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Evaluation of Food and Drink UK Premium Market Development Project


The UK Food and Drink Premium Market Development (PMD) project was developed with the aim of building the capacity of the Scottish food and drink market and helping companies exploit UK food service and retail markets. The aim of the study was to review the activities of the UK PMD project between April 2005 and December 2008 and assess the project’s effectiveness against its targets.


Desk research included a review of relevant strategic and project documents, Scottish Enterprise (SE) approval papers and evaluations of events carried out under the PMD project. A consultation was carried out, involving telephone and face-to-face interviews with SE and HIE (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) Food and Drink Team representatives, Scotland Food and Drink (SF&D), and the agents charged with the delivery of discrete elements of the project. A survey of companies that attended events and received support from the project was also carried out, but the response rate was very low.


Among the findings of the evaluation were the identification of aspects of PMD UK that worked and aspects that didn’t. The following aspects were considered successful: the targeted support element; the Speciality & Fine Food Fairs in London; the Meet the Buyer and Buyer Briefing events; the partnership arrangement with HIE; the use of delivery agents; and flexibility, which allowed for more tailored company support. Issues which were raised as needing improvement included: the need for more structured follow-up with companies and buyers; recruitment processes; the structure of feedback sought from participants; the duration of courses; more tailored support; the need for more integration between the different elements of the project; and the need for introductory seminars. Overall, the project was considered to have been cost effective and offered good value for money.


It was recommended that SE continue with a programme of market development activities for at least a further three years, with any future SE programme positioned within the context of SF&D’s Market Penetration Strategy. It was anticipated that SE’s future role in market development would focus on intensive one-to-one support to help companies expand within defined markets.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support, Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Sectors
    Food and drink