Australian pudding producer takes out prestigious UK award

Posted by James Ferre on 12th September 2008

They are a nation that love their Christmas puddings, but even the Brits have acknowledged that Aussie company Pudding Lane make a great pudding by awarding the company a gold standard at the UK Great Taste Awards, in London this week.

Pudding Lane CEO Michael Jameson said that this is the first time in the 15 year history of the prestigious awards that a company outside of UK/ Europe has been awarded a gold for puddings. “I think we really stood out in a market full of middle-of-the-road mass produced and marketed puddings being offered- people just want and appreciate better quality,” he said. “We won the award for a truly Australian pudding, our boiled in the cloth, hand made, Macadamia and Brandy Pudding- A product that is 100% Australian combining the best local ingredients including macadamia’s from Queensland and brandy from the Barossa Valley.”

The company, who only sent their first shipment to the UK for Christmas 2007, already has their sights set on sending 8 tonnes for this year and are now planning to the “first dedicated pudding kitchen”.

“It’s really exciting to see the growth of Pudding Lane -for Christmas 2006 we hand-made 49.7 tonnes, for Christmas 2007 -65 tonnes and the 2008 Forecast is almost 80 tonnes,” Mr Jameson said. “We have grown so much we’ve had to build a new pudding kitchen to help increase our capacity to approximately 200 hand made tonnes. When the kitchen is complete it will be the first dedicated pudding kitchen of its kind in Australia.”

The company got a leg up into the UK market with the help of Austrade. “Austrade helped us with pricing, UK meetings and introductions, they sent samples to key buyers, in-market analysis and marketing opportunities, all based on the existing relationships developed and maintained by the credibility of the Austrade banner,” Mr Jameson noted. “Austrade carries substantial credibility and we were glad to have their support.”

Austrade Chief Economist Tim Harcourt congratulated Pudding Lane for winning such a prestigious award in an incredibly competitive market.

“Pudding Lane really are producers of the “magic pudding”- taking a fantastic product from regional Australia and competing successfully in an incredibly competitive and saturated market,” said Mr Harcourt. “Like Norman Lindsay, the creator of the iconic “the magic pudding” story in Australian’s children’s literature, they are pioneers who have really listened to what the UK market wants and provided a product with an unblemished and quality provenance. They are innovators, at the forefront of minimising their carbon footprint, and using that as a marketing point of difference to a highly environmentally conscious UK customer.

Pudding Lane has set exacting standards with their environmental and corporate social responsibility policies. Their packaging is made from 100% recycled material- and is hand stitched by a local charity group – The House with No Steps. The only disposable part of the pudding making process is a short piece of twine used to tie the pudding cloth up with for cooking.

They recycle 100% of any cardboard and paper packaging (like flour bags, fruit & egg cartons) created in making the puddings and they use a specially designed environmentally friendly gas fired coppers. They also do not use any automated processes, no production lines, no electric steam ovens, no plastic basins, plastic bowls or moulds to shape the puddings. They support as many local producers/businesses as they can such as bakeries and egg suppliers.

“It’s a model that many Australian businesses could learn from and with the growing concern in the UK and many European nations about “food miles” it’s very important for businesses wanting to compete there to be able to articulate their sustainability position.”