Scottish Food Sector Set For Positive Growth Says Market Research

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1st September 2014 11:04 - Food

A new market research report in to the Scottish food industry, carried out by Bank of Scotland, has suggested that the sector is set to see huge growth in the coming years – with the potential to create almost 10,000 jobs by 2019.

The research, which is based on the views of more than 100 food and drinks businesses based in Scotland, found that two thirds of them expect to add to their workforce in the coming years – by a total of 2000 jobs. The figure of 10,000 quoted above is based on extrapolating this figure across the food industry in Scotland.

Rising employee numbers will likely come as a side-effect of increased growth – with three in four of the companies questioned expecting to be at least 15% larger in five years’ time. In addition, almost three fifths (58%) stated that they will be looking to increase exports by engaging with new international audiences and customers. Among those companies who will be looking to expand internationally, almost 9 in ten (86%) said they would be looking to target Western Europe, with two thirds looking to grow in the Middle East (67%) and North America (66%).

Whilst the Scottish food industry was worth £13.1 billion in 2013, Scotland Food & Drink – the industry body – says that it is targeting £16.5 billion by 2017. Businesses in the survey suggested that they would benefit most from additional support in terms of marketing, building brand awareness and having access to local market knowledge in terms of developing exports. In addition, almost half the firms surveyed suggested that a lack of time and a resources were the major barriers to moving in to more international markets.

Positively, more than 7 in ten companies said that they would be investing in new products, with a similar proportion stating that they would be spending to develop their current range of products.

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