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Rachel’s launches Divine Desserts range

Rachel’s has launched its first ever organic Divine Desserts range, arriving in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s stores from late August.

Renowned for supreme taste and premium organic credentials, Rachel’s new indulgent desserts are made lovingly and with care, using only the finest fresh organic ingredients and no artificial flavourings or preservatives.

Presented in individual glass ramekins which can be re-used after eating, the new desserts are available as a pack of two, ideal for sharing during nights in with friends and family, after dinner, or simply when you want to spoil yourself to a mid-week treat. Divine Desserts are available in two delicious varieties:

• Divine Chocolate Pot - A combination of the finest organic chocolate, milk and cream, the chocolate pot has a meltingly luscious texture and a rich, chocolate flavour.

• Divine Vanilla Pot - With a careful blend of fragrant vanilla and a light and silky smooth texture, Rachel’s sumptuous pot promises a melt in the mouth experience.

Sophie Giraudel, brand manager at Rachel’s, says: “The addition of Rachel’s Divine Desserts brings another dimension to the Rachel’s brand, presenting an exciting opportunity for us to leverage our expertise in the dairy sector as we expand into the desserts segment.

“Following the success of Rachel’s Divine Rice; our new desserts range provides shoppers with a different way to enjoy Rachel’s straight from the fridge, incorporating the very same passion, care and organic ingredients as all Rachel’s products. Such innovation brings fresh opportunity for us to capitalise on the moments of indulgence we know everyone looks forward to, whilst keeping our consumers engaged and excited by the Rachel’s brand.”

Rachel’s new range is available from Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, priced at a RRP of £1.99 for a pack of two.

HIE supports Isle of Skye brewery to expand

A brewery based on the Isle of Skye which is experiencing a growing demand for its award-winning beers is to expand into new markets around the world. The £450,000 development at the Isle of Skye Brewing Company is being supported by a grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise at the company’s site in Uig, Isle of Skye.

The company is expanding the production capacity of its existing brewery in Uig where twelve staff are currently employed. This is the first phase of the business' long term development plan with this initial expansion expected to create a further five jobs in Uig. As the customer base continues to grow, the company has established a distribution centre in the central belt and recruited two business development managers to lead growth of the brewery’s customer base at home and abroad.

The brewery has also begun rebranding, with Red Cuillin becoming Skye Red, Black Cuillin now Skye Black and Hebridean Gold has become Skye Gold. The original product has been retained to keep its taste and quality but the rebrand has made it more attractive to modern drinkers. HIE is supporting the project with a £116,000 grant to this first phase of a long term development for the company in Uig.

Kenny Webster, Managing Director, says, “There is so much more potential to grow the business both at home and internationally and we would like to introduce new kegged products. We are delighted with HIE’s investment as this will allow us to increase production, support our rebranding and establish new national and overseas markets.

“To accommodate the increase in production, a new building is required to house the existing storage to free up room within the current brewery building for new tanks. The developments will enable us to double our number of staff by next year and it will also triple our turnover in the next three years.”

The brewery was established with support from HIE in 1998 by founder Angus MacRuary although the main operator and majority shareholder is now Kenny. Angus’ extensive knowledge and expertise has not been lost as he is now the Operations Director.

Angus says, “Our new expansion plan means that we are now revisiting export markets where we have previously sold our beers such as USA, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, and Japan. This has been aided by the Smart Exporter programme delivered by HIE – an excellent programme which we found to be informative and very beneficial. Export markets are to the fore in our business plan, which will double our production capacity in the next four years. It’s an incredible journey and we are set to export 20% of all production in the next three years.”

To further strengthen the Skye Brewing Co team, Cameron Murray has been appointed through the award winning ScotGrad Graduate Placement Programme. He will focus on the rebranding and social media project. ScotGrad is funded and delivered in the region by HIE and the European Regional Development Fund.

Caroline Forsyth, Development Manager at HIE, says, “HIE’s assistance will allow the business to immediately increase their productivity on their site in Uig, transform their existing team to develop capacity towards their three year plan to increase domestic and overseas sales, as well as providing employment opportunities in the fragile area of Uig. We wish them every success in the expansion.”

DC Thomson consumer products cooks up expansion for Maw Broon’s Kitchen

DC Thomson Consumer Products has announced exciting new developments for its food brand, Maw Broon’s Kitchen.

As part of its plan for the brand, DC Thomson Consumer Products has unveiled significant developments in the expansion of Maw Broon’s Kitchen into new markets, demographics and products.

