Spotlight on the top Scottish food and drink brands of 2023 (excluding alcohol) from 11-20
11. JG Ross
IT has been another strong year for the baked goods brand JG Ross in 2023, with the Inverurie-based baker continuing to go from strength-to-strength across retail.
Offering a selection of baked cakes and pies, the JG Ross brand has risen one place on Kantar’s list for this year, sitting just outside of the top 10 in spot No.11.
Perhaps in its most notable achievement for 2023, the bakers firm was named the Retail Baker of the Year at the Scottish Baker of the Year Awards in May.
Graeme Ross, commercial director at JG Ross, said: “We are a family business and treat all stakeholders as family members, working together, supporting one another to build long-term relationships.
“While our business has grown quite significantly over the decades, we have always remained true to our core values. We never forget customers have a choice. Every order taken is a promise made, not only to fulfil that order with 100% availability but to ensure it is delivered on time with products produced to a consistently high standard, fresh, daily.”
MARKING the top Scottish cheese brand on Kantar’s top 50 once again this year, Seriously can trace its roots all the way back to 1850.
That’s when one-time grocer Archibald McLelland decided he had the best raw ingredients to make a better cheddar. And after years of perfecting the recipe in his Stranraer creamery, he was ready to share his cheese with the world. Nowadays, it typically takes 14 months to make the award-winning cheese, known for its crunch and tangy taste.
The firm behind Seriously, Lactalis, also made the move to promote its Spreadable options this year, highlighting both the Original variant as well as the more mature Vintage cheese spread.
To boost up this new launch, Lactalis ran a new TV campaign to highlight the range, helping to increase the brand’s awareness this year.
13. Highland Spring
SCOTTISH water is widely regarded as being some of the best in the entire world, so to be the top bottled water choice of the Scots is no mean feat.
That is just what Highland Spring has achieved once again this year as it has retained its spot at 13.
Simon Oldham, managing director at Highland Spring, said: “Every drop of Highland Spring comes from the majestic Ochil Hills in Perthshire, where it is carefully drawn from protected, organically accredited land.
“We are incredibly proud of the high-quality of our Highland Spring water, and the care and attention we take in bringing it to consumers.”
IT has been another strong year for the Hall’s butchery brand as it has risen up four places from 2022.
The brand’s motto – Hall’s when hunger calls! – clearly rings true with Scottish consumers, who seemingly can’t resist its range of meat products, including its cooked meats such as Cooked Turkey, Sliced Chicken and Sliced Corned Beef as well as its uncooked range of breakfast items or its Haggis selection, including its Original Haggis and a Vegetarian Haggis.
And the brand appeals to consumers across the spectrum, catering to a diverse range of ages with its Wee Willie Winkie’s sausages a favourite with children.
A spokesperson for Browns Food Group, the firm behind the Hall’s brand, said: “This traditional Scottish label, like many others, is important to many Scottish consumers and to Scottish heritage as well.”
A BRAND refresh at the start of this year has kept the MacB brand strong in Scotland as it sits in spot number 15 for 2023.
Rising up five places from 2022, MacB marks the highest-ranking flavoured water brand on the Kantar’s list once again thanks, in part, to its versatile offering as well as its host of marketing activity seen throughout the year.
The launch saw a redesign of the labels that, at the time, Refresco – the firm behind MacB – called a ‘refreshingly contemporary’ look for the MacB brand.
Also part of this makeover, the caps on all formats of MacB swapped over to clear plastic instead of coloured to help make the product easier to recycle. This was seen across the 500ml bottles as well as the larger 1.5L formats.
In addition to this, Refresco has also said the brand will continue its charitable efforts, which saw MacB support all four Kiltwalk events, providing hydration to over 25,000 walkers.
And through its Live Bold Community Fund, the firm has also pledged to continue its support for local areas.
Michael Tough, operations manager at MacB, said: “MacB has been part of the community for a long time, and we are all proud to participate not only in its success as one of Scotland’s top brands, but through the support it’s been able to provide to local organisations with the Live Bold Community Fund.”
