Mackie’s of Scotland are celebrating a spectacular summer
LOCKDOWN LIFE has seen the UK turn to the simple pleasure of ice cream, helping a renowned Scottish firm to a record volume of sales this summer.
Despite the forced closures impacting food service businesses, such as cafes, bars, theatres and attractions, demand for “take home” tubs of Mackie’s of Scotland’s famous produce helped its overall UK ice cream sales surge 35% year-on-year, between April to August.
This chimed with the overall picture for ice cream, with Kantar Worldpanel data showing volume sales increased 33% in the 12 weeks ending 14 June, as the public sought simple pleasures in difficult circumstances, with the attraction of ice cream further fuelled by good weather.
The family-owned business, which started making ice cream at its Aberdeenshire farm in 1986, has paid tribute to its 90 strong team of staff which has adapted, going “above and beyond” to keep freezer aisles stocked.
Mac Mackie, Managing Director and one of three sibling owners, said: “Our key workers have adapted shifts to reduce numbers on site and pulled together to meet the surging demand. It would have been a huge undertaking to have achieved this in normal times, so in these circumstances it is incredible.
“Making ice cream during these unprecedented times has been difficult with some staff shielding, others with child care issues, some working from home, social distancing measures in the factory and enhanced hygiene procedures. We have made many adjustments to be able to keep going and meet demand.
“We’re very aware how fortunate we are to be in a line of work that has not been severely and negatively impacted by the pandemic and we are doing everything we can to keep going and like to think that our ice cream can give customers a little lift.”
While Mackie’s sales over the summer amounted to around 70 million scoops, its fastest growing flavour was “Salted Caramel”, with sales up 86% on last year, suggesting a growing demand for ice cream to serve as a complete dessert and people with some extra time to trial new flavours.
Stuart Common, Sales Director at Mackie’s, said: “The business has never worked harder to meet demand and ensure our loyal customers could continue to enjoy our ice cream.
“Lockdown saw a huge majority of Brits renew their appreciation for life’s simple pleasures, in turn we have seen an uplift in sales not just for Mackie’s but the ice cream sector on a whole, which is great!
“From early on in lockdown we began working in collaboration with our retail customers, and their own dedicated teams, who have also been working hard to ensure supermarket and convenience freezers and shelves remained stocked as the demand began to increase.
“Although there have been fundamental changes made throughout the company, we will always stay committed to providing customers with their trusted favourites and some new flavours”.
Likewise, the company feels fortunate that the April launch of its “Mini Collection” (four small tubs, two each of Honeycomb and Traditional) also suited these times, and sales exceeded projections, with this format meeting a demand for impulse, single portion treats at home.
Mackie’s Traditional real dairy ice cream, its original flavour, was created by the former milk retail company when semi-skimmed milk became popular leaving the company with an excess of cream on the farm.
Over the years it has become Scotland’s best-selling ice cream and has made Mackie’s one of the UK’s top brands for luxury ice cream, gaining a cache of awards, including “simply delicious” the definition given to one star from the Great Taste Awards 2020.
The fourth-generation family farm is in North East Scotland – and Mackie’s still produce all their ice cream using fresh milk and cream from their dairy herd on the farm.
The company’s ‘sky to scoop’ ethos sees it create everything from milk to its packaging on site, powered predominantly by renewable energy – via four wind turbines, a 10-acre solar farm and a biomass energy plant. In addition, work is underway to create a new £4.5million low carbon refrigeration system, the first of its kind in Scotland.
To find out more about Mackie’s, please visit: www.mackies.co.uk
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