Greater faith in food and drink industry

There’s more positivity flowing through the food and drink industry than this time a year ago according to a new study.

Figures from HIM and MCA’s Top of Mind Report revealed 42% of UK professionals expect the market to reduce in size in the next 12 months compared to 71% in 2019.

The research suggests there’s greater encouragement within the eating-out sector than grocery retail, with 27% predicting market conditions to improve compared to 17% in retail – a swap in position versus last year’s study.

That’s further reflected in numbers that show 54% of eating out professionals rate the current trading conditions as challenging, whereas last year that stood at 76%. An increase from 50% to 59% to the same question in grocery retail does appear to tell a different story in that sector.

MCA and HIM Project Manager, Sarah Coleman, says Brexit probably played a major part in the two year’s contrasting figures.

“Unsurprisingly, business professionals across both the eating out and grocery retail markets are feeling the pinch from the UK’s decision to leave the EU,” said Coleman.

“This year, 73% of the people who completed our survey said Brexit had already had a negative impact on their business – last year this number was 59%. However, Brexit continues to remain out of the control of operators, retailers and manufacturers.

“Embracing the trend towards health, creating an experience in a store or outlet and investing in NPD are three areas that remain within their control and have been highlighted as growth opportunities for businesses to target in 2020.

“Furthermore, despite challenging conditions, both the eating out and grocery retail markets are forecast to grow in 2020, indicating that there are reasons to be positive. However, it will be those that understand their consumers best and meet demand that will capitalise on the opportunities.”

Brexit eating out grocery HIM MCA retail