Old favourite going strong

Porridge enjoying healthy sales

Hamlyn’s said oatmeal is popular in the north and porridge oats is favoured in southern Scotland

IF you were making a list of foods that Scotland is famed for, porridge would be near the top.

The oat-based dish has been part of the Scottish diet for centuries and is claimed to have health benefits such as reducing the risk of diabetes and having the ability to quell hangovers and combat obesity.

Hamlyns of Scotland said the dish is still popular and that its Scottish Oatmeal and Scottish Porridge are enjoying healthy growth.

But the firm said shoppers shouldn’t stop at adding milk or water and topping with their choice of sugar, syrup or salt, instead it said oatmeal makes a versatile ingredient.

Hamlyns of Scotland managing director, Alan Meikle, said: “Our Scottish Porridge Oats is one of the fastest growing brands in the hot cereals market and to cater for the ever-increasing inclusion of oatmeal as an ingredient in cookery and home baking recipes we recently introduced a new 500g pack of our Scottish Oatmeal.”

Where retailers have the space, sampling activity can really help to encourage trial.

Meikle said Hamlyns works closely with a network of Scottish farmers, saying: “Many have supplied us for several generations and believing that it’s important to shout about this, we’ve recently added a new section to our website focusing on one of our farmer suppliers, so our customers have a full understanding of where our oats come from.”

He said the company is keen to help retailers promote its products in-store and added: “Where retailers have space, sampling activities can really help to encourage trial.

He continued: “Retailers should take account of regional differences. Oatmeal sales are particularly strong north of Perth, where consumers use oatmeal to make porridge, whereas in central and southern Scotland porridge oats are more popular.”