A mother of three is bidding to raise the health and quality profile of the frozen food industry by starting a company producing dishes suitable for, and named after, her own family.
Wensleydale Foods, a newly set up company in North Yorkshire, is launching frozen ready meals and desserts aimed at children and the elderly.
The products, which consist of six savoury pies and three traditional puddings, are named after Betty and Lucy Guy, two of the children of founder and MD Elizabeth Guy, who provided inspiration for the recipes.
They use locally sourced ingredients, contain no artificial colours or flavours and are marketed as better for you, premium alternatives to mass-
produced ready meals. The company even bakes its own bread to make breadcrumbs, to ensure no preservatives slip through the net.
The products are produced at the company’s purpose-built factory, and the company is currently on a recruitment drive to boost production.
Guy, a former delicatessen owner, said the recipes had been formulated as high-quality, everyday food. “The ethos of a ready meal is that it is an everyday food.”
Betty Guy’s mash topped pies, which come in 300g servings (rsp: £2.85-£3.25) and a 600g family size (rsp: £5.55-£6.35), are available in flavours such as Chicken & Broccoli, Squeaky Lamb, Wensleydale Sausage and Sunny Bean. Lucy Guy’s puddings consist of Chocolate Puddle, Lemon Curd and Sticky Toffee (rsp: £1.95 for 200g).
Packaging was developed with parents and the older generation in mind, with black and white images of the Guy children. Wensleydale Foods hopes for a national roll-out later in the year. It is also planning a range of casseroles for adults in the spring.
Pilgrims Choice is back on TV from Monday (September 12) with an ad featuring a series of tempting dishes incorporating the Cheddar. The ad, which will run for four weeks and target audiences in London, the South East, Anglia and Meridian regions, demonstrates the versatility of the cheese and is designed to introduce the most popular flavours to new, younger consumers.
Stefan Chomka