New MD for Mackie’s of Scotland ahead of growth

Premium ice cream brand, Mackie’s of Scotland has appointed a new Managing Director, as it eyes continued growth and development throughout the UK and abroad.

Stuart Common has secured the pivotal role after working at the family business for more than 16 years at the Aberdeenshire firm, latterly as its Sales and Marketing Director.

His appointment, which commences with immediate effect, as former Managing Director Mac Mackie, 56, chooses a new position as Executive Chairman, to have more time to take a strategic overview of the business and its development.

Mac, who took on the MD role in 1998 to succeed his father and Mackie’s founder, Maitland Mackie, said, “Stuart has already become an integral part of our senior management team over the last decade and I’m confident that he’s the right person to step into our MD role.

“He embodies the culture that underpins everything we do, not to mention his close ties with our largest supermarket, wholesale and foodservice trade accounts, many of which he personally established and built up.

“We’re putting in place the foundations for the business to continue to flourish. Stuart is young enough to thrive in the role for many years to come and will drive our agenda of growth, development and change.”

Mackie’s remains a family business, with Mac’s sister Kirstin McNutt continuing in her role as Head of NPD and the recent arrival of Mac’s nephew Angus Hayhow marking the first of the fifth generation to join the business.

Mac added, “We’re proud to be a family business, and Stuart’s appointment will help ensure Mackie’s continues to thrive and grow for future generations.”

The moves follow a period of sustained growth for Mackie’s, which has climbed to become the sixth biggest food and drink brand in Scotland (Kantar Worldpanel) while reaching record market share south of the border.

It has also completed its largest ever internal investment programme with the installations of new ice cream filling capability and of one of Europe’s most efficient low-carbon refrigeration systems, establishing the farm-base as an ultra-efficient and sustainable operation that produces twice as much energy as it uses.

Edinburgh born and raised, Stuart started working at Mackie’s in 2006 on a year-long placement during his studies at Robert Gordon University business school. While there, he began to forge a career in sales before moving to Aberdeen Journals in 2011.

The former Balerno High School pupil returned to Mackie’s in 2012 as National Account Manager, taking responsibility for Mackie’s largest accounts, progressing to Sales Director in 2019. He took on an expanded Sales and Marketing Director role in early 2022. Since 2019, Mackie’s has seen its turnover grow from £16.7m to £18.5m (FY 2021).

Stuart is well known in the local business community, being actively involved in supporting and promoting the Scottish food & drink sector, for example through his holding voluntary positions on the food, drink and agriculture board with Opportunity North East – a private sector led economic group, and his serving on the board of Developing the Young Workforce North East for more than six years.

Stuart commented, “Mackie’s is a company that refuses to stand still, which is a huge source of motivation for me and my colleagues.

“I’ve enjoyed being part of a management team with such clear commitment to change, growth and internal investment to build and prepare for the future. The shared vision of continued growth and diversification is testament to the leadership that we have had in place since our inception as an ice cream business in 1986 and chocolate maker since 2016.

“It is a huge privilege to be entrusted with this role at what is one of Scotland – and the UK’s – best known family businesses.

“Mac has left a tremendous legacy, his hard work and determination has helped bring Mackie’s to the fore, and I am excited to develop the brand further and, with his continued guidance, continue pushing Mackie’s forward as one of Scotland’s best food companies, expanding sales around the world and furthering the sustainability goals at the heart of the company.”

Mackie's is one of the UK's top ice cream brands, with its one litre Traditional tub being one of the best-selling premium ice cream product in the UK.

As the brand grows, Mackie’s has gained a cache of awards in the process, and still produces all its ice cream using fresh milk and cream from the dairy herd at its fifth generation family farm, Westertown, near Inverurie in north east Scotland. Mackie’s is the largest independently owned ice cream manufacturer in the UK.

The company produces luxury ice cream at the fifth-generation Aberdeenshire farm from ‘sky to scoop’, with wind and sun-powered renewable energy powering the dairy where it makes its ice cream using fresh milk and cream from its own herd.