About SHS Group

SHS Key Milestones

1975
1975

Joe Sloan and the late Geoff Salters launch SHS General Distributors, with the first brand owner Colgate. In the first year SHS had a turnover of 46,000 and made a profit of 5!

1982
1982

Purchase of Castlereagh Enterprises - the biggest food broker in Northern Ireland, at a time when Castlereagh's turnover was 16 million and the Group's was a mere 2.5 million.

1984
1984

Farmlea is producing butter, cheese and creamed rice with custard, evaporated milk, soup, snacks, teabags and frozen burgers all in the offing! Geoff sets up Northern Ireland's first Pizza factory Balloo. The factory is opened in October by Douglas Hurd, Secretary of State.

1993
1993

SHS Sales & Marketing takes on the agency business for Caledonian Clear - a range of sparkling fruit flavoured waters.

1995
1995

Woody's Alcoholic Fruit Drinks launches in GB, the first RTD to offer a range of flavours. Woody's goes on to become the number 1 RTD in Canada and is a key export product for the Drinks Division.

1999
1999

Geoff & Joe appoint their first Managing Director Michael Howard. Michael joined the business in 1995 as Financial Director.

2004/5
2004/5

SHS begins its acquisition trail purchasing Clayton Love, British Pepper & Spice, Gourmet Garden and ESA in 2004 and Merrydown, Gordan's Fine Foods and Swedish Match in 2005.

2009
2009

Group invests in a brand new factory in Chandlers Ford to create greater efficiencies for British Pepper & Spice.

2011
2011

The SHS Group buys a majority shareholding in Gloucestershire-based Bottlegreen Drinks. Bottlegreen Drinks is one of Britain's leading producers of cordials and presses and has a core consumer base of more than two million people.

2013
2013

Group acquires The Crucial Sauce Company Limited. The company operates primarily in branded sauce products in the out of home and discounter markets with key products being Garlic Mayonnaise, Yogurt and Mint and BBQ sauces.

2015
2015

Elaine Birchall becomes the Group CEO following Michael Howard's retirement.

Group celebrates 40 years in business.

1978
1978

Geoff Salters establishes Dairyfarm Foods which later becomes Farmlea, trading butter. Joe and Geoff amalgamate the two businesses to form the SHS Group.

1983
1983

SHS Sales & Marketing GB forms with an office, a desk and a can of Farmlea Creamed Rice. The GB operation provided an excellent route to market for Northern Ireland brands like Punjana Tea, Tayto crisps and Inversoft toilet roll

1992
1992

In the late 80's, early 90's, the Group establishes a firm foothold in the Republic of Ireland through products like Punjana and its own Farmlea rice and custard brands. In 1992, the group takes on the Tropicana contract in ROI, and establishes a permanent base in Dublin.

1994
1994

The SHS Group acquires a majority share in Beverage Brands, owned by Joe Woods. In the same year it also invests in Caledonian Bottlers, the main bottling plant for Caledonian Clear, owned by Freddie Williams. Following investment by the local council, the factory in Cumnock officially launches. Later the factory was officially opened by Dennis Law.

1996
1996

The invention of WKD Iron Brew provides a brand which appeals to 18 - 24 year old males through its masculine feel and dramatic golden colour that looks similar to lager and offers a distinctive taste. The brand increases Group profits by 600 percent.

2001
2001

WKD Blue launches and becomes an instant success after the brand airs on TV for the first time. The first production run sells out within three days sending Group profits soaring from 4 million to 18 million.

2006
2006

Group moves into its Belfast Headquarters at Airport Road West. SAP is introduced into the business, one of the biggest projects that SHS has ever undertaken. The new software results in the IS department growing from 3 to 24 professionals and radically changes our reporting functionality.

2010
2010

Group acquires a share in Brand Phoenix, a leading UK-based wine distributor that owns First Cape, the top selling South African wine.

SHS Drinks and SHS Sales & Marketing move to Manderson House to form the Centre of Excellence for all brand development and sales & marketing activities.

2012
2012

In May, the Group launches their book at Queens University in Belfast. The book charts the story of an incredible business partnership by the Sloan and Salters families.

2014
2014

Group launches their mission, vision and value statements to provide greater clarity on who we are and the journey we are on. Salters & Sloan original business and family values reinforce the behaviours that made the Group what it is today.