Christmas is fast approaching – trees are adorned, mistletoe is hung and pantries groan under the weight of festive indulgences. It’s the time of year when retailers hold their breaths and hope that a festive windfall comes their way, courtesy of a gift buying frenzy.
But it’s not just the high street shops who rely on Christmas to boost the sales figures – for those businesses trading in food, drink and traditional festive products, the pre-Christmas period is the focal point of the year; accounting for a large proportion of their annual export sales.
In a recent survey, 64 per cent of SME’s said that they expected their international Christmas sales to increase this year, despite poor growth in the eurozone – the UK’s largest export market.
Whilst it isn’t quite a case of selling ice to Eskimos, British festive exports are renowned and enjoyed in some unlikely spots around the world – with the Germans gobbling up our geese, the Danish getting in a flap over our ducks and the French, recognised connoisseurs of fine foods, going mad for the British cuisine. So much so, that in the Iast two years, France has become the second-largest export destination for UK food products.
Last Christmas’ top exports were wine, cheese and toys – with £116 million of wine sold, £106 million of cheese and £102 million worth of toys. Some UK companies even saw a growth amongst their Christmas trees exports, branching out to countries such as Russia and Mauritius.
But it’s not just exporters who look set to enjoy tidings of great joy – most British households will be tucking in to a cheaper Christmas dinner this year, all thanks to a combination of good weather and abundant harvests, which have resulted in cheaper potatoes, brussels sprouts, parsnips and onions.
Even turkeys, which normally increase in price in the run up to Christmas, are proving to be a budget bird because of a worldwide drop in grain prices. Indeed, it has been estimated that the average cost of our festive feast will be 5% cheaper than last year – the lowest price in four years.
Happy Christmas one and all!