A survey has found that UK food and drink exports rose 12% in the year to November 2017.

The growth was driven by alcoholic drinks, which saw an uptick of 16%, according to a poll of its members by supply chain and data standards organisation GS1 UK.

With various estimates placing total UK food and drink exports around the £22bn mark in 2017, this 12% increase represents approximately £2.6bn of additional transactions.

Exporting also now comprises a larger proportion of these businesses’ overall activity than it did five years ago, accounting for 15% of their revenue, up from 11% in 2013. The most pronounced percentage was seen among non-alcoholic drinks and beverages, where exporting made up 22% of transactions. Fever-Tree has become the figurehead for this sub-sector and now distributes to more than 60 companies internationally.

The report also shows that uncertainty around Brexit has failed to dampen confidence, with manufacturers in the sector expect exporting to account for 23% of their business by 2023 – up from 15% currently – and less than a third of those polled fearful of a decrease in exports to the EU in particular.

Gary Lynch, chief executive of GS1 UK, said: “British produce remains a byword for excellence around the world and our food and drink is exported to the four corners of the globe. With official Government figures showing that £22bn of it was sent overseas in 2017, there is clearly a lasting taste for British products and our members have optimistic expectations for the coming years. Whisky and salmon are very much our export staples, but the thirst for our beer and gin also continues to intensify.”

Topics