With Christmas fast approaching, a time of year when fresh food sales soar for all retailers including convenience and specialist stores, we caught up with one of our top chilled suppliers.
Country Puddings has a range of products which regularly appear in our best seller lists and Christmas is set to be no different! With the combination of the demand for puddings and custards at this time of year and a fantastic festive range.
Based in the Lake District and a true home-grown business, Country Puddings was created in 2000, when farmer’s wife, Lynne Mallinson started making sticky toffee pudding for her local farm shop in Penrith. Today, the company makes a sumptuous range of steamed and baked, crumbles and rice puddings together with that all important traditional pudding accompaniment, vanilla custard.
So we caught up with Lynne on all things Christmas…
When do preparations for Christmas begin?
“Right about now! October half term sees the beginning of the busy period for orders which continues to ramp up more and more through to the end of December. Christmas is a particularly busy period where we also see an increase in pre-orders and have much more communication with customers like Cotswold Fayre. We also have to work hard to react fast to keep up with the increase in orders over the Christmas period – we may be a small team of eight but we’ve got a large kitchen!”
What are your best selling products?
“Our creamy vanilla custard is absolutely our best-seller, all year round! In fact, sales of our creamy vanilla custard make up 40% of total sales overall, with the remaining 60% coming from all 18 items of our range of puddings combined.”
Do you have any limited edition products for Christmas?
“Although our traditional custard and creams remain popular at Christmas, we of course produce a seasonal special Brandy Sauce. This is based on a similar recipe to the vanilla custard favourite, but includes double cream and brandy. We tend to start making our Brandy Sauce at the end of November to hit the peak demand, as it’s a fresh, chilled item with a 28 day shelf life.”
Can you offer any advice to retailers stocking your products?
“In terms of displaying our products in store, we understand that in store displays are much more limited with products in the chiller than with ambient, so we leave it open to retailers as chiller space varies from store to store. Generally, it’s a great idea to stock custards and creams next to puddings to encourage sales of the pairing and for customer convenience. It’s difficult to be creative displaying in a chiller, but we find our products sell themselves – especially at Christmas when everyone craves a warm, comforting pudding or crumble and custard!”
As a chilled food wholesaler, we have an extensive Christmas range of the finest quality, delicious chilled groceries including deli meat and fish, dairy, desserts and more! You can view the full chilled Christmas range here or call us on 03452 606060.