In this edition of the manufacturer close up, we head to Hargrave, a beautiful village in Northamptonshire. Home to Farrington Oils’ cold pressed rapeseed oil, dressings and mayonnaises, the Mellow Yellow brand is skyrocketing in popularity.
We chat to founder Duncan Farrington about how it all started and what the plans are for the future.
What’s your background?
I was born and raised on Bottom Farm and after university I joined the family farming business as a fourth-generation farmer. I quickly identified that we needed to diversify if the family business was going to last another four generations. I revisited my university research on rapeseed oil and following years of research, launched Mellow Yellow in 2005.
Tell me more about Mellow Yellow
Mellow Yellow is Britain’s first ‘seed to bottle’ cold pressed rapeseed oil. It has many fantastic culinary properties and nutritional benefits, with a delicious subtle nutty flavour.
We’ve won dozens of awards including prestigious Great Taste awards, which shows our peers recognise the quality.
Above: Duncan Farrington, founder of Farrington Oils
The growth has been excellent and we now produce as many bottles in one day as we did in our first year.
What is one usage for your products that people often haven’t heard of?
Our honey & mustard dressing makes a brilliant cooking sauce! Although fantastic for salads in the warm summer months, the dressing can be used all year round. In addition, it makes a great sauce for cooking with because it has no additives or preservatives. We love it poured over chicken thighs and vegetables, then roasted in the oven to make a delicious honey & mustard one-pot dish.
What makes your product range different?
It’s a very versatile oil to cook with and is perfect for roasting, frying, baking or dressing. It is also great at high temperatures thanks to its high smoke point. In addition, Mellow Yellow has half the saturated fat of olive oil, and 10 times the Omega 3, making it brilliant for heart health.
Pictured left to right: Mellow Yellows Rapeseed Oil, Chilli Oil, Classic Vinaigrette and Honey & Mustard Dressing
You have an amazing story – how much does that help to promote the brand?
Our story is incredibly valuable. History is something you cannot buy and we are fortunate to have an interesting and engaging tale to tell. It helps set us apart from competitors and people remember our brand not just for the products, but our story as well.
On the retail side, you supply the likes of Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons. Tell us more about the foodservice side of your operations.
We made the decision two years ago to focus on foodservice alongside retail. We now supply several wholesalers, regional and national, and are constantly looking to grow this side of the business.
What do you do to engage with foodservice companies?
Wholesalers, understandably, often won’t list our range until there is a buzz from their customers about the products. We therefore talk directly with chefs about the benefits of our products. Our goal is for the chefs to go back to their wholesalers and request our product.
We regularly attend ‘meet the maker’ events, which are an opportunity for a wholesaler’s customers to meet manufacturers. For example, we were recently at Tyneside Foodservice’s trade show and had the opportunity to speak with foodservice companies including pubs and restaurants. They were able to sample our product and ask questions.
This year we have attended events including the Universal Cookery and Food Festival, Northern Restaurant and Bar Show, Speciality Fine Food Fair, and Taste of London.
What marketing and brand promotion do you carry out?
One of the things that works particularly well are site visits. We invite wholesalers and foodservice companies for a tour of our farm and production facility, where they can see the process of the products being made and hear our story. It really brings the products to life!
Above: Mellow Yellow Chilli Oil 250ml. Find the entire Mellow Yellow range in Erudus.
How have you found Erudus as a tool?
One of our responsibilities is to provide food allergen and nutritional information to our customers. Erudus allows us to send this data to all our customers who are also users of the software with one click of a button. For example, when a new wholesaler lists our product, if they use Erudus we don’t have to send the data as it’s available immediately for them to access. In addition, if we tweak or change any of our ingredients, we update it once and it’s automatically sent to all Erudus users.
When we speak to potential new customers, Erudus provides added value to our offering. Erudus also provides product images and our quality accreditation certificates, which is a great feature.
It’s a fantastic system and the more wholesalers that sign up, the easier it makes life for everyone.