A growing appetite: the future of food manufacturing in the UK
posted 10th October 2022
Exploring the latest trends affecting the sector, in this article multidiscipline dealmakers GS Verde Group examine UK food & drink manufacturing investments, as indicated by data platform Beauhurst, and discuss the future scope of the sector.
From the iconic green and gold tins of Lyles Golden Syrup to newer brands such as Gousto or Quorn, the UK's food and drink manufacturing sector is not just one of historic and cultural importance, but also the largest manufacturing division contributing to the nation's economy.
Making up 20% of total manufacturing sales, food production has also showed the largest value increase up by £5.5 billion (7%) to £79.5 billion from 2020-21. The sector sustained growth through the global financial crisis in 2008, and again in the initial aftershocks of Brexit. This resilience will continue to be tested, as Britain forges new trade agreements and the long-term impacts of a global pandemic emerge.
Then there is the wave of modern consumer trends adding to food manufacturers' plate: shopping local, zero-waste, flexitarian and free-from foods, all of which connect to a widespread focus of reducing the environmental impacts of these processes.
Funding the feast
Data platform Beauhurst has tracked 3,369 high growth companies within the sector, with a reported turnover of £57.3 billion and some 281,000 employees.
For the last three years, food & drink processors have accounted for at least 30% of the total number of fundraises received by all manufacturers. This year already, these companies have secured £689 million investment, a promising indication of an increase on 2021's record £755 million.
R&D investment continues to drive innovation, which has seen many new concepts come to life. From strategic technological support, to animal and crop productivity, to cultivated proteins, this mix of product and process innovation is a core strength of the sector.
Though energy demands and supply chain pressures surge, the UK's food & drink manufacturing scene poses enormous potential for expansion across global marketplaces.
With thanks to Beauhurst for providing data and analysis.
Whether you are buying a business, selling a business, or raising funding, the need for expert advice is essential. Contact the GS Verde Group for more information.