News article

17 May 2018

FDF Confidence Survey - Food and Drink manufacturers remain resilient

Back to list of articles

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has today published the results of the first of its new quarterly business confidence surveys, polling a range of food and drink manufacturers from across the UK.

The results from the FDF Q1 2018 Business Confidence Survey show that over half of manufacturers polled believe that general business conditions have remained the same in the first quarter of 2018, when compared to the last quarter of 2017. More than 25% of participants said that conditions had deteriorated, while fewer than one in five have seen business conditions improve.

Manufacturers identified increased demand for healthier food products as a key opportunity during the rest of the year. More broadly, with almost half reporting an increase in volume sales in the UK in Q1, businesses anticipate increased domestic demand for produce and planned investment in new product launches.

When looking to the wider economy, food and drink manufacturers were split over their expectations for UK economic growth for 2018. Around two-thirds expect a rise in input prices, with heightened ingredient costs ranked the top barrier to food and drink manufacturing success throughout the rest of the year. This is in line with reported figures which show that almost half of food and drink businesses have experienced increased packaging costs for during the first three months of 2018.

FDF Chief Executive Ian Wright CBE said:

“It is encouraging to see that business conditions for the food and drink industry have remained stable.

“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.”

Key impacts in Q1 2018

When looking at the key impacts on food and drink businesses in Q1 2018, members found that the key impacts were:

  • 77% increased packaging costs
  • 72% increased ingredient costs
  • 52% increased energy costs
  • 65% increased average wages in their business
  • 60% decreased product margins
  • 49% increased volume sales to the UK
  • 56% productivity gains

More information

For more information, please contact Debbie McCreath, Corporate Affairs Executive on 020 7420 7152, debbie.mccreath@fdf.org.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the voice of the food and drink manufacturing industry – the UK's largest manufacturing sector. For more information about FDF and the industry we represent visit: www.fdf.org.uk
  2. FDF's Confidence Survey is available here
  3. FDF conducted the first of its new quarterly business confidence surveys between 4-19 April 2018 to gauge confidence levels in the food and drink manufacturing sector in Q1 2018.
  4. FDF received responses from businesses with a combined UK turnover of over 10% of total food and soft drink manufacturing turnover. 60% of responses came from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

More news on the Members' website

Contact Deborah McCreath, Corporate Affairs Division, at: debbie.mccreath@fdf.org.uk, or +44 (0) 20 7420 7152.

Back to list of articles