website. They have already raised more than £20,000.

“The support has been overwhelming,” Ibrahim said. “In just three or four days, we’ve had just shy of 1,000 donations. We’ve had news outlets reach out to us. There have been about four or five donations of £100. People are believing in what we’re trying to do, and they are reaching out to us, and that’s really heartwarming.”

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