Statistics at a Glance
These statistics have been compiled from the latest industry data on food and
drink manufacturing and the most recent Office of National Statistics Annual
- The food and drink manufacturing industry is the single largest manufacturing
sector in the UK, with a turnover of £92bn and Gross Value Added (GVA) of £24bn
, accounting for 18% of the total manufacturing sector by turnover.
- The food and non-alcoholic drink sectors represented by FDF turnover £78.7bn and
generate GVA of £20bn, accounting for 15% of the total manufacturing sector by
- The industry employs just over 400,000 workers. This represents 16% of the
overall manufacturing workforce in the UK .
- Our sector is an important trading partner with Europe: exporting almost £19bn
of food and drink products a year, with just over £12bn made up of food and
non-alcoholic drink exports, 76% of which go to the EU.
- The industry is a key partner for British farmers: buying two thirds of all the
UK's agricultural produce. All this economic activity is carried out by just
under 7,000 food and soft drink enterprises (7,766 including alcohol) – many of
which are small companies employing
than 10 people.
- Our sector invests over £1bn in to R&D which translated to over 8,500 new
products in 2011
- Our industry has increased the productivity of its labour force over the last 10
years by 12%  leaving food and drink workers in the UK nearly 50% more
productive than the EU average .
Food and drink manufacturing has become a safe and rewarding environment to
- Businesses in our sector have reduced their rate of injuries by over 50% over
the last 20 years, one of the biggest reductions of any business sector in the
- An FDF survey conducted in 2010 indicated that the average tenure for employees
was just under 9 years  and more recent data shows that average
remain higher than the national average .
Last reviewed: 08 Jan 2014
- Information taken from latest ONS Annual Business Survey (provisional 2012).
- From ONS Annual Business Survey (provisional 2012)
- Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD)
- Mintel GNPD
- Defra Food Pocket Book 2013 (Total Factor Productivity)
- From Eurostat SBS statistics (GVA per employee)
- HSE accident and injury statistics
- Survey conducted for IfM Value of Food & Drink Manufacturing to the UK
- From the ONS Average Weekly Earnings data (September 2013)