Record ice cream sales for Mackie's over bubble tea popularity
A Scottish ice cream producer says its popularity in an East Asian drink is behind record sales of more than £15m.
Mackie's of Scotland has seen growth of more than 100% in export sales to the region after its product became a popular ingredient in bubble tea.
The sweet drink, which is mixed with tapicoa balls, is said to be a bit like an ice cream milkshake.
Mackie's said its traditional ice cream, which has no vanilla, makes it perfect for the drink.
The Aberdeenshire company said its sales reached £12.7m in 2017/18, and they attributed that to a hot summer in the UK.
But sales exceeded £15m for the first time in 2018/19, hitting £15.4m.
The firm said sales would go towards growing the business. It has invested in new equipment to make its mini tubs and hired 19 more members of staff, taking its employee count to 89.
It has also diversified into chocolate-making.
Stuart Common, of Mackie's, said: "We're certainly not one of the giant ice cream producers, so competition can be tough.
"But thanks to continued support for our traditional recipe that we make on the family farm here in Scotland, and the relationships we're building in East Asia as they get a taste for our product, we've had some great successes.
The family farm, near Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, has produced ice cream since 1986 with milk and cream from their herd.