Inside Hull's Aunt Bessie's factory at its busiest time of year - as 110 million Yorkshire puddings are made for Christmas

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Dec 2018

It is an age-old question – do Yorkshire puddings have a place at the Christmas dinner table?

There are some who argue that, although being a staple of any good Sunday roast, ‘Yorkshires’ should not make it onto the festive line-up.

One business in Hull though, would argue very differently.

In the run-up to Christmas alone, Aunt Bessie’s produces a staggering 110 million Yorkshire puddings.

Across the whole year, that figure rises to almost 640 million.

Other numbers associated with Aunt Bessie’s are equally unbelievable. Every day, the business uses half a million eggs, 110 tonnes of batter, and 40 tonnes of flower.

And every 1.2 seconds, a bag of Yorkshire puddings is made.

Inside the Aunt Bessie's factory. (Richard Addison)

David Barr has been working at the food giant for 25 years. He started just months before the old Tryton Foods factory – in Derringham Street – burnt down, and Aunt Bessie’s rose from its ashes at its current home in Freightliner Road.

Speaking about the Christmas dinner debate, he said: “There has always been lots of talk about whether people should have Yorkshire puddings.

“I have worked here for 25 years, and I think if you have gravy on your plate, you should have a Yorkshire pudding.

“Everyone needs an extra person at the table, and that person needs to be Aunt Bessie.”

Inside Aunt Bessie's at Freightliner Road. (Richard Addison)

Walking around the Aunt Bessie’s factory, you quickly get a sense of the sheer volume of puddings that roll along the production line.

Batter rolls into ovens which are more than 50m long, and out of the other end come perfectly formed Yorkshires.

The odd one which doesn’t quite make the cut is discarded, with all food waste becoming animal feed.

Read more: Bird's Eye boss speaks out on Aunt Bessie's sale and what it means for Hull

A state-of-the-art machine then sorts the puddings by weight, and drops them into bags ready to be sealed, boxed and sent off to the shops.

Christmas is the busiest period for Aunt Bessie’s, but as Mr Barr explained, the work starts much earlier than when decorations go up.

Shane Howlett and David Barr inside the factory. (Richard Addison)

He said: “We have four pudding lines in the factory. During the summer we only run two, but from August we increase that to three. The last one fires up nearer winter.

“Around 250 people normally work at the company, but we do get some agency workers in to handle the busy period up to Christmas.

“Despite this, we get a decent time off at Christmas. This year we finish early on Saturday, December 22, and we will not be back until January 2 or 3.

“Staff really do need that break though, because they have been working extremely hard to meet the demand.”

Inside the Aunt Bessie's factory. (Richard Addison)

Boasting almost two-thirds of the market share for Yorkshire puddings, Aunt Bessie’s classic pack of 12 Golden Yorkshires are the best-selling of its type in the country.

Looking ahead, Mr Barr said the aim was to “keep bringing Aunt Bessie to more tables.”

He said: “Advertising and marketing is so important. We need to keep getting more buyers of our puddings.

“It is great to see our products in so many supermarkets and shops, but our work is far from done.~

Food News

Source article: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/

Share Article

Grimsby News

Hard Brexit preparations detailed on the Humber as PM's Brexit vote looms

Hull & East Riding News

Marks and Spencer announces plans to shut Hull's Whitefriargate store

Scunthorpe News

Come one, come all... and enter the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards 2019

Your News

Would you want your employees working from home? Read more in our Your News special report