Food manufacturing / Processing

Food manufacturing / Processing


Within the world of food and drink manufacturing there are so many different ingredients that go into products.

According to The Food and Drink Federation the food industry is the biggest manufacturing sector in the country, with a turnover in 2020 of over £112bn.  The industry employs approximately 468,000 people across the entire UK. Making it a key part in the food and drink supply chain that employed 4.2m people.  Interestingly in this same report it showed over 97% of the 11,675 food and drink manufacturing businesses are SMEs.  According to approximately £120bn was spent on food and non-alcoholic drink shopping in 2021, with a further £60bn spend on alcoholic drinks and just under £60bn on catering.

Across the UK and Internationally there are many different types of food manufacturers or food processors, they range from slaughterhouses, grain mills, bakeries, confectionary, fruit and vegetable processing, dairies, soft drinks etc.  Within each one of these businesses, they have many different functions from purchasing, technical, engineering, production, commercial etc. All these departments work together to create a profitable product to sell to either other businesses, foodservice or the retail markets. Each industry will have their own specialist equipment that will allow them to make their product how they want to, one of the key abilities to a successful business is being able to produce the same quality of product a smaller business can make but on a mass scale. Making the product in large quantities drives down the individual price allowing the company to use economies of scale to create a bigger profit margin.


Just like any other industries food manufacturers / processors fall into various food categories. There is a huge number of start-ups and SMEs currently in the UK.  Many supported by Private Equity investment.

Some interesting start-up businesses can also be seen thriving in the UK. For example, Littlemoons who started in 2010 recently became a huge trending product on TikTok. There are also the likes of companies like Samworth Brothers Ltd which is a privately owned company that has grown from its humble beginnings in 1896 to employ over 11,000 people in the UK.  Diageo is a PLC business well-known for producing Guinness.

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