MORE jobs are to be created at a Greenock meat manufacturing company — thanks to haggis pakora!

The 50-strong workforce at McKechnie Jess is being boosted because its new product is doing so well.

It could be sold by supermarkets across the country next year, and might also feature in ready meals.

The plant is working seven days a week, and some night shifts will also be introduced to meet demand for all their products.

Managing director Chris McCarthy said that, with haggis sales already up 50 per cent in the past 12 months, the company is looking forward to a great year ahead for its award-winning recipe.

He said: “We’ve seen sales rocket since our haggis went national through several large retailers during the last year.

“It’s a trend that looks set to continue as we gear up production of haggis for our busiest time of the year, with a sales forecast that replicates the 50 per cent growth in the next 12 months.

“Beyond the UK, it is also proving to be a well travelled haggis with many countries enjoying it around the world, stretching from Canada to Mongolia.

“Our haggis is made using recipes handed down through generations of the McKechnie and Jess families for over a century. We refuse to compromise on quality or tradition, so never use artificial colouring or flavour enhancers.” Mr McCarthy continued: “It’s about being innovative with food and using a quality ingredient, such as our haggis, in a wide variety of ways.

“Negotiations with supermarkets are going very well. We were at one of the large supermarkets down south and they loved the idea and product as a year-round thing, not just for Burns Night and New Year.

“More and more of the retailers see it as a foodie product and can sell it at a premium.” The company’s award-winning recipe is also used in its haggis lasagne, spicy haggis dippers, battered haggis, along with crispy snacks and haggis balmoral bites.

Now it’s putting a modern twist on this traditional Scottish dish by launching a new range of pakora products, including a haggis version coated in the spicy, aromatic batter.

The new haggis pakora has picked up the top accolade of Best Innovative Product at the BPEX Foodservice Awards 2013.

Mr McCarthy said: “The pakora range is aimed at both retail and the food service sectors for starters, snack foods and tapas meals.

“The haggis pakora launch follows our investment of more than £500,000 in a new 7.5-metre state of the art frying line, which allows us to do a range of crispy battered and crumbed products, including tempura and pakora batters.

“As it has also increased capacity by 500 per cent, our focus is on maximising its potential in a bid for continuous product development.”