Three in 10 Belgians cross the border to shop

In 2022, three in 10 Belgians travelled to a neighbouring country to buy groceries, on average once every six weeks, the Brussels Times reports based on numbers provided by the Belgian food industry federation, Fevia.

The habit of cross-border shopping surged towards the end of 2022, when energy and food prices increased steeply in Belgium. The French government introduced rebates on fuel and many Belgians crossed the border to benefit from the discount.

Between October and December 2022, spending by Belgians in neighbouring countries increased by 36%. Customers crossed the border to fill up with fuel and stayed to do their grocery shopping, Fevia economist Carole Dembour explains. Overall, France was the most popular destination, with 58 per cent of purchases made there. This was followed by the Netherlands (22 per cent), Germany and Luxembourg (both 20 per cent), French-language newspaper La Capitale reports.

Cross-border shopping may continue to rise in 2023 as prices are growing at a slower rate in France than in Belgium. In France, the government has requested that each supermarket chain stocks an "anti-inflation basket", meaning that a range of everyday products is sold at capped prices.



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