Business Confidence

The FDF Business Confidence Survey showcases the current economic views of FDF members on a quarterly basis. Find out more about our most recent survey results.

With less than five months to go until the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union (EU), FDF's quarterly surveys have shown a significant decline in business confidence amongst food and drink manufacturers during 2018. Economic uncertainty has seen net confidence amongst food and drink manufacturers decrease by 21 percentage points when comparing results reported in Q1 with those reported in Q3.

When looking ahead to 2019, two thirds of businesses FDF spoke to identified future tariff implications as a risk to their business. Just under 60% of businesses surveyed thought business investment across the overall UK economy would fall in 2019, while more than 96% expect to see rising input prices.

For SMEs, who make up 97% of the UK's food and drink manufacturing sector, retail market consolidation was one of the top three barriers expected to impact the success of their business in 2019. This follows the recent takeovers of Booker by Tesco, Nisa by the Co-op, and the proposed merger of Sainsbury's and Asda which present significant concerns for UK manufacturers.

Business conditions for food and drink manufacturers have been especially difficult this year, in part due to the fall in the value of sterling which has contributed to increased costs of ingredients and raw materials. More than three quarters (79%) of businesses FDF spoke to reported increased ingredient costs as the biggest impact on their businesses in Q3, while 71% of those polled cited increased packaging costs.


Last reviewed: 30 Oct 2018