Aunt Bessie’s owner secures funding for expansion

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

William Jackson Food Group, the owner of Aunt Bessie's, will expand after securing funding
William Jackson Food Group, the owner of Aunt Bessie's, will expand after securing funding

Related tags: Aunt bessie, Bank, Brand

Aunt Bessie’s owner William Jackson Food Group has secured funding from Lloyds Bank to help it support its expansion plans.

The Hull-based business, which also owns fruit and veg delivery firm Abel & Cole, will receive an undisclosed working capital from the bank to help refinance its existing funding.

The opportunities ahead for the business and its brands were described as “considerable”​ by its chief financial officer Gary Urmston, according to media reports.

‘Increased demand for short supply chains’

“Increased consumer demand for short, traceable supply chains has underpinned Abel & Cole’s outperformance of the wider industry,” ​he said.

“The strength of the Aunt Bessie’s brand is demonstrated by its robust performance in a difficult retail market.”

Aunt Bessie is a fictional character created by marketing executives to promote frozen Yorkshire puddings. The first ever Aunt Bessie’s frozen Yorkshire puddings were suppled to Butlin’s Holiday Camps in 1974.

Aunt Bessie’s now produces more than 20M Yorkshire puddings a week from its two sites in Hull.

It recently launched a range of chilled Yorkshire puddings.

Who is Aunt Bessie?

  • Aunt Bessie was created by marketers to promote frozen Yorkshire puddings in 1974
    Aunt Bessie
  • She has become younger over time – losing her glasses and grey hair 
  • The brand also produces roast parsnips, roast potatoes, gravy and toad in the hole
  • It was the official sponsor of the most recent series of I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!

‘Success story’

Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking said William Jackson Food Group was a “genuine example of a great British success story”.

“With a range of household name brands and an ambitions management team to drive them forward,” ​relationship director at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Adam Barraclough said.

“We have worked with the group for a number of years and look forward to supporting them in their next stage of growth as part of our wider pledge to lend £4bn to manufacturing businesses in the four years to 2017.”

Abel & Cole has been delivering organic veg since 1988. William Jackson Food Group also supplies retailers with vegetable ingredients through its My Fresh business, as well as supplying supermarkets with bread from its Jackson’s bakery.

Related topics: Bakery, Fresh produce

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