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Distributors concerned over price hikes

27 | 12 | 12

The cost of catering equipment looks set to rise over the coming months, putting more pressure on beleaguered businesses already struggling with high overheads and a lack of consumer confidence, it has been claimed.

Prices will jump by between three and five per cent in January 2013, according to Catering Insight.

There are a variety of factors driving up prices, with manufacturing firms claiming that the rising cost of raw materials and production is forcing them to charge more.

A clearer idea of the exact increase in cost will come in January 2013 as suppliers issue their price lists for the new year.

Chris Keith, director of Tyne & Wear-based Sigma Catering Equipment, told the news provider that an annual jump in prices is to be expected but suggested that it could have an especially negative impact in 2013 given the difficult financial climate businesses are operating in.

"We are all fighting for business and nobody welcomes price increase," the director added, admitting that it is tough to tell firms projects they started in 2012 are likely to cost around five per cent more to complete in the new year.

"You are not going to get away with that. So the reality is that unless the manufacturer works with you on the pricing, the distributor has to absorb it," Mr Keith concluded.

While demand for catering equipment remained relatively high over 2012, a number of factors led to an increase in costs across the sector.

One major problem was the government's decision to place heavy taxes on Chinese crockery and kitchen equipment, making it difficult for small restaurants to pick up inexpensive items.

In value terms, some 50 per cent of ceramic table and kitchenware in EU countries is sourced from Asia, meaning the taxation bump had an effect on numerous companies across Europe.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801512933-ADNFCR

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