PBackman Quarterly Briefing (Jan-Mar'23)

I have been publishing The Quarterly Briefing Report since 2009. This report is now one in my  Premium Briefing Reports series – I issue one report at the end of each month. The report issued at the end of each quarter provides my views about the past quarter – and gives my forecasts for the next two quarters.

The past quarter

Demand side

  • The demand side of the foodservice sector kept up fairly well across most sectors in the last few months despite growing pressures on consumers and rapid inflation.
  • Consumers were price-sensitive and thrifty, but they continued to spend.
  • The Coffer CGA Business Tracker reports a distinct market slow down – LfL sales in the pub sector rose 2.4% year on year in March (versus 6.9% in February and 12.9% in January); restaurant LfL sales were 2.5% ahead (versus 1.9% in February and 10.3% in January).

Supply side

  • There were more deeply worrying signs on the supply side – amongst operators and their
    supply chains.
  • The Financial Times reported that ‘Food and beverage profits have been badly hit’.
  • Inflation continued to be a significant issue for operators (and for consumers as well) and it maintained elevated levels – above 10% in March despite forecasts that it would start to fall during the period:
    – The Opec+ oil cartel announced a surprise cut to oil production, immediately lifting the price of crude.
    – Although wholesale gas prices are down 67%, and electricity grid prices are down 56%, home fuel and lighting costs are up 88% over the past year putting pressure on household budgets

You can read the full report here.