Blog: Back from the brink or ideological zeal?
Chris Mercer | 20 October 2010
The UK coalition government has unveiled what are rapidly becoming known as the biggest spending cuts since the Second World War.
In a nutshell, consumers are going to have less money in their pockets and the private sector may need to pick up the slack of up to 500,000 public sector jobs over the next four years.
The UK's Department for the Enviornment, Food and Rural Affairs is said to be ready to cut to 5,000 to 8,000 jobs. (Here in a slightly opaque table is a breakdown of some of Defra's spending cuts).
There has been much talk of the age of austerity, but, finally, the time is upon us.
For food companies, as for many FMCG firms and retailers, the next 12 months will be a nervous time in the UK. There is a notion that employment held up better-than-expected during the official recession, but greater job losses look likely to be an early by-product of the Government's drive to reduce the country's deficit.
Official data suggests that consumers are, if not already feeling the pinch, braced for the worst.
The latest data from the country's second-largest supermarket chain, Asda, indicates that household spending power has fallen in every month this year. The September edition of the firm's Income Tracker, released today (20 October), shows that the average UK family had GBP4 less to spend per week than in September 2009.
"The rise in VAT to 20% in January 2011 will further squeeze household spending power over the next few months," said Charles Davis, the economist at Cebr who compiles the monthly income report for Asda.
Then, of course, we have the looming spectre of a possible second recession - the fabled double-dip. That's not a scenario anyone over here wants to contemplate."
The BBC turned to just-food today for insight on the price dispute between Tesco and Unilever....
Just weeks after buying UK turkey processor Bernard Matthews from administration, food tycoon Ranjit Boparan has struck a similar deal....
Shares in Tyson Foods slumped on Friday, closing down almost 9% after an analyst claimed a lawsuit facing the company could hit the US meat titan....
- It won't just be Unilever to push for Brexit hikes
- Interview: UK trade body on Brexit's policy impact
- Price an underlying tension across European FMCG
- Danone's Q3 sales - what the analysts say
- Interview: UK trade body on the impact of Brexit
- PepsiCo sets 2025 nutrition, sustainability goals
- Nestle lowers outlook on "softer environment"
- China "transition" drags on Danone Q3
- UK announces "action plan" to drive food exports
- Farmers' groups slam Danone over non-GMO stance
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Omega-3 in Food and Beverage:Time for a Reboot?
- Constellation Brands, Inc. (STZ) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review
- Bakery (UK) - Industry Report
- Redefining Snacks: From Conventional Snacks to Snack Replacements