A BARRY businessman has broken cover to reveal his award-winning pepper sauce has won a contract to spice up the Ministry of Defence’s ration packs.

Hot Diggidy Dog maestro and former submariner, Simon Llewellyn has completed the company’s first order- in the £28,000 contract, for its innovative single use 5ml glass bottles of original hot pepper sauce.

The sauce will spice up the military’s 24 hour ration packs.

The initial order for 75,000 of the small bottles has been supplied specifically for ration packs and discussions are already in place for a follow up order of four times greater than this first product run.

Simon, who was in the armed forces for 11 years and began experimenting with chillies on board British nuclear submarines, said he understood how food played an important role in the armed forces daily life.

He said: “Food and mealtime really boosts your moral and play a big part during operational days. When I started Hot Diggidy Dog it was really important to me to supply our forces my products, as I had experienced what life was like with basic rations from my time in the Navy.”

The MoD issue 1.6 million 24 hour ration packs every year and are designed to give deployed military personnel the 4,000 calories needed daily to ensure they are at peak physical and mental fitness during long patrols or operations.

Items include traditional favourites such as boiled sweets, baked beans and hot chocolate alongside newer items such as chicken tikka masala, chilli con carne and Oreo cookies.

The 5ml vial of Hot Diggidy Dog sauce is the first addition to the MoD’s ration packs since 2010.

Simon said: “The feedback we have received from the troops has been overwhelmingly positive. We are delighted to have won this contract and have enjoyed sharing ideas back and forth with the Ministry of Defence.

“The 5ml single use bottle conforms to the very limited space that personnel have for provisions. The original pepper sauce is sold through retail distribution in 57ml glass bottles which was too large for an individual. The 5ml vials offer a quick release of flavour, intended as a single or convenience use and continues to offer a 4 year shelf life.

He added: “Unlike other table sauces, hot pepper and chilli based products can’t use traditional plastic sachet style packaging as the natural acidity of the ingredients would damage the plastic and spoil the product. We looked into a number of different styles, including foil, higher density plastic but glass was really the only viable option. Then it took some time to get the packaging pricing to match our customers’ expectations for the end product.

“We are opening new doors to the business with this product. Starting out as something that was only really intended for the armed forces, is leading us further into the hospitality industry. By supplying the 5ml bottles rather than 57ml bottles it’s far more attractive to the consumer eating out at pubs, services, restaurants etc. They can buy it at the counter or be offering it on the table, reducing the need to carry around bottles, reducing waste for premises by not having half used bottles hanging around.”

For information, contact sales@dogidy.com or call 0844 8793265.