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Scotland's Top 5 Food Brands

6 Dec 2014
Alasdair Murray

As the Scottish food industry continues to thrive, export revenues are booming and expected to reach £12.5 billion by 2015. Great news for the economy, Scottish food brands are now receiving worldwide recognition.

What brands are leading the way in this Scottish evolution? FMCG executive recruiter, Alasdair Murray, showcases his top 5 Scottish food brands for 2013 and why they’re the ones to watch.

Genius Foods                                             

Launched in April 2009, Edinburgh based Genius Foods specialise in delicious gluten-free foods rivalling wheat alternatives. Winning several awards over the years, Genius has become a household name and is sold in supermarkets across the UK, Europe, Australia, USA and Canada.

In February 2013, Genius purchased two bakeries, resulting in their employee numbers increasing from 26 to 350 and their product portfolio expanding.

With a 50% market share in UK gluten free products and an estimated turnover over of nearly £50 million, Genius Foods is one of the country’s fastest growing food brands, whilst helping its customers live healthy and happy lives. 

St. James Smokehouse                                           

Back in 2003, Brendan Maher and his wife, Alexandra, had the vision of creating luxury Scottish smoked salmon using traditional and sustainable techniques to create the best tasting salmon.

Following inception, St James Smokehouse has gone on to become a multi-award winning household name across the USA. Headquartered in the Royal Burgh of Annan, penetrating the North American market has led to an increased annual turnover of £16.1 million.

Showing extensive popularity in the USA, the brand consistently communicates its Scottish heritage and values to its customer base.

The Scottish economy is also seeing benefits from St James Smokehouse. Operations at its Annan smokehouse have increased by £500,000, which was assisted by a £209,487 grant from the European Fisheries Fund.

Award winning, St James Smokehouse took away two prizes at the 2013 Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards; Scottish Food and Drink Entrepreneur and Business of the Year.

Employing approximately 40 people, St James Smokehouse is a Scottish export success, and showcases how well products from Scotland can be received abroad.

Simon Howie Foods                                       

Whilst browsing the meat section of your local supermarket, you’ll likely to have spotted the Simon Howie logo on many of the products.

On a mission to become the most loved butcher in Britain, the Perthshire based family run business is currently increasing its premises in Dunning to 70,000 square feet. The expansion is likely to lead to the creation of 15 new jobs by the end of September.

Reporting a 20% increase in sales for the first quarter of this year, Simon Howie Foods is part of the Simon Howie Group, which has an annual turnover in excess of £40m and employs 400 staff across a diverse range of industrial sectors encompassing property, laminates, waste to energy, bulk goods handling and distribution and farming.

Border Biscuits                                           

A Scottish institution, Border Biscuits was founded in 1984 and is still run by the family. With year on year growth, the business now has an annual turnover of £11.5 million and produces over 30 different types of biscuits.

What is the most popular biscuit? Well that will be the dark chocolate ginger, selling a whopping 24 million biscuits last year. Consumers can pick up any of the Border Biscuits range of products from all of the UK major multiples.

The company has expanded organically following the automated line installation 2 years ago. Border Biscuits currently employs 110 staff, although this doubles at peak times of the year.

Winner of the Biscuit Company of the Year in 2012 at the Food Manufacturing Excellence Awards, the company is set to continue to grow and fly the flag for Scottish food manufacturing.

Mackie's of Scotland                                           

Spanning four generations, Mackie’s of Scotland has been operated by the Taylor family at the Perthshire Moncur Farm since 1927.

Mackie’s is well known for two of life’s luxuries, crisps and ice cream. The ice cream part of the business positions itself as a prestige brand, with strong revenue in both Scotland and across the rest of the UK. International orders are also increasing, with ventures recently being agreed with South Korea and India.

Mackie’s crisps are now sold in 20 countries and sales this year are predicted to rise 50% to £4.6 million.

Although turnover dipped slightly between 2012 and 2013, the future looks good for Mackie’s, and profits are actually increasing. Production is set to more than double with a new factory in Errol, increasing output from 96,000 units to 201,000. 

Author

Alasdair Murray
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