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Bells Professional Pastry created to meet growing demand for UK pastry products

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Gill Hyslop

By Gill Hyslop+

13-Sep-2017

Bells Professional Pastry, a new arm of Scottish pastry manufacturer Bells Food Group, specializes in a range of bespoke and speciality pastries. Pic: Bells Profesional Pastry
Bells Professional Pastry, a new arm of Scottish pastry manufacturer Bells Food Group, specializes in a range of bespoke and speciality pastries. Pic: Bells Profesional Pastry

Scottish pies, cakes and pastry manufacturer Bells Food Group has established Bells Professional Pastry, a dedicated arm of the business focused pastry manufacture.

Last year, the company invested £3.6m ($4.7m) to double its pastry production capacity to 150 tons per week. The first stage of expansion is expected to be completed in November.

“The launch of Bells Professional Pastry gives us a real opportunity to provide expertise and added value to our customers, both existing and future,” said James Drury, pastry business manager, Bells Food Group.

Bespoke pastry

He told BakeryandSnacks the new division was also created to expand its pastry portfolio it offers to food manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and bakeries throughout the UK and Ireland.

Its product portfolio is segmented into four offerings:

  • Roll & Cut – rolls, slabs or sheets of pastry.
  • Specialist Pastry – pre-cut shapes and designs.
  • Bespoke – tailormaking pastry for specific requirements, for example: thickness, weight, butter enriched, e-free, made with E202, French or Scottish method, and so forth.
  • Fill & Bake – every day bakery products, like pies, sausage rolls and quiches.

“We continuously work with customers to create new concepts from our specialist pastry range as well design bespoke formats,” said Drury.

“On the wholesale side, we are also working on developing a foodservice range.”

Bells Professional Pastry’s team comprises 40 employees, led by operations director Andrew Bell, located at the parent group’s headquarters in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

The launch of the division has been supported with a new website and a targeted direct mail campaign.

Scotch Pies top among Scots

Bells Food Group is a third generation Scottish family business, established in 1931.

According to Kantar Worldpanel Data, Bells is the fourth most recognised food brand in Scotland and the company commands 60% of the Scottish market in branded fresh 

“Bells Scotch Pies are eaten by three out of every four Scotch Pie consumers in Scotland, while 40% of the Scottish population will buy a Bells product at least once a year,” said Drury.chilled pies.

Bells Food Group is also planning to launch new product innovations and packaging before the end of the year. 

The company employs over 200 people at its two manufacturing and one logistics sites in Scotland, and expects its turnover to come in just under £20m ($26.4m) this year. 

The rise of puff

The UK’s market for pies and pasties is forecast to reach £1.1bn ($1.4bn) by the end of 2017 and is expected to continue growing, according to Mintel.

“The consumption of puff pastry, in particular, is on the increase with dishes like Wellingtons and en croutes,” said Drury. “We’re looking forward to serving our customers with this pastry to meet this demand.”

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