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Grace providing food for thought!

EXPANSION: Grace Foods

GRACE FOODS’ new CEO says he’s determined to strengthen the Caribbean food brand by bringing its production to more markets here in the UK and in the Far East.

Ryan Mack, who was previously senior general manager at GK Foods (a division of Grace Kennedy), has taken over from Michael Ranglin, who has been promoted to CEO of GK Foods in Jamaica.

Mack told The Voice: “Out of the over 60 markets in which we operate worldwide, this has got to be the most exciting."

BENEFITS

“Grace Foods is moving fast within the UK. We have a strong brand and retailers are really seeing the benefits of truly authentic world foods."

“What we have to offer in the UK is a genuine Caribbean taste, which a number of our competitors do not have, and consumers, especially Jamaicans, know the difference between non authentic Caribbean flavours and the genuine article.”

The married father of two has worked for Grace Kennedy since 1991, but has only been in the UK for five months.

He has held a variety of managerial roles, including general manager of Grace Foods and Services, general manager of World Brands Services, and general sales manager of Grace Foods and Services.

Fifty-year-old Mack has a degree in economics from the University of the West Indies and has studied at Harvard and Stanford universities in the US. He has attributed his new position to hard work.

“I’ve been a part of the Grace Kennedy group for 20 years. I joined back in Jamaica and I’ve gone through several positions, managing other subsidiaries as general manager and all the food companies in Jamaica.”

Offering advice to others who would one day like to have success in business, he said: “You have to be persistent and patient, because every market has it’s challenges."

“But what I have learnt over time is that there are ways around them.”

The food supplier has introduced a new campaign called Penny Pledge, which focuses on improving the education of young children in Jamaica.

Their aim is to raise £10,000 over the next 12 months for The Jamaica Basic Schools Foundation, which works to improve the quality of pre-school education in Jamaica.

Mack said: “To raise these funds, we’ll donate one penny from every case of Grace-branded products sold by Enco Products Limited."

“We want to make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children in Jamaica."

“We endeavour to strengthen our image in the Caribbean market here in the UK.”

Grace is one of the largest ethnic food companies in the UK, and produce some of the top brands on the market, including the leading flavoured milk drink Nurishment.

Their objective is to spread the Grace brand in the UK within the Caribbean community.

Grace is one of the UK’s most progressive food companies, supplying a comprehensive range of specialty and world food products to the retail, wholesale and food service sectors throughout Europe.

Mack added: “Grace never sacrifices quality for price.”

Other popular Grace Foods UK brands are Encona hot pepper sauces, Dunns River and Latin American brands such as Fontinella Olives and Del Sol.

Companies


GIFT: Grace food basket

The company distributes these products through three companies, Asian brand company Chadha, Caribbean and mainstream brand company Enco, and Funny Bones, its food services company that caters to businesses such as restaurants and pubs.

The UK’s growing interest in the Grace brand of products has helped ensure that the company continues to sell thousands of the company’s food and drink products, ranging from Grace ketchup and ginger beer to Grace porridge, rice and peas and Tropical Rhythm packs.

On a recent trip to West Africa, Mack was pleased to see many of Grace’s products on sale in supermarkets.

He said: “Several Ghanaians and Nigerians have been taking their products from the UK back home."

“Grace’s investment in the UK is a step to taking our cuisine to Europe and the Eastern side of the world to ensure an international market.”

One of Grace’s future goals is to win more customers and build on its presence in the wider European Union and in the Middle East.

Grace celebrates its 90th anniversary next year, which coincides with Jamaica’s 50th anniversary of independence.

“Next year is a very exciting year for us and we have a whole lot in store for our consumers for next year.”

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