Main Content

Tomorrow, the world: an export plan for Scotland's food and drink industry

Insight

Published:
04 March 2014

Cheese to France. Fish to Japan. Meat to Germany. Even tea to China. And that’s before we even mention whisky...

""

If Scottish produce had a passport, it would have some exotic stamps: from Beijing to Brussels, Delhi to Detroit.

Since 2007, when we first began to bring together everyone concerned with food and drink in Scotland, we’ve created a world-leading support network for our businesses.

The Scotland Food and Drink partnership - which brings together government, our international arm Scottish Development International, and industry partners - have come together to create an exciting new export plan for Scotland's food and drink industry.

The idea is to turn the focus beyond the 85% of sales that currently go to customers in the rest of the UK, and drive Scottish food exports to the same level as Scottish whisky.

In short, Scottish food and drink is going seriously global.

Aiming high

Existing food and drink exports are up from £3.7 billion in 2007 to £5.4 billion in 2012, and we're aiming for £7.1 billion by 2017, it’s an ambitious goal.

But how do you follow whisky’s stellar performance and generate a further £2 billion in exports by 2017?
Well, it’s all about putting feet on the ground: we're building a global team of food and drink experts who will operate in our priority export markets.

These experts will be knocking on doors, building contacts with importers and buyers such as hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. They'll support the existing market knowledge and contacts available through the trade associations, and through Scottish Development International, which has over 240 staff based in Scotland and in 27 offices around the world.

Sharp focus

When it comes to markets to target, it’s all about focus.

There will be 15 primary target markets. The markets with the greatest opportunities include: 

The ambitious export plans kick off in April 2014, with newly-recruited specialists in overseas markets over the summer.

Sharing the plan

There will be workshops to share the plan in more detail as it’s rolled out. These will include sessions on specific markets with input from Scotland’s specialists on the ground.

For businesses involved with food and drink, large or small, the message is clear.

If you want to find out which global markets suit your business best, and how that market operates then get connected to the networks that will help you make the most of them - help is most definitely at hand. And the business prospects are pretty mouth-watering.

Download a PDF of the export plan

Export opportunities for Scottish companies

Dairy

Dairy consumption in China looks set to rise at a compound rate of 13% a year between now and 2017. High-end milk products could see 20% annual growth rates. (Source: FT.com)

Seafood

In China annual seafood consumption has rocketed from 11.5kg per head in 1990 to 25.4kg in 2004. Current predictions put it at 35.9kg by 2020. (Source: foodexport.org)

Craft beer

The craft beer sector in the USA is heading for four straight years of double-digit growth, following mid-year 2013 growth of 15% in dollar sales, 13% in volume*. (Source: US Brewers Association)

Premium food service

In SE Asia, rapid growth in the foodservice industry is driven by large populations of young consumers, high per capita spending, a well developed dining-out culture and a growing focus on healthy but indulgent foods. Singapore foodservice retail sales are predicted to rise from $7.9bn in 2012 to almost $9.4bn in 2016*. (Source: Euromonitor International)

Find out more about our export support services