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How has the UK Fresh Produce market performed in 2017?

How has the UK Fresh Produce market performed in 2017?

Published on: 12/12/2017

New research into the financial performance of the UK Fresh Produce sector has revealed how the industry’s top companies have performed throughout the last 12 months.

Market analysts Plimsoll Publishing Ltd have assessed the UK’s leading 960 industries, ranging from Abattoirs to Yarn Suppliers, and ranked each sector on its sales and profit performance, productivity and risk factor.  Plimsoll has also compared the Fresh Produce market against 43 other food industries across the UK.

And it seems the results in the Fresh Produce market are mixed. The Fresh Produce market is currently sitting in the top 10 fastest growing food industries, but is in third last place for profitability. Furthermore, the market has seen fall in productivity and an increase in the percentage of companies at financial risk. 

The information for this comparative research has been taken from Plimsoll’s December 2017 study into the financial health of the UK’s top 1270 Fresh Produce companies.

Speaking of the results, Plimsoll’s senior analyst, David Pattison, said: “My feeling is that the industry is going through quite a change.  On the surface it looks like the Fresh Produce market is doing well - in fact, we’ve ranked it as the 8th fastest growing food industry, and in the top 20% of fastest growing sectors in the UK. However, profits seem to be under pressure. As a result, the market now has the third lowest profit margin across 43 food industries. Looking ahead to 2018, Fresh produce firms face a serious challenge to protect their margins.”

Results at a glance:

Sales Growth performance:

  • The UK Fresh Produce industry is the 154th fastest growing industry in the UK – up 298 places over the last 12 months.
  • It is the 8th fastest growing food industry.
  • On average each of the 1270 fresh produce companies analysed in the December 2017 study improved sales by 6.2% throughout the last year.

Profit Performance: 

  • Despite the relatively high sales increases, it appears margins are still under pressure.
  • Each Fresh Produce firm is averaging pre-tax margins of 1.2% and it’s the UK’s 851st most profitable industry – up 17 places from last year.
  • Within the UK food sector, the UK Snack Foods market is the most profitable.

Productivity:

  • Productivity in the UK Fresh Produce market has dropped over the last 12 months.
  • In 2016, the UK Fresh Produce market was the 220th most productive in the UK but it has fallen to 245th
  • As a result of this, average sales per employee for companies in the market is £211,400 – down from £222,300 in the previous year.

Risk Rating:

  • The number of firms rated as danger has jumped to 33% – a 3% rise in the previous 12 months.
  • The UK Fresh Produce industry is also the 390th riskiest industry in the UK – 12 months ago it was 437th.

How the Fresh Produce market compares to the best in the food sector

Delving further into the food sector, Plimsoll has also ranked the performance of the UK’s leading 43 food industries on the same metrics and the results can be seen below.

Plimsoll Food Sector Ranking (ranked by sale growth) 

Industry
2017 Sales Growth Rank
 
2017 Profit Rank
 
2017 Risk Rating
 
2017 Productivity Rank 

Health Foods & Products

1

4

13

16

Organic Foods

2

31

7

9

Dried Fruit & Nuts

3

33

38

2

Fish Processing

4

27

19

26

Seafood

4

29

12

11

Wholesale Bakers

6

22

20

43

Prepared Vegetables

7

24

11

35

Potato Suppliers

8

37

30

24

Fresh Produce

8

40

24

23

Sauces; Dressings & Condiments

10

2

22

21

Food Machinery

11

5

40

33

Frozen Food Wholesalers

12

34

42

17

Frozen Foods

13

27

35

19

Vitamins & Supplements

14

7

4

22

Ice Cream Manufacturers

15

22

25

25

Food & Drink Importers

16

37

39

1

Food Flavourings & Colourings

17

2

37

5

Food Wholesalers & Distributors

17

35

34

4

Fish Merchants

19

40

36

13

Ethnic Foods

20

17

33

15

Cake & Dessert Manufacturers

21

10

6

38

Snack Foods

22

1

2

34

Food Manufacturing

22

10

26

30

Retail Butchers

22

37

29

36

Chocolate

25

29

3

32

Catering Butchers

25

31

43

27

Food Ingredients

27

5

41

3

Chilled Foods

28

24

1

28

Shellfish

29

13

21

29

Pastry Food Products

30

7

15

39

Bakery

30

12

14

40

Confectionery

32

16

23

31

Food Packing

33

17

27

18

Sandwich Manufacturers & Suppliers

34

17

9

42

Cheese Makers & Suppliers

35

13

28

7

Dairy Products

36

20

16

6

Meat Processors

37

24

17

14

Meat

38

35

31

10

Confectionery Manufacturers

39

9

10

37

Fishmongers

39

20

18

20

Grocery Retailers

39

42

5

41

Bacon Curers & Merchants

42

15

8

12

Abattoirs

43

43

32

8

Plimsoll has created an industry analysis on each of the sectors listed in the table above as well as the largest 960 sectors in the UK.

For over 30 years, the Plimsoll Analysis has been used by senior decision makers to help monitor competitors, analyse key market trends as well as identifying acquisition prospects.

So, to find out more information about each individual sector please visit www.plimsoll.uk or contact Chris Glancey on the details below:

T: +44 (0) 1642626400

E: c.glancey@plimsoll.uk

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