Blame it on the rain: bad weather can mean bad news for £8.7bn of grocery market

Patricia Madej
Extreme weather can wreak havoc for businesses (Source: Getty)

It turns out there is actually some science behind retailers complaining about the British weather.

A new report released today by The Weather Channel took a look at the relationship in the UK and found some evidence supporting the theory that bad climate means bad business, with 6p for every £1 spent in the grocery sector dependent upon the weather.

The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) market, which comprises of everyday products ranging from soft drinks to ice cream and sun care products, is worth around the £150bn, or £2,500/year for every person in the UK. This means that almost six per cent – or £8.7bn – of the market is impacted by variable weather conditions.

Cold and wet days leads to a 20 to 25 per cent fluctuation in soup, ready meals and hot drink demand, the Weather Channel said, while Indian summers are better for the fast-moving consumer goods business than a regular autumn, bringing a £1.5bn opportunity with it.

"Weather is such an important driver of consumer sentiment and activity," Paul Walsh, weather and climate specialist at The Weather Channel, said. "But it's not as well known and leveraged as it should be."

The report was conducted in the UK after a similar study was done in the US that found that fluctuation in weather accounted for about 3.4 per cent of the GDP with a third of economic activity impacted in one way or another.

It comes after a recent study by the Met Office found that almost half of retailers and suppliers (47 per cent) ranked the weather as one of the top three factors outside of the business that drives consumer demand.

Related articles