About the Industry

Next time you are out shopping, pause for a moment and think about your favourite food and drink products. Then try to visualise how they got into your local supermarket or corner store.

You may not know it, but the products you put in your basket or trolley are there because of the efforts of literally thousands of people working in different industries in the UK food chain.

Food and drink manufacturers are the vital link in what we call the food supply chain. We take what's grown by farmers and turn it into the products that are sold by retailers and caterers to their customers – people like you.

Given the choice of products now available in supermarkets and restaurants, you will not be surprised to learn that manufacturing is an incredibly diverse sector.

Did you know there are 6,705 food and soft drinks manufacturers in the UK alone (7,835 including alcoholic drinks)? Or that some 60% of employees in the UK work for companies with 500 employees or more? That's why FDF has members large and small, involved in making everything from organic muesli to carbonated soft drinks.

Our industry is focused on delivering what consumers want and we have excelled when it comes to meeting consumer demands for convenience, variety and choice; for products that offer health and nutrition benefits; and, of course, for low prices.

Food and drink manufacturing is an intensely competitive sector, and has been consolidating in recent years through mergers and acquisitions. Nevertheless there is still room for small to medium-sized enterprises to flourish, often producing specialist food products for consumers around the world.

We are also part of a global food industry, embracing worldwide sourcing and supply of ingredients. For some companies, exporting products to overseas markets is vital to the success of their operations. Others have operations in many countries, producing a wide range of products under well-known brand names.

But the one thing all food and drink manufacturers have in common is their ambition to supply consumers with food and drink products that taste great, are nutritious and safe, and meet the requirements of our busy lives.


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