A Ballymena meat firm has landed a £350,000 deal to sell its burgers to supermarket giant Tesco. Doherty & Gray, which has been in business for more than 60 years, has been supplying Tesco for two decades.
But as well as its vegetable roll and sausages, it will now produce a range of Tesco Finest-branded burgers, which will be sold at selected stores across Northern Ireland. The products were developed with support from Tesco NI technical manager Leanne Black.
The contract will be worth around £350,000 in the first year for the Co Antrim food firm.
Doherty & Gray's business with Tesco here has shot up by around a third.
It's since grown its workforce to 90 staff, and also follows an investment of £200,000 in new equipment.
Alan McKeown, the company's commercial sales manager, said: "Superior production techniques were used to give customers a rustic burger with an open texture for an enhanced eating experience.
"We have used store cupboard fresh ingredients where possible to deliver a fantastic burger experience.
"For example, the Finest 'chilli flavoured beef steak burger' is made using fresh chilli and scotch bonnet puree giving it a flavoursome, fiery taste.
"The company has a highly skilled workforce and prides itself on making the highest quality sausages and burgers to be enjoyed by consumers. The Tesco Finest Burgers will all be made using locally sourced Northern Ireland beef."
And Leanne Black said: "At Tesco NI, we are extremely proud of this new investment with Doherty & Gray as it is another step in our commitment to the local farming and agri-food community.
"It also gives Tesco NI another opportunity to bring an excellent product to our customers, made with the best ingredients, at an affordable price."
Northern Ireland breweries and cider makers have landed fresh deals with Marks & Spencer. Products from Mourne Mountains Brewery in Warrenpoint, Co Armagh's MacIvors Cider and Whitewater Brewery in Castlewellan will be sold at 18 stores across Northern Ireland.