Bells Food Group awarded Tesco own-label pastry contract

Bells Food Group awarded Tesco own-label pastry contract

Ronnie Miles

Lanarkshire-based Bells Food Group, which bakes 16 million Scotch pies annually, has been awarded a major contract to supply own-label pastry to Tesco stores throughout the UK, creating 15 additional jobs.

The contract will see five and a half million packs of puff pastry made by Bells across five different formats – including ready roll, block and Tesco Finest butter pastry - sold in 862 UK-wide Tesco stores. The pastry has started appearing on Tesco shelves.

Bells Food Group began making pastry in 1955 when Donald Bell was on holiday in England and saw a packet of ready-made pastry in a grocery store. Not a product that was sold in Scotland, Donald saw the market opportunity and introduced Bells ‘Special’ Puff Pastry which was sold to grocery stores, through its retail vans and in butchers’ shops to complement stewing steak sales.

Ronnie Miles, managing director of Bells Food Group, said: “This is a significant achievement for the business and down to the quality of the products, the team at Bells and the trust that Tesco has invested in us to deliver this contract which will double the turnover of our Dykehead Bakery.

“This news follows a successful period for Bells on the back of increased sales and brand innovation which secured third place in Scotland’s top 50 food and drinks brands1.”

Philip Wilson, buying manager for Pastry at Tesco, added: “Tesco has a long history of supporting the Scottish food and drink sector and a long history of working with Bells. It’s great to see these two things come together with Bells now supplying Tesco own label across the UK. We look forward to serving our customers across the UK a fantastic pastry.”

The 3rd generation family-owned baker is over 90 years old and was established in 1931 by David Bell encouraging his son Donald to bake scones and pancakes to sell door to door. As success grew and the business developed, more family members joined.

Today it has annual turnover of around £26 million, employs around 220 colleagues, has 60% of the hot pie market in Scotland and operates two bakeries and a distribution centre in Shotts.

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