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Sales of Border Biscuits soar in first part of year

BORDER Biscuits has said it is reaping the benefit of a growing product line and multiple supermarket deals with sales running around 20 per cent ahead in the first five months of this year.

Deal: Tesco's Ashley Connolly and Jill Sutherland, from Border Biscuits, showing off the new range which is available in stores across Scotland.
Deal: Tesco's Ashley Connolly and Jill Sutherland, from Border Biscuits, showing off the new range which is available in stores across Scotland.

The Lanark company, most famous for its dark chocolate gingers, is aiming to add more than £1 million to its turnover in 2014.

If achieved that would take it close to £14 million for the year.

The family owned business yesterday announced a raft of further product listings with Tesco in Scotland.

As part of that seven new ­varieties of biscuit, from the ­Deliciously Different range, will be on shelves in dozens of stores from this month.

Those include flavours such as lemon drizzle day, Yankee doodle butterscotch, danishly caramel apple and strawberry and cream melts.

The latter type is also being stocked by Tesco across its UK estate.

In addition Tesco's Scotland stores are now stocking the Border Biscuits Real Fruit Shortbread range for the first time and have also increased listings for the Oatrageously Tasty and Classic brands.

Jill Sutherland, national account manager at Border Biscuits, said: "Our recent sales increase has been outstanding and we work hard to continually innovate in the premium biscuit market."

Ashley Connolly, Tesco Scotland buyer, said: "We are really pleased to add the new varieties of Border Biscuits to our stores.

"The range continues to perform well and the biscuits are very popular with our customers."

As a result of the increased demand Border Biscuits has seen this year it has gone from a Monday to Friday shift pattern at its factory to a seven day working rota in order to fulfil orders.

That led to the creation of a small number of jobs and released additional capacity at the plant in Caldwellside Industrial Estate.

Louise Creevy, sales and marketing manager, said: "It was at full capacity when we were doing Monday to Friday but now we are doing weekends there is a bit spare but it is getting up there again."

Around 150 people are now employed by the business.

Ms Creevy indicated Border Biscuits would continue to invest in trying to bring new products to the market.

She said: "We do a lot of research looking at what is out there at the moment and trying to come up with ideas that are a bit different with packaging as well as with the biscuit recipes.

"An example is the real fruit shortbread. At the moment it is really only plain or choc chip that is out there so we saw a gap in the market for a slightly more modern flavour with cherry, cranberry, strawberry and orange."

Ms Creevy said she was hopeful the latest Scottish listings for Tesco would be extended into more outlets.

She said: "Normally they go into Scottish stores then get rolled out wider once they can see the sales figures."

The business was founded in 1984 by John Cunningham, who is still managing director, and remains in family ownership.

It started out with a handful of staff and biscuit varieties.

Now it makes in the region of two million biscuits a week and is stocked by all the major supermarkets.

It has partnered with chefs Dean Edwards and James Morton in recent years to encourage amateur cooks to enter its Big Baking Bonanza competition where the winning recipe gets turned into a limited edition product.

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