Department for International Development
World craves British food this Christmas
- Also published by:
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Latest food and drink export statistics reveal global appetite for British Christmas fare.
- Great British Christmas Dinner to be enjoyed in 64 countries around the globe
- Demand for festive fare such as turkey and Brussel sprouts has risen
- Scotch Whisky, chocolate and cheese lead the Christmas exports charge
More diners across the world will be tucking into British produce than ever before this Christmas, with global sales of British turkey, Brussel sprouts and other festive favourites hitting record levels in recent years.
The Great British Christmas Dinner is set to be enjoyed globally, with 64 countries in 2018 – 17 more than previous years – importing British turkeys for a quintessential festive feast. Meanwhile, global demand for the UK’s Brussel sprouts has increased by almost 40%. This festive staple is proving particularly popular in the Netherlands, which makes up 73% of the £1.5 million market.
Rounding up the Christmas plate, worldwide demand for British carrots and turnips has increased by 52%.
Meanwhile, 109 countries around the world will be tucking into British cheese on Christmas Day, with the Republic of Ireland forking out £116 million and exports up by 21%. Outside of Europe, cheese exports to China are growing annually by 19%, while the US is the top non-EU destination for UK cheese exports with the market valued at £50 million.
The UK’s highest grossing export continues to be whisky, dominating the market at £4.8 billion – with Scotch Whisky exports to China growing from £10 million in the early noughties to £77 million. This is followed by chocolate (£713 million), and cheese (£675 million).
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:
As we leave the EU, we want people, both at home and abroad, to be lining up to buy British, and it is fantastic to see quintessentially British fare on Christmas tables the world over.
This is testament to the hard work of our brilliant farmers and food producers and the crucial role they play in making Britain a leader for high-quality, high-welfare, seasonal produce.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss said:
The UK is home to world-renowned quality produce and it’s great to see British businesses already taking advantage of increasing global demand during the festive period.
Over the past year, total exports of UK food and drink reached a record £22.5 billion. As part of the government’s ongoing Food is GREAT campaign, government and British industry are aiming to boost British trade in food and drink exports to £23 billion over 2020, and government will continue to work with exporters to help them tap into new markets.
Worldwide British Christmas Menu
- The market for British turkey is estimated at £35 million, with 64 countries importing British turkey (an increase of 17 markets), with Germany spending £6.7 million.
- British potato exports have increased by 10%, with a value of £58 million (40 markets).
- British hazelnuts have an export value of £4.1 million, with Poland consuming 59% of this at £2.4 million.
- British beer has an export value of £489 million, with 113 consumer countries and US expenditure of £106 million.
Over the past year, total exports of UK food and drink reached a record £22.5 billion. As part of the government’s ongoing Food is GREAT campaign, government and British industry are aiming to boost British trade in food and drink exports to £23 billion over 2020.
All data provided (unless otherwise specified) compares UK 2018 and 2017 export statistics sourced from Defra analysis of HMRC Overseas Trade Data
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