2015: Year of Food and Drink


Introduction to the Year of Food and Drink

Scotland’s larder was in the spotlight once again in 2015 as the country celebrated the Year of Food and Drink. The aim of the Year was to mark, highlight and promote Scotland’s abundant, quality produce to our people and visitors, demonstrating that we are a destination for delicious food and drink and its key role in our economic growth and cultural development.

Highlights included;

  • Scotland’s food and drink industry broke the £14bn turnover barrier for the first time.
  • Over 200 events took place during the Year across the whole country highlighting the breadth of Scotland’s larder.
  • Over 188,000 visitors enjoyed Scotland’s Larder Live at the Royal Highland Show.
  • The brand new Let's Eat Glasgow restaurant festival was launched to rave reviews.
  • Twelve monthly themes to help guide activity

Success of 2015: You find out more about the success of 2015 and the impact on the industry here.

Are you an event organiser looking to source Scottish produce? Information for event organisers and how you can source Scottish produce for your event is available here.

Interested in finding out more about Homecoming 2014? Read about it here.

Themed Years

Scotland’s first year of Homecoming in 2009 was a great success, delivering a string of benefits to the country and boosting tourism in Scotland.

In recognition of this success, a series of Themed Years were developed to build on this momentum and spotlight Scotland's greatest assets. The Years aim to support and drive Scotland’s tourism and events industries to both domestic and international markets, and include the following:

  • 2015 – Year of Food and Drink
  • 2016 – Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design
  • 2017 – Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2018 – Year of Young People

Successes from 2015

  • Scotland’s food and drink industry broke the £14bn turnover barrier for the first time as well as achieving twice the UK average for food and drink manufacturing growth.

  • Several new industry collaborations were launched including The Brewers Association of Scotland and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association.

  • The new Scottish Dairy brand was unveiled at the Royal Highland Show, read about it here

  • Several retailers got involved in the Year of Food and Drink including Waitrose and Scotmid.

  • Taste our Best broke the 1000 businesses barrier, find out more here.

  • Taste for Tourism, Scotland’s first food and drink tourism summit took place, cementing Scotland as one or the world’s top food destinations.

  • Scotland’s National Food & Drink Policy, Becoming a Good Food Nation, saw food waste reduced by almost 8% and Scotland’s Food Commission got up and running.

  • The Soil Association Food for Life scheme has helped 40% of all Scottish Local Authority schools to serve fresh, healthy and sustainable meals. 

  • Four new food trails were launched as part of the Year; Scotland’s Ice Cream Trail, Scottish Cheese Trail, Scotland’s Berry Trail and East Scotland Seafood trail.

  • Five PFN applications were made for Orkney Bere and Orkney Beremeal, Scottish Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Cambus O’May Cheese, Forfar Bridies and Orkney Crab.

  • During 2015, South Queensferry-based caterer, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events got involved with the Year of Food and Drink using a variety of interesting initiatives. These initiatives included a food map highlighting key suppliers from across the country, achieving Taste our Best accreditation at four sites and creating a Food Charter for The Open at St Andrews.
    • Read the full Sodexo Prestige case study here.
    • Read the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh case study here.

  • During October in the Year of Food and Drink, the second Showcasing Scotland event took place at Gleneagles. Around 150 influential food and drink buyers from across the UK and the globe participated in over 1200 individual, pre-arranged meetings with around 100 Scottish producers, with many more ad hoc meetings taking place throughout the three-day event, final numbers to be confirmed.
    • You can read about how the event unfolded on social media here.

Information for Event Organisers and Sourcing Scottish Produce

Offering more Scottish and local fare at events brings business benefits to food and drink producers, caterers and event organisers. Each year, Scotland hosts thousands of events of all shapes and sizes. Research undertaken by Scottish Enterprise shows that visitors to Scotland want to taste traditional, Scottish dishes, regional specialities and fresh, locally-sourced food. This research also indicated:

  • Consumers prefer to buy food with local provenance as they perceive that food 'with a story behind it' is of better quality.
  • Visitors are willing to pay up to 15% more for food that they know is of Scottish or regional origin. Providing Scottish food for your visitors will therefore improve your bottom line.
  • Businesses and events providing local food enhance the visitor experience and typically enjoy higher levels of sales - up to 20% more per year

Our aim is to raise the standard and provenance of food and drink at events to ensure a better visitor experience and, in turn, better word of mouth advertising and repeat business. Furthermore, by offering Scottish food and drink, you are supporting other Scottish businesses, helping to build Scotland's reputation as a Land of Food and Drink and ensuring that your business contributes to the Scottish economy.

Find out more about how we’re making this happen with Scotland’s Food Charter for Events.

If you are interested in sourcing Scottish produce for your event, please visit EventScotland’s website here. You will find an events listing, a producers’ showcase and information on the Experiencing Scotland programme.

If you would like to speak to somebody about developing the food and drink offering at your event or festival, please contact Fiona Richmond, Project Manager, Scotland Food & Drink. Email: fiona@foddanddrink.scot or call 0131 335 0947.

Success of Homecoming 2014

Homecoming 2014 generated £136 million of additional revenue to the Scottish economy and encouraged more than 326,000 visitors from outside of Scotland to travel to the country, it was revealed today (Wednesday 15 July 2015).

The independent research, commissioned by VisitScotland, was presented by Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing on a visit to Glasgow, a city that played a key part in the success of the year.

The key findings in the comprehensive study from Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development include:

  • £136m net additional revenue generated for Scotland
  • 326,000 visitors from outside the country who cited Homecoming as the primary reason for traveling to Scotland in 2014
  • £94 million net additional expenditure by visitors
  • 4.6 million attendances at more than 1000 Homecoming 2014 events
  • 1,336 net full time equivalent (FTE) jobs generated by visits associated with Homecoming 2014

The figures show how events such as Bannockburn Live, the John Muir Festival (including ‘Home’ at the Kelpies), Harris Tweed Hebrides Tattoo, Forth Bridges Festival and Highland Homecoming ensured the second year of Homecoming extended the benefits brought to Scotland alongside the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

The diverse range of sell-out events and exceptional audience attendance figures across the country, combined with extensive global marketing campaigns by VisitScotland, guaranteed that the spotlight truly shone on Scotland during 2014.


  • Year of Food and Drink Infographics Adobe Acrobat / 3,911 KB

    This infographic document shows the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015's success by numbers.

  • Cobbs Bakery Adobe Acrobat / 289 KB

    During 2015, the Year of Food and Drink, food and drink producers were encouraged to capitalise on the profile of the Year.

  • Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events Adobe Acrobat / 709 KB

    During 2015, South Queensferry-based caterer, Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events got involved with the Year of Food and Drink using a variety of interesting initiatives.

  • The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh Adobe Acrobat / 368 KB

    The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE) work closely with Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events to showcase Scotland’s amazing larder throughout the venue.


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