Aldomak embarks on major expansion programme predicting 50% sales growth

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Scottish private label confectioner to explore opportunities outside the UK
Scottish private label confectioner to explore opportunities outside the UK

Related tags Ice cream

Aldomak which makes tablets, fudge and macaroons is projecting sales of £1.9m ($2.8m) for 2017 on the back of a slew of contract wins and increased activity with existing clients.

The Glasgow-based company reported a turnover of £1.2m ($1.7m) to April this year. This is up on £1m ($1.4m) in 2014-15 and £750,000 ($1m) the year before.

US, Canada and China

It claims it is on track to increase sales by 50% as it embarks on a period of sustained expansion of its product range backed by a major, UK-focused re-branding campaign.

Dario Riccomini, managing director, Aldomak, told ConfectioneryNews, under its re-branding plans ‘to be announced in due course’, it will retain the Aldomak name, but introduce new brands which will open up opportunities outside its traditional Scottish customer base, in the rest of UK, possibly overseas.

As part of a collaborative export program it is looking at the US, Canada and China amongst others.

Talking about the 50% sales growth, Riccomini said: “Primarily, we're a contract food manufacturer. We make traditional Scottish confectionery and oat-based products such as flapjacks or oat bars​. 

We manufacture for a number of fudge tin specialists; we make oat bars which are sold in all the multiples; we make fudge, tablet and macaroons for several companies; and we produce own-brand products for Aldi, including Mrs McGregor and Specially Selected​. 

We have some exciting projects in the pipeline. A major international retailer would like us to manufacture an own label product to their specification. We have a trial order for two lorry loads​.

We also have seven products under development for a variety of customers that are already established in the market and have the potential to be quick wins​.

We intend to delve further into the foodservice sector and launch our consumer facing brand among retailing outlets​.”

Italian ice cream market

Aldomak has been a name in the Scottish food industry since 1932. The Riccomini family bought in to the company in the 70s, originally wholesaling wafers and cones and making nougats and oysters for the Italian ice cream market.

Dario Riccomini, formerly an IT and systems specialist with boutique online bank Intelligent Finance, joined the company in 2001 and took to reinventing the firm as a contract food manufacturer, with an emphasis on traditional Scottish confectionary and oat-based products.

It is a supplier to major names such as Stewart's, Highland Croft and Aldi, and formerly Asda and has recently substantially increased and re-focused its product range in Aldi.

I joined the family firm in 2001. When I joined, it had been in a wind-down period for a number of years. My sister and I indicated we were not keen to take it on. But then I started to wind it back up again. At that time, it was very lean - just the family and three other employees​,” he added. 

It became clear we did not have the resources to position ourselves as a brand at that time, so I made the decision to look for contract manufacture for other companies. That has been our road for the last decade, but now we are embarking on a major re-branding exercise which will launch this year​.”

Strengthened the management team

The company has strengthened its management team hiring David Laing, as production manager, and David Clark, as quality manager.

Riccomini said both appointments reflect the professionalism and forward looking strategy of the company as it commences a year in which it is forecasting 50% sales growth and is consolidating new contract wins.

Laing, who will assume responsibility for Aldomak's increasing production, formerly worked for Brownings the Baker, home of the Killie Pie, and meat products giant Vion Foods.

Clark joins the firm from Lancashire cake giant the Finsbury Food Group.

"This is a very exciting period for Aldomak. We have been working towards critical mass for some time and a lot of hard work is beginning to pay off as we anticipated​,” said Riccomini.

"We have also strengthened the management team and we are investing in new systems and processes which will underpin a sustainable capability for further expansion​."

He added, to assist in the production and processing of its products it has invested in a number of machines.

For example: a machine that will automatically form and fill boxes instead of filling them by hand​,” he said.

British Retail Consortium accreditation

A third wrapping line to increase the efficiency of the production room with more products coming out per hour that we’re open with less downtime changeovers and an automatic weighing and dosing system for our bagged products, increasing the output from 13 bags per minute to 45​.

We have design engineers currently working on a variety of bespoke systems that will significantly reduce the manual handling of the products​.” 

He added the company was on the brink of achieving British Retail Consortium accreditation, which will allow it to tender for a wider range of contracts and facilitate expansion into the wider UK market.

Aldomak has obtained entry-level accreditation from the BRC and is currently working to upgrade its rating​,” he said.

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