World craves British food this Christmas

22 Dec 2019 04:47 PM

Latest food and drink export statistics reveal global appetite for British Christmas fare.

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

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.

Further information:

All data provided (unless otherwise specified) compares UK 2018 and 2017 export statistics sourced from Defra analysis of HMRC Overseas Trade Data