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Bells Food Group retains its position in the top five of Scotland’s most chosen Scottish brands

Ronnie Miles (MD at Bells Food Group)

SCOTLAND’S market leading pie and pastry maker, Bells Food Group, has kept its fourth spot as Scotland’s most chosen Scottish brand, according to the 2023 Kantar Scotland Brand Footprint report. The report reveals the ranking of shoppers’ most chosen food and drink brands over the past year.

The news comes as a £250k investment programme by Bells Food Group gets underway this weekend to increase its pie manufacturing capacity.   The installation of a new state-of-the-art oven, the heart of the investment, will give Bells the ability to bake an additional 100,000 pies a week, future proofing it for increased demand. It currently bakes around 16 million Scotch pies annually.

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Ronnie Miles, Managing Director at Bells Food Group, said:

“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. 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.”

Earlier this year Bells Food Group launched a new range of frozen bake-at-home pies – a first for the company into the frozen category that includes three variants – the iconic Bells Scotch Pie, Macaroni Cheese Pie and new Scotch Chilli Pie.  It also won a major contract to supply five and a half million packs of own-label pastry to 862 UK-wide Tesco stores.

“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.”, commented Lesley Ann Gray, Kantar Worldpanel Strategic Insight Director.

Bells has an annual turnover of around £26million, employs around 220 colleagues, has 60% of the hot pie market in Scotland and operates two bakeries and a distribution centre in Shotts. 

The company’s story began in 1931 when, fearing his son Donald would be out of work after completing an apprenticeship at a local bakery in 1931, David Bell converted the family wash-house into a small bakery and Donald started the business selling scones and pancakes in the early hours of the morning door-to-door. As the business grew Donald’s four brothers and two sisters joined.  The introduction and success of Bells ‘Special’ Puff Pastry which was launched in 1955 allowed the company to expand into other savoury products such as Bells Scotch Pies, bridies, sausage rolls and Bells Steak Pies, all produced from Bells recipes dating back to the 1930s.

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