Ten food industry firms smashing export sales

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ten food chain businesses made it into the top 100 companies in The Sunday Times league table
Ten food chain businesses made it into the top 100 companies in The Sunday Times league table

Related tags: Supply chain, Finance

A total of 19 food chain businesses appear in The Sunday Times’ latest International Track 200 rankings, including sports nutrition firms.

The league table details Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales, measured over their latest two years of available accounts.

Fruit grower and distributor Jupiter Group claimed 17th​ place on the list – the highest position of any food chain business. The Shropshire company was launched in 2003 and achieved export sales of £46.5m last year, an average annual increase of 122%, helped by its 2018 acquisition of South African company Bonaire.

International bakery supplier St Pierre Groupe was next highest, in 36th​ place, exhibiting average annual export growth of just over 81%. The Manchester-based company supplies European bakery products into the UK, Ireland and worldwide export markets via multiple retail, convenience and wholesale channels. Its brands include St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood.

“Our business is thriving; not only because of our award-winning team – both here in Manchester and America – but because we do things differently,”​ said St Pierre Groupe founder Jeremy Gilboy.

Compostable packaging firm Vegware

Following swiftly on St Pierre Groupe’s heels in the 37th​ spot is Edinburgh-based compostable packaging firm Vegware, which claims an almost identical rise in average annual international sales. The company supplies eco-friendly cutlery, coffee cups and thermal bags to keep toasties warm, using plant-based materials including sugar cane and claims a bigger export sales rise than any other Scottish firm.

Craft brewery brand BrewDog comes next in 47th​ place. International sales hit £39.3m in 2018 and last year the firm launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for a new US distillery. Over the past two years, its annual international sales growth averaged 71.47%.

Rank

Company

Two-year av export sales growth p.a. (%)

Export sales (£m)

17

Jupiter Group

121.99

46.5

36

St Pierre Groupe

81.18

35.3

37

Vegware

81.12

11.4

47

BrewDog

47.17

39.3

62 

Off-Piste Wines

64

2.9

66

Slush Puppie UK

59.98

10.2

89

Euro Food Brands

50.82

7.5

91

Silbury

50.47

6.2

93

Edge Worldwide Logistics

49.99

9.8

97

Grenade

48.77

13.5

98

Fruitful Office

48.48

14.1

113

Bulk Powders

44,78

22.5

140

Whitworth Group

40.47

31.5

145

Fentimans

39.28

15.6

162

Argent Foods

35.34

140.5

168

Lincoln & York

34.31

13

176

Bee Health

33.10

1.6

187

County Milk Products

31.39

60.5

191

Broadland Drinks

30.76

4.5

Source​: The Sunday Times International Track 200

Next up is wine distributor Off-Piste Wines. Founded in 2006 by joint chief executives Anthony Fairbank, 56, and Paul Letheren, 52, it supplies Tesco, Spar and the Scandinavian retailer Alko, among others. Rising demand in Europe drove exports to £2.9m last year, under managing director Andy Talbot, 40 and the business boasts average annual international sales of 64% over the past two years.

Next, in 66th​ place is frozen drinks distributor Slush Puppie UK, which is based in High Wycombe and claims average annual export sales growth of 60%.

Food ingredients supplier Silbury

Food and drink distributor Euro Food Brands, working out of its Northampton headquarters, slots into 89th place, with export sales up 50.82%. The company is the sole UK and Ireland distributor of international food brands such as Hershey’s chocolate and Barilla pasta.

Food ingredients supplier Silbury, which produces pizza ingredients such as tomato paste, oils and meat toppings and has its headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire, is in 91st​ place. It claims average annual export sales up just over 50%.

Salford-based logistics broker Edge Worldwide Logistics, which includes food retailer Iceland within its customer portfolio, lands in 93rd​ place, chalking up a 50% increase in annual export sales.

Sports nutrition brand Grenade nails an explosive 97th​ position on the table​, achieving the tenth highest annual export growth delivered by a food chain business – just shy of 49%.

  • Meat firms are pushing back against current shelf-life recommendations, claiming they hamper UK export competitiveness​ and could expose firms to prosecution.
  • Macsween of Edinburgh launched a vegetarian haggis in the US in January​.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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