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 market movements, product changes and seasonal trends for our fresh categories, helping venues make informed decisions on their menus.
The cold snap experienced before Christmas and the sudden drop in temperatures have killed off various cover crops, such as mustard, clovers, buckwheat, and radish. On top of this, the ground frost has damaged many root vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower causing availability to drop and prices to potentially rise.
British Farmers in Crisis
Due to the energy prices rising significantly for farmers, there are British farmers that have decided to either scale back production or sell up to survive. This is expected to result in more food shortages, affecting supermarkets and wholesalers.
Pubs and Restaurants Grow
Restaurants and Pubs across the UK saw a boost in sales caused by people watching the World Cup in November. The Office of National Statistics showed the economy grow by 0.1% in November, with a major driver coming from food and beverage services growing by 2.2%.
Valentine’s Day Guide
As the festive season finishes, the romantic season is upon us. In 2022, Brits spent approximately £1.37 billion on Valentine’s Day, another chance for more footfall to your venues.
Check out your easy guide to creating a rememberable dining experience for your guests this Valentine’s Day.
In season: Apples, Bananas, Clementines, Grapefruit, Lemons, Oranges, Pomegranates, Rhubarb
We are seeing that general demand is stable across all products despite availability challenges, which is typical for this time of year. We forecast that some products (i.e. rhubarb and berries) may suffer in pricing due to the rising energy costs, and reduced production yields from weather-related challenges such as the cold snap before Christmas.
Still being forced into season, Rhubarb prices will remain strong until the UK harvest in mid-Spring. So, prices will be subject to the market price and availability from weather conditions.
Berries are estimated to have grown in volume by 20%, this is coming from a surplus in South America. This will compensate for the reduction of production in the UK and Europe.
Tomatoes & Salad leaves
February will see some availability challenges across Tomatoes and Salad Leaf produce due to a warm Winter in Spain and North Africa.
In South America, Mango exports are estimated to increase by 25% this year due to increases in planting areas following a boost in demand.
This is the last month for clementines. When choosing the best quality, do not completely rely on appearance, instead, feel for ones that are heavier for their size as they’ll be juicier.
Despite the weather & energy challenges through 2022, Peruvian Grape exports are set to grow by 11% from 2022, this will make Peru the second largest global exporter.
In season: Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Celeriac, Chicory, Jerusalem Artichokes, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Spring Green, Spring Onions, Squash, Swede
Despite the cold snap experienced in December, carrot availability is looking fine. The first seeds are scheduled to be sowed in February, meaning Scottish new season carrots will be available from May.
Kale is an all-year rounder, but best from September to February. When choosing the best quality, pick smaller heads as they’ll be more tender and crisp.
Onions & Potatoes
We estimate that the current season will see a 20% reduction in onion and potato yields, due to the heatwave in Summer last year. This caused significant challenges in availability that these are still trying to recover from.
Energy prices are threatening this year’s tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers crop as they need cold storage and some farmers can’t afford to maintain this, leading to fewer choices.
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Purple Sprouting Broccoli is at its best between February and April. When choosing the best batch, go for broccoli that has dark green-purple leaves and florets.
British Swede season runs from October to late February. The best swedes grown have smooth, unblemished skins. The smaller swedes have a sweeter flavour and are tenderer.
Current GB Standard Quality Quotation lamb prices are down in January (w/e 14th) by 19.8p/kg compared to the previous month. Production of new season lamb averaged 112,300 heads per week during the month, which is only marginally less than the previous month despite the break between Christmas and New Year.
EU poultry production fell by nearly 1% in 2022 and is anticipated to continue to decline by 0.4% this year, according to the European Commission. Dellaert’s avian influenza expert group are currently working on making vaccinations acceptable to tackle the disease. Currently, the vaccination of poultry against avian influenza is not permitted in the UK.
The standard pig price remains high in January (w/e 14th), up by 1.41p/kg compared to the previous month. UK pig meat production totalled 80,100 tonnes in December, this is down by 13% compared to November due to disruption from the Christmas break.
