Food manufacturing industry set for 3–4% growth

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Food manufacturing growth is set to grow by up to 4% in the short to medium term
Food manufacturing growth is set to grow by up to 4% in the short to medium term

Related tags: Drink manufacturing, Food, Industry

The UK food and drink manufacturing and processing industry is set for growth of between 3–4% in the short to medium term, while reaching a value of about of £113.1bn in 2018–19, predicts a new report.

The study, from Research and Markets, numbered firms active in the food and drink manufacturing and processing industry at more than 8,000 companies across the UK. Of those, more than 85% of enterprises were catergorised as small, with fewer than 50 employees.

But the top five UK food companies accounted for over £30bn in terms of turnover. The top 20 food producers operated over 300 manufacturing and distribution sites across the UK.

In total, the researchers identified more than 9,500 manufacturing sites and factories in the nation’s food and drink manufacturing industry.

Sectors operating the largest number of processing sites were: bakery, meat processing and dairy enterprises.

Highest concentration of food manufacturing

The highest concentration of food manufacturing and processing activity was identified as being in Scotland, the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber area.

Reviewing the sector the researchers noted: “Over the last couple of years, the FDMP ​[food and drink manufacturing and processing sector] has seen increased capital investment levels, reflecting the growing optimism in the wider economy.”

The industry was characterised by an ageing stock of manufacturing facilities and equipment, said the researchers. “New projects were mainly focused on upgrading existing assets to achieve greater efficiencies, leading to higher outputs and lower costs.”

New projects focus

“New projects were mainly focused on upgrading existing assets to achieve greater efficiencies, leading to higher outputs and lower costs.”

  • Research and Markets

Upgrading and fit-out work accounted for about 80% of total output in the sector. Construction output in the food processing sector was expected to remain relatively buoyant. As a result, the report predicted growth rates in construction output of between 3–5% over the next few years to reach a total of about £475M by 2019.

Growth rates in construction output

The report, which drew upon original input and primary research, was claimed to represent an up-to-date perceptive review of the food and drink manufacturing and processing market and its development.

It should be of particular interest to construction companies, their supply chains operating in the UK food manufacturing, processing and retail sectors, and suppliers of food processing equipment and allied products, said the research firm.

Leading UK food and drink manufacturing companies featured in the report included: 2 Sisters Food Group, Arla Foods, Associated British Foods, Coca Cola Enterprises, Glanbia Premier Foods, Hilton Food Group, Moy Park, Nestlé and others.

More information about Research and Markets’ UK Construction Activity in the Food & Drink Manufacturing & Processing Industry Market Report 2015–2019 is available here.

Meanwhile, read the results of the Food Manufacture Group’s exclusive survey of managers’ business plans here​. 

UK food and drink manufacturing in numbers

  • 3–4: Percentage growth in UK food and drink manufacturing and processing industry
  • 8,000: number of firms active in food and drink manufacturing
  • +30: Billions of pounds turnover of top five food firms
  • 9,500: Manufacturing sites and factories
  • 3–5: Percentage growth in construction output

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