Grocers & General Stores News
4 December 2006: The Mey Selections winning team scooped the Best New Beef Product Award for their recently launched Sainsbury's Taste The Difference Mey Selections Meatballs. At an awards dinner and presentation ceremony at London's Sheraton Park Lane Hotel, the prize was accepted by Anna Grundy and Amy Brech (Product Development) from Sainsburys, Dermot Slade, Development Chef at Dunbia, and John Strak, Managing Director of North Highland Products Ltd.
Mey Selections - the premium product brand launched just over a year ago - was commended in the New Business Award category at the second Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Forum Awards, 2006, held at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness. The Award, sponsored by Aquascot Ltd, was presented for the contribution that Mey Selections has made to the North Highlands food and drink economy.
The latest new store to open at the Wick Retail Park opened with bang offering up to 60% off normal prices. The new store is the sixth one to open at the retail park at Wick's South Road.
Mey Selections beef and lamb, which is available in a growing number of Sainsbury's stores, was the focus of a special training day, held last week at the Park Lane Marriott Hotel in London, for the company's meat buyers, counter and fresh foods managers. Over 50 Sainsbury's senior counter staff, buyers and food technologists heard Justin James, the company's category manager for meat, say that the supermarket group was fully committed to promoting the brand.
North Highland Products - the operating company for the Mey Selections brand - has reported turnover of over £1.2m in its first five months of operation, with over £140,000 gained in premium payments to farmers by the end of March this year for branded beef and lamb. Mey Selections was launched by The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay in August 2005 as part of his North Highland Initiative, which aims to boost the North Highlands economy by promoting its produce, tourism and the built environment.
A new soft blue cheese Highland Blue, specially developed by Tain cheese-maker Rory Stone for the North Highland Initiative's Mey Selections brand, is set to become a national festive favourite following a Gold medal-winning launch at the recent Cheltenham Cheese Festival. The flavour and quality of the new soft blue cheese, described as: 'Tangy and long; a soft rich blue with creamy notes and a mellow aftertaste', has now attracted the attention of buyers from food retail giant Sainsbury who have launched it on their delicatessen counters in 23 Sainsbury stores in time for the festive season.