Our latest Top 150 report, produced in partnership with The Grocer, shows the UK food and drink industry under pressure. As currency-driven input inflation and rising labour costs continue to squeeze margins, the prolonged run-up to Brexit is weighing heavily on food and soft drink producers. Amidst this there are some green shoots of recovery for the largest branded producers who have seen growth improve after years of underperformance, suggesting that some of the efforts they have been making to innovate, evolve their portfolios and adopt the full range of digital activation tools are having an impact.
Despite the economic fog of Brexit the strongest producers are making their own fortunes. Our five top performers; Coca-Cola European Partners, Finlays, McCain, Nichols and Scottish Sea Farms, show that with the right combination of positioning to capitalise on structural trends and great execution they can succeed despite testing conditions and significant uncertainty.
"Any disruption will hurt some people and create opportunities for others to improve their competitive position,” Hayllar says. “Smart businesses should not just think ‘how do we have continuity of trading?’ but ‘how do we move quickly to capitalise on different market dynamics?’”