When you engage a Food and Enterprise Consultant at SAC Consulting, you don’t get a consultant…

You get an industry expert who has lived, breathed, and loved the industry for years. You get an understanding ear, someone who has experienced the same issues, made the same mistakes, and faced similar problems. You get a supporter, someone who can quietly have your back, and support you to make the right decisions, quickly, for your business.

We have in-depth industry experience and knowledge in,

  • Account and Technical Management
  • Brand And Marketing Development
  • Business Skills & Training
  • Digital Advice
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Funding, Skills and Training
  • Hospitality and Retail Development
  • Improving Sustainability & Circular Economy
  • Market Research
  • Negotiation
  • New Product Development
  • Resource Efficiency
  • Sales Strategy
  • Supply Chain
  • Waste Reduction

and more. You ask, we deliver!

We work with a diverse range of businesses from start-up entrepreneurs through to well-established businesses.

We are intertwined with industry, policy, and education in the food and drink sector. This gives us a unique insight and opportunity to advise and support all moving parts to come together for the benefit of the public, the environment, and the economy.

No job is too big or small. You are always guaranteed a friendly, reliable, impartial, and expert service.

Business skills, learning and training

We have years of expertise in delivering business skills, growth learning, CPD and training courses to a wide range of clients all over Scotland and the UK. We deliver multiple levels of courses and workshops across the food and drink supply chain, suitable for entrepreneurs, managers, and seasoned businesses.

We will work with you to ensure our courses and workshops are tailored to meet your business needs and aspirations.

Examples of training and courses we deliver (but are not limited to):

  • Training Needs Assessment (TNA)
  • Leadership Skills
  • Mindset and Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Market Research
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Digital Marketing
  • Food Tourism and Storytelling
  • Brand Design and Development
  • Business Planning
  • Start-Up and Lean-Start Up
  • Selling Skills
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Hospitality Training
  • Mind-Set Skills
  • Key Account Management
  • Building and Managing Teams
  • Managing Change
  • Assertiveness and Negotiation Skills

We have a wealth of knowledge in other business areas, such as diversification, agritourism, digital, environment, data and innovation, and new product development, and can build a bespoke package suitable for your needs.

Food and Drink webinars

These webinar recordings will help you better understand key elements of running a successful food and drink business.

Knowing your market
Buyer expectations
Pricing for profit

New product development

SAC Consulting Food and Enterprise has years of expertise in delivering new product, reformulation and recipe development projects with SME’s, entrepreneurs and larger food and drink producers all over Scotland. We work in partnership with SRUC Development Chefs based at our Hospitality Teaching Group at our Elmwood campus in Fife, where we have extensive professional kitchen equipment and facilities that can be used for development.

We offer a wide variety of services including:

  • New Product Development (NPD) work including overcoming technical barriers in production processes
  • recipe development to improve taste and texture
  • developing new, innovative food prototypes that are new to the Scottish market
  • reformulating products using natural healthy and local Scottish Ingredients which maintain taste and texture
  • upscaling recipes for mass production
  • research into packaging options and natural preservatives to extend shelf life.

We have an excellent understanding of new market trends and can work with businesses to develop new products for the Scottish Markets. We have previously worked in several food sectors including:

  • Bakery
  • Confectionary
  • Meat and meat products
  • Jams and preserves
  • Dairy
  • Drinks
  • Healthy snacks
  • Free from including vegan and gluten free

SAC Consulting have worked with a large number of diverse businesses on innovative NPD projects including Planet Kuku and Highland Crackers.

SAC Consulting can provide NPD services using SFC Innovation Voucher funding which supplies £5K to carry out Innovative development projects.

We also have a wealth of knowledge in other specific complementary business areas, such as start-up, business planning, selling skills, branding, marketing, and exporting and can build a bespoke package suitable for your needs.

New Product Development at SAC Consulting

Watch this short video for an overview of our work to create innovative food products.

You can also watch a more detailed video and a case study highlighting the NPD project undertaken by our chefs to develop an innovative seaweed salad.

