Pork producer: ‘We’ll continue to innovate’

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A meat firm boss has claimed innovation through new product development (NPD), and improved shelf-life and packaging, will allow his business to grow both supermarket sales and its own retail arm.

In this exclusive interview, Chris Hayman, md at Dicksons Pork Butchers, believed that a strong focus on NPD – helped by a new area dedicated to product development – meant the north-east producer was able to meet ever-evolving customer demands.

The family-owned company currently makes around 300 products, ranging from sausages, saveloys, pork pies and pasties, to pease pudding salads and coleslaw.

Hayman said: “We have our NPD facilities that we invested in, and we also recruited an NPD manager. That’s seen us launch a new sausage roll in Asda. We’ve also created an individually-boxed deep-fill pie range, which is fantastic quality.

30 butcher’s shops

Dicksons operates 30 butcher’s shops, primarily in Tyne and Wear – and while the target is to reach 40, Hayman suggested there was “no reason to stop at that point”.

He said: “That’s almost a benchmark for us to stop and say where we are as a business. But things will continue to grow – they will continue to grow with the retailers, either through improving the shelf-life or the quality of packaging, and we’ll continue to innovate as we go along.

“But we shouldn’t forget in all this is that we’ve also got the capacity to produce new products in line with customer demands as well.

To read more about how Dicksons has grown to become a recognised name in the north-east – part of our ‘Me and My Factory’ series of profiles – order your copy of the March issue of Food Manufacture magazine .

Seabrook Crisps

Meanwhile, the boss of a West Yorkshire crisp-making firm has claimed his time working on the shopfloor helped him overcome a negative culture between factory workers and management.

In this exclusive video, Daniel Woodwards, chief operating officer at Seabrook Crisps, explained how closer co-operation and engagement with staff has benefited the business, which has added £5M to its turnover since his arrival in 2012.

Do you and your factory have a story to tell? If you think you would make a suitable Me and My Factory candidate, Food Manufacture’s associate editor Noli Dinkovski would love to hear from you.

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