Scottish butcher celebrates soaring haggis sales in time for Burns night

Simon Howie

LEADING Scottish butcher Simon Howie is on track for ‘dram good’ sales of haggis this month as millions of families across the UK prepare to celebrate Burns Night.

Staff at the family butcher are working round the clock to deliver over 1.2 million haggis as part of their busiest Burns season yet, equating to a staggering 3.5 million individual plates of Scotland’s traditional dish, and topping the previous record set for sales in 2019 by 200,000.

As sales of haggis have grown, so has the Scottish butcher’s market share with Simon Howie accounting for 53% of total haggis sales during Burns – more than double its nearest competitor1. The brand’s Original Haggis 454g is now the UK’s best-selling haggis.

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 is also toasting a growing taste for the savoury pudding south of the border, with 60% of their haggis now sold in England and Wales, up 6% from the previous year. In recognition of the booming appetite for Scotland’s national dish, Tesco will showcase Simon Howie haggis on the premium end of aisle position in 776 stores across England and Wales for the first time in a deal worth over £670,000 to the Scottish butcher.

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 absolutely 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 another record-breaker as our haggis is put on key promotional space in supermarkets across the country in the run-up to Burns Night. Also helping our sales is the growing popularity of our Vegetarian haggis, which is actually Vegan certified, so we’re starting to see an uptake in new customers trying our products who previously wouldn’t have been able to. 

“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 traditional and vegetarian haggis sales up 14% in 2019.

James Lamont Buying Manager, Local Sourcing at Tesco:“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.”

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.

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