Fancy a Scottish? How Scottish Cuisine Has Taken Over the Globe

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Scottish cuisine? When thinking of Scottish delicacies, many might think of a fried Mars bar or traditional haggis, but there’s plenty more this country produces.

Scotland boasts some of the world’s most renowned culinary delicacies that have made their way to all corners of the world. According to HMRC’s latest statistics, overseas exports of Scottish food and drink were worth a record £8.1 billion in 2022, an increase of 30.6% since the same period in 2021.

Darren Sivewright, Group Innovation Manager at Baxters of Scotland said: “Scotland is renowned for its unique cuisine that tells the story of the land and speaks for the people’s traditions when it comes to growing and preparing food and drinks. Tapping into Scottish culinary treasures is like taking a trip down memory lane and experiencing the land through the senses.

“It’s no surprise that Scottish food has become renowned across all continents, from Asia to America, spreading the legacy of Scottish culinary craftsmanship and taking people on a journey through their taste buds. From food staples such as Scotch whisky and shortbread to luxury food hampers that offer a quintessential Scottish experience, there are many ways to tap into Scotland’s cuisine.”

Scotch whisky

In the realms of exquisite drinks hailing from Scotland, Scotch whisky takes precedence. In fact, it is the UK’s biggest drink export, comprising a fifth of all UK food and drink exports and 77% of Scotland’s.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, which works to sustain Scotch Whisky’s place as the world’s premier spirit and represents 92 companies, the value of Scotch Whisky exports grew by 37% to £6.2bn in 2022.

92% of Scotch Whisky is exported to 180 markets worldwide, reaffirming its reputation as a premium spirit that enables consumers to tap into Scotland’s distillery traditions.

Some of the largest markets for Scottish whisky include countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, which became the industry’s largest market by value in 2022, worth over £1.8 billion, and its growth is projected to increase by 4.8% in 2023/24. India and China remain key markets for Scotch whisky, reflecting the expanding middle class.

Latin America and Africa also offer great opportunities for export growth, while the European Union has established itself as a mature market and nearest trading partner, accounting for over a quarter of all Scotch exports.

Darren said: “In many developing markets, Scotch whisky is viewed as a status product due to its high production standards and long-held traditions. Whether enjoyed at a dinner party or gifted as part of a luxury hamper, Scotch whisky provides an experience for the senses and, at the same time, allows consumers to feel closer to the country that produces it. It becomes an active agent in creating new memories with a hint of Scottish heritage and prestige.”

Scottish shortbread

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, the interest in getting your hands on some Scottish delicacies hasn’t dropped.  In fact, Google searches for “Scottish shortbread” peaked in 2023, with people in Scotland, England, and Wales looking for a taste of this buttery biscuit.

Darren says: “It is no wonder that this is one of our most popular foods. There isn’t anything quite as comforting as a cup of tea with some Scottish shortbread. Whether you’re sharing with a guest or having a box to yourself, it is hard to resist their unique, crumbly texture.”

Interestingly, the largest food and drink goods exported from Scotland in the year ending March 2023 mostly went to the United States. In fact, the United States imported 16% of Scotland’s total exported goods in the year. While it is no surprise that whisky was a top favourite for the country, there were other food and drink items that Americans love, including the humble shortbread.

Good, traditional flavours and combinations always make their way around the world – and in this case, across the Atlantic.

With love from Scotland to the world

Scotland has a long line of prestigious chefs, but it all starts with the cooking traditions inherited from grandparents and old cookbooks, where the secret to preparing quintessentially Scottish food is inscribed.

Today, we have Scottish chefs transcending the land’s culinary tradition and popularising them around the world. Tom Kitchin, for example, is the youngest chef in Scotland to hold a Michelin star, Daniel Gallacher brings a Scottish charm to his restaurant in Bordeaux, France, and Toronto-based John Higgins is famous for his ‘Glaswegian spring rolls’ (haggis spring rolls wrapped in smoked salmon) and haggis ice-cream.

Darren said: “Tasting traditional Scottish cuisine is truly a gift. Whether it’s at five-star restaurants dotted around the world or through gifting luxury food hampers filled with a selection of Scotch whisky, hearty soups, preserves, and shortbread, consumers can embark on a journey to Scotland through flavours. It’s a trip you get to take from the comfort of your own chair and share it with your loved ones, creating exquisite memories.”


With the huge success of Scottish food and drink export, the Scottish government is committed to supporting the industry by offering specialist help and existing networks to companies operating worldwide. The journey to popularising Scottish cuisine dates back a long time, and with the help of the growing export industry, renowned chefs, and a genuine desire amongst consumers to taste Scottish delicacies, there is a space for true Scottish delight on every table.