The food and drink manufacturing Rich List

Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan were among the top three food manufacturing families in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List

Three food manufacturing families – Samworth, Warburton and Boparan – were among the sector’s representation in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, with a combined wealth of £1.6bn.

Sir David Samworth and his family enjoyed the greatest wealth among food manufacturers, according to the annual list, reaching 215th with a worth of £576M. Last year the owners of manufacturer Samworth Brothers ranked 252nd and were worth £465M.

Samworth Brothers acquired the West Cornwall Pasty Company for an undisclosed sum earlier this year, expanding the manufacturer’s pasty market share in Britain.

The second and third wealthiest families in food manufacturing were Warburton and Boparan.

The Warburton family fell down this year’s Rich List to 225th place but were still worth £545M. This was despite their wealth increasing by £15M compared with last year.

It was the second year in a row that family was placed lower in the list – after they ranked 206 in 2015’s Rich List.

Earlier this year, the Warburtons business was named the best food manufacturing employer in The Sunday Times’s list of The 30 Best Big Companies to work for 2017 – the only food manufacturing company to make it on the list.

Rose up the rankings

2 Sisters owners Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan rose up the rankings of this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, boosted by their recent purchase of Bernard Mathews.

The Boparans ranked 227th on this year’s list, up from 267th last year. The pair was worth £544M, a jump of £114M since the last Rich List.

Rutland Partner’s sale of Bernard Matthews to Boparan Private Office drew criticism from the Work and Pensions Committee. The Committee claimed Rutland was more interest in lining its own pockets than the welfare of Bernard Matthews’ workers.

Other members of the food and drink industry that made it onto the list included Noble Foods chairman Peter Dean. They were ranked 534th on the list with an estimated worth of £212M.

William Jackson Food Group owners the Oughtred family were ranked 686th and were estimated to be worth £163M.

Richest food and drink manufacturing families

The Weston family – who’s British wealth stems from a 20.8% stake in Associated British Foods owner Wittington Investments – placed seventh in this year’s list, with an estimated worth of £10.5bn.

Leading the list of richest food and drink manufacturing families were Heineken owners Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken and Michel De Carvalho. The pair were ranked the 10th richest people in the UK, with a combined wealth of £9.3bn.

The Grant-Gordon whisky family – owners of the Glenfiddich brand – was ranked the richest in Scotland, with a fortune of £2.37bn and placing 50th on the list.

The Sunday Times Rich List is published in April each year and details the 1,000 richest people living in the UK.

This year saw brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja top the list with a combined worth of £16.2bn, their personal wealth increasing by 33.2bn. The owners of conglomerate Hinduja Group came second last year.

Warner Music Group owner Len Blavatnik climbed from third position last year to second this year and is now worth £15.98bn.

Read more about last year’s top food and drink industry earners here. Read the full Sunday Times Rich List here.

Meanwhile, look out for our photogallery of the food and drink firms that featured in this year’s Rich List.


Food and drink manufacturers – the richest families


  1. The Samworth family – worth £576M
  2. The Warburton family – worth £545M
  3. Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan – worth £544M


  1. Charlene De Carvalho-Heineken and Michel De Carvalho – worth £9.3bn
  2. The Grant-Gordon family – worth £2.37bn

Related News

The wealthiest people in the food and drink industry feature in this photogallery

Food and drink Sunday Times Rich List gallery

The Heineken Dash Button allows users to instantly order beer at the touch of a button

Heineken Dash Button launched by Amazon

Bird flu and redundancy costs drove Boparan Holdings' operating profit drop

2 Sisters owner blames bird flu for 39% drop in profit

Warburtons has launched a new gluten-free crumpet into a growing free-from market

Warburtons launches gluten-free crumpet

Warburtons graduates visited Sacrewell Mill to see how bread used to be produced

Warburtons staff learn how bread was baked in 1700

Warburtons was named the best food manufacturer to work for by the Sunday Times

Warburtons ranked best food company to work for

Peter Judge (left) and Frank Robinson (right) joined 2 Sisters in January

2 Sisters reveals two senior appointments

Local MP Neil Parish meets organic grower Mark Persey at a 2 Sisters farm

2 Sisters grows supply chain after £27.5M investment

Bernard Matthews takeover cleared by CMA

2 Sisters owner ‘cleared’ over Bernard Matthews deal

West Cornwall Pasty Company has been sold to Samworth Brothers for an undisclosed sum

Samworth Brothers acquires Cornish pasty company

Branston in £5M factory expansion

Branston in £5M factory expansion to reduce waste

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.