Lucas Ingredients celebrates 90 years of success

Lucas Ingredients, a producer of quality ingredients, seasonings and mixes for the butchery industry in the UK, is this year celebrating 90 years of operation.

Since it began in 1926, the business said it has continued to innovate cost-effective and reliable products for the industry.

“At Lucas, we’re determined to keep ahead of the market and stay remarkably young and fresh in our ideas and approach,” said Steve Derrick, Lucas’ business development manager. “Producing top-notch ingredients isn’t enough these days: we have to make sure that we work with butchers to develop new recipes, bring new flavours to market and provide the highest level of customer care and support.”

The ingredients manufacturers claimed to have created many ‘firsts’ during the company’s lifespan. This included being the first to develop dried yeastless rusk in its early years.

As far back as the 1920s, butchers would use stale bread from their local bakers to put in their sausages. However, this was inconsistent and difficult to control or monitor the potential growth of mould. After going stale for approximately five to seven days, the loaves would be stripped of their crusts and crumbed. The gathered crumbs would be soaked in water, taking up roughly 1¼ of their own weight in water.

To overcome this, Lucas’ Dried Yeastless Rusk (DYR) was more consistent, easier to use and, at the time, would take up twice its own weight in water, resulting in an improved texture.

On top of this pioneering achievement, Lucas Ingredients was the first manufacturer to create and pack pre-blended seasonings for butchers, originally using ground spices and herbs. The development of seasoning over the years meant flavours could be controlled during the manufacturing, storage and cooking process.

Lucas also boasted the accolade of introducing the first flavoured cure blends into the market. This gave butchers a quick and simple method of home-curing their own bacon.

Independent retailers have been able to benefit from the introduction of Lucas’ Butchers Classic premium range of complete sausage mixes, giving them the freedom to make their own sausages using traditional bread rusk, replicating sausages of days gone by, said the company.
In addition, to help butchers fight back against the multiple supermarkets, Lucas launched a Lucas Kitchen range, enabling the independents to produce their own range of ready meals, including lasagne, meatballs in sauce and pies and pasties.

“Our technical team really is second-to-none, and we enjoy challenging our colleagues in the development lab, encouraging them to come up with fresh flavours that are perfect for today’s customer who is looking for more exotic tastes in everyday meals,” commented Judith Johnston, sales development manager.  

“It’s always worth keeping an eye on our website as we’re launching products on a regular basis and they are quickly featured there. You can also get free samples of many of our seasonings, mixes and coaters by calling our free customer helpline.”

Derrick added: “We’re rightly proud of our business. We enjoy working with butchers and we will continue to support them long into the future.”

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