CATCH THE BUZZ – I Investigated The Honey Market And Thought It Could Do With A Different Approach.

Hilltop Honey founder Scott Davies.

  A young honey-making entrepreneur in Wales, who started his business in the back yard of his parents’ home, has landed a deal to supply 500 stores operated by the giant UK supermarket chain Tesco.

    Hilltop Honey was founded back in 2011 when Scott Davies was recovering from a back injury received playing rugby. Part of his rehabilitation saw him walking to the end of his parents’ garden where there was a beehive.

    Davies became fascinated with the bees and started beekeeping.

   “I investigated the honey market and thought it could do with a different approach,” he says. “I have established Hilltop Honey as a premium brand of honey from around the world and we pride ourselves on the quality.”

   He supplied the first jars of raw honey to a local shop in his hometown and within a week all had been sold. Next, he toured food festivals up and down the country and met the same demand.

   In 2015, Hilltop Honey became the first raw honey in the supermarkets when listed with Tesco and a year later with the Sainsburys chain.

   Hilltop Honey, started with a £5,000 (US$6,620) overdraft from his bank, now sells raw honey across Britain to delis, health shops, farm shops and supermarkets.

   The Walesonline website reports the latest deal sees Hilltop, based in Newtown, 100 miles north of Cardiff, supplying three more products – Raw Acacia Honey, Raw Lavender Honey and Cut Comb in Acacia Honey – to 500 Tesco stores.

   It follows a 40% growth in Hilltop sales at Tesco in the past year.

   The company also exports to China, Hong Kong, United States, Pakistan, South Africa, Japan and across mainland Europe.

   The company, which expects to double turnover again this year, is no stranger to success, having won a coveted Golden Fork Award for its Thyme Honey, judged the best ambient food product at last year’s Great Taste Awards, the Oscars of the food world.

   Davies, 29, now longer works from his parents’ home.

    A recent £750,000 (US$992,810), expansion project also saw him move out of his 2,500 sq. ft. headquarters into a new 14,000 sq. ft. production base.

   The company’s Welsh Wildflower Honey was used to create special chocolate truffles for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

   Hilltop Honey recently teamed up with new film Goodbye Christopher Robin with on-pack promotion offering consumers the chance to win a luxury vacation to the place where the stories were based.

    The film gives a glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh, the bear that loved honey.

   Vic Llewellyn, head of UK brand promotions at Twentieth Century Fox, says A. A. Milne’s stories are synonymous with a love of honey and so Hilltop Honey with their range of British, award-winning premium honeys felt like a very natural fit with the film.

   “Five years ago, I walked into Newtown to sell my first four jars of honey on a sale or return basis in the vegetable shop,” he says. “Now I’m supplying thousands of jars to customers across the UK and even as far away as New York and the Far East, which is incredible.”