New markets give Mash Direct sales boost

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Mash Direct is run by the Hamilton family: (L-R) Tracy, Jack, Lance and Martin Hamilton
Mash Direct is run by the Hamilton family: (L-R) Tracy, Jack, Lance and Martin Hamilton
Growing distribution channels and a focus on new product development have boosted sales at Northern Ireland firm Mash Direct, according to its latest annual results.

Turnover for the vegetable side dish specialist grew by 6.2%, to £16.95m, in the year to 28 February 2018. The growth comes on the back of new supermarket listings in the UK, as well as export wins in the US and the Middle East.

Pre-tax profit fell back to £1.7m, from £2.1m for the year before. However, profit was impacted by the distribution and storage of stocks held for export markets, which totalled £301,900.

In addition to export, mainland Britain accounted for a greater share of overall sales – totalling 52.6%, compared with 49.8% in the year before.

Primary produce suppliers

The number of primary produce suppliers to the company increased to 67, up four on the previous year. Staff numbers increased to 186 (from 172) as a result of the turnover growth.

Raw material price volatility presented the greatest uncertainty in forecasting the company’s profits, the annual report said. An increased focus on raw material purchasing would minimise the risk of adverse market movements, it added.

In May 2017, Mash Direct won a new contract with Asda to supply the retailer with five new products. Dishes included Sweet Potato Mash Caribbean Style, Leek and Potato Mash, and Roast Potatoes.

In March this year, the company’s US brand, Mash, won listings in Key Food supermarket stores throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Carrot and Parsnip Mash

Other contract wins this year include the listing of Carrot and Parsnip Mash in 330 Waitrose stores, and the introduction of Beer Battered Onion Rings in Morrisons supermarkets nationwide.

Last month, Mash Direct won highly commended in Chilled & Fresh Produce Manufacturing Large Company of the Year category at the 2018 Food Manufacture​ Excellence Awards​.

Brand director Tracy Hamilton, who attended the event, said: “We are delighted to be highly commended – this is a massive testament to the constant innovation and hard work of our whole Mash team, to make our products more delicious year on year.”

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