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Fresh Food in the United Kingdom

United Kingdom fresh food market: Hard hit by economic troubles


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2014-01-29 11:31:02 - Fresh Food in the United Kingdom - a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com

The United Kingdom fresh food market posted little to no growth in 2012 as the economy showed little signs of recovery. Some fresh food products prospered in 2012, as consumers looked to them as a cheaper source of nutrition and energy available in more expensive foodstuffs bought in non-recessionary times, although staple products, such as potatoes and most vegetables, either declined or showed minimal growth.

Even in economically difficult times new products can still hold considerable appeal to financially-pressed consumers. Relatively new fresh food to the UK, such as cassavas, continue to grow and supermarkets have been sourcing increasingly unusual products – especially in fruit and vegetables - in order to differentiate themselves from their rivals as much as possible.

 

 

The flower sprout - a purple cross between a Brussels sprout and kale – has performed well and UK shelves now contain previously unheard of fruit and vegetables, such as oyster leaf, raspberry ripple apples, UK-grown kiwiberries and pineberries.

Meat and crustaceans were just two of the categories negatively affected by rising commodity prices in 2012. The former suffered from rising feed prices, due to soaring wheat and soya costs after poor global harvests, while the latter was affected by increased flooding. This created tension between retailers, which want to keep their prices as low as possible in relation to their rivals, and producers, which want to increase prices to cover their costs. Commodity fluctuations are becoming a serious issue for the UK fresh food industry and while there are some moves to mitigate and insulate from them, there are no easy answers.

Poor summer weather due to increased rainfall in 2012 was a harbinger of things to come as the effects of climate change intensify both in the UK and across the globe. With the UK fresh food industry increasingly unable to rely on the supply chain mechanisms it has used over the last thirty years, increasing instability in the availability of some fresh food produce is to be expected, with retailers and producers increasingly having to alter their business plans in order to deal with the fluctuating weather conditions.

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Author:
Mike King
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