Aberdeenshire ice cream firm Mackie’s of Scotland has won a honey of a deal to supply its cold delights to Sainsbury’s stores across the UK, worth an estimated £700,000 in sales.
The family-owned company hailed the deal to sell its honeycomb flavoured ice cream in 465 stores as a “milestone”.
It is the second listing for Mackie’s, which has previously struggled to get English retailers to stock flavours beyond its original vanilla bestseller.
With annual sales of honeycomb reaching close to one million litres in Scotland alone, Mackie’s expects this listing will encourage more retailers across the border to stock further flavours.
Stuart Common, commercial director at Mackie’s, said: “To secure this opportunity in Sainsbury’s is a huge achievement for us at Mackie’s that we are especially proud of as an independent company.
“Hopefully this will introduce our ice cream to a new audience which will allow demand for our product to grow as more people taste the differences in real dairy in ice cream.
“Honeycomb has established itself as our second bestseller. As the handmade candy pieces mix with Mackie’s traditional ice cream, they gradually melt leaving small pockets of sweet honeycomb sauce”.
Due to the nature of the retail industry within the UK, having a new product nationally listed by a main supermarket has become increasingly difficult for independent companies. This is especially true within the ice-cream industry, where 90% of sales come from brands owned by large multinational groups.
Unlike the majority of its competitors, Mackie’s produces all the main ingredients for its honeycomb flavour at its Aberdeenshire farm.
The milk comes from the family firm’s own herd of cows while the honeycomb candy pieces and the tubs containing the ice cream are made on site.
This whole process is powered by the renewable energy generated on the farm, primarily through four turbines, a large solar farm and a biomass plant.
Mackie’s also recently announced that winter sales accounted for nearly half of revenue in 2016 – a rise driven by new listings and limited edition seasonal flavours. The company also diversified into making crisps in 2009.
Adding a dedicated £600,000 chocolate factory to its Aberdeenshire home farm in 2014, Mackie’s has since achieved substantial new contracts for its chocolate, including initial deals with Tesco and Sainsbury’s, with new domestic contracts including the Co-op coming on board in 2016.