Agriculture, Food & Drink

Sector Overview

The agriculture, food & drink sector is a key contributor to the UK's economy.

In 2019, the UK exported £23.6 billion of food and drink products, a 4.3% increase from 2018, and China continues to be a key export market for British food and drink businesses.

British food and drink products are the result of a rich culture and heritage combined with a relentless pursuit of innovation: of the 7,400 food and drink manufacturing businesses in the UK in 2018, 96% were SMEs, demonstrating the sector's vibrancy and dynamic spirit.

Buying British puts you ahead of the game. UK food and drink imports are well known for their quality and value. To find your next business partner, all you need to do to is:

  • Select the companies from the list below that you are interested in.
  • Click “Connect with this Company” to connect with or set up a meeting with the companies of your choice!

£230bn

spent on food and drink in the UK each year

450,000+

employed in the sector across 10,000 businesses

£22.5bn

food and drink exports in 2018

140,000

new recruits needed by 2024 to feed a growing population

#1

biggest manufacturing industry in the UK – larger than automotive and aerospace combined

33%

intended growth rate for branded food and non-alcoholic drink to reach £6bn by 2020

Innovation

With thousands of new food and drink products launched to market each year, UK based manufacturers are not afraid to push the boundaries of food production, and adapt to diverse audiences and changing tastes. From developing new technologies that prolong food shelf life to creating new free-from products to meet an emerging market, UK-based companies make the most of our world-renowned science and thrive in this innovative environment.

Innovative packaging

The UK is recognised worldwide for its packaging innovation and new product development. We have a highly skilled ecosystem in materials science, computer science and engineering. We are a great location to help you develop your innovative packaging needs.

Vegan food revolution

Demand for UK vegan foods is increasing, as more people in the UK stop or reduce their consumption of products containing animal ingredients.

Private label

The UK private label market is one of the most mature in the world, with many manufacturers specialising in products for international businesses.

The UK creates exceptional food and drink at every stage from farm to fork, providing unprecedented opportunities for UK exporters, international buyers and investors.

Market leader

Our unique food culture, modernised and crafted for contemporary tastes, has captured the imagination of buyers and consumers around the world.

Research and development

UK food and drink manufacturing is growing rapidly and there is strong consumer demand for new products in our supermarkets. This means the UK has a thriving research and development (R&D) scene and is a great test bed for new products.

High standard

UK food and drink is not just delicious, it offers international buyers and investors genuine products they can trust. Product traceability at each stage of the supply chain has opened market access for UK produce around the globe.

The snacking culture is huge in the UK, there is great variety of delicacies to choose from, including hand-cooked crisps, healthier soft drinks, shortbreads, cereals, English tea, confectionaries, protein bars, vegan snacks and many more.

Pork

Quality pork from the UK delivers great flavor and eating experience; it is the base for many great dishes. Buying pork that carries the Red Tractor assurance logo is the best way to ensure you are buying quality pork.
The logo represents safe, ethical pork production, and guarantees full traceability from the plat back to farm.

Dairy Product

With our unique grass-based system and great livestock and dairy-making traditions, the UK exporters have a strong reputation for innovation, quality, presentation and service."

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