Scotland has a vibrant food and drink manufacturing industry - companies in the sector range from thriving small businesses through to major global brands. These companies provide their local communities with a wide variety of careers and are a vital part of the Scottish economy.

Scotland has always had a strong success story in exporting our food and drink. We punch well above our weight for such a small nation, 25% of all UK food and drink exports come from Scotland.

Food and drink is Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector and is an important part of a diverse and complex supply chain.

Our statistics at a glance below highlight the economic importance of the Scottish food and drink manufacturing industry.

We employ 47,000 people, 26% of the Scottish manufacturing workforce

Our gross value added to the economy is £3.9 billion, 32% of Scottish manufacturing value added

Our industry has a turnover of around £11 billion, accounting for 31% of total Scottish manufacturing

We are Scotland's largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 31% of total manufacturing turnover

97% of our businesses are SMEs

We have 1,385 food and drink manufacturing businesses

In 2018, food and drink exports from Scotland have increased by 8% to £7 billion

Food and drink manufacturing accounts for 72% of Scotland's full supply chain turnover and 38% of the number of people it employs

The Scottish food and drink industry needs 41,900 new recruits by 2029 to meet the skills need of the sector

content image

Regional analysis

To highlight the geographical spread of the industry, the FDF produces national regional analysis of key economic indicators including: the sector’s economic contribution in each area, how many people we employ, average wages and trade statistics.


Export statistics

The FDF publishes quarterly export statistical reports, outlining the latest UK food and drink export figures. As the sector focuses on growing exports, the FDF showcases the success of our industry via case studies.

Food and Drink Industry Report 2020


Our reports and publications provide detailed insight in to our key areas of policy focus. They include contributions from our in-house experts, as well as contributions from members and other key stakeholders.


The Food and Drink Federation responds to ONS inflation figures for December 2021

“Today’s inflation shows food prices up by 4.5%, the highest rise in nearly ten years. Food producers have been hit hard by significant inflationary pressures, from rising ingredient and logistics costs to an increase in energy prices and labour issues, as firms compete for workers in a tight labour market.

Read more

UK food and drink sees a significant and persistent drop in exports

UK exports of food and drink are down £2.7bn (-15.9%) in the first three quarters of 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. This is largely due to a drop in sales to the EU of £2.4bn (-23.7%) resulting from new barriers to trade with the EU and the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more

The Food and Drink Federation publishes Q3 Business Confidence Report

Today, the FDF has published their Q3 2021 Business Confidence Report, summarising member sentiment, the latest official industry figures, and key opportunities and challenges for the sector.

Read more