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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 February, 2004, 14:16 GMT
Success for Aunt Bessie
The first frozen Yorkshire pudding made by Tryton Foods was created for a Butlins holiday camp in 1974.

The "ready to bake frozen Yorkshire pudding batters" were an instant success with millions of Butlins holidaymakers.

The bosses back at Tryton realised they were on to something.

Seeing the potential demand for a convenient, taste of home-made food, Tryton Foods launched its frozen Yorkshire pudding onto the consumer market in 1995, under the Aunt Bessie's brand name.

The business has not looked back.

In less than 10 years, the Aunt Bessie's brand has developed sales of over 100m per year.

And the business is expanding at a rate of 33% year on year; that's six times faster than the frozen food sector in general, and it now employs nearly 600 people.

Managing director Neil Sanderson is confident that the business can maintain its growth spurt.

"The UK market has a lot of potential for us.

"We're relatively small still so there's lots of potential to grow, also the product quality is so important to the frozen food consumer so we need to continue with that."

Brand strength

A staggering 50% of British households eat Aunt Bessie puds and the Aunt Bessie's brand of frozen baked and ready to bake Yorkshire puds is a worldwide phenemenon, though most of its customers are still UK-based.

Neil says that the brand is the strength of the business.

"As we grow the brand into new traditional food areas and expand our puddings business we think there's great potential in the market.

"We know that consumers want good quality, home-made tasting foods, and that's what we provide."

Industrial process

Ingredients are weighed by hand

The factory in Hull produces more than 10 million puddings a week but despite large scale mechanisation of the process, the ingredients for the pudding batter are very carefully weighed and mixed by hand.

And quality control is vital to retain that reputation for home-made quality.

Every day a panel of tasters tucks into samples from the previous day's output.

Patricia Pennington of the quality inspection panel says: "We started off with toad in the hole and that was superb.

"We do this exercise every day but I personally only do it once a week, we have a different team each day."

Staffing

With such rapid expansion of the business, keeping up the quality of staff recruited has been paramount.

"We believe that we have some of the best staff in the market place," says Neil Sanderson.

"We've trained as many people as we can and as we've expanded our product base, we've developed our training and our skills base to keep pace with our growth."

As one of the staff, Wilf Green, says, it's very important to have good quality staff.

"If we don't make good Yorkshires, people won't buy them and we'll be out of a job."



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