"Marks & Spencer is synonymous with quality food retail and is such a part of our shopping and food culture that the brand has long been a real target for our team to partner with."
Food specialists at Crewe-based food manufacturer Wrights Food Group have created two new winter product lines for Marks & Spencer.
Teams across the 600-strong business have pooled their expertise to develop the UK’s first frozen vegan sticky toffee pudding which is being sold as part of the M&S ‘plant kitchen’ collection and a range of traditional, frozen, ready to bake mince pies.
The products, which have been developed over six months at the £30million Wrights Food Group’s Weston Road manufacturing facility, are being showcased on social media by Paddy McGuinness and Amanda Holden as part of the #MyMarksFave social media Instagram campaign and are now in freezer aisles with full distribution across more than 600 M&S food stores in the UK.
Wrights Food Group commercial director Helen Bowyer said: “Marks & Spencer is synonymous with quality food retail and is such a part of our shopping and food culture that the brand has long been a real target for our team to partner with.
“Since meeting the buyer in March we have sourced, developed, tasted, tested and finally presented our all butter pastry mince pies and our vegan sticky toffee sponge with a salted caramel sauce. We rely on the expertise of our staff from development chefs to production operatives to produce all our quality foods. It’s been a full team effort and everyone’s had a part to play in ensuring products developed, made, packaged and distributed here in Crewe, are being enjoyed in M&S customers’ homes across the country.”
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.
Marks & Spencer buyer, Rebecca Robinson, said: “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’s three-site 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 the freezer aisles of Marks & Spencer stores across the UK.