Drinks Industry Guide

Drinks images

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends, and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the drinks industry and for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.


Start-Up Information

COBRA logo

The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.


Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP)

Coffee Shop BOP391
Microbrewery BOP074
Off License BOP487
Public House BOP117
Smoothie and Juice Bar BOP104
Speciality Smoothie and Flavoured Milk Maker MBP243
Tea Room BOP087
Wine and Cocktail Bar BOP350
Wine Merchant BOP561


Food Research Guide

Restaurant and Food Service SRG003



Market Research & Statistics

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.

eMarketer logo

  • What products are UK digital buyers buying digitally
  • Primary reason that US digital buyers have purchased food and beverages products digitally


IBISWorld logo

  • Alcohol Beverages Wholesaling in the UK
  • Bottled water production in the UK
  • Spirits Production in the UK
  • Beer Production in the UK
  • Soft Drinks Production in the UK
  • Juice Production in the UK
  • Cafes and Coffee Shops in the UK
  • Wine Production in the UK


Mintel logo

  • Attitudes towards Craft Alcoholic Drinks
  • Beer
  • Bottled Water
  • Cider
  • Coffee
  • Coffee Shops
  • Dark Spirits and Liqueurs
  • Drinking in the Home
  • Drinking outside the Home
  • Still, Sparkling and Fortified Wines
  • Tea and Other Hot Drinks
  • White Spirits and RTDs

Passport logo

  • Tea in the United Kingdom
  • RTD Coffee in the United Kingdom
  • Soft drinks in the United Kingdom
  • Beer in the United Kingdom
  • Wine in the United Kingdom
  • Fine Wines/Champagne and Spirits in the United Kingdom
  • Juice in the United Kingdom
  • Cider/Perry in the United Kingdom
  • Spirits in the United Kingdom
  • Bottled Water in the United Kingdom
  • Carbonates in the United Kingdom


EMIS logo

  • Beverages Manufacturing

Local Data Online

Provides a birds-eye view of the makeup and complexity of the retail and leisure offering in a chosen location.

Review key trends over time:

  • Vacancy rates
  • Occupancy trends
  • Retail mix

Understand demand profiles through demographic data such as:

  • Employment statistics
  • Average weekly earnings
  • Crime rates
  • Unemployment
  • House prices

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the digital communications industry are available from our electronic sources: Market IQ.


Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching NewsBank and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.

Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.


Business information for executives and decision makers within the global automotive, beverage, food and apparel industries. Some free information and insight available on their website.


Has international coverage and includes links to websites for breweries, pubs, pub guides, beer festivals and online retailers. It is also possible to search the site for particular types of real ale.

Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Supplier’s Association 

Gives addresses of relevant associations, describes the various services available from the BFBI and provides an events calendar. There is also a bulletin board where questions can be posted. Some of the information on the site is accessible only by members of the Association (contact details for membership are given).

British Beer and Pub Association (formerly the Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association)

Includes information about the history and different types of beer, brewing/sales/export statistics (for the UK and the rest of Europe), UK beer exporters, the brewing process and visits to breweries. There are also links to web sites covering Careers in Brewing and Licensed Retailing and relevant press releases.

CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale)

Includes news, information about real ale, details of campaigns and listings of beer festivals and descriptions of pubs that serve real ale and have historic interiors.

Cask Marque 

Provides details of the pubs that display the Cask Marque sign as an assurance that they supply quality cask beer. Also included are an annual report on the cask ale market, guidelines for serving beer, an events diary and the text of a series of regional guides.

Cider UK 

Association that promotes the interests and good practice of cider producers in the UK. Includes news, a member’s directory, advice on cider marking, and some brief market information.

Great British Beer 

This is the ‘web directory of British beer and brewing’. There are three searchable databases – ‘Brewery and Beer Information’, ‘Companies Providing Beer Related Services and Allied Trades’ and ‘Home Brew Shops and Suppliers’. Each database contains contact information and product names.

Health and Safety Executive

The HSE publishes a guide to health and safety for catering and hospitality businesses.

Independent Family Brewers of Britain 

As well as giving statistics relating to the Independent Family Brewers of Britain organisation and to the British beer market this site provides links to members’ websites and to the latest news stories.

Institute of Brewing & Distilling 

Previously the Institute and Guild of Brewing this website includes information about the training and examinations provided by the Guild (links to articles about training are included), news about malt and barley and a link to the catalogue of the National Brewing Library at Oxford Brookes University.

Just Drinks 

Online portal for beverage industry professionals around the world. Has free news and comment, and more in-depth market research available to purchase.

Malsters’ Association of Great Britain 

Includes information about the UK malting industry (including exports), a list of members of the Association, a description of how malt is made, links to articles discussing food safety aspects and a map showing malting sites in the UK.

Tea and Coffee Trade Journal

Featuring new products and news for the tea and coffee industries.

The British Hospitality Association (BHA)

Represents members of the hospitality industry and lobbies the Government on issues affecting businesses in the sector.

The Beverage Service Association (BSA)

A membership association for the out-of-home beverage industry, including retailers selling beverages to customers. Membership benefits include copies of ‘In the Cup’ and ‘Café Business’ magazines, access to a helpline, training and legal updates. Retailer membership costs £55 per year.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA)

An independent Government department that provides guidance and information for businesses in relation to food safety.

The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS)

Trade association for static and mobile caterers, including smoothie and juice bars.

The Morning Advertiser

This is a web site for the UK pub industry’s main commercial trade newspaper. It includes a directory of suppliers, which can be searched by company name or by using structured subject headings amongst which ‘beer (ales and stouts)’ and ‘beer line cleaning’ are included. There is also a brands directory and details of the contents of the special reports published by The Publican.

The Portman Group

Lobbying and social responsibility group for the alcohol industry dealing with political and health issues. Administers the Code of Practice on the Naming, Packaging and Promotion of Alcoholic Drinks (drink packaging must make the alcoholic nature of the contents clear, and packaging, branding and promotional material must not appeal to children, link drinking with sexual activity or popularity, claim health benefits, or encourage excessive drinking or antisocial behaviour).

The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe

A membership association for coffee bars and related businesses. Membership benefits include training via the Barista Certification Programme and opportunities to attend catering and beverage events. Membership costs start from £122 a year for one coffee shop.

UK Tea & Infusions Association 

A membership body for tea producers, manufacturers and retailers. Its website contains a searchable directory of members along with news about the industry.

Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA)

Sets out to be a ‘web resource for brewers, retailers and drinkers’. It covers news, information about awards, competitions, events, details of SIBA campaigns (including Kegwatch) and links to breweries that are SIBA members.

Wine and Spirit Association 

UK trade association representing the whole wine and spirit industry including producers, importers and wholesalers.


Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk.

Images by respres’ Photostream, Mel B.’s Photostream, another sergio’s Photostream under a Creative Commons license

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