Sausage firm fastest grower in Yorkshire

Heck Sausages is based at Kirklington, north of Ripon.
Heck Sausages is based at Kirklington, north of Ripon.

A sausage company based near Ripon has been named as the fourth fastest-growing private company in the UK.

Heck, which is based at Kirklington, was also revealed to be the fastest-growing company in Yorshire in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100.

Published this weekend, the 20th anniversary edition of the Fast Track 100 league table ranks Britain’s private companies with the fastest-growing sales.

Founded by husband and wife team Andrew and Debbie Keeble and three of their children in 2013, Heck’s products are now stocked in all of the major supermarkets.

With a team of 70 staff, who have an average age of 25, sales have grown 170 per cent a year to £11.2m this year.

The firm, which also makes makes burgers and meatballs, is now the UK’s number-one premium sausage brand and is on track to generate £18m turnover next year.

Company co-founder Jamie Keeble said: “Our ranking in this year’s Fast Track is a feather in the cap for our whole team who are passionate about making good food and bringing it to as many people across the country as possible.”

The family now owns 40 per cent market share in the high-end sausage category, according to recent Kantar data, and the family business, one of the last independents in the British sausage industry, sells double the volume of its closest competitor, despite charging £1 more per kilo.

The Keebles will build on its success in 2017, when they open their new factory on the site of the old family farm. The facility will be capable of manufacturing 700 sausages a minute and will also include a ‘sausage world’ visitor attraction to give consumers an insight into the production of its sausages.

Heck, which made its debut in the table in 2015, is one of six Yorkshire companies to be featured this year, all of which have been included before.

The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 also featured a Harrogate company. Multi-channel retailer High Street TV was named the third-fastest growing in Yorkshire and ranked 42 in the national table.