State of industry report Q4 2022

21 February 2023

Our latest State of the Industry survey highlights that while some pressures are starting to ease, business conditions for Britain’s food and drink manufacturers remain challenging, with companies expecting input costs to continue to rise by an average of 10% over the year.


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Executive summary

  • Food and drink manufacturers were less pessimistic in Q4, with industry confidence reaching -47%, its highest level since Q3 2021 and above the record low of -79% in Q3 2022.
  • Business conditions for Q1 2023 are expected to remain the same or worsen.
  • Labour shortages eased to 7.0% in Q4, down from 9.1% in Q3. These vacancies range from high-skilled roles (engineers or scientists) to production operatives (machine operators or night shift workers).
  • Manufacturers expect total costs to increase on average by 10% and selling prices by 7% during 2023.
  • 47% of manufacturers think that market competitiveness with the EU has worsened over the last year.
  • To tackle cost pressures, 54% of businesses are changing procurement strategies and 49% are making production more energy efficient.
  • 64% of businesses are developing new products (including packaging), and 54% are restructuring operations to maintain competitiveness.

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