Duchy Originals to fill UK market gap for organic pastry

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sustainable agriculture

UK organic food company Duchy Originals is to enter the nation's
niche organic pastry market, announcing this week that it is to
open its first production facility to manufacture the product.

The company, established by the Prince of Wales in 1990, claims to be one of the UK's leading organic food brands, manufacturing over 140 products including biscuits, bread, jam and beverages. "We have been looking to move into the organic pastry and pastry product category for some time. We believe this is a very logical area of expansion for the brand and there is currently a gap in the retail market for premium organic pastry products," said Belinda Gooding, managing director of Duchy Originals. The company, which has until now worked with UK food producers such as Walkers Shortbread and Denhay Farms in order to manufacture its range of products, said it decided to open its own production facility as it could not find a suitable existing manufacturer for the pastry line. "There are some excellent suppliers out there, but none that could meet the quantities and selection of organic pastry products we need. It was just more beneficial for us to do it all under one roof," said the company's communications manager Petra Mihaljevich. The UK organic market, currently valued at £1.1bn, is still growing but has slowed dramatically in recent years due to consumer unwillingness to pay increased prices, according to market researcher Mintel. "Unless price premiums can be reduced further, or consumers can be persuaded about the value of paying more for organic products, the price differential will remain a barrier to market growth in the future," said Mintel. Duchy Originals, however, says its own sales have been doing well. "Consumers have become familiar with the premium quality of our products and our sales have actually picked up in recent years. We're happy with the growth of our business so far, and in the future plan to expand our product ranges and increase distribution," Mihaljevich told BakeryAndSnacks.com. Duchy Originals, which had sales of £1m this year, was established to promote sustainable farming and food production, with all profits donated to the Prince of Wales's Charitable Foundation. Its best selling products to date include its Oaten biscuits and Highland Shortbread, both manufactured by Walkers Shortbread. The company said its new production plant, which will manufacture premium organic Cornish pastries and pastry products, is due to open in April 2006. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in thisstory: Duchy Originals

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