Vegetable demand pushes up sales at Mash Direct
AGRI-food firm Mash Direct has added £2 million to its turnover in its current financial year following soaring demand for prepared vegetables.
The sixth-generation family-run Comber firm achieved sales growth of 9 per cent in the financial year to February 2021.
Despite the impact of the Covid pandemic on the food service sector and the company's cost base, Mash Direct still managed to achieve growth in sales and maintain gross profit margins.
Overall sales for the Mash Direct range grew by 9 per cent, which was more than double the growth of the ready meals category (3.6 per cent) in the UK.
The growth in sales was supported by a £7.5 million investment into the business by Mash Direct in the last year, which has served to increase factory capacity and staffing levels. It also helped the brand continue its pledges to bolster its sustainability credentials, commitments which have seen it secure listings with Co-Op and Morrisons in recent months.
That has also allowed an increase in salary costs to attract new talent and deliver further growth, with 31 new positions being created in the last 12 months including production management at the factory's new fry line and roles within IT, health & safety, HR, and marketing.
The brand's factory expansion and new office build is now complete, with modernisation techniques including packing robots already installed. The farm has grown from farming 70 acres in 2003 to 1,600 acres in 2021.
Jack Hamilton, chief executive at Mash Direct, said: “Fundamental to our growth strategy is a continual commitment to innovation and expanding our team, our capabilities, and our sustainability.
“As a result, our sales growth exceeded 9 per cent in the year ending February 2022, despite the global pandemic.
“We are looking forward to continuing to invest in our business and our people here at Mash Direct, alongside our commitment to being even more sustainable as a company.”