UK’s F&B makers expects rise in ingredient costs post-Brexit
Food and beverage producers in the United Kingdom have viewed the economy with a generally steady outlook in the first quarter of the year compared to 2017’s first three months, according to the latest quarterly survey published by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).
Although almost half posted gains in the first over half of manufacturer-respondents believe that general business conditions have remained the same in the three-months ending March this year from a year ago.
“It is encouraging to see that business conditions for the food and drink industry have remained stable,” FDF Chief Executive Ian Wright CBE was quoted in the New Food Magazine.
Meanwhile, over 25 percent of participants said that the environment for business was bleak and less than a fifth saw improvements during the period.
A key driver was the more robust demand for healthy food.
But even as businesses are set to roll out new products amid increased domestic demand, outlook on the broader economy was mixed over uncertainties brought about by a post-Brexit impact on the economy.
The poll by the membership consultancy group for the sector shows that about two-thirds expect a rise in input prices as nearly half of food and drink businesses have experienced increased packaging costs during the first three months of 2018.
“It is not surprising that the industry is fearful over the uncertainty that surrounds a post-Brexit UK-EU relationship, and the results rightly reflect this as a barrier for business in the coming year.
“Despite the woes of Brexit, it is great to see that food and drink businesses have found hope in the ever expanding demand for healthier food products.”
An increase in prices during the period was also recorded in energy costs and average wages in their businesses.