The First Minister has highlighted the strength of Scottish exports to the United States during a visit to a food and drink industry showcase in New York.
Recent figures revealed Scotland’s total food and drink exports to North America reached £1 billion in 2016, with the US accounting for more than £935 million.
Companies including Associated Seafoods, Eden Mill Distillery and Mara Seaweed have all secured contracts to sell their products in supermarkets and restaurants across the country.
Speaking at the showcase, attended by more than 100 North American buyers and industry influencers, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s food and drink sector remains one of our strongest export markets and the latest figures show how important North American business is to our producers.
“The news that Scottish business is thriving and securing multimillion-pound contracts is fantastic, and it is especially encouraging to see so many independent businesses doing so well.
“The links between Scotland and the USA have always been strong and today’s announcement shows that they will continue for years to come.”
Associated Seafoods predicts its North American business to grow to £4-£5 million over the next 18 months, while Eden Mill Distillery, which began exports of its craft gins last August, predicts £1.4 million of exports to the US over the next three years.
Mara forecasts its newly-launched Mara Seaweed Butter will bring in an additional £300,000 of business by the end of 2017, helping its export sales to the US to grow by an additional 300% this year.
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Our food and drink industry is going from strength to strength and it is really encouraging to see continued export success in North America.
“This showcase demonstrates Scotland’s credentials as a land of food and drink - showcasing the best we have to offer, from our traditional Scotch whisky and salmon through to newer flavours on the global menu, such as small-batch gins, craft beers and artisan cheeses.”