Andrew Keeble and Debbie Keeble - Founders, HECK Food
When Andrew and Debbie Keeble sold their eponymous sausage brand in 2005, they hadn’t yet fulfilled their ambition to change the industry. So, in 2013, they started premium sausage maker HECK Food. The company employs all four of the founders’ children, and has won 50pc market share with its tasty, high quality products and cheeky branding. Now at £25m in revenue, the pair hope to reach £100m, and have started exporting as far afield as Australia. “Because we are a family business, we make decisions really quickly – no one has to wait for some financial controller to sign off,” Andrew explains.
What’s your USP?
Andrew: We are the most expensive sausage on the shelf, so we have proved that people will pay more for good food. Many of our competitors, who were beating themselves up on price, have gone now. For supermarkets, we are great suppliers because we run seven days a week and can scale up or down quickly to keep wastage low. Because we are a family business, we also make decisions really quickly – no one has to wait for some financial controller to sign off.
Where will growth come from over the next five years?
Andrew: We’re in 4million households and we represent 50pc of the UK’s premium sausage market now but there’s still huge potential for us to grow. We recently moved into food service and we have started exporting to Europe and Australia. Our vegetarian range is only 5pc of the business. Within 18 months we expect that to rise to 20pc. We’re going to add some vegan lines. We are also moving into products for gut health, like bone broth.
What’s your own personal ambition?
Andrew: We’ll hit £30m in turnover next year and we’ll be £50m by 2022 but I want to reach £100m. Beyond that, I feel very lucky to work with my family. My children are all grown up, yet I get to see them every day in the business. I’m so proud to have achieved that.
“Our mantra here is ‘What the heck!’ Saying that gives you freedom, freedom brings opportunity and opportunity creates your future. We live and breathe that here.”
Andrew Keeble, Co-Founder, HECK Food