McKechnie Jess, part of the A P Jess Scottish Food Group, has launched a new range of pakora products as part of its Just Heat and Eat premium range, including a haggis version, which picked up the top accolade of Best Innovative Product at BPEX Foodservice Awards 2013. The launch follows an investment by the Greenock-based meat manufacturing company of more than £500,000 in a new 7.5m state of the art frying line.
Already well known for its ranges of sausages, burgers and puddings, this marks an expansion by McKechnie Jess into ready meals and snack foods. The new range also includes chicken, vegetable and black pudding pakora and onion bhajis, all for oven heating and complete with an Indian sauce dip in 150g packs.
“We were inspired to make the pakora after watching a TV debate about how we eat more curry in Scotland than our national dish, the haggis,” said McKechnie Jess MD Chris McCarthy. “We thought why can’t we combine both? New Group Development Chef, Dave Gannon, is now working with us to help diversify our McKechnie Jess product range.
“Needless to say we are delighted that his first venture with the pakora range has proved award-winning, especially as entries to the innovation category at BPEX were up 50 per cent on last year. We also picked up a gold award for the black pudding variety, one of three we won this year, which we believe is a great reflection on the quality of our products. This brings our total golds to 19 in the past few years.
“Our investment in the new frying line allows us to make a range of crispy battered and crumbed products, including tempura batter and the spicy aromatic pakora batter, and increase capacity by 500 per cent. Our focus is on maximising its potential in a bid for continuous product development and innovation.”
Just Heat and Eat also includes crispy snacks, haggis Balmoral Bites and black pudding Voodoo Bites, loaded with fiery jalapenos. The range is aimed at both retail and food service sectors for starters, snack foods and tapas meals. Sampling is also underway with some of the country’s top supermarket retailers.
As well as meat manufacturing, McKechnie Jess also manages retail distribution for the Group, which has an annual turnover of £20m, employs 140 people and comprises six trading divisions.
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