You are currently viewing Bells increases pie production and remains one of Scotland’s favourite brands
Bells boss Ronnie Miles

Bells Food Group has unveiled a £250,000 investment that will see the Shotts-based baker produce an additional 100,000 pies every week.

The installation of a new state-of-the-art oven means the business, which already knocks out 16 million pies every year, will increase annual capacity to northwards of 21 million.

Bells boss Ronnie Miles said the move would let the company meet projected increased demand for the years ahead.

Work on installing the new oven commenced at the weekend. It started as Bells kept its fourth place in Kantar’s annual list of most-chosen Scottish brands. The 2023 Kantar Scotland Brand Footprint was topped – once again – by Irn-Bru, followed by Graham’s and Tunnock’s.

Commenting on the top-four ranking, Miles added: “Continued investment, innovation and brand relevance has helped us attract and retain shoppers to maintain this position but ultimately it’s down to the talents and dedication of our team.”

It’s been a busy year for Bells. It has received funding from the Food and Drink Federation Scotland to make its products healthier, made its debut in the frozen category with the launch of a three-strong range of bake-at-home Scotch, macaroni and chilli pies, and won a contract to produce own-label pastry for Tesco in a move that created 15 jobs.

Bells says it produces six out of every 10 hot pies sold in Scotland. It has a turnover of around £26m and employs around 220 staff.

The third-generation family-owned business was founded in 1931 by David Bell and sold scones and pancakes that had been baked in a converted washhouse door-to-door. It started making pastry in 1955 after David’s son Donald saw a packet of ready-made pastry in a shop in England and spotted a gap in the Scottish market. Production then progressed into other savoury lines, including pies.