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5 Common Yet Overlooked Products to Import to the UK

Tea pot with tea cup

Tea for your business?

Each and every day you will use and rely on items and objects that have been imported. Let’s assume you live in the UK. Without these items, you would find it very difficult to get on with your day. For example, what have you eaten today? A banana, an orange, or a packet of crisps? Anyone of those, if you live in the UK, likely has been imported to get to you.

How many cups of coffee or tea have you had this morning? Did you pick to wear your silk shirt to work today? When was the last time you topped your car up with petrol?

It is likely at some point today, you have done one of these things – if so, this will provide you with an example on how much we rely on importation to the UK.

So many of the things we take for granted in the UK were originally imported, or are still imported. In fact, without air freight, sea freight and road freight transporting goods into the country, our lives would be very different.

Here is a list of things that we take for granted each day that have been imported to the UK.


The Ancient Chinese were the first people who came up with a method of spinning silk into fabric. In fact, fragments of woven silk that date back to 3500BC have been discovered there. Originally a luxury item reserved only for the richest and most important Chinese citizens, the fabric gradually became more widely used throughout the country. Silk trading started as long ago as 1070BC and was worn by Ancient Egyptians. Today silk is produced all over the world including China, India and Thailand.


There is no direct evidence about the true origin of the use of coffee as a stimulant until the 17th Century. Arabia was the first area to roast coffee beans and brew them into a drink. The practice of drinking coffee then spread across the eastern half of the world, eventually reaching Europe when Italy began trading with North Africa, the Middle East and Egypt. Coffee became available in the UK in the 16th Century. Today, the UK imports the majority of its coffee from Brazil.


Again, there is little evidence proving where tea originated from, however it is thought that it likely originated in China during the Shang Dynasty as a medical drink. Tea was originally produced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th Century. During the 17th Century, drinking tea in Britain became more popular, this was then introduced to India.


The humble potato is a staple of the British diet and something that we as a nation eat tonnes of every day, but did you know that the Potato originally comes from Peru? When the Spanish invaded the Inca Empire in the 16th Century, they also introduced the potato to the rest of Europe. Today, people across the globe eat about 70lbs of potatoes every year and China and India produce a third of the potatoes grown across the world.


These little yellow wonders are grown throughout the tropics and are believed to have first been cultivated in Papua New Guinea. Over 100 countries grow and import bananas and today the banana is the world’s most popular fruit, with consumers around the world spending £10 million buying bananas each year. Bananas were practically unheard of in the UK until World War Two, when they were introduced by US soldier. Today, they hold the number one spot as the UK’s most bought fruit.

Without freight forwarding services, importing products from one country to another would be practically impossible. By importing products all around the world, people’s lives are made much easier and businesses can develop new opportunities.

Peter works on behalf of CC Freight, a freight company based in the UK. Peter understands the difference importing makes to the world of business.

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Author:Globial International Business Team

The Globial International Business Team researches, analyzes, and reports on all things related to global trade and business.


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