The Food Price Index. The pressure is still very much on, unfortunately with little let up.

Last week, Prestige Purchasing together with EP, hosted the Food Price Index for 90 guests at the Butchers Hall in the City.

Speakers which included Karl Chessall (Director CGA), Alan Clarke (Economist) and Shaun Allen (CEO, Prestige Purchasing) painted the picture of a challenging market. The picture did explain just how hard it has been for operators and how it is likely to continue to challenge operators in 2023.

It was noted by Shaun Allen that this not just been a perfect storm but more as operators have faced staff shortages, wage inflation, fuel inflation, energy inflation and supply shortages. It was also noted that there does need to a quick solution to the Russian-Ukraine war if there is to be light to the issue in 2023. The view is that food inflation will rise above 20% before it falls and is forecast to be 5.6% in October 23 but this is still rising prices. The overall inflation figure for 2023 is forecast to be 10.5%

Other key points:

  • The UK licensed market has contracted by 10% since March 2020
  • The good news is that the High Street is now performing well, 2% up v 2019, and the suburbs are performing very strongly, which is seeing many operators look towards these audiences.
  • 79% of operators are very concerned about how the cost of living crisis will impact on consumers and 83% are concerned about the impact of food inflation.
  • Understandably, there will those consumers who do eat out less but there will also be those – with disposable income – who continue to eat out.
  • Food inflation has just reached 19.9% in the year
  • 8 in 10 business leaders are currently in profit, albeit less than pre pandemic
  • For consumers, quality is becoming increasingly important along with value for money
  • 1751 Independents closed between June and September and this trend is set to continue
  • City centres are recovering led by Manchester and Birmingham. London has taken longer than others but is building up a momentum
  • The experience economy is in growth mode
  • The staff shortages are impacting all markets with over one million vacancies which naturally impacts on efficiency and service.
  • There are things which can be done but it does need the right strategies and planning in place.

Despite the challenging facts, guest enjoyed the evening and met a number of leading entrepreneurs who helped sponsor the event. Our thanks to all who did.

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