The FDF’s quarterly Business Confidence Survey, launched in early 2018, showcases key opportunities and risks facing 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 economic policy asks.

Our results have been used to inform consultation and budget submissions, as well as FDF’s policy recommendations to government. Our Business Confidence reports are also invaluable in promoting the economic importance of the industry via the media. If you would like to take part in our survey, please get in touch.

Business confidence improved in Q1 2021, but remained negative. The optimism around the prospect of reopening of hospitality in Q2 did not offset struggles surrounding the end of the EU Exit transition period and low level of sales.  

Businesses continued to experience higher costs and decreased domestic hospitality and food service volume sales in Q1 2021.

Increased demand was reported as one of the top opportunities for 2021, with over two-thirds of members expecting output to increase this year.  

Updates & milestones

Q1 2021 Food and Drink Business Confidence Report

Update

FDF’s newly-released Q1 2021 Business Confidence report shows that net business confidence among food and drink manufacturers rose in Q1, but remained negative, reaching -14%. Businesses felt positive about the vaccination program and the prospect of reopening of hospitality in Q2. Nonetheless, the optimism did not offset the struggles surrounding the end of the EU Exit transition period and low level of sales.

Key concerns for the rest of the year include border and custom issues, increased costs and cash flow issues.

On the other hand, members see increased demand from the reopening of hospitality and new product launches as key opportunities for 2021.

FDF produces Business Confidence reports on a quarterly basis which summarise member sentiment, key impacts on the industry, as well as key opportunities and challenges for the sector. See past reports below.

 

Business Confidence Survey Q4 2020

FDF’s newly-released Q4 2020 Business Confidence report shows that net business confidence among food and drink manufacturers fell in Q4, reaching -34% as a result of tougher COVID-19 restrictions and disruptions along the supply chain. Despite over a third of members experiencing increased output, productivity and domestic retail sales in Q4, over half continued to suffer from increased costs and reduced margins.

Unsurprisingly, businesses are relatively pessimistic about UK economic conditions in 2021, with key concerns including border issues, a prolonged lockdown and higher ingredient costs.

On the other hand, members see the increased certainty over the UK-EU trade relationship, domestic demand, and investment in new product launches as key opportunities for 2021.

FDF produces Business Confidence reports on a quarterly basis which summarise member sentiment, key impacts on the industry, as well as key opportunities and challenges for the sector. See past reports below.

 

 

Business Confidence Survey Q3 2020

The FDF’s newly-released Q3 2020 Business Confidence report shows that net business confidence among food and drink manufacturers bounced back in Q3 reaching 19.1% after a record low in Q2 2020.

Over a third of members experienced an increase in output, cash flow and domestic retail sales in Q3, although businesses continued to experience increased costs and reduced margins.

Overall, businesses are relatively pessimistic about UK economic conditions in 2021. Some of the key concerns for next year include the failure to secure a free trade agreement with the EU and consequent border/custom issues, uncertainty around future UK import tariffs and a surge in exchange rate volatility.

On the other hand, members see an increase in domestic demand, investment in new product launches and increased certainty over the future EU relationship as key opportunities for 2021.

The FDF produces Business Confidence reports on a quarterly basis which summarise member sentiment, key impacts on the industry, as well as key opportunities and challenges for the sector.

Business Confidence Survey Q2 2020

FDF’s newly-released Q2 2020 Business Confidence report shows that net business confidence among food and drink manufacturers fell to a record low in Q2, reaching -65%, which reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy. GVA and exports declined in Q2, while inflation and wages increased.

Businesses indicated lack of demand from the hospitality sector and uncertainty over the UK-EU trade deal as key concerns for 2020.

 

Business Confidence Survey Q1 2020

The latest FDF Business Confidence survey shows that net business confidence among food and drink manufacturers has significantly declined since Q4 2019, with 68% reporting a decline in business conditions in Q1 2020.

Key concerns for 2020 include the COVID-19 pandemic, exchange rate volatility, and failure to secure a Free Trade Agreement with the EU – all of which were highlighted by over 70% of respondents.

GVA, exports, wages and net confidence all saw a decline in early 2020, while inflation continued to increase. Despite the current difficult conditions, 64% continued to report increased domestic demand as an opportunity for their business this year.

Download Business Confidence Survey Q1 2020