Although we have been planning for the last year, it is only towards the end of the Brexit settlement period that the final situation will become clearer (this was always going to be the case). We expect like others that the UK : EEU trading relationship will remain undecided for an extended period. This being the case we all need a plan.
As the only UK manufacturer of waffle cones with the benefit of UK grown & processed sugar and wheat flour, Antonelli is in a very strong position to ensure continuity of supply benefiting from greatest cost and logistics certainty. All others are susceptible to a large extent from exchange rate fluctuations, which is why we have already been able to set cone prices for 2019 with confidence.
In recent weeks we have had many new customers taking orders and placing forward contracts for cones in a bid to secure stock for this season. Antonelli will give priority to existing customers should there be, as in 2018, high seasonal demand which lead to stock shortages across the UK.
Having secured raw material & packaging stock forward, we have cover until the end of June. We have been working since August to production levels 20% higher than 2018. We have at our disposal an extensive warehouse facility and dedicated manufacturing with family value staff, working tirelessly to make ‘Cones for the Connoisseur’.
As we see it today, the risk is unpredictable for deliveries between March and June.
The current weakness of Sterling v Euro had a significant cost impact on prices, for the past month we have taken a loss of margin on the exchange rate in a bid to hold off any change in prices due to exchange rate until the publication of 2019 prices. We have prioritised stock security over the current expensive Euro exchange rate. Our judgement is that you would rather have what you need to make and sell your product over the potential for a reduction in the exchange rate later which may not happen. I trust that you understand and approve of our decision.
For EU sourced, non-edible finished goods such as spoons, packaging and pans, we have stock to cover sales to the beginning of July 2019.
With MEC3 ingredient products, Antonelli set the standard in the UK for service with stock availability over the past ten years. To mitigate potential delays we are increasing our stock levels in our warehouse to cover all main lines for an extra 2 months until such time that the security of supply stabilises. The risk is that some smaller demand lines such as Trifle Paste, may be unavailable for a couple of weeks. We don’t envisage this being an issue for retailers/makers, however wholesalers may wish to build in some contingency by holding more ingredients for niche flavour lines.
Our new price list with all new products for the season will be published on 18th February to come into effect on 1st March. The thresholds for Order Value Discount will be moving up, like the Chancellors Income tax thresholds they have remained unchanged for several years and need to catch up with inflation.
We are planning very carefully to ensure we continue to supply your business in a responsible way. If you have any questions or concerns on this or any other matter, do get in touch.