OC&C Top 150 - The Big Sqeeze

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The UK’s top 150 food & drink players are feeling the pinch. Margins are at a 14-year low; growth is stalling; even retailers’ margins are tightening. So which suppliers are most out of breath? And who’s breathing calmly? 

The squeeze on Britain’s 150 biggest food and drink manufacturers is hurting. Badly. The Grocer’s annual ranking of the industry’s giants, compiled by OC&C Strategy Consultants, has seen the second- biggest margin contraction – of 0.8ppts – in its 21-year history. Average operating margins now stand at a 14-year low of just 5.8%.

So who’s crumbling under the mounting pressure and which of Britain’s biggest food and drink players are resisting the squeeze? What impact is all this having on the general appetite for future acquisitions and how has M&A – not least poultry giant Boparan’s [9] landmark £342m buyout of Northern Foods – affected the grocery landscape of the past year? 

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