Branston opens UK's 'biggest' mash factory

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Branston is to build the UK's 'biggest' mash factory. Image: Getty, 4Kodiak
Branston is to build the UK's 'biggest' mash factory. Image: Getty, 4Kodiak

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A surge in demand for mashed potato has prompted the opening of the UK’s ‘biggest’ mash factory in Lincolnshire.

Potato processor Branston has worked with supermarket chain Tesco to create a new mash factory at its home in Lincolnshire, supported by the creation of 80 new jobs.

Branston has also collaborated with Tesco food chefs to improve existing recipes and turn them into gourmet dishes.

Commenting on the plans, Tesco prepared produce buying manager Alex Edwards said: “Britain’s millions of mash fans should be very excited by the news as our chefs have worked with Branston to excite existing recipes.

‘The next level’

“What we’re planning to do is to take the mash-eating experience to the next level and make it more of a gourmet food that you’d find in an upmarket restaurant.”

Demand for potato products peaked as the world descended into COVID-19 lockdowns and people had more time on their hands for scratch cooking. However, lockdown passed and people began returning to work, demand for pre-made products began to rise.

Ready-made mash became a go-to staple as consumers struggled with the cost-of-living crisis and Tesco has capitalised on this surge in popularity by offering gourmet inspired dishes.

Farm to fork

Branston’s new mash processing factory will offer a complete farm-to-fork traceability for its products.

Chief executive Jim Windle added: “We are proud and very excited to have brought the latest world class food manufacturing technology alongside restaurant quality recipe design to uplift and elevate one of Britain’s best loved foods.

“Mash is one of Britain’s favourite comfort foods that needed a 21st ​century makeover to delight and inspire customers across the new range.”

Meanwhile, supermarket chain Asda has announced the launch of its new own brand range dubbed Exceptional by Asda.

Mashed potato popularity

Last year Tesco shoppers bought more than one million more packs of fresh ready-made mash than in 2022, with the classic British staple proving very popular during the cost of living crisis.  

While regular mashed potato wass by far the most popular variety, sweet potato mash is currently creating the biggest stir with demand rocketing by more than 100% in 2023 versus 2022.

Related topics NPD Fresh produce Operations

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