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.

Following an increase in net business confidence in Q3 2020, pessimism prevailed in Q4 as tougher COVID-19 restrictions forced hospitality and food service to close once more.

Businesses continued to experience higher costs and decreased domestic hospitality and food service volume sales in Q4.

Higher ingredient costs were reported as key barriers for 2021, with over three-quarters of businesses expecting prices to continue to rise this year

Updates & milestones

Business Confidence Survey Q4 2020

Update

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

Update

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

2019 Food & Drink Business Confidence Report

Update

The latest FDF Business Confidence survey shows that the proportion of businesses whose confidence has improved is up by 12 percentage points since Q3 2019.

Download 2019 Food & Drink Business Confidence Report