Ibbitsons Quality Meats

Ibbitson’s Quality Meats Case Study

Company Background

A historic part of the City of Sunderland’s retail sector for almost 100 years, Ibbitson’s meaty empire was built from the ground up by Herbert Ibbitson.

After downsizing what was one of the largest independent meat companies in the UK, in the 1990s Herbert’s daughter took over the family business. Joanne now runs Ibbitson’s with master butcher and sausage maker Shaun Muldown.


Joanne’s energy contracts were approaching renewal date and she was shocked by the proposed increases from her supplier. On top of this, her merchant services costs were beginning to become poor value for money when compared with their usage.

After a meeting with Sunderland BID, Joanne was pointed in the direction of Great Annual Savings Group (GAS), who had helped other BID members with their running costs.


GAS experts set about searching the energy market to improve Ibbitson’s electricity contracts, eventually securing an improved unit rate from a new supplier.

The next step was to discuss contract lengths. GAS usually advise on a longer contract term for cost certainty in forecasts, but after consulting with Joanne on her usual practices, a 12 month contract was best for her business needs. GAS then handled the transfer of the meter from one supplier to another
ready to go live automatically once Ibbitson’s current contract ended.

Joanne was keen to align the contracts from her second unit so that the issue could be addressed at the same time of year in future. GAS put together a bespoke contract, again on improved rates, so that the end-dates align and the issue can be dealt with even more swiftly in the future.

Joanne has since been in discussions around her payment machines with GAS. The nature of the merchant services industry means that knowledge of the ins and outs of contracts is essential. More work will take place on this area of Ibbitson’s running costs in 2018.

Overall, the cost savings on electricity totalled 14.68% on the unit costs and 12.7% on the standing charge on one unit and 18.81% on the unit costs and 37.4% on the standing charge on the other.


  • Saving on electricity costs for both units in the market against the renewal prices Ibbitson’s had been quoted.
  • Savings totalled 16.93% on unit rates and 26.15% on standing charges.
  • Alignment of contract dates, allowing simpler management of utilities.
  • Valuable consultation on merchant services industry.


“I am delighted with the savings GAS has made for my business. All work was carried out with minimal fuss and maximum efficiency!” 

Joanne Ibbitson, Ibbitson’s Quality Meats


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Paul JohnsonGroup Financial Director

Paul Johnson is very much a home-grown talent.

He joined Great Annual Savings Group in its infancy, fresh from a youth career as a professional footballer with Hartlepool United.  He quickly established a reputation within the business and aced all required accountancy qualifications in the space of four years to become the Group’s Management Accountant.

Several successful projects later, Paul was promoted to Head of Finance.  When the former FD left GAS, he took on the mantle of the business’ most senior finance professional; boasting a string of incredible achievements all under the age of 30.


“I have witnessed phenomenal growth at the Group over the many years I’ve worked here and I’m looking forward to guiding the Group into an exciting new chapter.”

Interesting fact:

Paul made his professional debut for Hartlepool United against Bournemouth in the Football League.  Some say Danny Ings still resides in his pocket to this day.