Perthshire butcher Simon Howie nets major Tesco haggis listing

Simon Howie – who calls himself The Scottish Butcher – has inked a deal worth nearly £700,000 with Tesco for a premium listing of his haggis in 776 stores across England and Wales for the first time.

Simon Howie founded the butchery business in 1986 in Dunning, Perthshire. Picture: Perthshire Picture Agency.

Howie’s staff are working round the clock to deliver more than 1.2 million haggis - the equivalent of 3.5 million plates of Scotland’s traditional dish - as part of its busiest Burns season yet, and topping the previous record set for sales in 2019 by 200,000. The firm said it accounts for 53 per cent of total haggis sales in Burns season – saying this is more than double its nearest competitor.

Additionally, 60 per cent of the firm's haggis is now sold in England and Wales, up by 6 per cent from the previous year.

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Simon Howie said: “Since becoming the UK’s best-selling haggis brand four years ago, we have continued to see double-digit growth year on year. Also helping our sales is the growing popularity of our vegetarian haggis, which is actually vegan certified, so we’re starting to see an uptake in new customers trying our products who previously wouldn’t have been able to."

From left: Tesco's James Lamont with Simon Howie. Picture: Perthshire Picture Agency.

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James Lamont, buying manager, local sourcing at Tesco, said: “While haggis is known as the national dish of Scotland - it’s been the case for quite some time that more haggis are sold in England than Scotland each year and that Burns Night is very much a nationally celebrated event - and not just by Scots living south of the Border.

Value

"It is a brilliant result for both Tesco and Simon Howie to be working together and offering our customers in England and Wales great value with the Original 454g Haggis on offer in stores across the south for the two weeks leading up to Burns Night.”

Separately, McIntosh of Strathmore has unveiled what it says is the first-ever Burns Supper microwaveable meal kit for two with its new Burns Box.

The firm - which says it is Scotland’s best-selling ready meals manufacturer - said the product is available from Tesco, Asda and Morrisons stores across Scotland and online, packaged in a fully recyclable box, and was developed in response to growing demand. It comes in both vegetarian and traditional haggis options.

MD Julie Nisbet said: “We’ve redefined our best selling Burns Supper for one to bring the ultimate convenient and customisable dinner for two to celebrate our national Bard. McIntosh of Strathmore prides itself in using Scottish produce where possible to make our best selling ready meals and the Burns Box is no exception. We can’t wait for our loyal and new customers to give it a try.”