With exports worth over £20 billion, the UK food and beverages industry is a strong performer within the global market.
Since the industry has particularly strong links within Europe, it is of the utmost importance to ensure continued collaboration in these markets. However, a Brexit-orientated future does open up new opportunities for the sector. As populations of major developing economies become markedly more affluent, there has been an increase in demand for quality meat, dairy and alcohol products, correlating with the strengths of the British industry.
As in every consumer driven industry, success in the food and beverages sector is deeply dependent on the ability to anticipate, understand and satisfy the public’s constantly evolving wants and needs. The UK population’s preference for convenience has resulted in a focus on ‘ready-to-eat’ and ‘on-the-go’ products, while financial restraints have heightened the need for delivering high standards at the lowest possible cost. With nearly a quarter of adults considered obese, concerns about these levels will result in regulative legislation, such as the need to provide nutritional information on products.
Another challenge for the industry is security of supply and sustainability issues. Climate change and environmental pressures, coupled with an increasing population, will require the industry to work together with the Government to develop a sustainable and competitive food system.