16. Scotty Brand
FROM the farm to the fork, traceability is what Scotty Brand offers and it’s clearly something that Scottish consumers are looking for.
Providing wholesome, farm foods that have all been sourced from across Scotland, the Scotty Brand clearly has something for everyone – adding to its total brand appeal across the country.
Molly Borys, marketing manager at Albert Bartlett and Scotty Brand, said: “Scottish consumers know that Scottish produce is some of the best in the world and so they want to eat the delicious food that is grown on their doorstep.
“Our producers have amazing stories on why their produce is the best such as Bruce Farms only picking the best strawberries of the day and packaging them up.”
17. We hae meat
WHEN it comes to meat products in stores, it’s hard for consumers to say no to the quality farm-to-fork options.
And that has been exactly the case for Ayshire-based brand We hae meat, which has managed to climb four places in this year’s list to sit in spot 17.
Despite its young age, We hae meat has achieved a lot in its time, with Kantar naming the brand as one of Scotland’s top-10 fastest growing food brands this year.
And the brand’s most recent launch of its Chippy Range has been a clear winner, appealing to the ‘fakeaway’ concept that fits well with consumers looking to save cash without giving up a treat.
Including a Chippy Style Pork Sausage, Smoky Sausage and Black Pudding, the range has already received some accolade, with the Pork Sausage variant named as a Scotmid Favourite in 2022.
Paton said: “With the cost-of-living crisis, our Chippy Style range means more consumers can enjoy a cheaper takeway treat and the entire range has been really strong for us.”
18. Border Biscuits
IT’S hard to say no to a biscuit and there are plenty of Scottish consumers out there that would agree with this as Border Biscuits sits in spot number 18 this year.
First brought to life by John Cunningham in Lanark 1984, the brand has remained a popular addition for customers’ cupboards ever since, with its appeal of a more premium biscuit option an obvious winner in the Scottish market.
Helen McIlhargey, brand manager at Border Biscuits, said: “We continuously review the pipeline of innovation and, in May, we launched a Dark Chocolate Raspberry-flavoured biscuit, which joined a 16-strong range of chocolate and classic biscuits and convenient biscuit bars.
“This new addition, like all our biscuits, is handcrafted in Lanark using the finest ingredients, and taps into the increased demand for raspberry-flavoured biscuits within the special treat segment.
“We have also invested in more consistent year-round media to excite and engage our consumers.”
This method evidently works for Border Biscuits and the brand certainly won’t be slowing down as it heads into 2024, as McIlhargey teased some big plans in the pipeline in time for Border’s 40th anniversary.
19. Galloway Cheddar
A LOCAL, family heart sits with the Galloway Cheddar brand, ensuring the Scottish cheese is a must-stock for consumers’ fridges.
Keeping a spot within the top 20 for this year, Galloway Cheddar comes in its traditional block format, as well as sliced, grated and spreadable offerings.
Variants across the brand includes a medium cheddar as well as the more mature option of a Scottish Red Cheddar.
20. Albert Bartlett
SCOTTISH consumers can be creatures of habit, meaning brands with a long heritage offer a great deal of appeal here.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Albert Bartlett has made it into the top 20 for this year after celebrating 75 years of business in 2023.
With a range of Scottish-grown potatoes for its consumer base covering across both fresh products as well as the chilled category, Albert Barlett offers consumers plenty of options, whether it is for cooking from scratch or for more ready-made options.
Molly Borys, marketing manager at Albert Bartlett and Scotty Brand, said: “We are the potato people and are famous in the fresh category.
“Now we are bringing our expertise into the frozen and chilled categories, with everyday classics and flavour twists that excite our consumers.
“We have conducted research over the past year to better understand what is important to our consumers and the top ranked answers were: brand provenance, brand trust and value for money. Albert Bartlett ticks all of these boxes.”