The food industry encompasses all activities from farming and food production to retailing and food services. Over 18.6 million hectares of farmland are used by the food industry in the UK for animal husbandry and to grow crops. The production output of the UK's food industry is not sufficient to feed the country and only approximately 58 percent of food consumed in the country was made there. Slightly less than a quarter of all food consumed in the UK comes from the European Union. The revenue of the entire food market in the UK is estimated to be just over 151 billion British pounds.
On the production side, over 8900 enterprises in the UK are manufacturing food products. Sales from the manufacture of food in the UK amount to nearly 71 billion British pounds. Dairy and cheese making achieve the second highest manufacturing sales, only exceeded by the sales from the processing and preserving of meat. This does not include poultry meat, the processing and preserving of which by itself generates the sixth-highest manufacturing sales.
Retailing and foodservice industry
The UK grocery market has been growing continuously for over a decade. The market was most recently valued at over 241 billion British pounds. For the food and drink service sector, the market value is estimated to be just short of 73 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. This marks a recovery from the Covid slump of 2020 and 2021. However, the revenue of the market segment is still lower than the 2019 pre-pandemic level when revenues were at over 87 billion U.S. dollars.
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Research expert covering food & agriculture in the UK & Europe