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The cost-of-living crisis continues to bite into 2023 as food inflation has leapt to a new high in January, according to the latest report by the British Retail Consortium. The rate accelerated to 13.8% in January, up from 13.3% in December.
This is above the 3-month average rate of 13.2%, the highest inflation rate in the food category on record. “With global food costs coming down from their 2022 high and the cost of oil falling, we expect to see some inflationary pressures easing. However, as retailers still face ongoing headwinds from rising energy bills and labour shortages, prices are yet to peak and will likely remain high in the near term as a result”, CEO Helen Dickinson reported.
British food and drink producers can compete for a share of £20 million in government funding to support projects to boost the public’s nutritional intake. The scheme, Better Food for All, was launched to encourage the development of affordable, accessible and sustainable innovations around commonly consumed products. Businesses can partner with other organisations to apply for funding, and have until the 29th March to submit their bids.
According to research conducted by Vypr, less than 35% of Brits participated in Dry January, with just under 10% more men than women taking on the challenge. When asked why they weren’t participating in Dry January, 57% of consumers responded that they enjoyed having a drink, with 22% stating that they didn’t drink and 7% saying it was too much effort or they didn’t have the support of family and friends.
Those taking part in Dry January had different reasons for joining the challenge. 42% said it was for health benefits, and 33% said it saved money. The post-Christmas and New Year detox accounted for 30% of consumers, and 20% said it was part of wider lifestyle changes.
With UK recession concerns front of mind, a new study has found that one in six (16%) of food and drink businesses say it is a key factor preventing them from implementing digitisation projects for their sales and marketing functions, stifling their business growth and keeping them behind tech-savvy competitors.
James Clarkson, CEO of Adventoris, commented, “As 2023 gets underway, these findings lay bare the impact the current economic climate is having on firms in the food and drink industry and it is disheartening to see the toll inflation and rising energy costs are taking. So many businesses are being held back from reaching their true potential through being unable to progress with plans to adopt digital processes.”