The food and drink industry in Scotland could be about to provide a wealth of opportunities for local catering equipment businesses after a report predicted the sector is set to enjoy a “continued boom” over the next five years.
Bank of Scotland research published this week suggests manufacturers in the £12 billion industry will be “ramping up investment and creating jobs” to target new export markets between now and 2018.
Based on the companies it surveyed last month, the bank is forecasting a mean five-year growth expectation of 19%.
Two-thirds of those it polled said they planned to increase their workforce over the next five years as the sector looks to outpace the wider economy.
Bank of Scotland says that if the findings were replicated across the sector then 5,400 additional jobs would be created.
Such expansion is unlikely to take place without significant investments in infrastructure also occurring. Food and drink continues to remain an important sector for suppliers of equipment in the refrigeration and high-volume cooking markets.
Alasdair Gardner, managing director of commercial banking at Bank of Scotland, said: “I’m delighted to see that overall confidence levels remain high and the sector is pushing ahead delivering record growth. The reality is that if this level of growth continues, we will see levels of growth in the food and drink industry that could soon be alongside oil and gas ion the export market.”
Bank of Scotland said its research demonstrates that the sector is set to significantly exceed trade body Scotland Food & Drink’s current target of achieving £12.5 billion turnover for the industry by 2017.