Surge in Scottish brands linked to referendum vote

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

The strengh of Scottish food and drink brands was linked to a yes vote in the nation's independence referendum
The strengh of Scottish food and drink brands was linked to a yes vote in the nation's independence referendum

Related tags Scotland Scotch whisky Glasgow

The Edinburgh government has claimed responsibility for a £513M surge in sales of Scottish food and drink, which it says underpins confidence in Scottish brands ahead of a yes vote in the nation’s independence referendum on September 18.

Retail sales of Scottish food and drink products soared by more than 36% or £513M since 2007 to reach nearly £2bn in the year to May 2014, said the Scottish government. It based the claims on new research on grocery purchases across Scotland, England and Wales conducted by Kantar Worldpanel.

Scotland’s food minister Richard Lochhead said: “The phenomenal success of Scotland’s food and drink sector is a direct result of the strong partnership between the Scottish government, our agencies and industry. And we continue to do all we can to promote Scotland’s amazing array of food and drink to further sales in key markets.”

Independence referendum

Continued growth in food and drink markets – as Scotland neared the independence referendum – showed British consumers valued taste and quality “above all else”, he said.

“With independence, food and drink exports will continue to be a priority area for Scotland’s international trade efforts,”​ Lochhead added. “With our overseas representation dedicated solely to Scotland’s own priorities we can promote our products to the world and tackle barriers to trade that the Westminster government does not prioritise.”

Strong year-on-year growth had been fuelled by the popularity of top Scotch whisky brands and iconic products such as Mclelland Seriously cheese, Irn Bru and Tunnocks treats, said the government. Continued growth had helped Scotland’s food and drink industry smash its ambitious export target six years ahead of schedule, and set a new goal of £7.1bn by 2017.

Iconic Scottish brands

“Our global reputation for top quality food and drink with unrivalled provenance is driving up sales of iconic Scottish brands and products at home and further afield – as demonstrated by the strong and increasing demand for Scottish food and drink brands in England and Wales,”​ said Lochhead.

The top three Scottish food and drink branks were: Famous Grouse, Bells Whisky and Whyte & Mackay, according to Kantar Worldpanel. The top three foods brands were: Mclelland Seriously cheese, Wiseman and Baxters. See a list of the top 10 food and drink brands at the end of this article.

The 2014 Commonwealth Games – which begin in Glasgow today (Wednesday, July 23) – will provide another key opportunity to promote Scotland’s food and drink, according to the government.

The Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony , scheduled for 8pm tonight at Celtic Park, will attract a global audience of up to 1.5bn, according to the organisers.

Meanwhile, the 2012 Olympic Games had delivered gold by generating a £14bn plus benefit for the economy, claimed the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. 


Top 10 Scottish food and drink brands

  1. Famous Grouse whisky
  2. Bells whisky       
  3. Whyte & Mackay whisky             
  4. Grants whisky  
  5. Glens vodka      
  6. Mclelland Seriously cheese
  7. Wiseman
  8. Baxters
  9. Irn Bru drink
  10. High Comissioner whisky


Top 10 Scottish food brands

  1. Mclelland Seriously
  2. Wiseman
  3. Baxters
  4. Bartlett
  5. Tunnocks
  6. Nairns
  7. Grahams Dairy
  8. Malcolm Allan
  9. Mackies
  10. Patersons

Source: Kantar Worldpanel

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Scotland Food and Drink

Posted by Jim Flynn,

Scotland Food and Drink, the body responsible for promotion of the scottish food and drink sector, together with smart marketing by Scots food and drinks firms and strong support from Scottish government are the forces behind these results. I know, I've seen the fantastic job they do.

So how about a bit of congratulations to James Withers and his team for his achievement rather than all this partisan BS in the comments? Also, how about some recognition for Scottish food businesses for raising the bar in promoting their brands? How about actually supporting our industry instead of trying to score political points?

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Posted by A. Simpson,

I would seriously doubt that any "right-minded" Scot would consider voting against their own countries future prosperity and opportunity for self-determination. All this proves is that Scotland's people are starting to have a bit of self-belief in their own country again. Unlike NAW that only want to tell us Scotland can't do it.

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I could not agree more

Posted by Richard Palmer,

Tom Kelly,

They are clutching at every straw possible - next they will be claiming that thw warm weather is down to the Dear Leader!

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