Tilly Confectionery, the Tillicoultry based confectionery manufacturer is facing its biggest challenge to date as it struggles to identify a suitable site on which to build its new factory to enable the company to take on the potential new business which has been secured.
At the moment the company supply to the four major supermarket chains in the UK. Sales are strong and the company is working together with the supermarkets to increase depth of distribution. In addition they also supply to a range of food outlets and tourist attractions across Scotland and the UK.
The Company began trading with Germany and Cyprus earlier this year and also supply Oman in the Far East.
Tilly Confectionery has recently secured listings with Sainsburys, Scotmid and Wholefoods Market. There is potential for the Company to be asked by the Wholefoods market to supply to their American stores, which represents the core of their business. Wholefoods have a strong ethos as a company that all produce sold by them should be free from additives, preservatives and artificial colours.
It was a tremendous boost for the Company to be asked to supply Wholefoods as it re-enforces Tilly Confectionery’s clean label image.
There has also been interest in another importer from America and the Company has identified a huge opportunity to expand internationally by breaking into the market in China.
The increase in existing business has had an impact on the factory presently used by the company and they now urgently need to move to larger purpose built premises to allow them to move forward and meet the increase in production which has recently been secured. It will also allow the company to develop their already expanding range.
Tilly Confectionery is determined to keep the business in Clackmannanshire, however, if it can’t secure the right premises, production of the world famous bars will have to be moved to one of the food parks elsewhere in Scotland, meaning a loss of jobs and also the potential to have an interesting tourist attraction in the area.
Peter Paterson, founder and joint Managing Director of Tilly Confectionery commented; “The potential for our business is enormous, considering 90% of our customer base at the moment is Scottish. We already supply 200 stores in England and our sales potential is very promising, both in the UK and abroad. We are working with Clackmannanshire Council to secure a site which must be large enough for further expansion and to accommodate our potential growth and offer us the opportunity to create a visitor centre with car parking facilities. We feel strongly that the potential for tourism and bringing visitors to Clackmannanshire is huge and we want to be part of that experience and put Clackmannanshire firmly on the map. If we were able to secure the right site, we could produce around 5 million confectionery bars per year and boost the local economy by doubling or even trebling our work force – a real success for Clackmannanshire. If not, sadly we may have to move our business out of the county which is absolutely the last thing we would want.”
Talking about the appeal of our confectionery bars he said, “We have never compromised our products but maintained the original recipe during the period when dairy prices increased considerably. Over our 13 years of trading, the level of quality and care we put into each bar has remained consistent and uncompromised.”