Cereal maker White’s has bucked the economic downturn after seeing its sales soar by 50% in the last year.
The Tandragee-based company, which has been milling oats since 1841, attributes the success to surging exports of its cereals.
The company, part of Armagh-based Fane Valley Co-Operative, has enjoyed significant growth in all markets especially Britain where major grocery and health food stores now list products from its portfolio, including its Toasted Oats snack range.
As well as growth in the UK and Irish markets, White’s has seen export sales increase substantially in Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong.
New markets established during the year, including Dubai, are also achieving strong growth, according to Mark Gowdy, the company’s sales and marketing manager.
Among its most successful |markets is Spain, where it supplies the SuperCor grocery chain and has also launched Fricodan, a |new brand for the European market.
“While our Toasted Oats snacks are selling extremely well across all markets, all other products including the traditional porridge oats are continuing to grow strongly,” Mr Gowdy said.
“Our growth is the result of a strong focus on achieving listings with major food retailers and is also an indication that the trend in most markets towards healthy and natural products at breakfast is continuing to gather momentum.
“While there are signs the recession has impacted on other organic products, our sales have continued to grow.
“This would suggest consumers want to start the day with a healthy breakfast.”
White’s, which employs 21 people, has taken part in a range of |Invest Northern Ireland export initiatives including exhibitions such as Gulfood in Dubai and at six ‘meet the buyer’ events.
Welcoming the company’s success, Alastair Hamilton, Invest Northern Ireland’s chief executive, said: “White’s continues to grow strongly through a very professional approach to new product development and export marketing.
“As well as developing its product portfolio, White’s is also creating a strong market identity through extensive investment in branding with help from our programmes,” he added.