SRFDA Platinum Award winner Mackie’s of Scotland has more than doubled its ice cream sales in 10 years, passing the £20m mark in its last financial year.
In reaching this figure, the Inverurie-based brand sold over 13.3 million litres of ice cream – enough to fill more than five Olympic swimming pools – which it put down to continued investment into its production facilities and workforce.
The record sales were underpinned by an 11% annual increase in market penetration across the UK. This rise is tied to new listings in major retailers for its second-most-popular variant, Honeycomb, which finds itself in freezers alongside Mackie’s bestselling Traditional flavour in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrisons stores nationwide.
The £20m milestone comes more than 25 years after the company first made ice cream in 1986, in response to a decline in both doorstep milk deliveries and the popularity of full-fat milk.
Another reason for its strong sales has been a strategy of absorbing rising costs to try and keep prices as low as possible, as boss Stuart Common explains. “Our recent sales success is a reflection of our team’s hard work and considered, responsible decision making.
“While the cost-of-living crisis has pushed up the prices for our raw materials, we’ve taken every effort to limit price rises that are passed onto our customers, which has been reflected in reduced profits.
“However, our increase in both sales and market share demonstrates that consumers reward companies like Mackie’s for leaving more in their pocket without compromising product flavour, sustainability, or quality.”
The growth has seen Mackie’s add half a million customers across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland to its significant existing share in Scotland, where it occupies 21% of the ice cream market.
Its popularity has been elevated by the company’s habit of picking up industry accolades, including SRFDA success. Mackie’s Traditional ice cream struck Gold at the 2022 SRFDAs, while the brand’s new White Chocolate & Raspberry flavour went one better this year, claiming one of only seven highly sought after Platinum awards.
In a bid to convert more consumers to the brand and continue its strong growth, this summer Mackie’s has embarked upon its largest marketing campaign to date, with adverts running across ITV1, STV, radio, digital radio, podcasts, programmatic, social and on-demand players.
Mackie’s sustainability initiatives have also played a part in its recent sales successes. Its considerable renewable energy generation capacity has insulated it from the worst of the energy price rises, and recent investment in a low-carbon refrigeration system has reduced its refrigeration-related energy requirements.
This has enabled the Inverurie-based firm to pursue its strategy of soaking up rising costs, rather than passing them on to customers.
Stuart concluded: “Mackie’s has always placed the preferences and concerns of our customers and the climate at the core of its business. Despite these being challenging times for all, we have worked hard to offset cost increases and the growth we’ve enjoyed shows that this was the right strategy.”