What does year ahead hold for UK food and drink manufacturers?

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food manufacture Manufacturing

Have your say on the prospects for food manufacturing in the Food Manufacture online survey
Have your say on the prospects for food manufacturing in the Food Manufacture online survey
News that Tesco has reported the biggest profits fall in its history is just the latest sign that all is not well in the world of planet retail. Britain’s biggest retailer is also ditching plans to develop a number of big stores across the country. Against this background, the Food Manufacture Group wants your help to chart the mood of the industry.

Asda and Morrisons have also lost customers over recent months compared with last year.

Convenience stores are the focus of attention these days as far as real estate is concerned. And then there are online sales. Although still relatively small for food and drink, they are predicted to grow quickly.

All of this breeds uncertainty. With the UK economy flatlining and consumers watching what they spend, there are just too many unknowns. It also adds to the problems facing manufacturers, such as volatile commodity and rising energy costs.

To make matters worse, the horsemeat scandal​ has not only undermined consumer confidence in the food sector, it is likely to affect the regulatory environment, which will probably mean extra costs. And the relationship between suppliers and retailers will change in its wake. After all, it has brought into question the integrity of the food supply chain.

Groceries Code Adjudicator

Even with the new Groceries Code Adjudicator Christine Tacon, who will soon start flexing her muscles to curb the worst excesses of supermarkets’ abuse of power, life just got tougher for manufacturers.

So there is even more reason to voice your opinion on what the future holds for the sector. Have your say in Food Manufacture​’s 2013 State-of-the-industry survey​. It will only take a few minutes to complete and you’ll be eligible for a draw to win £100 to spend at Amazon.

The purpose of the survey is to gauge the views of those in the sector about the current state of the food and drink manufacturing industry in the UK and identify the issues that are causing most concern.

The results will be collated and published in the July issue of Food Manufacture​ as well as online at www.foodmanufacture.co.uk​.

While Food Manufacture​ is seeking views through a simple tick box exercise, there is also the opportunity to register individual comments on the survey. However, to encourage openness, we would like to reassure respondents of the anonymity of their response​. No mention will be made of either individual’s names or companies in the published results​. We are solely looking for general trends that are of interest to our readership.

Respondents to last year’s survey ‘Turning the screw’​ published in Food Manufacture​ reported that their retailer customers, together with legislation and rising costs were continuing problems for the industry. The mood was significantly more subdued than the year before.

The results of this year’s survey will be analysed and compared with those of last year to hightlight significant changes in the sector.

We look forward to hearing your responses.

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