That’s according to BRC director general Helen Dickinson, speaking to FoodManufacture.co.uk live at the event, which was held at the Lancaster London hotel.
Summing up the feelings of many of the speakers, Dickinson said: “Disposable income is going to stay under pressure for the next few years … we can’t rely on the economy to help us out in the future.”
The need to rebuild and retain consumer trust was another theme that emerged strongly from many of the speeches made at the event, she said.
Events such as the poor working conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh, leading to factory injuries and deaths there two months ago, and the horsemeat controversy, had damaged shoppers’ faith in the industry.
Dickinson had been discussing this issue with Food and Drink Federation director general Melanie Leech. “There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the complexities of manufacturing and retailing, so the BRC has a role to help enhance that level of understanding.”