The pie maker’s investment centres around a new ‘state-of-the-art’ oven that will give the producer the ability to produce an additional 100,000 pies per week, future proofing it for increased demand.
Bells’ latest factory investment followed the news it had retained its position as the fourth most chosen Scottish brand, according to the 2023 Kantar Scotland Brand Footprint report. Last year’s list was topped by the iconic Scottish drink Irn Bru, followed by Graham’s Family Dairy and Tunnock’s in third.
‘Scotland’s top five’
“We’re really proud to be in Scotland’s top five, alongside esteemed brands such as Irn Bru, Graham’s, Tunnock’s and Mackie’s,” said Bells managing director Ronnie Miles. “Continued investment, innovation and brand relevance has helped us attract and retain shoppers to maintain this position but ultimately it’s down to the talents and dedication of our team.
“Our most recent investment will see us significantly increase the quantity of pies we can bake in the factory and will enable us to meet projected increased demand for the years ahead.”
This year saw Bells secure a major own-label pastry contract to supply Tesco stores across the UK, a deal which will see five and half million packs of puff pastry from the manufacturer sold in 862 stores.
New jobs in a year of growth
The deal led to the creation of 15 new jobs and was the latest entry into a successful period of growth for the manufacturer.
Lesley Ann Gray, Kantar Worldpanel Strategic Insight Director, commented: “The enduring stability of the Scottish top five brands reminds us that brand-building is a long-term game.
“The growth stories behind the brands all reflect the same theme – winning more shoppers by giving them more reasons and opportunities to buy. Creating that virtuous circle of rising shopper engagement, sales, and in-store presence takes time, clarity of direction and investment.”
Bells has an annual turnover of around £26m, employs around 220 colleagues, has 60% of the hot pie market in Scotland and operates two bakeries and a distribution centre in Shotts.
Meanwhile, Suffolk-based baker Two Magpies has invested £80k in a new bakery unit in Walpole and created 10 new jobs.