Asda – Mind the Gap

UK-based Asda Innovation Chef Mark Richmond has come up with a clever way to make sure the classic British mince pies are filled to the brim – eliminating the gap. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed – the private brand Extra Special mince pies have been praised in top Christmas food awards including BBC Good Food, Good Housekeeping and Delicious Magazine.

Mark was inspired by memories of his granny baking mince pies at home. She would always make sure the pies were filled with plenty of mincemeat and the lids of the pies were pressed down to remove any air.

Mark said: “I’ve wanted to reduce the common mince pie air gap for years and this year we finally have.

“We’ve filled the pie with as much mincemeat as possible and used some clever technology to press the lid onto the pie which removes all the air – just like I would when making pies by hand with my granny when I was young.

“It was simply a case of reverting back to my grandma’s kitchen and how she used to close that gap.”

Mark, who’s taste-tested more than 750 mince pies to ensure the mince pie gap closed, said: “The line creates 720 mince pies a minute so we’ve got to get it right. I think even Willy Wonka would be happy with this process!

Our Extra Special mince pies were highly commended in the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Christmas taste test and the 2016 BBC Good Food Christmas Taste Awards. They were also the Supermarket Winner in Delicious Magazine’s Christmas Taste Tests and scooped up an Olive Magazine award.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.