22 January 2017

Simply Ice Cream ‘looking forward to Brexit’ as Ashford company anticipates move away from imports

A luxury ice cream maker is “looking forward to Brexit” as it anticipates a move away from imported products made more expensive by the weakened pound. Simply Ice Cream plans to double production after sales grew 20% this year. It has grown turnover to £950,000 so far in 2016 after a 51% growth in revenues over the previous 12 months. The company is set to invest £100,000 – raised without any bank loans – to increase storage and add a second shift pattern at its factory in Bonnington, near Ashford.

It comes after the euro gained nearly 20% in value against the pound following the EU referendum result, with £1 worth less than €1.10 in October, although sterling has since recovered to around €1.19. Many analysts have said this may mean retailers will turn to British produce, where currency fluctuations will not be an issue.

Simply Ice Cream founder and managing director Sally Newall said: “From a British SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) manufacturing point of view, we are actually looking forward to the Brexit implementation. “We believe there will be so many more opportunities as buyers focus on UK producers and away from the import market. We will be able to increase production without jeopardising the genuine handmade integrity of our artisanal product range. We have manoeuvred the company into this position due to the increased demand nationwide as well as own label and export.”

Sales at Simply Ice Cream grew 20% this year Today, its Heavenly Honeycomb Crunch and various other flavours can be found in 500 outlets nationwide, including Waitrose, Ocado and Co-op stores. Each week, the award-winning company produces about 32,000 pots containing 120ml, up 20% on this time last year, plus another 8,000 pots measuring 500ml, up 25% on 2015. The company expects next year to produce another 20% increases in sales, giving bosses a turnover target of more than £1.1 million.