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A very British Christmas dinner – Food and drink exports soar

Christmas Dinner


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 market for British turkey is estimated at £35 million, with 64 countries in 2018 – 17 more than previous years – importing British turkeys for a traditional 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.

Another popular tipple, 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.


Source: Department for International Trade