UK food and drink exports reach record £10.6bn high

Food and drink exports hit a record high of £10.6bn in the first half of 2018 - up by 4% compared to the previous year, according to newly published government figures.

UK food and drink businesses are selling their products to over 200 global markets - image courtesy of Depositphotos.
UK food and drink businesses are selling their products to over 200 global markets – image courtesy of Depositphotos.

UK food and drink businesses are now selling their products to over 200 global markets. According to government, in the first half of the year, 64 million litres of ice cream and over 500 tonnes of strawberries were shipped to foreign shores.

Many other products, some thought of as traditionally British are being exported internationally, including whiskys, which are said to be worth £2bn, beer (£235m), and smoked salmon (£308m).

Taiwan will also soon be importing British pork for the first time, and this will reportedly be worth an estimated £50m over the next five years for the UK’s industry.

Case study: G&J Distillers gin

Bloom gin is created by G&J Distillers in Warrington - image courtesy of Quintessential Brands Group.
Bloom gin is created by G&J Distillers in Warrington – image courtesy of Quintessential Brands Group.

The spirit gin, is opening up numerous opportunities for the UK both internationally and nationally; last year in Britain, 47 million bottles of gin were served up. Worth £1.2bn, this amount of alcohol is enough to produce 1.32 billion gin and tonics, according to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Joanne Moore, master distiller at G&J Distillers based in Cheshire, north west England spoke to The Manufacturer.

She said: “The International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) data suggests traditional gin will grow by around 5% and flavoured gins will grow by 3% over the next five years.

She added: “The gin world has exploded in the last five to six years and it is going to continue to do that. Total spirits are growing, but what is driving that is gin.”

G&J Distillers produce around 250,000 bottles of spirits everyday and export to over 100 different countries across the globe. Moore said there is many opportunities in international markets including Australia, Germany and South America.

The gin boom is largely due to consistent innovation happening in gin, from different colours, to flavours and botanical combinations, all of which the UK and distilleries like G&J Distillers can, and are utilising.