CGA Prestige Foodservice Purchasing Chief Executive Shaun Allen: “Collaboration with suppliers will be key over this difficult time”

CGA Prestige Foodservice warned operators there could be an imbalance in prices due to coronavirus.

Food prices in the UK reached a year-on-year deflation rate of -2.9% in March, according to the CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index. But Prestige Purchasing Chief Executive Shaun Allen warned operators that despite record deflation recorded in March, a significant imbalance in food prices is expected as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Allen noted that although sales dropping significantly would usually lead to a drop in prices, with lockdown affecting food production and the availability of exports, prices may be driven up instead.

Reporting on the caterer, Shaun Allen said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is now having a marked effect on supply chains and food pricing. The wholesale suppliers that service our sector have had much the same experience as operators, with demand falling off a cliff in mid-March. As a result, it will be challenging for foodservice operators to reinstate the same supply chain as was present just eight weeks ago when they closed. Price fluctuations are to be expected, and collaboration with suppliers will be key over this difficult time.” Fiona Speakman, Customer Director for food and retail at CGA, added: “Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés are facing especially challenging futures. Even if the sector begins to reopen in July, site openings will be phased and gradual. All food service businesses will need to stay vigilant and agile in their purchasing and operations in the months ahead.”