When the chips are down... get out the dips

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FESTIVE celebrations started early for a Lundin Links family business after its award-winning range of dips was launched in Tesco, just a few days before Christmas.

Local entrepreneurs Jeremy and Juliet Williams, along with Juliet’s brother Patrick Gilmour, set up Dip Nation in 2009 and have watched as sales have soared over the past two years.

But the news of Tesco stocking its Chunky Dip range in 62 of its Scottish stores, as of Tuesday of last week, in time for the Christmas holiday rush, really was the icing on the cake for the trio.

Co-founder Juliet said the family were all thrilled with the early present of seeing their dips on the supermarket’s shelves, even if it did mean having to work three times as hard in the run up to the launch.

She added: “We are really delighted. It’s been in the pipeline for a good few months and we found out in October that we would be launching in December. It’s been very exciting, but very busy.

“It’s a big increase in production for us - we are a very small company. It’s just the three of us and, obviously, Tesco is massive. When it told us we would be in 62 stores, we tripled our production overnight.

“Fingers crossed it goes really well. We are also developing some new dips for our independents, as we don’t want to ignore them by any means, because they have been with us for over two years now.”

Dip Nation started with humble beginnings, operating out of a shed, converted into a professional kitchen at Hatton Farm, and the increase in order numbers means it is once again being upgraded.

The dips have proved popular since their launch and, after originally being sold in local farm shops, delicatessens, garden centres and food halls, they have gone on to win a number of the Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards as well as a nomination in the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards.

Using a base of crushed cashews and real Parmesan shavings, the dips are different from their competitors, in that they are that bit thicker, and Patrick, whose background is in ‘cheffing’, has posted a number of recipes on the company’s website showcasing the dip as a main cooking ingredient, adding to its diversity.

The dips, like any new product, will be under review over the next year in Tesco and, to begin with, a selection of flavours, including sweet Thai chilli, roasted butternut and sweet Thai chilli, roasted red pepper, spinach and feta, and sun dried tomato are all available.

Juliet added: “We are extremely proud of our range and the awards they have won, so we are delighted that they will now be more readily available to consumers.”