Scotland has a vibrant food and drink manufacturing industry - companies in the sector range from thriving small businesses through to major global brands. These companies provide their local communities with a wide variety of careers and are a vital part of the Scottish economy.

Scotland always had a strong success story in exporting our food and drink. In 2022 exports of food and drink increased by 31% compared to 2021. This is an increase of 21% on the same period in 2019 - showing a strong recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and the UK leaving the EU.  

Food and drink is Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector and is an important part of a diverse and complex supply chain.

Our statistics at a glance below highlight the economic importance of the Scottish food and drink manufacturing industry.


  • We employ 48,000 people, 27% of the Scottish manufacturing workforce.
  • Our gross value added to the economy is £3.4 billion, 27% of Scottish manufacturing value added.
  • We have 1,285 food and drink manufacturing businesses.
  • Our industry has a turnover of £10.3 billion, accounting for 33% of total Scottish manufacturing.
  • In 2022 food and drink exports increased by 31% to £8.1 billion.
  • 95% of our businesses are SMEs.
  • We are Scotland’s largest manufacturing sector, accounting for 33% of total manufacturing turnover.
  • Scottish food and drink manufacturing will need 7,000 new recruits by 2032.
  • Food and drink manufacturing accounts for 70% of Scotland’s full supply chain turnover and 38% of the number of people it employs.