Granola makers feed business with the help of Invest NI
A small company which makes handmade granola in Co Down has won a significant deal to sell its products on Amazon.
Husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford, who make granola from their home in Portaferry with the help of a baker as Crawford's Foods, were introduced to a supplier to the world's biggest online retailer by Invest NI. The contract could be worth as much as £3,000 a month.
Mr Crawford said the Amazon deal was an important endorsement of the quality of its granolas, while also marking its first online selling platform.
"It's a very opportune contract because we've been considering our own e-commerce website for some time. Amazon has tremendous marketing muscle and great awareness among shoppers. Being listed on this site, which also has longstanding payment systems, enables us to reach a much wider audience throughout the UK than would be possible via our own website.
"Our aim is to build on the relationship with Amazon in the UK and to work towards listings on the online retailer's other international sites."
The company will be able to provide a link to Amazon from its own website.
Mrs Crawford said the company was also hoping to sell its goods in Asda. It already supplies Tesco.
Invest NI introduced the company to Nottingham-based food supplier Minster Foods at a buying meeting at which the company presented its granolas to potential customers.
The Amazon tie-in was expected to deliver "slow and steady" sales growth, Mrs Crawford said.
Barry McBride, Invest NI's international business director, said: "This is a potentially very important contract which will help this ambitious artisan food company to grow sales in the wider UK marketplace, the easiest for smaller companies to access."
The granolas are made in toasted muesli, apple and cinnamon, and cranberry and coconut versions. The company is also set to launch a range of granola bars.
The business also supplies granola to Hastings Hotels, delis and farm shops – and Partridges, a specialist food retailer in London.