Frozen Foods

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Related tags: Aunt bessie, Food

With her hair tied in an old-fashioned bun and her sturdy figure suggesting a liking for her own Yorkshire puddings, she seems to have been with us...

With her hair tied in an old-fashioned bun and her sturdy figure suggesting a liking for her own Yorkshire puddings, she seems to have been with us since we were kids.

So it's worth reminding ourselves that Aunt Bessie, the Tryton Foods figurehead, actually made her first appearance less than 10 years ago. In that time the Aunt Bessie's brand has grown to £110m in value, and now achieves 70% recognition in consumer surveys. It is also the fastest-growing brand in frozen food.

It's a truly remarkable performance when you consider that this sector was already being written off as a lost cause, even as Bessie was making her first appearance. The truth is, Tryton Foods has worked hard for every penny of that £110m turnover -- and continues to do so.

In the past two years, for example, it has taken over the former Hygiena kitchen factory in Hull and turned it into a state-of-the-art food facility, bringing its factory base to three.

The development of this 5,574m2factory in Freightliner Road has also extended Tryton's manufacturing capability from batters and bakery to include meat pies, as well as stuffing balls and dumplings.

It's a move which takes Aunt Bessie's to 'centre plate', and has meant a huge learning curve in areas such as sourcing and quality control of raw materials, as well as in the technical aspects of cook-chill meat processing.

All of this has required the investment of time and money in in-depth training to ensure food safety, legal and quality requirements continue to be met as the company diversifies.

Tryton's original factory in Trinity Street has been redeveloped in several phases after a devastating fire in the mid-1990s, just three months after the launch of the Aunt Bessie's brand. This plant has played a key part in Tryton's NPD activity, offering a combination of flexible, small-batch production with semi-automation and craft skills.

And Tryton's owner, William Jackson & Sons, continues to invest in the Aunt Bessie's business. The next 12 months will see the launch of several new ranges, a £5m investment

Category: Frozen Foods

Winner: Tryton Foods

Shortlisted: Bar & Restaurant Foods, Pinguin, Richmond Ice Cream, Unilever Ice Cream

Sponsored by: Air Liquide

Related topics: Manufacturing

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