Haggis sales booming

Haggis sales are soaring as the Scottish nation prepares for its annual celebration of Burns’ Night tonight. Haggis sales for 2009 surged by 19% to £8.8m on the previous year, with Scottish leaders proclaiming the increase as a vote of confidence in Scottish produce.

The growing popularity of Scotland's national dish is partly being put down to its use as an ingredient in other dishes and throughout the year, as opposed to just Burns Night.

Demand was also boosted by last year's Homecoming celebrations. The World Famous Burns Supper Celebration, organised by Homecoming Scotland and The Famous Grouse, led to over 3,600 Burns Night suppers, involving over 80 different countries.

And leading haggis-maker, Macsween of Edinburgh, has reported a total sales increase of 20% for 2009, and an increase of 25% in the run-up to Burns Night 2010.

The Scottish executive’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: "Burns Night is always a fitting occasion to celebrate the fact that Scotland is home to some of the finest produce in the world – not to mention some of the best-quality butchers, grocers, supermarkets and delicatessens stocking fresh, locally sourced food.

"The impressive increase in haggis sales suggests demand for our national dish is at an all-time high. Tucking into a plate of delicious haggis, neeps and tatties this Burns Night is also a vote of confidence in our great farmers.”

Laurent Vernet, head of marketing at Quality Meat Scotland, said: "After a busy Christmas period, butchers are gearing up to supply haggis for Burns Suppers up and down the country.

"Over the years, the popularity of Burns Suppers has soared and an important part of the proceedings remains the traditional main dish of haggis, neeps and tatties. Some suppers relegate the haggis to a starter, following it up with a Scotch Beef dish, but for consumers all over the UK, haggis is the main dish of the supper.

"Butchers are also reporting that haggis is increasingly being enjoyed not only on Burns Night, but all year round."

Jo Macsween, director of leading haggis maker, Macsween of Edinburgh, added: "We are celebrating another record year, taking our haggis into new products, new recipes and new shops. Our sales have increased by 25% in the build-up to the 2010 Burns Night, bolstering a total annual sales increase of 20% in 2009.

“This growth has been particularly marked in England and we are also bowled over by the consumer response to our new microwaveable one-minute haggis.”

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