Bells Food Group staff produce Scotch pies at its bakery unit in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

Source: Bells Food Group

Bakery staff produce Bells Scotch pies at its site in Shotts, Lanarkshire.

Scotch pie makers Bells Food Group is launching a £250,000 investment programme this weekend to increase its manufacturing capacity.

The Lanarkshire-based firm said a new state-of-the-art oven was at the heart of its investment, giving it the ability to bake an additional 100,000 pies a week. It currently bakes around 16 million Scotch pies annually.

“Our most recent investment will see us significantly increase the quantity of pies we can bake in the factory and will enable us to meet projected increased demand for the years ahead,” said Bells managing director Ronnie Miles.

Bells marked its first foray into the frozen category in April with the unveiling of a new range of frozen bake-at-home pies. The family-run business had also won a major contract the previous month to supply 5.5 million packs of own-label pastry to 862 Tesco stores across the UK.

In addition to its investment news, Bells revealed it had retained its fourth spot in a list of most chosen Scottish brands. The ranking was according to the 2023 Kantar Scotland Brand Footprint report, which orders shoppers’ most chosen food and drink brands over the past year based on penetration and frequency of purchase per household.

“We’re really proud to be in Scotland’s top five, alongside esteemed brands such as Irn Bru, Graham’s, Tunnock’s and Mackie’s,” commented Miles. “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.

Kantar Worldpanel strategic insight director Lesley Ann Gray noted that the enduring stability of the Scottish top five brands is a reminder that brand-building is a long-term game.

“The growth stories behind the brands all reflect the same theme – winning more shoppers by giving them more reasons and opportunities to buy,” she added. “Creating that virtuous circle of rising shopper engagement, sales, and in-store presence takes time, clarity of direction and investment.”