Blog: Dean BestReasons to be cheerful - one, two, three

Dean Best | 20 January 2010

With a film hitting screens in the UK chronicling the life of punk legend Ian Dury, just-food thought it time to cast aside the gloom seen on these pages in recent days and outline some reasons to be cheerful.

As the just-food team digested news of Kraft's successful bid for Cadbury yesterday (19 January), I was in Glasgow speaking to Scottish food and drink manufacturers at an event hosted by the Scottish Food and Drink Federation.

Now, our pessimism about the prospects for UK grocery in 2010 has been covered at length since the New Year.

However, as I told the delegates in Glasgow, while we believe 2010 will be as challenging as 2009, all is not lost.

it could be argued that shoppers have had enough of cutting back on food and see food as a way of treating themselves – while cutting back on everything else.

Demand for healthy food has not been dampened by recession and the convenience food makers among you will be heartened to hear that demand in that category is on the rise again.

Pressure on household spending in such challenging economic conditions means value will be vital for consumers. That said, value does not just equal price.

Morrisons, for instance, has been a winner in the recession not just because of its positioning at the value end of the spectrum but also because of its investment in range - and its success in communicating its commitment to local food and to the provenance of food.

Buying local remains key for consumers, perhaps even more so in times of recession. Some see buying local as a means of helping their local economy. And other so-called ethical considerations - Fairtrade and animal welfare - have withstood the recession and show no signs of abating.

So, while 2010 will be very tough, there are opportunities available for growth.

Now, let's put The Smiths on....


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