christmas pudding

Family-owned Christmas pudding maker The Ultimate Plum Pudding Company, which supplied Fortnum & Mason, has collapsed after a disappointing festive trading period.

All 20 employees at the Cumbrian company were made redundant after insolvency firm Begbies Traynor was appointed as administrator over The Ultimate Food Company (Kendal) Ltd on 5 February 2018.

The business, established in 1986, produced a range of luxury sponge and Christmas puddings and sauces for high-end retailers and supermarkets, as well as the foodservice and wholesale industries.

It won a contract to supply Fortnum & Mason in Christmas 2012 and followed this up with an Easter pudding and a summer rose petal pudding. It developed the popular ‘Magnificent Christmas Pudding’ for Fortnums, which had a melting gold-flecked brandy butter centre.

Ultimate also partnered with Famous Grouse to make puddings and a whisky butter, as well as producing a range of Sri Lankan chutneys under the Demel brand.

A Begbies spokeswoman said the business suffered from general trading difficulties, including “seasonality”, and increasing input and operating costs as well as a decline in demand.

Joint administrator Ian McCulloch added: “Ultimate was an established, well recognised and highly regarded food manufacturer, which has, unfortunately, ceased to trade due to a number of issues.

“We are currently in the process of marketing the business and assets for sale and, should there be any interested parties, then please get in touch.”

Dean Watson, joint administrator at Begbies, said: “Action has been taken to minimise the impact of the administration on customers and to seek interested parties that may want to continue with this highly respected business. This course of action should assist in maximising the returns to creditors by allowing increased asset realisations.”