Middle East goes wild for UK sweets
Friday 28 September 2012
Food manufacturers appear to have found a sweet spot in the Middle East, with exports from the UK up by more than a quarter to some Gulf countries this year.
UK food and drink exports overall are up 2.2 per cent on last year, with chocolate and cake doing best. The first-half results for 2012, compiled by the Food and Drink Federation, show top growth regions include the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia which have respectively seen jumps of 37 per cent and 25 per cent.
Chocolate exports were up 31 per cent and cakes were up 11.8 per cent, boosted by small businesses expanding into emerging markets.
Despite this, the overall size of the UK's chocolate export market, at around £450m a year, is still beaten by Swiss exports at around £550m. But the UK's growth rate in the sector has beaten Switzerland's.
Other big markets for the UK's exported chocolate include Ireland, France and the Netherlands.
A total of £5.9bn food and drink from the UK was shipped in the first half but Europe's economic woes weighed heavily on the figures with a 0.7 per cent fall in exports to the EU.
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