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Snowball effect helps bakery win £150k deal with Asda

By Heather McGarrigle

A Co Armagh bakery firm is celebrating Christmas early after winning a £150,000 contract.

Irwin’s Bakery has secured a supply deal with Asda through its cakes and biscuits division, Howell Handmade.

Its ‘mini snowballs’ will be sold in the supermarket’s stores across the UK as part of its Chosen By You own brand range, representing Howell Handmade’s first own label supply contract.

The deal runs right through the Christmas period, earning £150,000 per annum for the Northern Ireland business, with a view to extending the contract.

Stefan Szymura, account manager with Irwin’s Bakery, said: “This contract is a big win for Howell Handmade and a significant development in the overall Irwin’s business strategy as it both strengthens our partnership with a major retailer and builds demand for Northern Ireland products across the UK.

“Whilst Irwin’s products have a number of ‘own brand’ deals with key retail partners UK-wide, this is the first major supply contract of this kind for a Howell Handmade product and is testament to both the quality and appeal of traditional Northern Ireland baked goods.”

David Quigg, bakery and produce buyer for Asda, said: “Every single product in our Asda ‘Chosen by You’ range has been tested by consumers and only the most popular products make the grade. The feedback on Howell’s Mini Snowballs from the tasting sessions was extremely positive.”

Irwin’s acquired the Saintfield-based bakery Howell House in 2006 and two years later carried out a £100,000 strategic re-brand.

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