Innovation and New Product Development in smes: An Investigation of the Scottish Food Industry




НазваниеInnovation and New Product Development in smes: An Investigation of the Scottish Food Industry
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4.1Introduction



The Scottish food and drinks industry comprises of several distinctive segments. These include beverages principally alcoholic drinks but also in significant proportions, soft drinks, coffee, tea, fruit juices and bottled water; meat and seafood that includes both raw and processed varieties sold in fresh as well as frozen conditions; milk and milk derivatives including butter, cream, yoghurt, desserts and ice-cream; bakery products like bread, rolls, biscuits and cakes; breakfast cereals, savoury snacks, confectionary and prepared foods such as ready-to-eat meals, soups, sauces, spreads and pizzas. The alcoholic beverages segment, as shown in the figure 8, however, dominates the industry.

Figure : The Scottish Food and Drinks Market, 2004

Source: Leatherhead Food International, 2005


It can, thus, be seen that the food and drinks industry in Scotland manufactures and markets practically every variety of food item consumed in the UK and other developed countries. Apart from being a producer and exporter of some iconic products like Scotch whisky, it also produces and exports many characteristically Scottish dishes such as haggis.

4.2Employment


The food and drinks sector is one of the biggest employers of people in Scotland. In year 2005, it employed 3% of total and 21% of manufacturing workforce in Scotland. If we consider employment in the entire food and drink supply chain (including primary, manufacturing, processing, retail, wholesale and food service) then employment in this sector rises to about 15% of total employment in Scotland (Leatherhead Food International, 2005). Employment in the food and drinks area, however, along with that in the rest of manufacturing, has been falling in the recent years in Scotland and the trend is forecast to continue. As the decline is likely to be significantly less in food and drinks than in other manufacturing sectors, the ratio of employment in this sector to the total Scottish manufacturing employment should increase further in years to come.

4.3Businesses



The manufacture of food products and beverages in Scotland comprises of about 1200 businesses dominated by SMEs, 80% of these employ less than 50 workers. Most of these are family businesses that supply quality, niche products and use locally sourced ingredients. All but one of the companies that are investigated in this research fall in this category. Scotland also has a thriving agricultural sector, with substantial share in national agricultural output. It produces 80% of UK’s fish catch, holds 30% of its beef herd and supplies 10% of its liquid milk.

4.4Exports



In 2005, the industry had yearly sales of £ 7.5 billion of which about £ 3.57 billion, nearly 48%, was exported, making it the most export intensive industry in the country. This also constituted 20% all Scottish exports in the year. The Scottish food and drinks exports go to a wide range of destinations in nearly 200 countries. USA is its biggest export market followed by France and Spain. Regionally, 72% of Scottish exports go to other EU countries. This is down from 80% in 1996. Since 1996, however, exports to Eastern Europe has been rising making it go up from the sixth to the second most popular region for exports of the Scottish food and drinks. Export of its renowned shellfish, smoked salmon, game and other foods is worth £500 million annually. The major part of its exports, over 80% of total, however, is alcoholic beverages, principally whisky, with fish accounting for a further 11%. Food and drink manufacturing exports from Scotland have been growing exponentially recently, as shown figure 9. In 2005, food and drinks was the top exporting industry in Scotland and at 12% plus, exports from the sector were second fastest growing in real terms in the first quarter of 2007.





Figure : Food and Drink Exports from Scotland

Graphic generated from Global Connections Survey, 2006
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