© Crown copyright 2020
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/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.
Please answer 4 short questions (opens in Google Forms) to help us make the pocketbook better for you.
Enquiries to: email@example.com Lead statistician:David Lee Tel: 0208 026 3006
Production team: David Lee, Isabella Worth, Andrew Scaife, Graham Brown, Leigh Riley, Chris Silwood, Pat Thomas.
You can also contact us via Twitter: @DefraStats
Food Statistics team
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Foss House, Kings Pool
1-2 Peasholme Green
York YO1 7PX
£120.2bn The agri-food sector contribution to national Gross Value Added in 2018.
4.1m People employed in the agri-food sector in Q4 2019, 13% of GB employment.
4.7% Food and non-alcoholic beverage price fall in real terms between 2009 and March 2020.
£234bn Total consumer expenditure on food, drink and catering in 2019.
£23.6bn The value of food and drink exports in 2019.
2. Gross Value Added of the UK agri-food sector 2018
|Agriculture and Fishing||£10.6bn|
|Food and Drink Manufacturing||£29.0bn|
|Food and Drink Wholesaling||£14.4bn|
|Food and Drink Retailing||£30.1bn|
|Total Food Sector||£109.6bn|
|Total Agri-Food Sector||£120.2bn|
The agri-food sector contributed £120.2 billion or 9.4% to national Gross Value Added in 2018.
The GVA of the food sector (excluding agriculture and fishing) increased 4.4% in 2018, following a 4.3% increase in 2017. Wholesaling GVA increased by 12.1%, whilst manufacturing rose by 2.2% and catering rose by 3.5%. Retailing GVA rose by 4.2%.
3. Total Factor Productivity of the UK food sector
Total factor productivity of the UK food chain beyond the farmgate has risen by 0.9% between 2017 and 2018. Productivity in the wider economy rose by just 0.1%.
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 2019
|Q4 2018||million employees|
|Agriculture and Fishing||0.43|
|Food and Drink Manufacturing||0.41|
|Food and Drink Wholesaling||0.25|
|Food and Drink Retailing||1.11|
|Total food sector||3.62|
|Total agri-food sector||4.05|
The food sector1 in GB employed 3.6 million people in Q4 2019 (4.1 million if agriculture and fishing are included along with self-employed farmers), a 0.3% increase on a year earlier. It covered 12% of GB employment in Q4 2019 (13% 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 2.5% in 2019 to £234 billion. Expenditure on food (including non-alcoholic drinks) increased by 2.1%, alcoholic drinks by 2.5% and catering by 3.1%.
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 March 2020
Food and non-alcoholic beverage prices3 rose 4.3% in real terms between 2009 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 2009.
Food and non-alcoholic beverage price inflation in real terms has fallen by just 0.1% since 12 months ago. Successive spikes in the price of agricultural commodities since 2007 have led to higher retail food prices. They have not returned to the low price levels of pre-2007.
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, 2009 to 2019
|Food group||% change between 2009 and 2019|
|CPIH (overall index)||23%|
|Milk, cheese and eggs||2%|
|Vegetables including potatoes and tubers||10%|
|Mineral waters, soft drinks and juices||28%|
|Bread and cereals||15%|
|Food and non-alcoholic beverages||17%|
|Coffee, tea and cocoa||24%|
|Sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery||28%|
|Oils and fats||38%|
All food and non-alcoholic beverage groups have risen in price since 2009 with rises ranging from 2% to 38%. Fruit, fish and oils and fats have all risen in price by 33% or more since 20095.
5 Family Food 2018-19, Defra, October 2020.
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 2019
|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 20197, the UK supplied just over half (55%) of the food consumed in the UK. The leading foreign supplier of food consumed in the UK were countries from the EU (26%). 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 2019 prices) were fruit & vegetables, meat and beverages (see 3.4).
6 UK Food Security Assessment, January 2010 (Defra).
7 2019 figures are provisional.
10. Trend in exports of food, feed and drink
The total value of food and drink exports rose to £23.6 billion in 20198, £0.6 billion more than the previous peak of £23 billion in 2018. The trade deficit in food, feed and drink fell in 2019 to £24.3 billion, down from £24.8 billion in 2018.
Source: HM Revenue and Customs
9 2019 figures are provisional.