The British Midlands

Business sectors within the region







Medical Devices

Financial & Business Services


Environmental Technology

Food & Drink

Advanced Materials

Building Technologies

Other Sectors

Food & Drink


  • A central location and excellent transport network means fast, easy access to UK and European markets
  • The British Midlands is home to a highly skilled, dynamic and flexible workforce, with expertise across the entire UK food and drink sector
  • An unrivalled reputation for research and development in food technology means your business will enjoy access to the very latest thinking in food and drink

Food and drink retail in Great Britain is worth £15 billion ($29 billion), and – thanks to a growing demand for an extensive range of products and services – the UK market is one of the fastest-growing in the world. There are already 68,300 food and drink business in the UK, with over 96,000 outlets. The market for chilled and frozen foods alone is currently worth over £4 million ($8 million).

In the British Midlands, you will find an excellent level of investment and expertise in all areas, from development to manufacture, packaging to distribution.

Chilled and processed fresh foods are particular strengths, as is the manufacture of dairy products, cereals, snacks and ready meals.

The region is also leading the way in multicultural cuisine – West Bromwich-based East End foods is one of the largest importers of Indian foods into the UK. Alcoholic drinks manufacturing is another key strength. Burton-on-Trent is the home of brewing in the UK, while Herefordshire is world famous for its cider.

The region is home to the largest team of horticultural research and development scientists in the world, based at Warwickshire Horticultural Research International (HRI). A number of world-class research universities are also based here, working at the cutting edge of food technology innovation. The University of Nottingham specialises in agriculture, nutrition flavour science, food safety and macromolecular hydrodynamics, and the Centre of Excellence for Food Manufacturing Training, which has facilities for teaching, food testing and conferences, is based in Worksop.

500,000 people work in the UK food and drink industry.

Many are based in the British Midlands, working for major, internationally recognised companies including Cadbury, Muller and Pepsico. All of these companies benefit from a fantastic support network, which incorporates a number of specialist support organisations across the region. These include the Food and Drink Forum – an employee-led industry group committed to supporting food and drink companies within the region.

The British Midlands is also home to a number of specialist business parks, offering tailored support services and facilities for every stage of your company’s development. Southglade Food Park combines 2,800 square metres of food manufacturing floor space with units available for businesses of all sizes. The Shrewsbury Food Enterprise centre also provides businesses with the accommodation, support and research facilities needed to establish and support small and medium-sized businesses in the sector.