DC Thomson Consumer Products has entered an exclusive partnership that sees the food sales, marketing and distribution specialist, Food and Drink Hub Scotland, form a new business (Maw Broon’s Retail Management Ltd) to become the sales and distribution arm of Maw Broon’s Kitchen products. Food and Drink Hub Scotland will be responsible for supporting the licensor and its partners as they expand the Maw Broon’s Kitchen brand at retail starting this Christmas. Offering a retail ‘one-stop shop’ for all licensees and key buyers, Food and Drink Hub Scotland will roll-out the now extensive product line of Maw Broon’s Kitchen cakes, bakery, confectionery and gifting items into grocers, garden centres, delis and farm shops across the UK.

Food and Drink Hub Scotland will also work closely with DC Thomson Consumer Products and its partners to develop innovative new products and brand extensions in order to grow the commercial potential of this food brand.

The impressive activity surrounding the brand also sees the first ever Maw Broon’s Kitchen pop-up café launch at the Eat Drink Discover Scotland food festival this weekend. The festival celebrates the best of food and drink in Scotland and welcomes a variety of exhibitors, enthusiasts and notable chefs. The Maw Broon’s Kitchen pop-up café will serve a traditional home-style menu featuring Scottish favourites Stovies, Mince Rolls & Afternoon Tea for 2. The pop-up will be a chance for DC Thomson and its partner to test the concept of a permanent café in key cities.

Tim Collins, Head of Brands, DC Thomson Consumer Products says, “We launched the first Maw Broons products late in 2012 and are now accelerating plans because of consumer and trade demand. We are delighted to welcome Food and Drink Hub Scotland as a partner. They bring really detailed expertise to reach new audiences and open the door to greater commercial opportunities for the brand. We look forward to celebrating the brand this weekend with our very first Maw Broon’s Kitchen inspired pop-up café at the Eat Drink Discover Scotland food festival as well - the perfect chance to showcase the best of Maw Broon’s to all visitors and partners.”

Inspired by the matriarch of Scotland's favourite family -The Broons - the classic weekly comic strip from The Sunday Post newspaper, Maw Broon’s Kitchen is now established as a prominent yet fictional ‘celebrity chef’ whose homespun wisdom and hearty recipes have spawned a best-selling cookery book series and licensing programme which features 15 partners that cover every day and gift food lines in addition to kitchen and home ware accessories.

Paul Anderson Managing Director of Food and Drink Hub Scotland Ltd and the new Maw Broon’s Retail Management Business says, “We are delighted to be involved in supporting DC Thomson and its food and drink brand licensees develop and grow the Maw Broon’s Kitchen Brand through collaborating and working in partnership with all stakeholders. We believe that through our unique Hub model and working in partnership with DC Thomson, licensees and retailers alike we can further increase the opportunities for the brand.”

DC Thomson Consumer Products is investing to establish Maw Broon’s Kitchen as a standalone food brand in the food, drink and gifting sector, firstly in the heartland of Scotland but with ambitions to expand across the UK and overseas. It sees a great opportunity to capitalize on the momentum built up by overwhelming consumer demand for Maw Broon’s Kitchen products, by working with Scottish partners on commercial projects that share the brand’s emphasis on home cooking, tradition, family values and quality.

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BrandOpus help Kingsmill fly high with a redesign

BrandOpus has worked with Kingsmill to redesign their brand and packaging design across the entire portfolio of products.

The challenge was to strengthen the brand, to imbue meaning and personality over and above the functional attributes of the products, whilst establishing a clear portfolio architecture and simplified pack communication hierarchy that will form a strong platform for coherent innovation.

The outcome introduces a subtle sense of the brighter side of everyday family life, which drives distinctiveness and emotional connection at a brand level. The new architecture aids navigation at fixture whilst creating greater range consistency and brand impact within a cluttered and price-driven market place.

Paul Taylor, executive creative director, BrandOpus, says, “The new design introduces a fresh, playful and light-hearted touch to a brand that is a well loved household favourite. It is a pleasure to be involved in redefining Kingsmill’s presence in the category, we are excited to see the brand flying off the shelves in the very near future.”

Darren Grivvell, Director of Brands at Kingsmill, says, “BrandOpus have been great partners to work with. They are collaborative, strategic and what stood out most is their approach to using metaphors to create emotional brand world. We’re delighted with the outcome and looking forward to see the impact in-store."

The new identity and packaging is due to soft launch from 18th May.

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