Belfast Telegraph

Couple claiming a low-fat sausage can sizzle in Co Armagh store

By Margaret Canning

The Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink starts with a focus on breakfast products throughout January. And a husband and wife team in Co Armagh are hoping hope to corner the 'healthy cooked breakfast' market with their lean sausages, branded WOW - short for 'war on weight'.

Slender Choice is launching a new range of sausages, including a sweet chilli and garlic banger.

The WOW range also includes burgers, meatballs and turkey sausages.

The company, run by Frank and Karen Daly, is now part of food giant Karro, which also owns Cookstown Sausages and McGees butchers.

The couple now head up the health and wellness division of Karro Group. Mrs Daly is the business development manager while her husband is the sales manager.

The couple's interest in food manufacturing goes back to 2008, when Karen went on a life-changing diet.

"I lost four stone back in 2008 and from then on wanted to make the whole world healthier.

"I became passionate about food and wanting to eat healthily, but at the same time, sausages were what I missed most."

The couple built up a successful business in the production of their sausages, which are manufactured in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.

The pair had been running Slender Choice for about four years before it joined Karro in August.

"Now we have launched a range of high-protein, gluten-free and low sugar products. There will be pork, sweet chilli and garlic sausages, as well as premium burgers, meatballs and turkey sausages - all naturally low in fat.

"The sausages have 46 calories and less than 2% fat and they taste good."

The products are being sold in independent traders such as Spar, Eurospar NI, Costcutter, Nisa and McGees Butchers in Asda - which is part of Karro.

And she said January - following the Christmas food blow-out - was a good time to launch low-fat products.

"People's perceptions are that sausages can't be healthy, but we want to buck that perception. In addition, gluten-free is a big trend.

"One in 100 of the population has been diagnosed as coeliac and can't eat products with gluten, but more than one in five is choosing a gluten-free diet."

She said the WOW products did make it easier for dieters to have a virtuous version of that most indulgent of meals - the Ulster fry. "I can still have a healthy fry with a lean sausage, grilled bacon, tomato, mushroom and an egg," she said.

Belfast Telegraph