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Derrimon relocates Spicy Hill to Kingston, triples production space

Derrimon Trading Company shelled out $148 million for the acquisition of soups and sauce maker Spicy Hill Farms, and has spent an additional $75 million relocating the business from rural Trelawny to Kingston.

More funds are being invested in expanding the Spicy Hill’s product portfolio, which includes the addition of wet sauces and cock-soup mix, said Derrimon Chairman Derrick Cotterell. Derrimon wants to double Spicy Hill’s revenue in two years, helped by the buildout of the new factory at Derrimon’s complex on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston, and the 15 to 20 additional stock units to be rolled out.

Spicy Hill Farms, the maker of Ram-it-Up curry goat booster and Ram-Goat soup mix, was formed in 2006 by the late politician Brascoe Lee, but in 2022, Derrimon struck a deal with Brascoe’s grandson, Brandon Lee, to acquire 100 per cent shareholding in the company.

At 10,000 square feet, and a staff of 20, the new Spicy Hill plant is three times bigger than the old factory in Trelawny, which has now been disbanded. It has five times the production capacity, Cotterell says, only 40 per cent of which is currently being utilised.

“We fill any unused capacity over time from the expansion of both the wet seasoning and dry goods product lines. We have set aside money to roll out new products over the next year, but we don’t wish to disclose that at this time,” he said.

As part of the transition, Lee is overseeing the set-up of the new facility and introduction of new products to market.

“The majority of the work on the plant is done, but we have some new packaging equipment coming soon,” said Cotterell.

“We are launching a new products – the cock-o-noodle soup and the spicy cock-o-noodle soup – and both have real chicken in it, not just chicken flavour. It’s a first for the local market ...,” he said.

Spicy Hill products is distributed through 200 retail outlets in Jamaica. The cock soups will also be sold through its grocery retail operations Sampars and Select in Jamaica, while an internationally acceptable version will be distributed through its FoodSaver supermarket in New York.

In Jamaica, the term ‘cock’ often refers to a male chicken or rooster, but its use on food labels on mainstream grocery shelves overseas is controversial, because the term is also used widely as a vulgar sexual reference for the penis.