Northern Ireland producers head south to strike deals worth £500k
Two Northern Ireland producers have hit gold with cross-border supermarket deals worth almost £500,000.
Co Down yoghurt producer Clandeboye Estate led the way in a deal with Aldi's Republic of Ireland stores worth £250,000.
And Co Tyrone baby and toddler food company Heavenly Tasty Organics also confirmed it shook hands with bosses at Tesco on a €200,000 (£160,000) deal to supply Irish stores.
Clandeboye Estate in Bangor, owned by Lady Dufferin, said that it had recently installed a second pot filling line in a £70,000 investment to support the new business with the German discounter.
The approach from Aldi followed Clandeboye's success in the yoghurt category in last year's Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards.
Clandeboye Estate will supply its Greek-style and Madagascan Vanilla premium yoghurts in 450g pots to 61 Aldi stores.
General manager Bryan Boggs said: "We are delighted to have won what could prove to be our biggest deal yet in the Republic of Ireland, a key export market for us. Our success in the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards helped to open the door for us to this very exciting business opportunity with Aldi and with a number of other potential clients in the Republic.
"Aldi was keen to add a premium yoghurt brand to its portfolio there. It's a marvellous boost for us and will move our business in the Republic to a new level," he added.
Clandeboye Estate yoghurt is made with milk from the farm's own award winning Holstein and Jersey herd and is produced using traditional techniques.
The yoghurt began as a farm diversification project driven by Lady Dufferin in 2007.
Meanwhile, Heavenly Tasty Organics will see its products hit the shelves of 71 Tesco stores across the Republic of Ireland.
The deal will be worth €200,000 (£160,000) over the next year.
The Augher-based company's products are made with ingredients such as spinach, kale, pumpkin and coconut milk.
Managing director and founder Shauna McCarney-Blair said: "We have been working hard on new product development over the last number of months and years to create products which parents want for their children and this deal with Tesco clearly recognises there is a huge demand for our healthy baby and toddler snacking products in the Irish market."
Heavenly baby and toddler snacks are available in 14 countries and are currently on sale at Irish retailer SuperValu.