A UK-wide trend towards ice cream indulgence over the past year has helped serve up a major market share jump for a Scottish family business.
According to a 52 week study by Kantar Worldpanel, demand for premium ice cream grew by 17.5% in 2020, with one beneficiary being the Aberdeenshire family brand Mackie’s, which reported 37% growth in sales – second only in the UK to that by major multi-national brand.
This means that the brand has an estimated 6% UK market share and increased sales in all major retailers.
The research found that seeking enjoyment has taken priority over health during the pandemic, with a move away from lower calorie alternatives in the ice cream sector.
Stuart Common, sales director at Mackie’s, said: “We’ve been making ice cream since 1986 and it is always fascinating to see how trends develop.
“It reassures us that consumers always appear to revert back to wanting an affordable indulgent treat, something that can give them a real taste sensation and that they can enjoy in moderation.
“Clearly this has been a time of great uncertainty to people, so we hope that our products can bring some comfort – and little moments of joy.”
Mackie’s traditional dairy ice cream, its original flavour, was created by the former milk retail company when semi-skimmed milk became popular, leaving the company with an excess of cream on the farm.
Over the years it has become Scotland’s best-selling ice cream, but the fourth-generation family farm in North East Scotland still produces all its ice cream using fresh milk and cream from its own dairy herd.
The company’s ‘sky to scoop’ ethos also now sees it create packaging on site, powered predominantly by renewable energy – via four wind turbines, a 10-acre solar farm and a biomass energy plant.
In addition, work is underway to create a new £4.5m low carbon refrigeration system – the first of its kind in Scotland.