Food & Beverage R&D Tax Credits

Your Food or Beverage company may be eligible for a tax credit or cash rebate of up to 33% of your development expenses through the Research and Development Tax Credit program.

The UK’s largest manufacturing sector, the Food and Beverage industry is a critical component of a vast and complex supply chain. On average, Food & Beverage R&D claims are valued at £23,809, and the sector employs more than 450,000 people. With an annual economic production of £31.1 billion, it is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry, surpassing the combined Automotive and Aerospace sectors.



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What counts as R&D for tax relief purposes?

We suggest evaluating your project against the following three criteria to determine if it meets the requirements for R&D classification in the eyes of HMRC:

  • Is there technological uncertainty? If you took a competent professional in your field and gave them the documentation for your project, would the answer to your problem be readily deducible? If not, then you likely attempted to overcome some sort of scientific or technological uncertainty for your project to qualify.
  • Have you achieved an advancement? The goal of any R&D project should be to take any given technology beyond what’s available in the public domain. So, if you’re doing something that’s never been done before to your knowledge, something that’s been done by other companies before in a way that was their own IP or advancing an existing technology/approach beyond what it was natively capable of, then you could have done exactly that.
  • Does it demand competent professionals? A professional in the relevant field shouldn’t be able to solve uncertainties with ease. A competent professional is one who is anticipated to be familiar with the pertinent scientific and technological principles involved, aware of the current level of knowledge, and has acquired experience and is acknowledged as having a successful track record.

Our R&D Tax Credit Process

Our expert team of sector specialists, accountants, and former HMRC tax inspectors are uniquely equipped to uncover R&D expenditure in construction projects that other advisers may miss.

Our process has been tailored for the construction industry, designed to uncover eligible projects, and compliantly maximise your claim.

EXPLORE: Schedule a free appointment below to determine your eligibility and your company’s total R&D tax position.

CREATE: We’ll create a claim that minimises your exposure to HMRC enquiries, speeds up the process, and undergoes rigorous compliance checks by our in-house team.

OPTIMISE: We’ll help you find additional sources of R&D funding and offer planning assistance for your R&D strategy, considering potential incentives and grants.

REWARD: We’ll help you safely receive the maximum tax credit available, supporting your future growth.



Qualifying Food and Beverage R&D activities include:

  • Adding a robotic arm or conveyor belt to production processes
  • Formulating products to meet regulations and guidelines
  • Scaling up manufacturing using industrial techniques and reducing waste and inconsistencies
  • Developing healthier and tastier products with longer shelf life and better freezing/defrosting properties
  • Catering to growing market trends, such as gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, low-carb, and sugar-free products
  • Improving machinery to increase production capacity
  • Conducting investigative work in food science to advance overall knowledge and capabilities in food manufacturing
  • Spending time on recipe formulation, experimentation, and market research (although market research may not qualify as R&D)


Eligible Food and Beverage industries include:

  • Groceries, oils and fats, food additives, packaged foods, health and natural foods, canned food, baked food, baby food, animal food, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, energy drinks, packaging, and the production of edible goods
  • Processing of meats and cheese, distribution of edible goods, and the creation of soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and other modified foods


Expenditures that can be accounted for in your R&D claim:

  • Payroll/staffing expenses for relevant professionals
  • Subcontracted R&D for the creation of novel prototypes and technologies
  • Consumable materials used in research.
  • Software and software licenses used in R&D
  • Compensation paid to employees for participating in R&D trials.
  • Contributions to independent research institutions for joint research projects
  • Cloud computing and data storage costs incurred in R&D, starting from April 2023.


What next?

Maximise your innovation with a free consultation from the experts at Bonham & Brook. If you feel that your current claim has not been fully optimized, or if you’re ready to start your first claim, our team can help guide you every step of the way. Schedule your appointment today to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.


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What our clients have to say

It was a pleasure working with the guys at Bonham & Brook, especially considering that, with the wealth of knowledge backed up with the expertise of an ex HMRC officer, we had confidence going ahead with a claim for the first time. After successfully receiving a substantial refund, we would not hesitate doing another claim and, it goes without saying, Bonham & Brook will be our preferred partners going forward. Thank you, again.

Chris Strik

Managing Director

We worked with the team at Bonham & Brook on the R&D claim that we were unaware of. To our surprise they made the whole process seamless and we received our refund from HMRC. We will definitely be using B&B again for our R&D claim to help us grow our business.

Chetan Patel


At first I believed that R&D tax credits were a little too good to be true or that my company would not be applicable. Jenson, Hannad and the team's expertise and experience reassured and guided me through the process. I had to put in approx. 1 - 2 hours work and they did the rest of the application. The first time we worked together they were able to claim for the previous 2 years, so we received a bumper double rebate. This money has helped us grow the business by having the cash to grow the team and increase our marketing budget. My business has grown thanks to their work, so I am eternally grateful.

Ryan James

Managing & Creative Director

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