Who are the best food ingredient suppliers? – Opply

WhLooking for top-quality lemons for your new bev? Or date paste for days to make your brownies taste divine?

You’re in the right place.

In this blog post, we’re deep diving into UK ingredient suppliers: who they are, where they are, what they are, and how you can find the best one for your business. So pour yourself a cuppa and save time googling – we’ve done the research for you! When it comes to ingredients, Opply will always have your back.

What is an ingredient supplier?

Let’s start with the basics. An ingredient supplier is a company that provides raw materials & ingredients to food & beverage manufacturers, who use them to create food products.

Choosing the right supplier for your product is key as they they play a huge part in ensuring the quality and safety of your product so it meets regulatory requirements.

It’s common that ingredient suppliers will specialise in specific ingredient categories, or cater to a particular industry e.g. organic or gluten-free.

Here’s a few examples:

  • Steenbergs Organic – Steenbergs Organic is a UK-based family business that supplies a range of organic herbs, spices, and baking ingredients including vanilla extract and powder (a fav with our buyers!)
  • Bulk Powders – Bulk Powders is a UK-based sports nutrition brand that supplies a range of high-quality protein supplements. An ever popular ingredient, they offer a range of whey protein powders, including whey protein isolate and concentrate
  • Hempen – Hempen is a UK-based supplier of organic hemp products. They offer a range of hemp products, including hemp seeds, hemp protein powder, and hemp oil. Their products are of high quality and are sustainably sourced!

What are industrial ingredient suppliers?

If your business needs large quantities of raw materials, you’re probably familiar with industrial ingredient suppliers, who can supply raw materials at scale.

To to this effectively, they’ll often have specialised equipment and processes. This ensures consistent quality and quantity of ingredients. It’s typical that you’ll be able to choose from a wider range of ingredients if you order from an industrial supplier vs a traditional supplier, but MOQs are likely to be higher!

Here’s a couple more things to know if you’re looking at sourcing from industrial suppliers:

  • They’re often keen to build established relationships with customers which means you’re likely to be able to get customised solutions for specific products.
  • Many industrial suppliers will also offer extra services like product development and technical support, if this is something you could use extra help with!

How many ingredient suppliers are there in the UK?

You might be wondering this as you’re looking for that perfect supplier (hint: lots of them are on Opply!).

The answer is a bit tricky because many ingredient supply businesses are also involved in other aspects of the food and beverage industry. Ingredient suppliers in the UK range from small, independent suppliers to large, multinational companies. According to a report by the Food & Drink Federation, there were over 8,000 businesses involved in food & drink manufacturing in the UK in 2018.

If you’re searching for potential suppliers a good place to start is an industry database. Check out the directories on the British Food Fortnight the Food and Drink Federation website.

How do I choose a reputable ingredient supplier?

As we said, choosing the right supplier is key to a great end product. Here’s a few tips for how to find a supplier with a great industry reputation for providing high-quality ingredients:

  • Consider the supplier’s certifications and accreditations, such as those awarded by the Soil Association or the Organic Food Federation.
  • Check the supplier’s track record for food safety and quality control, and ask to see any relevant documentation or certificates.
  • Look for suppliers that offer a wide range of ingredients and that are willing to work with you to develop customised solutions if necessary.

How do you source ingredients?

Opply’s platform is the simplest and most convenient way for your to source ingredients and manage your suppliers. Set up is quick and easy, we have a network of 1.2 million + F&B businesses, and a great customer team who’ll help you get what you need faster than you can say “chickpeas”!

But if you’re not quite ready to join the UK’s biggest ingredient marketplace, here’s a few other ideas:

  • Attend trade shows and industry events to meet with suppliers and learn more about new ingredients and products
  • Use your existing networks of industry contacts, such as other manufacturers or distributors.
  • Contact local trade associations or industry groups for reccomendations and referrals.


Opply have also created a sourcing guidelines pack if you’re feeling lost with where to start on your first order. Check it out  here!

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