40 food and drink firms in top 250 company league table

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Grant thornton Drink manufacturing businesses Food and drink Food Catering

Edrington - the maker of Famous Grouse - topped the list of leading mid-market private food and drink firms
Edrington - the maker of Famous Grouse - topped the list of leading mid-market private food and drink firms
Warburtons and R&R Ice Cream are among 40 food and drink businesses on a league table of the UK’s 250 leading mid-market private companies.

The largest food and drink company on the Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250league table​ was whisky and rum distiller Edrington. The Glasgow-based company was ranked in 6th​ place overall with sales of £591.3M and an operating profit of £179.3M.

Trefor Griffith, head of food and beverage at chartered accountancy firm Grant Thornton, said innovation, strong leadership and expansion into new markets had helped the firms on the list prosper despite tough trading conditions.

“It is looking much more optimistic for the UK food and drink businesses, so I would hope that they will only continue to grow and do well, all the while making sure they retain and engage talented people in the UK,” ​he added.

Ranked on sales

The companies are ranked in order of their sales over the past year.

The second highest food manufacturer on the table was leading UK plant baker Warburtons, which had annualised sales of £513.8M and an annualised operating profit of £31.2M.

R&R Ice Cream took third place, recording sales of £486.7M and a profit of £40.3M.

R&R Ice Cream’s chairman James Lambert is currently in the running to be crowned Food Manufacturing Personality of the Year​ at this year’s Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards, taking place on November 21st​. Click here​ for more information about the awards.

24 of the companies were new to the league table for 2013. Of the companies, 40% are food and drink manufacturers, 42.5% are in wholesale, 12.5% are in retail and 5% are in services.

Other food and drink manufacturing businesses that made the list include dairy producer Meadow Foods, Burton’s Biscuits and Yeo Valley.

See below for the league table of the top 10 food and drink manufacturing businesses and continue to the bottom of the article to see the full 40 food and drink companies.  


The combined sales of all 40 companies that made the table was £10.1bn, a year-on-year increase of 12%, while profits totalled £622.5M – up 22% from last year. The 40 companies also employed a total workforce of more than 64,000 people.

Frozen food retailer FarmFoods, sandwich shop operator Pret A Manger and coffee shop Caffe Nero also made the list.

The Top Track 250, now in its ninth year, is sponsored by Grant Thornton and Barclays, and compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based networking events and research company.

Meanwhile, a separate Grant Thornton report revealed a “new wave of optimism”​ was sweeping though the food and drink industry, as manufacturers are switching focus from defensive cost-cutting to growth.

The full 40 companies and their yearly sales are:

  1. Edrington (£591.3M)
  2. Farmfoods (£569.3M)
  3. Andrew Marr International (£544.9)
  4. Warburtons (£513.8) *
  5. R&R Ice Cream (£486.7M)
  6. Argent Group Europe (£483.2M)
  7. Pret A Manger (£443.8M)
  8. Nando’s (£421.6M)
  9. Meadow Foods (£340.9)
  10. Burton’s Biscuits (£333.2M)
  11. Yeo Valley (£228.7M)
  12. Westbridge Foods (£225.7M)
  13. Fullers Foods (£224M)
  14. Wellness Foods (£214.5M)
  15. Caffè​ Nero (£204M) #
  16. United Wholesale (Scotland) (£202.5M)
  17. Gardine Shipping (£197.3M)
  18. Ferndale Foods (£194.2M) *
  19. Fuerst Day Lawson (£182.8M)
  20. JJ Food Service (£180.6M)
  21. William Jackson Food Group (£179.5M)
  22. NFT Distribution (£169.7M) #
  23. Farr Vintners (£166.2M)
  24. Maviga (£163.5M)
  25. Tayto (£162.1M)
  26. Kingsland Wines and Spirits (£161.3M)
  27. Yearsley Group (£158.9M) #
  28. Dovecote Park (£158.7M)
  29. Simpsons Malt (£157.6M) #
  30. Fresh Direct (£156.6M)
  31. Reynolds (156.4M)
  32. Kitwave Wholesale Group (£154.6M)
  33. AH Worth (£152.1M)
  34. East End Foods (£146.6M)
  35. Whitworths (£145M)
  36. Sun Mark (£142.3M)
  37. Stonegate Holdings (£131.1M)
  38. Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate (£130.6M) *
  39. Elbrook Cash and Carry (£129.2M) #
  40. Morning Foods (£128.8M)

Annualised figure * Draft accounts #

Source: Grant Thornton

Related topics Bakery Drinks Frozen

Related news

Show more

Follow us

Featured Jobs

View more


Food Manufacture Podcast

Listen to the Food Manufacture podcast