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Food & Drink

The UK is a major food and drink exporter – and Greater Birmingham is at the heart of the industry. With over 5,000 companies in and around the city, the sector is a significant contributor to the local and national economy.

Birmingham’s location is a massive attraction for food and drink businesses. Situated at the centre of the UK’s road and rail network, the city is close to the distribution hubs of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and Aldi. 90% of the country’s consumer market is easily accessible, with cities Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff just a 2-hour drive away.

The latest food innovations are worked on at state-of-the-art facilities across the city, from Mondelez international’s global chocolate R&D centre in Bournville to the Food Innovation Facility at University College Birmingham.

As a result of these significant strengths, several international brands have made a home in Greater Birmingham, including Mondelez International, Molson Coors and Florette.

As well as major brands, the city-region is the proud home of many niche food and drink companies, from cider producers to confectionary specialists. Ethnic foods are a particular strength, represented by Brunei Halal, National Halal and East End Foods, which occupies 600,000 square foot of space across the city.

Food and Drink: Key facts and stats

A leader in the industry

  • UK food and drink industry contributes over £28bn to the economy annually
  • Birmingham is home to one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the UK
  • Over 5,200 food and drink companies are based in the city
  • 71,000 are employed in the sector

At the heart of the UK

  • Birmingham enjoys an unrivalled strategic location
  • The city is at the centre of the nation’s motorway and rail network
  • Close to the major distribution hubs of Sainsbury’s, Tesco, ASDA and Aldi
  • Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cardiff all within a 2 hour drive
  • Region provides access to 90% of the UK consumer market

Hub of food skills and training

  • University College Birmingham recognised as leading centre for food education
  • Mondelez international’s global R&D centre for chocolate in Bournville
  • Centre for Formulation Engineering at University of Birmingham

 Home to leading brands

  • Mondelez International, Molson Coors and Florette have major plants in the city-region
  • Cadburys still produces Dairy Milk chocolate in Bournville, Birmingham
  • East End Foods has been providing Asian fare locally since the 70s
  • Allied Bakeries is the UK’s second largest bakery supplier
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