The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO), has launched its second TUCO Intelligence report on food and drink trends in 2019

Meteoric rise of plant-based foods continues, no and low-alcohol options grow 381%, concerns over African swine fever and inflation reaches four-year high finds latest TUCO Intelligence report

The report is designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them, through a collation of leading industry reports.

The Q2 report notes Brexit is still a key discussion point and finds foodservice inflation has reached a four year high of 9.8%. The prolonged uncertainty of Brexit has translated into a GDP growth rate of just 0.2% in the 3 months to January 2019. UK inflation fell to a two-year low in January 2019, with the Office for National Statistics reporting that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reached 1.8%

TUCO CEO Mike Haslin comments:

“As things stand, there have been no clearer assurances on life for businesses after Brexit and there is still uncertainty around employment, skills shortages and supply chain.”

He continues:

“In market trends, vegan and vegetarian food trends continue to rocket with no signs of slowing down. We recently launched our new Vegan and Vegetarian framework to meet demand. According to Mintel, in 2018 the UK overtook Germany to become the world leader in vegan new product development. This year, 250,000 signed up for the Veganuary campaign compared to 168,500 in 2018 and just 3,300 five years ago. What’s more, Kantar estimates that 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans; showing that the idea of a ‘flexitarian’ diet is also growing.”

Key market findings include:

  • China’s pig population, the largest in the world, is likely to shrink by almost a third, losing 130m animals as African swine fever ravages the country’s farms. The outbreak will reshape protein markets across the globe, driving up meat prices as China, the leading consumer and producer of pork, braces for years of shortages and disruptions to its food supply. “This has been a game-changer,” says Jais Valeur, group chief executive at Danish Crown, Europe’s leading pork processor. “We’re only starting to see the real impact of African swine fever.” The ASF virus, endemic to Africa, is fatal to pigs and has no cure. The current wave of cases began in Georgia in 2007 and spread to parts of eastern Europe and Russia before reaching China in August. After eight months of Beijing claiming the situation was under control, the crisis has now become undeniable. The Ministry of Agriculture said last week that a preliminary estimate forecasts pork prices to rise more than 70 per cent year on year in the second half of 2019. The sharp drop in China’s pig population has sent shockwaves through the world food industry. Hog futures have leapt in Chicago. Shares of meat companies have soared in São Paulo and New York. US pork sales to China recently hit a record high despite a 62 per cent tariff imposed during the course of the trade war between the countries
  • The craft beer market has seen no- and low- alcohol options grow 381% in the last two years. Nearly 2.5% of all craft beer sold is 2.8% and below. Source: Bites Issue 27
  • UK egg volumes and value rose by 4% in 2018 to surpass the £1billion mark for the first time equating to an additional 240 million eggs consumed over the period. British Lion Eggs suggest that the increased demand for healthier eating and a reduction in meat consumption have been the key drivers for the increase. According to the British Egg Industry Council, latest stats report that the UK is 87% self-sufficient for egg production, which means that we need to import in the region of 1,904 million eggs. Source: Reynolds Harvest Spring Summer issue

TUCO’s procurement service works proactively for its members to help with cost-control. All in-house public sector caterers can join and enjoy member benefits such as helping to drive down prices and drive up quality. Last year, TUCO purchased more than £143million of goods and servics and due to its formidable purchasing power, returned more than £8 million of savings to its members.

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