Food and Drink

Food and Drink

Markets Food and Drink

Food and drink accounts for 16 per cent of total United Kingdom manufacturing turnover – making it the largest sector in manufacturing.  It is also responsible for employing more people than any other sector (around 400,000+ direct jobs) and is predicted to need almost 110,000 new recruits by 2022.

UK food and drink companies have a strong reputation for R&D that produces impressive results at an industry level, with growing markets such as functional food development currently worth £1.2bn. The sector already invests heavily in R&D, putting around £425m towards innovation in 2015, which led to the creation of more than 16,000 new products during a single year.

Food and drink manufacturers continue to buck a broader decline in total UK exports over the last 10 years while the sector maintains its reputation as a world leader in improving the quality of its products, beating its sustainability targets and driving new product development.

How can the MTC help?

The food and drink sector is renowned for having some of the most stringent health and safety and control regulations in industry, which has acted as a barrier to investing in automation. However, with the increasing costs of raw materials, energy and labour, the MTC sees a key opportunity to help companies explore the benefits of automation to offer greater flexibility in their outputs and to help de-risk what is potentially a very convoluted investment decision.


We are working at the forefront of applied technology. The job is exciting and varied and every day brings a new challenge.
Dr Katy Milne
Technology Manager, Metrology and NDT