Brand, marketing and digital advice

Would you like to develop your brand, create a marketing strategy or improve your digital capability? We're on hand.

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Reducing waste, resource efficiency, and circular economy

SAC Consulting Food and Enterprise has expertise in Resource Efficiency, Circular Economy, reducing food waste, Carbon Assessments, Improving Environmental Performance and Sustainability and can apply this to food and drink businesses all over Scotland. We work in partnership with SAC Consulting Environment team and Rural Business Management team and can offer additional expertise in Renewable Energy, Environmental Permits and Carbon and Green House Gas audits and mitigation strategies.

We offer a wide variety of services including:

  • Waste, food waste and carbon audits to identify opportunities for savings
  • Added value opportunities for food waste
  • Assessing and developing potential circular economy business opportunities, products and markets – including market assessment and business plan support.
  • Identification of opportunities to utilise waste products in food and drink industry
  • Finding potential funding and partners to collaborate with when developing new circular economy business models.
  • Delivering waste surveys and strategic sector support in food and drink industry

We also have a wealth of knowledge in other specific complementary business areas, such as selling skills, branding and marketing to link your improved environmental performance to sales and can build a bespoke package suitable for your needs.

Resources for packing decisions

Sustainable Packaging Strategies

A step-by-step guide for micro and SMEs to evaluate sustainable packaging strategies.

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What’s degradable, biodegradable, and compostable?

Understanding labels and citizen behaviour for sustainable packaging design.

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Environmental impacts of Packaging

A brief analysis of the environmental impacts of different types of packaging materials used in the Food and Drink Sector.

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For the next generation of entrepreneurs in Scotland’s food & drink and rural sector

Thrive logo

  • Do you have a business idea or fledgling business that you want to develop?
  • Do you want to gain some entrepreneurial skills?
  • Do you want to network with other entrepreneurs in Scotland’s food & drink sector?

Then THRIVE could be for you!

THRIVE is a collaborative initiative from SAC Consulting, SRUC and Queen Margaret University supporting the next generation of food and drink and rural enterprise entrepreneurs. Following three successful years in 2021, 2022, and 2023, the THRIVE 2024 programme dates have been agreed. Day 1 - an online Business Skills say - will run on Saturday 21 September 2024 and Day 2 - a face-to-face Food Product Development day at QMU, Edinburgh - will run on Saturday 2 November 2024. This year we are also providing six webinars to address some of the specific challenges that new businesses face:

  • 28 August (7-8:30pm): Investment & Funding Opportunities for Scottish Food & Drink Businesses. 
  • 4 September (7-8:30pm): Crafting Your Perfect Pitch
  • 11 September (7-8:30pm): Co-packing vs. Self-Manufacturing
  • 25 September (7-8:30pm): Sustainable Marketing Strategies
  • 2 October (7-8:30pm): Practical Packaging Solutions
  • 09 October (7-8:30pm): Legislation for Food Manufacturing and Foodservice in Scotland

THRIVE helps students, recent graduates, and micro businesses gain essential business skills and knowledge to further develop their business idea – whether product or service – including concept development, planning, pricing, marketing, pitching, and access to general business support information. So whether your idea is a new product or a food and drink related rural diversification, THRIVE could benefit you.

Watch this space for a link to the Eventbrite application - coming soon!

If you have any questions please contact


Here's what some of our 2023 cohort thought:

"From start up to end product, everything is covered for starting and running a food business. The team deliver an invaluable course and the administration is flawless."

“THRIVE is a fantastic way to give budding Scottish based food & drink entrepreneurs a start in the scary field of business. It’s given me the confidence to strive ahead with ideas.”

“Really informative, loads of information I have taken away which I didn’t even think about before attending. All the THRIVE team were so helpful.”

“Will recommend THRIVE for anyone looking to start up a food and drinks business.”

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Agrecalc is an agricultural resource efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions calculator developed by SAC Consulting.

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