Home / Resources & Guidance / Rising food prices reach 35%: a catering conundrum for the care industry

Care England, the largest and most diverse representative body of independent providers of adult social care in England, has today announced a joint tender with Creed Foodservice, one of the UK’s fastest-growing food service providers, to leverage the buying power of other care providers and reduce costs.

Professor Martin Green OBE, Chief Executive of Care England, said: 

“Care England remains acutely aware of the cost pressures facing care providers. It is evident there will be limited movement from central Government to support the sector beyond the current funding envelope allocated. It is now incumbent on sector professionals to look inward and present solutions to the problems that are affecting us all. That is why Care England has partnered with Creed Foodservice to mitigate the impact of recent food inflation on the care sector through the launch of a tender, leveraging the buying power of the care providers and supporting proactive ways to mitigate food inflation by reviewing the approach to catering. With food and drink costs having increased by 35% in the last 3-years for the care sector, this represents another pragmatic step we are taking to support the sector as a whole. We would encourage all care providers who are experiencing challenges with their food costs to consider participating.” 

Three years of inflation have meant food and beverage costs have increased across the board for care homes by 35%. Energy and high freight costs have added fuel to the fire for the movement of food and deliveries. There’s not a commodity which hasn’t been affected.

Care England and Creed are seeking to help care operators manage their costs through multiple channels which require expert support, but where significant reductions are proven to be possible:

  • Leveraging the buying power of other care providers through joint tendering
  • Reduction in staffing overheads
  • Educating catering staff on kitchen best practise
  • Meeting the challenge of retaining the right skilled staff
  • Effective product selection
  • Supplementing from-scratch recipes with semi and pre-prepared more cost-effective items
  • Product changes without compromising quality
  • Minimising food waste
  • Considered and well-planned stock management
  • Clever preparation of meals
  • Utilising more of the product through specially designed recipes

Care providers who wish to explore the cost-savings that can be made with the support of Creed Foodservice can find out more by visiting the Care England website where you can also find out how to participate in the food and beverage tender.

Tom Workman, Director of Trading at Creed Foodservice, said:

“Our most recent Commodity Report shows YOY food inflation at 15% which has been driven by poor weather and farming conditions, lack of access to resources, poor staffing levels and a rise in production costs caused by surging gas and electricity prices.”

“Over recent years we have seen some extreme commodity increases, particularly after the pandemic and more recently as a result of the invasion of Ukraine. As the world’s supply chain adjusts, we are seeing a small number of improvements at specific product levels, however, there are no signs of any significant decreases on the horizon that would have a positive impact on the total basket.”

“In light of this, the Trading team at Creed Foodservice work diligently to provide cost savings through alternative products while at the same time not compromising on quality. These alternative products, combined with our competitive Country Range own brand have and continue to support our customers throughout these challenging times.”