Crisp-maker Mackie’s at Taypack hungry for growth after share buy-out

Crisp and snacking brand Mackie’s at Taypack is showing strong appetite for growth and preparing for a rebrand after a share buy-out has brought it under single ownership.

The firm is a joint venture between the Perthshire potato-farmer Taylor family and ice cream producer Mackie’s of Scotland, having been launched in 2009 to create premium crisps under the latter brand.

The families pooled resources to invest and build the independent business from a base near the fourth-generation Taylor family farm in Errol, Perthshire, and it now produces more than 2 million bags of premium crisps a month. Its offering has been extended over the years to include popcorn and the “Lentil waves” range of popped chips.

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The Taylor family, which has been growing potatoes in Perthshire for several generations, is the majority shareholder, and has now bought the shares held by Mackie’s, as both firms eye separate growth. Production of the crisps will continue at Errol but will transition to a new brand mid-2023 that will reflect the change of ownership.

Mackie’s of Scotland says it is now Scotland’s fifth most-shopped food brand, adding that over the last decade its crisps and ice cream businesses have flourished, based on profitable growth, and increasing sales in the UK and abroad.

Both businesses are now being joined by some of the next generation of each family, and are looking to continue serving their UK and global customer bases.

In February, Mackie’s at Taypack said it was planning to ramp up production in 2022 including doubling the size of its factory, and was already making more than half a million packs per week.

From left: James Taylor of Mackie's at Taypack with Angus Hayhow and Mac Mackie, both of Mackie's of Scotland. Picture: contributed.

Later that month, Mackie’s of Scotland said sales in the year ending May 31 had increased by 11 per cent to £18.5 million while operating profit had stepped up by 19 per cent to £4.1m. It said at the time that its growth in the UK premium ice cream market was spearheaded by a 40 per cent increase in sales in England and Wales, for example, while its chocolate bar range had enjoyed a 15 per cent uplift in UK sales.

Exciting

James Taylor, MD of Mackie’s at Taypack, said: “This next exciting stage in our development is made possible by the success of the joint venture to date, in particular the expertise and support from Mackie’s.

“We have some exciting growth plans and innovative products in the pipeline, which will ensure the continued success of the business under its new brand in the years ahead.”

There are 'exciting growth plans and innovative products in the pipeline' at the crisp-making firm. Picture: contributed.

Mac Mackie, MD of Mackie’s of Scotland, praised the joint venture, stating: “We are delighted to have been able to play our part in establishing a quality snack business in Scotland and look forward to seeing the new brand grow and succeed.

“Innovation and progression are at the heart of Mackie’s, and we will continue the development of our premium ice cream and chocolate ranges at the heart of our success.”

Mackie’s of Scotland says it produces luxury ice cream at its fifth-generation Aberdeenshire farm from “sky to scoop”, with wind and sun-powered renewable energy powering the dairy, using fresh milk and cream from its own herd.

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