How Durham Food has helped others

Archer’s Semifreddo Luxury Desserts


Darlington-based Archer’s Jersey Ice Cream have created three ice cream parlours over the past 14 years using Jersey cow’s milk from their own herds at Walworth Gate.

Although they have a standard retail pack of 500ml and 125ml tubs, the market is very crowded and they cannot compete with the large players such as Ben & Jerry’s and Haagan Daas

An innovation they introduced was a large ‘Ice Cream Cake’ with no sponge and two layers of ice cream instead but dressed like a cake. They sold slices of these in the parlour.

Our ‘product development’ was to create individual ‘ice cream cakes’ for the retail market in a new form of packaging that could sit in the frozen displays and call them ‘Luxury Desserts’. In effect, Archers Semifreddo Luxury Desserts in the frozen market become the equivalent of Gu Desserts in the fresh chilled market.

Along with the packaging we also created a new commercial pack with detailed cost cards, new price positioning and margin structure.

The final innovation was a new design on the packaging to deliver our strong market positioning message to both the trade and the consumer alike.

Taste Durham Welcome Pack


Working in collaboration with our Tourism Board of Visit County Durham, the Taste Durham Welcome Pack is aimed at the self-catering accommodation market and features ‘breakfast type’ and showcase type products from local producers in our region but particularly County Durham.

There are two versions of the welcome packs.

The first is a standard pack to include local sausages and home cured bacon using pigs reared at Crane Row Farm based near Hamsterley Forest in the west of the county

The farm rears rare breed Welsh pigs. The Welsh pig is a large white breed which produces meat with a low fat content.  The farm rears a limited number of pigs per year in a non-intensive manner housing them in ‘straw yard’ spacious conditions. The pigs are then processed by ‘Robinson’s of Wingate’ into our superior sausages and home cured bacon.

The other items in the standard pack include County Durham coffee from Lonton’s in Barnard Castle; dairy products from Embleton Hall Farm near Wingate; eggs from Linzt Hall Farm in Burnhopefield; artisan loaves from Bakehouse Rise in Crook; preserves from Mrs B’s Kitchen; and extra jams and marmalades from Lanchester and South Durham Honey.

We also have a great example of confectionery that is synonymous with County Durham in the form of cinder toffee from Sweet Sally Cinnamon of Waterhouses. Tea comes from Northumbrian Tea, our regional neighbours.

The second welcome pack is a mini-one that excludes the sausages and bacon that is aimed at shorter stay guests and those outlets on a tighter budget.

Each welcome pack contains a local producers’ brochure to highlight the provenance and story for each of the suppliers.

J.R. Holland Partnership


The difference between Food Durham and other food hubs through the UK is the dedicated contract we have with a professional and sizeable distributor, J.R. Holland.

They service around 1,600 customers in their own right including some large ones like Durham University from their warehouse and depot site in Team Valley.

They have developed a strategy of sourcing local producers and stock a range of products from Northumberland and recently Co Durham.

Having access to ‘their wheels’ allows us to pursue other sales channels such as the Taste Durham Welcome Pack, where J.R. Holland will store, pick, pack and deliver across the 370 self-catering accommodation establishments in the county.

We can also follow through on ‘local producer showcases’ with other accommodation such as the new Hotel Indigo in Durham City, who have worked with us as a ‘sourcing agent’ for local products where we have recently listed 34 products from 9 suppliers in food and beverage.