Willowbrook Foods creates stir by landing 'innovative' export contract
A Co Down food firm is celebrating after winning an export deal for its stir-fries.
Willowbrook Foods, which makes fresh pre-packed vegetables, salads and potatoes, has been awarded the business to supply a range of eight new stir-fry products to Budgens, part of the Musgrave Group,
Willowbrook has been operating for over 40 years, and was established by John McCann on the family farm overlooking Strangford Lough.
The firm employs more than 200 people at processing plants in Killinchy and Newtownards in Co Down.
Willowbrook supplies pre-pared salads, vegetables and stir-fry products to Musgrave Retail Partners under both SuperValu and Centra as well as the Willowbrook Farm.
Now its stir-fry products will be sold in 180 Budgens stores in Great Britain.
The new product was developed at the firm's food innovation centre, part of a £5m, 55,000 sq ft expansion of the Killinchy operation.
Managing director Mr McCann said that the export agreement was a tremendous boost for business. "New products are the lifeblood of the food industry," he said.
"Retailers are continually searching for new food and drink products which will attract consumers in pursuit of different taste experiences into their stores."
Invest NI food director Maynard Mawhinney said Willowbrook was a progressive company with a track record in innovative foods.
"They are able to respond quickly and effectively to business opportunities as they develop in the fast-moving UK and Republic of Ireland food markets."