Blog: Dean BestGeneration gap

Dean Best | 14 July 2008

The news here in the UK this morning that factory-gate prices among food manufacturers continue to rise will come as little surprise.

We have, after all, become accustomed to food inflation for months now.

However, the fact the rise was the highest jump in food product prices in 22 years only serves to hammer home the message that suppliers are battling with the biggest change to their cost-base for a generation.

And, as we argued on our pages last week, the fact that these changes – and the general economic downturn – haven't been seen for a generation should be cause for concern in the industry.

The well-worn argument that the food industry is “recession-proof” because we all need to eat and drink has its merits but the challenges facing the sector will be new to many battling with rising costs, the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1980s.

Can we, with any certainty, say the food industry will hold up against the headwinds buffeting the whole economy – not just in the UK but in Europe and the US?

Perhaps the slight change in tone from “recession-proof” to “recession-resistant” tells its own story.


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