England’s taste for haggis continues to rise as leading Scottish butcher Simon Howie, which makes the UK’s best-selling haggis, gets ready to deliver over 720,000 savoury puddings to supermarkets in England for Burns Night.
Almost two thirds of the haggis Simon Howie makes is now sold outside Scotland and sales of haggis across the board were up 14% in England during Burns last year, compared to an increase of just 1.6% in Scotland.
As a result of the growing popularity of haggis south of the border, the Scottish butcher is anticipating sales of over 1.2 million individual haggis during Burns this year, topping the previous record set in 2019 by 200,000.
Supermarket Tesco has responded to hungry customers and will showcase Simon Howie’s Original Haggis 454g on the premium end of aisle position in 776 stores in England and Wales for the first time.
Ahead of Burns Night this Saturday, Tesco has also revealed that Geordies have a particular taste for Scotland’s national dish. Based on 2019 sales during Burns, shoppers in North East England bought the most haggis, with Tesco Extra in Newcastle selling the highest volume during Burns last year.
Simon Howie commented: “Since becoming the UK’s best-selling haggis brand four years ago, we have continued to see double digit growth year on year. It is absolute testament to my hard-working team and the strength of relationship that we have with all the retailers that this year is set to be a another record breaker as our haggis is put on key promotional space in supermarkets across the country in the run up to Burns Night.
“We are absolutely delighted with sales so far this January and are working round the clock to deliver the 1.2 million haggis forecast for Burns.”
January is the busiest month of the year for the Perthshire butcher, however an increasing number of people across the UK are enjoying haggis not just for Burns, with full year sales up 14% in 2019.
James Lamont, Buying Manager Local Sourcing at Tesco said: “While haggis is known as the national dish of Scotland – it’s been the case for quite some time that more haggis are sold in England than Scotland each year and that Burns Night is very much a nationally celebrated event – and not just by Scots living South of the border. It is a brilliant result for both Tesco and Simon Howie to be working together and offering our customers in England and Wales great value, with the Original 454g Haggis on offer in stores across the south for the two weeks leading up to Burns Night. This highlights our commitment to fully support regional brands that hold national appeal.
“When we looked at sales figures from England for last year, it was interesting to see that Tesco Extra in Newcastle sold the highest volume of haggis during Burns night, and that these sales are in fact at the same level as our stores in Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Before we looked at the figures, we thought it might be one of our stores in London, but in fact it’s the Geordies who have a particular taste for this Scottish delicacy.”
Meanwhile, the growing trend for vegan and vegetarian diets, evidenced by the thousands of people taking part in Veganuary, has prompted a spike in the popularity of meat-free haggis. Sales of Simon Howie’s Vegetarian Haggis, which is Vegan certified by the Vegetarian Society, were up by 31% across the UK in 2019 and the butcher is forecasting a further increase in sales this year.
Simon Howie continued: “Also helping our sales is growing popularity of our Vegetarian Haggis, which is actually Vegan certified, so we’re starting to see a lot of new customers trying our products that previously wouldn’t have been able to.”
The Perthshire butcher has also released a new series of short videos featuring cameos from Simon Howie himself as part of its Burns Night campaign.
Issued by BIG Partnership on behalf of Simon Howie