The GB standard overall cow price has risen in January (w/e 14th), up by 26.8p/kg compared to the previous month. The UK prime cattle production was estimated at 120,000 in December, down 26.7% compared to the previous month due to the quieter week between Christmas and the New Year.
Venison farmed from wild red and fallow deer are falling out of season in mid-February. However, farmed deer and wild roe deer are available all year round. When looking for the best cuts, look for deeper colours. There shouldn’t be too much fat, but any fat should be white and firm instead of yellow and greasy.
Starting in January, the Norwegian government have placed a 40% tax on salmonoid farmers based on their earnings from their fish. One major producer has reported having to make staff redundancy in response to the new tax, which will certainly affect supply and prices.
SmokedSalmon prices have recently increased in response to price rises on whole fish. Like fresh salmon, the ongoing price will be determined by trade levels.
The quality of Cod should be good throughout the Winter as they favour colder waters, but prices are usually very high through the second half of December through to the third week of January. It is predicted that Haddock prices will ease in February before they start spawning.
However, Coley, Hake and Pollock suffer from sudden spikes in demand at this time of year, particularly in Europe. Coley remains the cheapest of our native white fish, but recently prices have risen by 15%, therefore expect some increases whilst availability remains stable.
With worsening and colder weather, there are reduced available volumes of Clams, Cockles and RazorClams. However, quality will be high as the shells are stronger in colder months.
Providing that there are no severe weather issues in Canada or North America, supply lines of Lobster should be uninterrupted. However, prices are expected to rise as the season finishes toward Spring. However, the unseasonably warm weather in late 2022 means native Lobsters are available, but this is expected to correct itself once temperatures drop again.
Dairy & Eggs
Milk prices are set to drop after record-breaking increases in 2022. In January, milk prices have already seen reductions and are expected to reduce further into the Spring. This has been driven by the cost-of-living crisis diminishing demand for milk and dairy products in the last few months of 2022.
Demand for eggs around the Christmas period has placed pressure on the supply chain for the new year, with some supermarkets seeing prices surge 85% higher than they were last year. However, demand is expected to drop in January, but it has been warned that there still will be rationing for at least three more months, as it takes this long for hens to lay eggs again.
Wheat prices have dropped by £0.50/t in January (w/c 19/01/23), closing at £230.50/t for May 2023 contracts. Following a bumper 2022 harvest, on top of relatively subdued demand, the UK is expected to have a substantial exportable surplus of wheat this season.
Get creative with themed menus and easy-to-host activities at your venues.
Check out these upcoming key dates in February.
6th to 12th – British Food Week: Celebrate British farmers by showcasing traditional English grub on your menus that use locally sourced ingredients.
9th – Pizza Day: This may be the best time of the year!? Celebrate pizza day by offering a variety of pizzas on your menu, perhaps even creating an event or competition for people to design their own. Bon Appetit!
11th – Latte Day: It’s Latte day, show diners that you love them a latte, by offering a coffee and a mini pud with their meals, or even a free coffee to the first 20 diners.
13th – Galentine’s Day: An ode to the single gals, use this day as an opportunity to attract groups of friends out to your venue with VIP bottomless brunches, karaoke nights, group sharers and just an overall great night out!
14th – Valentine’s Day: Check out our suggestions for activities, recipes and top tips with our Valentine’s Day guide.
18th – Drink Wine Day: The idea is in the name! Encourage your diners to upgrade to a bottle of wine by offering new and interesting choices. Go even further and host a wine and cheese night.
21st – Pancake Day: A flipping great day, Pancake day is perfect for any mealtime, from breakfast to dessert, go savoury or sweet and offer a limited edition diverse menu of delicious pancakes.
24th – Bartender Day: Celebrate your bartenders by doing a behind-the-scenes interview with your team. How long have they been bartending? What’s their favourite drink? Let your customers get to know your team.