The food and drink manufacturing Rich List

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan were among the top three food manufacturing families in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List
Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan were among the top three food manufacturing families in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List

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Three food manufacturing families – Samworth, Warburton and Boparan – were among the sector’s representation in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, with a combined wealth of £1.6bn.

Sir David Samworth and his family enjoyed the greatest wealth among food manufacturers, according to the annual list, reaching 215th​ with a worth of £576M. Last year the owners of manufacturer Samworth Brothers ranked 252nd​ and were worth £465M.

Samworth Brothers acquired the West Cornwall Pasty Company for an undisclosed sum earlier this year, expanding the manufacturer’s pasty market share in Britain.

The second and third wealthiest families in food manufacturing were Warburton and Boparan.

The Warburton family fell down this year’s Rich List to 225th​ place but were still worth £545M. This was despite their wealth increasing by £15M compared with last year.

It was the second year in a row that family was placed lower in the list – after they ranked 206 in 2015’s Rich List.

Earlier this year, the Warburtons business was named the best food manufacturing employer in The Sunday Times’s​ list of The 30 Best Big Companies to work for 2017 – the only food manufacturing company to make it on the list.

Rose up the rankings

2 Sisters owners Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan rose up the rankings of this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, ​boosted by their recent purchase of Bernard Mathews.

The Boparans ranked 227th​ on this year’s list, up from 267th​ last year. The pair was worth £544M, a jump of £114M since the last Rich List.

Rutland Partner’s sale of Bernard Matthews to Boparan Private Office drew criticism from the Work and Pensions Committee. The Committee claimed Rutland was more interest in lining its own pockets than the welfare of Bernard Matthews’ workers.

Other members of the food and drink industry that made it onto the list included Noble Foods chairman Peter Dean. They were ranked 534th​ on the list with an estimated worth of £212M.

William Jackson Food Group owners the Oughtred family were ranked 686th​ and were estimated to be worth £163M.

Richest food and drink manufacturing families

The Weston family – who’s British wealth stems from a 20.8% stake in Associated British Foods owner Wittington Investments – placed seventh in this year’s list, with an estimated worth of £10.5bn.

Leading the list of richest food and drink manufacturing families were Heineken owners Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken and Michel De Carvalho. The pair were ranked the 10th​ richest people in the UK, with a combined wealth of £9.3bn.

The Grant-Gordon whisky family – owners of the Glenfiddich brand – was ranked the richest in Scotland, with a fortune of £2.37bn and placing 50th​ on the list.

The Sunday Times Rich List ​is published in April each year and details the 1,000 richest people living in the UK.

This year saw brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja top the list with a combined worth of £16.2bn, their personal wealth increasing by 33.2bn. The owners of conglomerate Hinduja Group came second last year.

Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik climbed from third position last year to second this year and is now worth £15.98bn.

Read more about last year’s top food and drink industry earners here​. Read the full Sunday Times Rich List ​here.

Meanwhile, look out for our photogallery of the food and drink firms that featured in this year’s Rich List.

Food and drink manufacturers – the richest families


  1. The Samworth family – worth £576M
  2. The Warburton family – worth £545M
  3. Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan – worth £544M


  1. Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken and Michel De Carvalho – worth £9.3bn
  2. The Grant-Gordon family – worth £2.37bn

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