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Mash Direct targets growth in south of England

By John Wood , 11-Mar-2016
Last updated on 14-Mar-2016 at 11:52 GMT2016-03-14T11:52:04Z

Mash Direct predicts turnover will top £15M
Mash Direct predicts turnover will top £15M

Mash Direct, the vegetable accompaniments brand, is targeting major growth in the south of England and aiming to become a truly national brand across the UK, following a new deal with Tesco.

The Northern Ireland-based company has won new listings in more than 100 Tesco Extra stores across England and Wales, adding to existing listings in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

New markets and marketing director Jack Hamilton told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We are looking to expand massively with Tesco. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get our products on the shelves and expand our sales.

‘The big target’

“The big target is the south of England. We already have strong sales in Northern Ireland, Scotland and the north of England,” said Hamilton.

“The big engine for us is the south of England. To bring up sales there and really drive to be a national brand.”

Five stock keeping units were launched in England and Wales last week (March 9). The products were: Mashed Potato (400g), Carrot & Parsnip (400g), Green Cabbage (280g), Chilli Baby Bakes (370g), and Potato Croquettes (300g).

The launch followed Mash Direct’s UK expansion via Asda and Ocado in 2014, and supplemented by new listings with Nisa, The Co-operative and Waitrose Scotland last year.

The company also has listings in Sainsbury in Scotland and Northern Ireland, Budgens and parts of the Spar group.

Turnover of more than £15M

Hamilton said that Mash Direct would be reporting a turnover of more than £15M when it announced its results next month. That compared with £14.1M last year. Staff numbers had increased from 140 to 165 over the same timespan.

Mash Direct had grown particularly strongly in Great Britain, with growth of 34.2% over the past 12 months, he added.

Hamilton said the company was also growing its export business with deals in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Bahrain, and the Republic of Ireland and is in talks with a number of retailers in the US.

He revealed: “There is a massive opportunity in America and there is growing interest in our GMO [genetically modified organism]-free vegetables, so being able to offer our products over there is a key driver.

“Nothing is over the finish line there yet. It is a big scale and there’s a lot of steps to get on the shelves there.”

Mash Direct, which was launched 11 years ago, has won numerous awards, including a Food Manufacture Excellence Award in 2013.

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