Food and drink inflation ‘will continue to ease’ in 2018

11/12/2017 - 12:00
Having suffered from “extremely high” levels of food and drink inflation throughout most of 2017 – reaching 9.3% in August - the UK foodservice industry will no doubt rejoice in hearing that it is “expected to ease to 3.4% by the end of 2018.”

According to Prestige Purchasing’s Annual Food & Drink Inflation Report, the “extremely high degree of volatility should reduce in the year ahead” to average at 3.6%, and reach a low of 3.4% next December.

That said, it does warn that “most (food and drink) price are unlikely to fall” given heightened risk from labour costs, weather and supply challenges of certain ingredients.

Christopher Clare, head of consulting and insight at Prestige Purchasing said: “In 2017, we have seen inflation at the kitchen door surge ahead of increases in supermarket prices. By contrast to foodservice supply, the retail market for food is highly competitive and supermarket operators have both absorbed increases into margin or delayed and refused increases from producers altogether.”

Chief Executive Shaun Allen added: “Looking to 2018, levels of volatility are falling but we still expect challenges in seafood – including tuna, butter (and dairy as a whole), eggs due to Fipronil, and vegetable oils. With all the current uncertainty that surrounds our exit from the EU, the year after (2019) still looks a very high-risk year for the cost of food and drink.”

Copyright 2017 Craft Guild of Chefs

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