A leading Yorkshire ingredients supplier has issued a stark warning to retailers and consumers that rising food prices are now a fact of economic life and must be passed on if the UK's food manufacturing industry is to ensure its future sustainability.
Rising costs for raw materials have fuelled food inflation throughout the supply chain, with the latest figures suggesting consumers are spending almost double on their weekly shopping than two years ago, which is partly due to the fact that more people are treating themselves to luxury 'at home' food items and dining in. This hike in prices is making life difficult for many, but Ulrick & Short Ltd's director, Adrian Short, believes clean label ingredient solutions may help soften the blow.
He said: "I think the food industry needs to take a more holistic view to the current economic situation, acknowledge that price hikes will happen across the board and that the only way to maintain high product standards and ensure this industry's future sustainability is by looking at the long-term effects, dedicate time to reformulation and be willing to pay a little bit more now in order to reap the benefits later on."
As one of the UK's leading ingredient suppliers, Pontefract-based Ulrick & Short has further developed its extensive range of products to not only be free from all additives and chemicals but also be highly functional—tackling both financial and nutritional demands from manufacturers.
The company hopes that by educating food producers on the benefits and functional properties of alternative raw ingredients, significant cost savings can be made at the manufacturing stage of the food chain, resulting in less of the financial burden being passed onto retailers and consumers.
For example, Ulrick & Short's Delyte™ range of fat replacers can replace up to 50 percent of butter in cakes without any detriment to taste or texture of the finished product. In an industry where butter prices have risen by 20 percent in the last year, substituting these types of commodities with other raw ingredients will undoubtedly provide the industry, and in particular bakers, with substantial cost savings.
Mr Short added: "With no sign of raw material prices stabilizing soon, there needs to be more acceptances within the industry as a whole that a rise in food prices is inevitable. One way to try and counter-balance these increases is for manufacturers to look more closely at their raw material selection and ensure that they are getting the most from chosen ingredients.
"Unlike many other ingredient suppliers, we offer a specialist hands-on service, offering a range of supporting functions including product development, technical knowledge and guidance for understanding different ingredients, textural qualities and the effects that these have on finished products. For example, the finished texture from a maize starch will be very different from a tapioca starch.
"Consumers are taking for granted the standard of food products that are now being produced but must recognize that price rises need to be passed on to ensure sustainable profits and a competitive food manufacturing industry. If ingredient suppliers, manufacturers and retailers were to absorb the uncontrollable rising cost of raw materials, the industry would be significantly diminished in numbers and the UK food sector would struggle to compete with the rest of the world."
For more information on how Ulrick & Short could help your business with reformulation, please contact one of the team on 01977 620011 or visit the website www.cleanlabelingredients.com
Formed in 2000, Ulrick & Short Ltd is a leading developer, designer, manufacturer and supplier of high quality clean label ingredients, which are predominantly used by the UK food industry.
Ingredients developed by Ulrick & Short contain no chemicals or artificial components and are free from genetic modification. The company develops bespoke solutions to suit individual needs across a wide range of foods including processed meats, soups and sauces, baked goods and battered products.
All of Ulrick & Short's raw materials are processed by accredited partners worldwide and the quality of the ingredients is assured by the controlled environment of the company's own development kitchens.
The company already has an excellent reputation for its level of responsiveness in getting 'products to market' quickly.
Ulrick & Short's clean label ingredient range gives food producers the advantage of having simpler declarations without compromising on quality. The on-going success and continued investment into research and new product development drives the company forward, giving it a good advantage over its competitors.
More product details can be found at www.ulrickandshort.com