Spotlight on the top Scottish food and drink brands of 2023 (excluding alcohol) from 31-40
DIETARY restrictions are something Scottish consumers are growing more aware of, illustrated by the success of the Genius range of gluten-free bakery food.
Rising up one place from last year’s list, Genius has been providing Scottish consumers greater variety in the free-from category for the past 13 years, helping to support shoppers with a gluten intolerance.
It was founded by chef, entrepreneur and mother Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne out of a need to create gluten-free dishes for her son.
This year saw Genius launch its new brand platform, Genius Deliciously Gluten Free, helping to build up conversations around those living with a gluten intolerance, as well as launch some NPD, including its new Blueberry and Double Chocolate Pancakes.
And more innovation seems to be on the cards for 2024, as a spokesperson said: “We will continue to bring exciting innovation into free-from bakery, helping people with symptoms of gluten intolerance to be able to further enjoy a life that is symptom-free and with utter deliciousness.”
DESPITE ongoing struggles with wheat prices, pasta brand Marshalls has continued its strong performance for this year.
Offering a range of dry pasta options for consumers, Marshalls’ selection includes its Spirali, Penne, Spaghetti, Lasagne and, perhaps its most popular, Macaroni.
Along with this, the brand also offers a more convenient option in both its Cheesey variant and Snackaroni, bringing an easy solution for macaroni and cheese options to Scottish consumers across the entire country.
It’s clear loyalty to the brand has remained strong among its consumers as Scottish shoppers continue to choose Marshalls.
Meanwhile, between July 2022 and March 2023, the brand reported that it had donated 4.25 tonnes of food to the FareShare charity, equating to about the equivalent of 10,115 meals, as well as 6.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved.
33. Highland Game
OFFERING quality, precision and tradition is the name of the game and Highland Game certainly delivers on this promise.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the independent and family-owned venison brand has been building up its presence with Scottish consumers across 2023.
Highlighting the health and sustainability benefits of venison when compared to other meats, Highland Game has been working to get the meat into the public’s vision more frequently.
To help do so, the brand has had a series of launches this year across the market, including Gourmet Burgers, Kebabs and Koftas, Stir Fry, Mince and Posh Dogs, as well as steak options.
A spokesperson for Highland Game said: “Nutritionists regularly recommend venison in preference to farmed meats for nutritional and environmental reasons. We strengthened our marketing muscle on calling out wild venison not simply for great taste and richer flavour, but being a meat that helps consumers eat healthier.”
34. Scott’s Porage Oats
THE shot-put throwing, kilted Highlander on the box has illustrated the strength of the Scott’s Porage Oats brand once again this year, helping it rise one place on Kantar’s top 50 for this year.
The brand’s ongoing focus on the health and fitness of porridge oats continue to help keep Scott’s Porage Oats popular for those consumers still feeling the need for a health kick.
Most notably for the brand, in recent years consumers have rediscovered the famous former face of the brand of Game of Thrones actor Rory McCann – known for his role as The Hound in the HBO TV show – who portrayed the kilted Highlander in TV adverts through the late 1990s and into the early 2000s.
35. Big and Scottish
EGG shortages haven’t slowed down the Glenrath-owned egg brand Big and Scottish as it rises up three places from last year.
Offering a range of variants across different formats, the brand offers consumers a wide selection to suit different meal time needs.
Including a range of hen eggs in Fresh, Free Range and Barn across a dozen or half-dozen packs, the brand seems fit for purpose whether this be for a boiled egg with toast in the morning or for customers’ show-stopping baking creations.
And the provenance of the brand clearly remains important here, with it clearly stated across the packs in its title.
36. Mrs Unis
A STEADY hand at the wheel has kept Mrs Unis on a stable course for this year. With rising inflation, energy costs soaring through the roof and fuel prices to make your eyes water, the Mrs Unis brand made the savvy move to invest back into the business.
This has helps ensure the brand could continue to offer its range of pakoras, samosas and nan breads for a reasonable price that kept its consumers happy. And this happiness has clearly paid off, as Mrs Unis has managed to retain its spot at 36 for another year.
The brand offers a core range of pakora options including its Chicken Pakora and Vegetable Pakora, with further small bite options such as Samosas with various fillings, Spiced Onions and Nan Breads.
And even during a year that has seen the brand primarily invest in its own operations, Mrs Unis still found time to launch new products to market, including a new Vegetable Pakora that, along with the brand’s other vegetable pakora SKUs, is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
The brand also launched a new Sweet Potato and Red Onion Pakora to market as well, which the firm noted was “extremely popular”.
37. Rowan Glen
TAKING a large business move can always be a scary decision to make, especially when it comes to food produce. However, in the case of Rowan Glen, it seems this move has more than paid off as the yoghurt brand finds itself in spot number 37 for this year.
The firm made the decision to become a truly independent business at the tail-end of 2022, when factory manager Alan Baxter made the decision to purchase the brand, with assistance from the South of Scotland Enterprise.
Baxter said: “Rowan Glen’s comeback was only possible because of our amazing team and partners. Their hard work and support were crucial in our restart. I’m deeply thankful to everyone involved. We’ve not just preserved Rowan Glen’s legacy, we’ve also pushed it to new heights.”
The brand first got its start in 1993, producing a range of yoghurts and desserts for the Scottish market that offered a variety of flavours such as Strawberry, Raspberry and Peach Melba.
With its range of Low Fat Bio yoghurts, it’s clear why the range has such a strong appeal with consumers as more are looking for those healthier and permissible treats more often.
SCOTS have to get their haggis from somewhere and, for many shoppers, it has to be Macsween.
Founded in 1953, the butcher business is now a third-generation family-run firm, continuing to make haggis products that Macsween claims hasn’t changed in recipe for 60 years now.
Ensuring the customer always gets exactly what they are looking for, then, has paid off for the brand here, offering a range of classic haggis options as well as vegetarian variants as well as gluten-free ones.
Macsween’s range can be found across Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose and Co-op stores now. And it is sure to be a winner for retailers when it comes to Burns Night in the new year.
RISING five places from last year, Simmers continues to prove Scottish customers love a classic option.
Known for its Scotch Abernethy and Butter Biscuits, Simmers’ biscuits are still made from the brand’s factory in Edinburgh.
This marks Simmers as one of the only four manufacturers to make the historic Abernethy biscuits in the whole of Scotland.
The Simmers range is available to buy across grocery channels including Tesco, Waitrose and Asda. Both the brand’s Butter Biscuits and Abernethy are also available to buy from the Nairn’s website as individual packs or in larger case formats.
40. Orkney Cheddar
ORKNEY Cheddar proves the value of provenance on packs with its placement in Kantar’s Top 50 this year.
Made using fresh milk from island cows, Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar has a heritage and provenance that many consumers in Scotland are looking for.
And much like champagne, Scotch whisky and Scottish Wild Salmon, Orkney Cheddar has geographical indication protected status under the full name Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar. If it says Orkney in the name of a cheese, then it must be made there.
Lactalis, the firm that now owns the Orkney Cheddar brand, said the entire range is suitable for vegetarians as well, with the brand now using a vegetable rennet to help make its curds.