Growth In Scotland's FMCG Industry

Growth In Scotland's FMCG Industry

18 April 2017

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The Scottish FMCG industry has secured over £8 million worth of trade with the US, producing and exporting a number of goods including whisky, seafood and dairy products.

It’s a welcome boost to the economy, as the start of the year was plagued with uncertainty owing to Brexit and the American election result.

But this latest trade deal will no doubt see increased activity within the FMCG sector. It is encouraging for both small businesses and big name brands. The news comes as it was announced that Scotland’s total food and drink exports to North America reached £1 billion in 2016, with the US topping food and drink export markets.

Scotland’s total food and drink exports to the US were valued at around £935.5 million last year, up £21 million on 2015. Canada has also seen growth with food and drink exports valued at around £94.8 million last year, up 2 per cent from 2015. 

As in previous years, Scotch whisky exports accounted for the majority of Scotland’s food and drink exports to North America, valued at £855.6 million in the US and £73.6 million in Canada. 

Scotland’s food exports to the US were valued at around £79.9 million in 2016, up 21 per cent from 2015. In 2016, the US ranked fourth in Scotland’s food exports markets. Scotland’s food exports to Canada were valued at around £21.2 million last year, up 34 per cent from 2015.

The rise in popularity of ‘craft’ products – from beer to butcher meat – and a commitment to sustainable produce has also helped fuel the surge in growth.

The Scottish food and drink industry as a whole is said to be growing at twice the rate of the UK average, according to government figures. And it is international collaborations such as this latest American deal that will help the industry towards the target of £16.5 billion turnover, set by Scotland Food & Drink.

FMCG is Scotland's largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 18.8% of total manufacturing turnover. Food and drink manufacturing accounts for around 45% of Scotland's full supply chain turnover & the number of people it employs.

The industry is investing heavily in research and development, digital transformation and skills development in order to ensure continued growth. The strong tradition of producing high quality produce with a distinctly ‘local’ feel to it has been well received by international markets, particularly in North America where is there is a significant Scottish diaspora.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing is quoted as saying: "The food and drink sector continues to be one of our most successful and that success shows no sign of slowing down.”

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Written By Michelle McLaughlin


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