Our experience in the food and drink sector has been built up over many years by serving the needs of our food and drink clients, many of which are manufacturers and those in the peripheral sectors such as packaging, marketing and distribution. We understand and keep up to date with the challenges that food and drink businesses face.
The food and drink industry
The long-term impact of coronavirus on the food and drink industry is as yet unclear. For some, there have been unprecedented uplifts in demand in spite of running at maximum capacity, whilst others in the catering trade supply chain or niche producers have seen falls in demand and have needed to shut down some of their capacity. Meanwhile, reliance on digital technologies has greatly increased - with vast numbers of employees working from home bringing challenges relating to communication and staff well-being. The uncertainty in the market has meant that many are considering their business analytics and forecasting software in order to better understand business performance and forecast as accurately as possible. Others are looking more closely at business efficiency due to financial pressures with a view to reducing stock levels and improving their ability to adapt to the rapidly changing environment.
A return to strategic growth
At the heart of UK Food and Drink is the basic fact that people need to eat and drink! Increasingly the world has become aware of the wide range of quality products that the industry produces and international markets will continue to be attractive going forward.
Consumer choice has and will continue to evolve with people seeking quality, innovative products whilst also increasingly ‘buying local’. Many others are making more health conscious choices, alongside a balance of ‘treat’ items. What this provides is a wide spectrum for the industry to develop suitable products for UK retails, food service and hospitality / tourism sectors. Add the international aspect and you have a large accessible market for UK Food and Drink companies to attack.
To make the produce, convert and then sell to the end customer, people with a range of skills are required and attracting people with the right skills is becoming increasingly difficult. With many food and drink businesses reliant on migrant labour and EU nationals, political uncertainty will only create a further challenge.
The environment and health
The heightened focus on the role of plastics in packaging and concerns about health and obesity rates are also high up on the agenda for many food and drink businesses and our knowledge of the industry enables us to provide the most practical advice to our clients and ensures that they can continue to meet changing consumer demands.
We organise a variety of food and drink sector events including factory tours, seminars and round table discussions. Regularly these events are run in partnership with the Food and Drink Federation and are focussed on topical challenges that food and drink businesses are up against. Our clients are invited to these events and therefore gain access to a forum where we encourage and facilitate the sharing of ideas to combat these issues.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, we have been organising a variety of virtual events for the food and drink industry including webinars and round table discussions. We will continue to provide valuable insights for our food and drink clients during this period.
Our food and drink team
We have a national team dedicated to the food and drink industry which enables us to understand the challenges that businesses within the industry are up against. What we have seen has driven the Food & Drink sector in recent times is a focus on collaboration, provenance, premiumisation and a growing synergy with Agriculture and Hospitality/Tourism.
The Food and Drink Federation
We are delighted to sponsor the Food and Drink Federation, the voice of the UK food and drink industry in the UK. We are proud to support an organisation that helps its members operate in a highly regulated marketplace whilst communicating the industry's values and concerns to Government, regulators, consumers and the media.
We are a supporter and member of Yfood, a community that promote technological innovation in the food and drink industry. Yfood is made up of start-ups, investors and larger organisations. The community is passionate about the food and drink ecosystem and create technological solutions addressing industry issues including food waste, sustainability and minimising carbon foot print. We are proud to support the Yfood community and assist businesses in navigating the legal, tax and funding pitfalls they meet in early-stage growth.
Scotland Food and Drink
We are a supporter and a member of Scotland Food and Drink. Over a number of years we have supported collaborative events and shared knowledge. This includes Leadership Dinners, FD Forums and input into future strategic plans for the sector. This has allowed us to understand the increasing drive in Scotland to bring more synergies to F&D and Hospitality / Tourism. Examples of this are visitor experiences at whisky and gin distilleries which enable showcasing of product and a fantastic hospitality/ tourism experience.
A hard winter but a better spring beckons for the food and drink sector
31 March 2021
Like a lot of the economy the Food and Drink (F&D”) sector has faced many challenges caused by COVID. In addition a perfect storm of further full UK lockdown for Q1 2021 and Brexit actually happening have further added to these challenges….but spring beckons…