Exports of chocolate have risen 84% from £370m in 2010 as the number of independent chocolatiers has grown in recent years, claimed the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. The UK’s chocolate industry is now worth £1.1bn.
Food and farming minister George Eustice said: “There has been a huge growth in the number of independent chocolatiers in the UK and they are very adept at creating delicious products that are shaping consumer tastes around the world.
“There are great opportunities to increase our food and drink exports and increasing market access around the world is a major focus for government.”
Explore export opportunities
The government has pledged to support small businesses exploring export opportunities in the 149 worldwide markets that currently import UK chocolate (see the top importers in the box below).
Amelia Rope Chocolate is one of the businesses that has taken advantage of the world’s appetite for chocolate from the UK.
Established in 2007 as a kitchen business, the company now sells products in Hong Kong and Asia and its salted butter caramel Easter eggs were served to business class customers on Eurostar.
‘Vital for me and my brand’
Founder Amelia Rope said: “Exporting is vital for me and my brand. It can be hard work, but I am quite resourceful. I’m excited about now expanding into the US and the Middle East.”
The Department for International Trade is currently working with businesses on the development of a new Export Strategy, which will explore the barriers to exporting and identify the best ways in which government can help drive and support UK companies to increase exporting activity.
Baroness Fairhead, minister of state for trade and export promotion, added: “It is great to see British businesses exporting increasing amounts of chocolate around the world as they seek to meet the ever-growing demand for our produce.
“Export support is a key way that the government can help businesses succeed and grow, which is why I am currently developing a new Export Strategy to break down the barriers companies face when doing business on the international stage.”
Meanwhile, the demand for British food and drink from overseas is continuing to strengthen, with alcohol boosting the sector, according to research from supply chain and data standards organisation GS1 UK.