Championing local food and drink producers
Real Lives Wythenshawe is showcasing local businesses involved in the food and drink industry through a publicity campaign entitled Wythenshawe Hamper.
The campaign aims to increase awareness of the variety of businesses that are based in Wythenshawe, and the opportunities available for retail, distribution and manufacturing companies that may be considering a base in the area.
Thirteen companies have already lent their support, from well-established larger businesses, to sole traders. Duerr’s, the oldest family-owned jam maker in England, has been making preserves for 135 years and is one of the businesses supporting the initiative.
The jam maker’s latest product innovation is half sugar jam, which contains 50 per cent less sugar than the standard products, aims to reflect modern healthy lifestyles. Three flavours are available initially – strawberry, raspberry, and blackcurrant.
Growing business Zymurgorium, the UK's first craft meadery, recognised the renewed passion for all things gin and now produces the popular Original Manchester Gin. Demand for interesting gins, and people wanting to buy from small producers, has driven a near-20% rise in the total amount of the juniper-flavoured spirit sold in the UK.
Domestic gin sales, reported by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, hit £1.2 billion in 12 months (to Sept 2017), with Brits buying the equivalent of over 47 million bottles of gin. This is up 7 million bottles compared to the same period the previous year.
A YouGov poll recently found gin is now the most popular spirit with 29% of drinkers voting it their favourite.
The association also reported that sales of artisan brands are up 167%, compared with a 30% rise in mass-produced brands. Zymurgorium director, Aaron Darke, said:
“The demand for quality, craft gin is showing no sign of slowing – we have a huge demand and have introduced new processes to enable even more efficient production. We’re happy to be part of the Wythenshawe Hamper; it’s about time the spotlight was shone on local businesses that are producing some outstanding products.”
Having commenced operation in Wythenshawe, Zymurgorium has moved recently into new manufacturing premises in Irlam, providing 10,000 square feet of production, distribution and office space.
The Real Food Wythenshawe project has inspired many local people to try their hand at growing their own produce. Darren McKinlay started growing chilli plants in his back garden in Northern Moor as a hobby and agrees that initiatives such as Real Food make a big difference to a community: “It encourages use of fresh, local produce and gives people the confidence to grow their own.”
Darren now produces seven different flavours of chilli jams, two fruit sauces and a tomato chilli sauce, under the brand name of Dude & Dudettes Chilli Jam. He gained his first retail experience at Northenden Hive, a pop-up shop project supported by Northenden Neighbourhood Forum, designed to encourage growing businesses to take their first steps into a high street retail environment.
Organisations involved so far:
- The Flava People
- Himalayas Tea
- The Authentic Food Co.
- Minara Foods
- Northern Grind
- Dude & Dudettes
- Real Food Wythenshawe
- Fozz Bee/Wythenshawe Park Beekeepers
- Baby Bonnet Co.
- Healthy Food Brands