Wrights Food Group develops seasonal products for Marks & Spencer

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Food manufacturing specialist Wright Food Group is supporting the M&S winter sales drive with its development of a range of frozen, ready to bake mince pies and a plant-based sticky toffee pudding.

The M&S Plant Kitchen-branded, vegan sticky toffee pudding and all-butter shortcrust pastry, frozen mince pies, have launched in freezer aisles following six months of npd with Wrights Food Group development chefs and technical teams to meet strict deadlines for nationwide store distribution from 5 October 2020.

Marks & Spencer buyer – frozen, Rebecca Robinson, said: “Increasing our choice of frozen ranges is a priority for our stores as we work to meet rising consumer demand for greater convenience. With quality always at the forefront of our minds, it is imperative we find a supplier which can fulfil our strict brief, offer consistency of results and whose expertise truly adds value to our recipe development process.

“Wrights Food Group, with almost a century of food development, manufacture and distribution expertise have proved themselves the perfect partner in helping us bring to market a high quality vegan sticky toffee pudding – to rival any alternative luxury offer – and a truly exceptional, all-butter pastry frozen mince pie which gives consumers the opportunity to indulge in that important ‘bake at home’ experience.”

She added: “We are very excited to bring both products to market for the winter season in a year when, more than ever, quality comfort foods, convenience and choice matter to our customers – whatever their lifestyle.”

Wrights Food Group is a third-generation family business started in the North West by husband and wife team Jack and Lizzie Wright in 1926. Managed today by chairman Peter Wright, the company operates with a team of 600 across three sites in Crewe, specialising in the manufacture and retail and foodservice distribution of confectionery, savoury bakery products and ready meals.

Commercial director Helen Bowyer said: “As a family-owned business, quality and authenticity is our foundation and we are delighted that our own passion for creating exceptional food has been recognised by Marks & Spencer – a truly iconic, quality British food brand. 

“Our focus in recent years has been on perfecting plant-based products and with a heritage founded on pastry-based foods, our technical and manufacturing capabilities are equipped to manage the complexities of creating a premium, all-butter pastry product.”

She added: “We have every confidence our products will be as popular with the M&S customer as they have been with our critical inhouse tasting panel and we’re looking forward to a continued partnership with M&S in the months and years ahead.”

Wrights Food Group’s £30m manufacturing facility in Crewe produces more than three million savoury products per week including gastro pub pies and ready meals for the retail and hospitality sector. Its vegan range includes a savoury slice, two pies, a vegan sausage roll launched in 2019 and a range of vegan ready meals launched in 2020.  

The M&S Plant Kitchen sticky toffee pudding is a lightly spiced, sticky toffee sponge, topped with a salted caramel sauce. The ready to bake pack of six all-butter, shortcrust pastry mince pies include a mincemeat filling of sultanas, Vostizza currants and raisins. Despatched in sustainable and recyclable packaging the products are now available in-store.