Looking for information to help build your menus and keep on top of your GP? Each month the Menu Fresh Market Report aims to provide information on meat, dairy and fresh produce, reporting industry and market news across the United Kingdom, Europe, and the rest of the world.
Here, we can advise you and your chefs on market movements, product changes and seasonal trends to help you make an informed choice.
The BBC Good Food Nation Survey 2022 reports that the traditional Sunday roast is under threat from the cost of living crisis with 26% of people saying they are less likely to “slam in the lamb”. Indeed, 18% are planning to close the oven door for good, to keep costs down.
The financial pinch means that takeaways and meals out will be less frequent with 48% ordering fewer takeaways and 31% saying they are eating out less.
There is a potential opportunity here for foodservice, with the occasional roast in a restaurant becoming more cost-effective as bills rise. Eating a roast in a restaurant not only feeds the family but means saving on heating bills whilst enjoying a professionally cooked Yorkshire pudding, perhaps even in front of an open fire.
The French apple season is well underway, and the Southern Hemisphere is coming to an end with later-starting varieties like the Braeburn and Red Delicious becoming available.
Similarly, we expect to see South African stone fruit such as apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums to become available in November.
British clementines are coming into season. When choosing the best bunches, ignore the outside appearance of the skin as it is no indication of quality instead feel for fruits that are heavy as they are jucier.
Suppliers have found surging enery prices will impact crops grown through the winter in heated greenhouses such as tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, this is expected to result in substantial price increases.
Southern Hemisphere melons will now replace Spanish, as their season ends, which unfortunately means vulnerability to higher transport costs.
UK berry season is ending, with mainly glasshouse supplies left, so supply such as blackberries and elderberries will sourced from the EU.
UK cauliflower and broccoli crops have come to an end, with the Spanish supply taking over for the winter.
Romanesco is a nice alternative to the usual Cauliflower and Broccoli. When finding the best quality, look for bright colours with no spots or discolouration and a firm stem. The head should be dense and firm, with no wilted leaves.
Sprouts will see a return to the marketplace as the early Christmas meals are booked.
UK salad leaves will come to an end with supply moving to imported EU-grown produce.
It seems that carrot and parsnip supplies might be dwindling, in part due to a poor harvest and prices may rise in November.
Despite warnings that the hot dry weather would lead to low global potato yields, increases in prices are currently slowing down for November.
Herbs in particular are likely to see price increases of as much as 30-40% per 100g within the next few months. This is driven by a global shortage of producers and it is becoming more difficult to source. This is combined with increased haulage costs and clearance charges for airfreight.
The warning has come directly from farming groups. Around 10 million turkeys are eaten in the UK each Christmas, but increased production costs are making it harder for farmers to rear them. Additionally, Turkeys are particularly vulnerable to the current avian flu outbreak, which in combination with a doubling of their feed costs, means some farmers aren’t rearing many for Christmas this year having reduced rearing by 20-50%, and some have shut down production entirely.
Pork markets appear to be returning to pre-pandemic levels, with the trade lost to China slowly being replaced by EU.
However, with costs still high for farmers, GB deadweight pig prices continue to rise, though there is some hope that increased seasonal demand may limit this.
GB deadweight cattle prices have continued their slow rise along with slauthering figures as there is also an upward trend, according to AHDB.
This continues the cautious good news that the overall UK cattle population continues to grow, helping future supply.
It’s unknown what effect this will have on domestic prices, but it is good news for the British sheep industry.
Lamb prices are following their usual seasonal trends, with November traditionally offering good value compared to earlier in the year.
As the waters cool down, fish and seafood quality improves, especially with white fish. Most fish are in season during this time so there should be plenty of variety to consider when planning your menus.
This is the last season for best quality crab meat. Vegetarian substitutes include jackfruits, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts.
Dairy volumes have declined year on year whilst retail sales volumes dropped for milk, cheese and yellow fats. Despite this and increasing input costs, milk prices are set to remain stable in November.
Food Ingredients First reports that the EU, US and UK are being hit by one of their worst bird flu crises this year, as tens of millions of poultry have been culled in each market.
Recent global outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have constrained egg supplies in the face of rising demand, fuelling sharp price increases.
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to keep markets supported in the short term. However, in the longer-term, recessionary concerns could see some pressure on markets.
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