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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/food-statistics-pocketbook/food-statistics-in-your-pocket-summary
1. Food Statistics Pocketbook Summary
This summary provides a selection of information from the full Food Statistics Pocketbook covering the economic, social and environmental aspects of the food we eat. It contains statistics for different time periods, but always using latest available data at the time of release. Data comes from surveys run by Defra and the Office for National Statistics and from a wide range of other sources including government departments, agencies and commercial organisations.
The full publication is available here: Food statistics pocketbook
Associated datasets from this publication are also available. Data are a mixture of National Statistics, Official Statistics and unofficial statistics. Unofficial statistics are used where there are gaps in the evidence base. Where National Statistics (Official Statistics that comply with the national statistics code of practice) are used this is indicated. Further information on National Statistics can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website. Information on National Statistics can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website.
The sections on Environment and Waste from the previous version published in April 2017 are no longer being reproduced.
The sections on Dietary Health and Safety & Confidence are under review and so are not included in this update.
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2. Gross Value Added of the UK agri-food sector 2018
|Agriculture and Fishing||£10.4bn|
|Food and Drink Manufacturing||£28.6bn|
|Food and Drink Wholesaling||£14.5bn|
|Food and Drink Retailing||£30.6bn|
|Total Food Sector||£110.6bn|
|Total Agri-Food Sector||£121.0bn|
The agri-food sector contributed £121.0 billion or 9.4% to national Gross Value Added in 2018.
The GVA of the food sector (excluding agriculture and fishing) increased 5.6% in 2018, following a 4.2% increase in 2017. Wholesaling GVA increased by 10.4%, whilst manufacturing rose by 2.3% and catering rose by 6.7%. Retailing GVA rose by 5.1%.
3. Total Factor Productivity of the UK food sector
Total factor productivity of the UK food chain beyond the farmgate has risen by 0.8% between 2017 and 2018. Productivity in the wider economy fell by 0.2%.
The TFP of the UK food sector is an indicator of the efficiency and competitiveness of the food industry within the UK. An increase in TFP indicates the industry is improving its competitiveness.
4. Agri-food sector employees (GB), Q4 2018
|Q4 2018||million employees|
|Agriculture and Fishing||0.44|
|Food and Drink Manufacturing||0.43|
|Food and Drink Wholesaling||0.26|
|Food and Drink Retailing||1.17|
|Total food sector||3.64|
|Total agri-food sector||4.07|
The food sector1 in GB employed 3.6 million people in Q3 2018 (4.1 million if agriculture and fishing are included along with self-employed farmers), a 2.2% increase on a year earlier. It covered 12% of GB employment in Q4 2018 (14% if agriculture and fishing are included along with self-employed farmers).
1 Food’ includes non-alcoholic drinks. ‘Drink’ is alcoholic drinks
5. UK Consumer expenditure on food, drink and catering
Total consumer expenditure on food, drink2 and catering has continued to rise, by 2.9% in 2018 to £226 billion. Expenditure on food (including non-alcoholic drinks) increased by 3.4%, alcoholic drinks by 3.3% and catering by 1.7%.
Source: Consumer Trends, (ONS).
2’Food’ includes non-alcoholic drinks. ‘Drink’ is alcoholic drinks.
6. UK trend in food and non-alcoholic beverage prices in real terms, January 1998 to December 2018
Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices3 rose 12% in real terms between 2008 and their peak in February 2014 as measured by the Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 4. Gradual price reductions since 2014 have resulted in a 4.7% decrease compared to 2008.
Food and non-alcoholic beverage price inflation in real terms has fallen by 1.3% since 12 months ago. In 2018 prices have fluctuated after three years of falling inflation.
Source: Consumer Price Indices, (ONS).
3 Excludes catering. 4 The Consumer Prices Index including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) is the most comprehensive measure of inflation. It extends the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to include a measure of the costs associated with owning, maintaining and living in one’s own home, known as owner occupiers’ housing costs (OOH), along with Council Tax. Both of these are significant expenses for many households that are excluded from the CPI.
7. UK retail price changes by food group, 2007 to 2018
|Food group||% change between 2007 and 2018|
|CPIH (overall index)||27%|
|Milk, cheese and eggs||22%|
|Vegetables including potatoes and tubers||23%|
|Mineral waters, soft drinks and juices||28%|
|Bread and cereals||33%|
|Food and non-alcoholic beverages||33%|
|Coffee, tea and cocoa||44%|
|Sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery||45%|
|Oils and fats||56%|
All food and non-alcoholic beverage groups have risen in price since 2007 (the start of the recession), with rises ranging from 22% to 56%. Coffee, tea and cocoa, fruit, sugar, jam and confectionery, fish and oils and fats have all risen in price by 35% or more since 20075.
5 Family Food 2016-17, Defra, April 2018.
8. Attitudes towards British food purchases in the UK (2018)
When surveyed, 59% of shoppers agree that they try to buy British food whenever they can while 10% disagree. 78% agree that it is important to support British farmers while only 4% disagree.
According to the survey 40% think that British food tastes better while 12% disagree.
Source: Lightspeed GMI/Mintel
9. Origins of food consumed in the UK 2018
|Region||Percentage supplied to the UK|
|Rest of Europe||2%|
a UK origin consists of UK domestic production minus UK exports
Sourcing food from a diverse range of stable regions, in addition to domestically, enhances food security6. Based on the farm-gate value of unprocessed food in 20187, the UK supplied just over half (53%) of the food consumed in the UK. The leading foreign supplier of food consumed in the UK were countries from the EU (28%). Africa, Asia, North and South America each provided a 4% share of the food consumed in the UK. The three largest value imported commodity groups (at 2018 prices) were fruit & vegetables, meat and beverages (see 3.4).
6 UK Food Security Assessment, January 2010 (Defra).
7 2018 figures are provisional.
10. Trend in exports of food, feed and drink
The total value of food and drink exports fell to £22 billion in 20188, £0.3 billion less than the previous peak of £22.3 billion in 2017. The trade deficit in food, feed and drink fell in 2018 to £24.2 billion, down from £24.6 billion in 2017.
Source: HM Revenue and Customs
8 2018 figures are provisional.