Sheffield institution Henderson’s Relish goes to a seafood sauce

Henderson’s relish is going international for the first time after doubling its factory capacity last year.

Matt Davies, the managing director of Hendersons Relish, Sheffield. Picture by Simon Hulme
Matt Davies, the managing director of Hendersons Relish, Sheffield. Picture by Simon Hulme

The Sheffield-based company, which dates back to 1885, is launching its famous condiment to the Japanese market in the spring as a seafood sauce.

It is working with a Japanese importer and distributor based in Tokyo. Henderson’s managing director Matt Davies said: “They really like the product and the history of the brand. Here, we might say you can’t have a meat and potato pie without Henderson’s Relish on the side. They will have the same thing in Japan but it will be part of a seafood diet instead.”

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He added: “It’s quite exciting for us. It’s been interesting to talk to international customers and hopefully we’ll have more coming this year.”

The move follows £250,000 of investment in the brand over the last couple of years, including a label redesign to increase its visibility on supermarket shelves. The company, which employs seven people, has also bought a new filling machine and invested in its distribution.

Mr Davies declined to reveal how many bottles of the spicy relish the company produces but said it had doubled its capacity in the last two or three years. “Our increased capacity has enabled us to meet rising demand but we’ve remained efficient,” he said.

“A combination of the investment in the brand and in our site has set us up for a continuing growth in the business.”

It’s only in the last few years that Henderson’s has grown out of its South Yorkshire heartland. Its standard bottle of sauce is now available across the UK in Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and other multiple retailers. Online platforms such as its own website and Amazon have also helped to grow sales.

As well as increasing the number of standard bottles it produces, Henderson’s has also broadened its range, which now includes a travel-size bottle, which was adopted by British Airways for its first class passengers before Covid hit. It also produces a small bottle for one of the UK’s biggest recipe box companies, Gusto. “Having the brand available in other formats has enabled us to expand,” Mr Davies said.

Looking ahead, he added: “The brand’s in fantastic shape and the investments have really worked for us. My hope is that Henderson’s can continue being what it is, a Sheffield-made brand that’s primarily made for Sheffield people. But if we can continue to grow, that’s great because that brings Henderson’s Relish to a wider market.”

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