All the right ingredients

1 min read

Key challenges facing the food and beverage manufacturing industry highlighted in in-depth report, by RS.

Food and beverage is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK and one that is key to the UK economy. It is bigger than the automotive and aerospace manufacturing industries combined, and had a £33 billion output valuation in 2022. An industry of this magnitude will face increased challenges.

To highlight these, and potential solutions, RS created Food & Beverage: An Industry Review in-depth report to provide insights that will help manufacturers in this space navigate the many challenges.

Labour shortages continue to present challenges

While this sector faces challenges as a result of cost pressures, another major factor impacting the sector is labour shortages. With vacancies spanning all levels from highly skilled specialists to production operatives, it's no surprise that the labour shortage-induced output loss totalled £1.4 billion in the first half of 2023, according to the Food and Drink Federation's (FDF) estimation.

This is one focus area of RS' report, which highlights a potential solution in outsourcing. One viable area for this is maintenance solutions: food and beverage (F&B) operators can use these services to help plug the skills gap and ensure asset failure or unplanned maintenance is avoided before it can cause downtime or stoppage, presenting a further pressure on costs. It could be thermography or vibration sensors, or lubrication services. Turning to specialist providers who will have the right equipment for the job and help where there is a shortage of skills in-house to carry out this vital maintenance work, is one way to combat the issue.

Read the full article in our latest issue.