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Master Confectioners Ultimate English Seek Growth From North West’s ‘Independent Renaissance’

Master confectioners The Serious Sweet Company, are prioritising towns across the North West as they roll out a plan of sales support and expansion through premium independents and speciality food retailers.

The North West has been targeted as a ripe prospect, as the evolution in 'little and often' shopping boosts a renaissance for independent retailers that has contributed to a rise in the number of national UK farm shops of 1.3% from 14/15, compared to a -6% contraction for supermarkets for the same period(1).

Analysts cite product innovation, broad ranging, price perception and the quality endorsement of a trusted local independent retailer as securing basket spend – all areas which play to strengths for Ultimate English, given their innovative portfolio, their heritage and commitment to the finest ingredients and traditional methods.

With 10,917 new independent retailers in the North West during 2014 – a 110% rise over the past five years(2) – the region is being targeted before an agreement with national speciality and fine foods distributor Hider Foods extends availability UK-wide later in the year.

The sales support will offer independent retailers across the North West one-to-one merchandising and tasting sessions to capture a share of the £3.3bn UK impulse confectionery market(1).

The Ultimate English range, which offers traditional confectionery with a modern twist, is rapidly gaining followers, with over 300 independent stockists on board across the UK. Whilst the brand is just one year old, the Serious Sweet Company has over 150 years' experience in crafting and refining their trade using only the best ingredients, time-honoured recipes and traditional techniques.

Managing Director of The Serious Sweet Company, Rob Whitehead, said: "The market has presented us with the perfect opportunity for Summer 2015 to entice those more premium family-owned SMEs such as farm shops and delicatessens in the North West to profit from the growing consumer appetite for hand-made, luxury confectionery with a prestige heritage. We've a really vibrant selection with flavours and variants designed to sate the most discerning appetites with tantalising and timeless tasty treats. We're always on the hunt for palate-challenging combinations and are excited to discover the North West's foodie scene as well as meeting more people seeking something really different and unique for an Ultimate English experience."

Since last year's launch at the BBC Good Food Show, Ultimate English has gone from strength-to-strength and the team are excited to see what sweet-lovers in the North West make of their recently extended range.

From fiery ginger fudge to cool lemon coconut ice and creamy cashew crunch to chocolate covered honeycomb nuggets; the range provides much-loved classics and old favourites with new twists. In Spring 2015, the Ultimate English range expanded to include a Yorkshire-inspired rhubarb coconut ice using rhubarb grown in the heart of the UK's rhubarb triangle by celebrated farmer D Westwood & Sons. The flavour of the coconut ice is authentic with a nostalgic nod towards the childhood-cherished rhubarb crumble.

Ultimate English new edition ginger fudge takes its sweet and spicy inspiration from the well-known and loved Yorkshire parkin, a treat enjoyed on bonfire night, which can now be enjoyed all year round. Sea Salt Caramel Fudge rounds off the new product trio with its salty and sweet combination, inspired by range's existing award-winning Salt Water Chocolate Truffle Fudge. The team hopes to find even more inspiration from across the Pennines for future product developments.

The Ultimate English website includes details and information regarding all current stockists. For more information visit @UltimateEng


1 Figures from William Reed Media
2 The Grocer Category Report on Confectionery
3 Simply Business High Street Tracker

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