Mackie’s invests in the future after recording a strong year

Mackies SM Farm
ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND, MONDAY, 27 October 2020. Mackie family have been farming at Westertown farm since 1912 and Mackie’s of Scotland is now a well-known Scottish food brand. Mackie’s were formerly a milk retail company and in 1986 began making ice cream. (Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media)

ONE of Scotland’s top food brands has recorded bumper chocolate and take-home ice cream sales as it reinvests millions into its sustainability drive.

In the year ending May 31, Mackie’s of Scotland saw its revenue increase one per cent to £16.7m and operating profits increasing 61 per cent to £3.4m.

Chocolate sales increased by 46 per cent after recipe refinements helped secure further supermarket listings and buyer loyalty.

As the family firm began construction of a £4.5m low-carbon refrigeration system that will become one of the most advanced in Europe, it also saw net assets increase by 18 per cent to £18.59m – a sign of the huge level of investment back into the business and its green ambitions.

Mac Mackie, Managing Director of the business and one of three sibling owners, has heralded the firm’s performance, highlighting that the figures factor in the first three months of lockdown.

He said: “These stellar results are made all the more impressive when we consider that we were ‘competing’ against the previous financial year, which accounted for the record heatwave summer of 2018.

“We broke all our own records then – and thought it would be very difficult to match that in the following year.

“With the first lockdown period in March, and the last quarter of the financial year, we initially witnessed a panic buying rush as the public filled freezers and baskets with staples – and not ice cream.

“For a few weeks, demand for take-home tubs of ice cream fell and our foodservice accounts sadly ground to a near halt, including temporary closure of our own 19.2 parlour in Aberdeen.

“However, we are very fortunate that ice cream sales quickly recovered, with increased demand as consumers seek a little luxury or pick me up treat while in lockdown at home.

“To see revenue increase, by even a small margin, is a credit to everyone in our team, we’ve had to be fleet of foot, to be able to keep working, at home and remotely, while creating and incorporating the many new safety procedures required.

“Despite these challenges, we launched a new pack format, introducing ‘The Mini Collection’, four single-serving sized tubs of ice cream in our two biggest selling flavours.

“It’s been our most successful new launch in years, tapping into demand for grab and go – and perhaps an ideal format for families working and home-schooling.

“It’s especially pleasing to see chocolate perform so well too.

“Since the end of this reported financial year we launched our first new flavour since the launch in 2014, Orange – which has also been received very favourably – and we’ve been able to donate more than 10,000 bars to hospitals, ambulance bases, care homes and call centres.”

Mackie’s staff number increased to 91, from 83, with 10 additional staff recruited for ice cream production to help manage increased demand along with the need to work for longer hours in smaller groups, to ensure full distancing.

Mackie’s is based on the fourth-generation Westertown Farm in Aberdeenshire. The company produces all its ice cream using fresh milk and cream from its own dairy herd.

n To find out more about Mackie’s, please visit www.mackies.co.uk

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