The health of the UK food and drink industry: is this 2018’s standout success story?


With Brexit negotiations creating uncertainty across a broad range of market sectors, the financial health of many companies is falling under increasing scrutiny.

However, the food and drink industry (the main source of business at Penmann) remains one of the great boons of the UK’s market infrastructure.

Especially within the past decade, the food and drinks sector has made incredible gains, in part because of an increase in the number of cafes on the high street, the rise of gastro dining and the continuing love of consumers for brands like Coca-Cola, Nestle and Quorn.

To give you a greater idea of the health of the food and drink industry, we’ve put together this list of facts and figures along with some commentary to help you unpack what they mean. Take a look and get informed.*

*All statistics are from the Food and Drink Federation unless otherwise stated.

The food supply chain employs almost four million people and generates over £112 billion of value for the economy each year

Not only this but the average person will use a forecasted 5.5 per cent of their household spending on food in 2018. The food supply chain also accounts for 19 per cent of total manufacturing, further proving that this is the largest industry in the UK, larger than automotive and aerospace combined.

In 2017, food and drink exports were worth more than £22 billion

While this is a figure that may be impacted by Brexit in the future, primary trading partners like Ireland should remain unaffected. The UK is Ireland’s largest trading partner for food and drink (41 per cent of its products go to the UK), so neither country would benefit from a breakdown in trade.

Market demands will require 140,000 more people employed in the food and drink industry by 2024

This is intended to feed a growing population and anticipates substantially increased market demand in the UK.

The UK food industry could make you healthier

This is thanks to a concerted effort, in partnership with the UK government, to reduce the amount of sugar in the food products you consume. So if you see a reduction in your waistline over the next few years, you’ve got the government to thank.

Coca-Cola raked in £27.7 million from supermarket purchases in 2017

The fizzy brand we all know and love was one of the top sellers in supermarkets last year, alongside Budweiser, avocados and raspberries, according to researchers Nielsen’s yearly analysis of sales at supermarkets and convenience stores.

These facts and figures are only the icing on the cake, but they prove that, despite numerous external factors, the food industry is in rude health – and should continue to be for years to come.

If you’d like to know more about the services Penmann provides to the food and drinks industry, give us a call on 0113 202 7300.

Have you read...