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The UK’s food and drink industry contributes £28.2 billion to the UK economy each year. It’s a competitive market, but farmers and rural businesses are well placed to understand and develop products in the sector. When you are developing ideas think of the sector and both product and service based and there are many ways to differentiate. For example with a product, it may not be finding a new or unique product, but finding a new way to pack it, produce it, a different market to sell it to. In food and drink one of the hardest parts is distribution and costs, so do lots of market research first.
Here are some alternative and added value food products, various ways to market and some service sector ideas.
Current food and drink trends are all about 'experiences' with people being interested in the unusual, quirky and unique. In particular pop up bars and food stalls, food experiences such as courses and tours. There are lots of opportunities to service this trend in rural locations. Clare Major from Seasoned Cookery School has done exactly this.
With fluctuating milk prices resulting in uncertain returns for many dairy farmers, July 2017 saw Jack Martin launch a new business, Tom Parker Creamery, to help spread risk and improve financial return.
Jack’s ‘can do’ attitude and self-motivation means that the business he has developed, cornering an untapped area of the dairy sector, is flying.
Instone Court in Hereford is one of only three farms in the UK to host a refrigerated on-farm vending machine selling a wide range of fresh produce year-round from the farm drive. We caught up with owners Simon and Lenny Parker on their motive behind the farm vending machine and their journey so far.
The proof is in the eating For Jacqueline Barleycorn, embracing the usual pastimes of retirement wasn’t something she wanted to confine herself to. Instead, she embarked on a new business venture, navigating the world of healthy breakfast options with the birth of The Great British Porridge Company.