Nairn's Oatcakes, Manufacturer

Learn about the journey of oats.

Nairn’s can trace its company history back to 1896 when John and Sarah Nairn opened a bakery shop in Strathaven, south of Glasgow. The Nairn family sold the company in the late 1970’s. Today Nairn’s is the leading producer of oatcakes, is independently owned and managed and still retains the core expertise of baking good tasting, wholesome products made with oats.

John Holroyd, Sales Director, says: “From our single production site in Edinburgh, we bake an extensive range of oat based products using wholegrain oats. We source all our ingredients from trusted suppliers and have developed a range of different types of Oatcakes for different tastes and occasions. In recent years, we have extended our range to include Oat Biscuits baked without any wheat and also Oat Bakes, which are like a crisp and are packaged in single portion bags.

In some of our Oatcakes, oats make up over 80% of the ingredient mix. This is where our relationship with Hogarth’s has helped us. They provide us with various grades of pinhead [coarse], medium and fine oatmeal and oat flour and with our expertise in baking, we combine these in various ways to produce different varieties of oatcakes: Rough, Fine Milled, Organic, Mini, Cheese, and Herb with Pumpkin Seeds”.

The baking process is simple and straightforward. Wholegrain oats, vegetable oil, salt and some raising agent are added to a mixing bowl. The ingredients are carefully mixed to form a dough, which is then passed through rollers to form a thin sheet. Small round cutters cut shapes from the dough and it is these ’rounds’ that are baked in long ovens to produce the oatcakes. The warm oatcakes are then cooled prior to being packed and dispatched to the various retail outlets mainly throughout the UK.

At Nairn’s, we strive to bake food that is as simple, natural and wholesome as possible. In common with other products with a high oat content, much of the range has a low Glycaemic Index and a low Glycaemic Load, which means that their consumption tends to increase blood sugar levels more slowly than other biscuits and crackers. As a result, they provide a more sustained source of energy and help one to feel fuller for longer.

Oatcakes in particular are a very versatile food, delicious at breakfast with fruit or marmalade, great at lunch or as a snack with a savoury topping, can be enjoyed in the evening with some cheese and a glass of wine and are also great with sweet toppings like bananas and honey.

Quality control is a key aspect at every stage of the production process and Nairn’s is accredited by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), achieving their Higher Standard. This Standard was created to establish a quality benchmark for the supply of food products and to act as a key piece of evidence for UK food manufacturers to demonstrate due diligence. The Standard encompasses all aspects of HACCP, traceability, quality management, factory environment and product and process control.

Whole Grain Goodness