Despite Italy’s reputation for pizza prominence, the country only provided the UK with 5% of the £223m worth of pizza imported in the first half of 2018.
Analysis of the 21m tonnes of food imported into Britain from January – June 2018 also found that we get more chocolate from Poland than Belgium and that £5bn of meat on our shelves comes from overseas.
In the study of 191 countries, it was found that although Italy supplies 94% of Britain’s imported pasta and is our second largest exporter of tomatoes and mozzarella, they only provide us with £11m worth of pizza.
Most of our overseas pizza actually comes from Germany, France, and Spain, who together feed 56% of our imported pizza cravings.
The extensive research by Glotechrepairs.co.uk aimed to highlight where Britain’s food comes from using HMRC’s import data and discovered that the UK’s total food and drink imports in the first 6 months of 2018 cost £23,543,173,333.
Almost £5bn of this was meat, £1.5bn wine, and £1.1bn fish.
The figures show just how much the UK relies on other countries’ goods. Even for items generally considered to be domestic, it was found that imports brought huge quantities of consumables to our shores.
Over £143m worth of cheddar cheese was imported from outside of the UK, for example, and beer was brought in en masse from Mexico and Ireland, contributing £97m to our alcohol economy.
The analysis brought to light other interesting facts about our imports, including that Ireland are our biggest importer of cheese, sending £196,074,494 worth our way; we get more avocados from Israel than anything else; and Antarctica’s only significant exports to us were herbs and spices.
Chocaholics will be happy to hear that we import £597m worth (172,243,422kg!) of chocolate from 57 countries and £408m worth of other cocoa products from a grand total of 60 countries.
Mark Reeves of Glotechrepairs.co.uk said of the findings: “What we discovered by looking into the data behind our imports is that a huge amount of what we eat in the UK comes from outside of the country.
“There were some astounding figures – like the £5.4bn worth of fruit and veg we import in half a year – but we also stumbled upon some interesting facts such as Antarctica’s contribution of £7911 worth of herbs and spices”.