It will forever be synonymous with Scotland, but the humble haggis has now gone global, with exports of the dish immortalised by Robert Burns increasing by 136 per cent in the past decade.
Shipping haggis to hungry customers overseas has raised £8.8 million since 2009, according to figures produced by the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
As Scots around the world prepare to celebrate Burns Night this evening, the data show the dish is now regularly exported to 20 countries, including Greece, Hong Kong and Ghana.
Hong Kong is now the fourth most popular international market for haggis, closely following the Republic of Ireland, Spain and France. It is also sold in Iceland, Malta and the Czech Republic. Exports of neeps and tatties – crucial ingredients for a traditional Burns Supper – have also increased over the past decade and are now worth £11m and £108m respectively each year.
The figures were published amid efforts by both the UK and Scottish governments to persuade the United States to lift its long-standing ban on haggis, which has been in place since 1971.
Last week one of Scotland’s largest haggis producers, Macsween of Edinburgh, announced that it had rebranded its vegetarian version of the dish for sale in the US.
The company has renamed its vegetarian version “Scottish Veggie Crumble” for US consumers as it resumes exports to the country for the first time in almost 50 years.
Macsween has also been exporting a reformulated version of meat haggis to countries including Canada and Singapore since 2018.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “Robert Burns was so enamoured with haggis that he dedicated an entire poem to the delicacy and it’s wonderful that it continues to be enjoyed around the world more than 200 years later.”
Glasgow has the highest number of streets named after Burns with 72 featuring his name.