Healthy snack food specialist Kestrel Foods has won business worth £250,000 in Dubai after attending a major conference in the Middle East.
The Craigavon-based company said it is supplying a range of products to retailers such as Spinneys, Carrefour and Choitrim through distribution deals following the Gulfood Hotel and Equipment Exhibition in Dubai.
It made the announcement ahead of this year’s exhibition, which runs from February 21-24 and will feature six local companies as part of an Invest Northern Ireland stand.
Lorraine Hall, marketing director of Kestrel Foods, said: “Taking part on successive Invest NI stands at Gulfood enabled us to identify the best way to access business in what is a fast moving and growing marketplace. We discovered, for example, that the only realistic route to market is through distributors.
“In the UK and Ireland we’ve been used to dealing directly with supermarket buyers. This doesn’t happen in the Gulf. We had to take time to find the right distributors with the resources and commitment to sell our products aggressively. It’s also led to us developing Arabic language packaging,” added Mrs Hall.
The firms attending this year’s exhibition are Dale Farm, Greenfields, Finlay Foods, Rooney Fish, White’s and Johnson’s Coffee. Kestrel will be showing its range of dried fruit, nuts and seeds on a stand organised by its Dubai distribututor.
Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI trade director, said: “Kestrel Foods is a good role model for other local businesses seeking to win business in the Gulf and other international markets.”
She added that almost 90% of Middle East countries were dependent on food imports.