Business Confidence

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

FDF's quarterly Business Confidence Survey, launched in early 2018, showcases key opportunities and risks perceived by food and drink manufacturing businesses across the UK.

Our survey has been designed with businesses in mind, allowing members to share their views on economic conditions both in recent months and the coming year(s).

Through the survey, businesses have the opportunity to shape FDF's policy asks. For instance, results have been used to inform consultation submissions, budget submissions, and policy recommendations to government.

Our Business Confidence reports are invaluable in promoting the economic importance of the industry via the media.

Latest report: Q3 2020 Food & Drink Business Confidence

FDF is continuously working to ensure that our members' views are continually shared with government and other stakeholders, and our business confidence surveys are a vital part of this.

Key Findings

  • The latest FDF Business Confidence survey shows that net business confidence bounced back in Q3, reaching 19.1% as lighter COVID-19 restrictions allowed food service to reopen. This followed record low confidence in Q2.
  • Businesses continued to experience increased costs in Q3, from higher packaging raw material and packaging producer responsibility costs to ingredient and label change expenses.
  • Increased costs alongside fluctuations in the exchange rate and staff absenteeism were key factors leading to 40% reporting reduced product margins in Q3.
  • Over a third saw increased output, cash flow and domestic retail sales in Q3.
  • Businesses are relatively pessimistic about UK economic conditions in 2021, with over half expecting economic growth, exports and business confidence to decrease, while over three-quarters expect the unemployment rate and prices to rise.

Why get involved?

For more on how you can have your say in our quarterly business confidence surveys, please contact the Competitiveness Team.

Previous reports


Last reviewed: 10 Nov 2020