Vegetarian haggis launches in the US

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Macsween's vegetarian haggis has been renamed for the US market
Macsween's vegetarian haggis has been renamed for the US market

Related tags: vegan

Macsween of Edinburgh has launched a vegetarian haggis in the US, the manufacturer’s first export to the country in 50 years.

Branded in the US as Scottish Veggie Crumble, in a bid to distance itself from haggis’ negative connotations in the country, the product will be available in 14 Fairway Market stores across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

US food safety regulations prevent traditional haggis from entering the country – sheep’s lungs, a core component of haggis, are not deemed safe for human consumption.

Macsween has already sent 360 cases of its vegetarian haggis to the US this month and is currently in the process of appointing a sales agent in the US to support its international expansion.

Managing director James Macsween said the company was delighted to be exporting to the US again after almost 50 years.

‘Huge milestone’

“Finally, Americans and the expat community can enjoy the UK's most loved haggis brand, known for its award-winning taste and texture,”​ he said. “This is a huge milestone for Macsween to be expanding internationally and leading the way in plant-based food exports.

“My grandfather, Charlie, would be very proud to see how far we've come from his original butcher's shop in Bruntsfield, which he opened back in 1953. My father John Macsween would also be proud, as he invented the world's first vegetarian haggis in 1984.”

Macsween’s success in the US comes two years after it became the first company to export haggis to Canada since 1971, after developing a new recipe for the product that met the country’s food safety regulations.

Exports worth £4.3bn

The US continued to be the top destination for Scottish exports, worth £4.3bn in the year to September 2019, with food and drink accounting for 30% of sales.

Commenting on Macsween’s US export deal, international trade secretary Liz Truss said: “It’s great to see Macsween enter the US market for the first time, giving Scots in America a taste of home this Burns’ Night ​[25 January].

“The US is the second-biggest export market for Scotland, and a new free trade agreement will make it easier for businesses to sell their goods in the US, which will encourage growth and create jobs for people in Scotland.”

Meanwhile, Perthshire-based Mackie’s of Scotland has launched the world’s first”​ haggis, neeps, and tatties flavoured potato crisps​ to celebrate Burns’ Night later this month.

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