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HECK invests £600,000 in new vegan sausage facility
Major changes in global pork trade has led HECK, the Yorkshire-based sausage maker, to undertake a diversification drive as it pursues new growth opportunities in other areas of the sausage and burger market.
For the first time, family-run HECK has developed a range of frozen plant-based sausages for Holland & Barrett. Packaged in cardboard, the frozen vegan range will be available in over 600 Holland & Barrett stores. HECK has invested £600,000 in new equipment to produce the range at its dedicated vegan facility in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire.
In addition to Holland & Barrett, HECK vegan is also available in over 100 stores in Australia, and talks are ongoing with retailers in the US, Canada and the Far East.
An outbreak of swine fever in China has seen pork prices rocket in the past year. Growing demand for the meat from China is driving up prices across Europe and could put the UK’s pork supply under threat. According to HECK, pork shoulder prices have increased almost 40%, from £1.80 to £2.50 a kilo. As a result, HECK are looking to drive growth in other areas, as the pork crisis is likely to be affecting export for at least 2 years.
Jamie Keeble, co-founder of HECK, said, “Our plant-based range is made by real people and real plants at our dedicated factory, and what’s more, we have spent a huge amount of time and testing to make sure it tastes amazing.
“Companies like Tesco are taking a really entrepreneurial approach and have increased our listings massively in the fresh vegan section. Also, the traditional sausage and burger market is in decline so we are continuing to look at ways to diversify and give sausage lovers something different and fun. We have ramped up our seasonal pork product development and are launching a pork and treacle sausage for bonfire night – Guy Porks. And we are driving new ideas in chicken – a healthy take on a frankfurter – a Chickfurter – which has been launched in Morrisons.”
Showcasing and celebrating one of the nation’s culinary delights, UK Sausage Week returns on 28 October – 3 November.