Belfast Telegraph

Granola seals deals with chain and online retailer

By Lesley Houston

Luxury granola brand Just Live a Little has signed a £100,000 deal to sell its homemade breakfast product through online retail firm Ocado.

The family-run company based in Portaferry has launched eight products from its granola range with the internet shopping retailer in the same week that it secured a deal with Supervalu Centra Ireland, the second largest retailer in the Republic.

The deals follow 12 months of considerable growth and a doubling of the company's turnover.

The announcements also form part of the business's strategy to grow its market position throughout Ireland initially, followed by a bid to gain a greater share of the breakfast market category in Great Britain.

Put together, the British and Irish breakfast market are currently valued at £2bn a year.

Founders Jill and David Crawford are aiming to keep up the momentum and grow their business a further 100% over the next year.

The popular brand started as an artisan market stall in St George's Market in 2011 when the Crawfords would rush home from work every night to toast oats in their home kitchen.

After nurturing their cottage industry into a commercial business they now also sell their homemade granola to markets beyond the British Isles, including Dubai and Hong Kong.

Crawford Foods' expansion has seen the Just Live a Little brand line the shelves of Tesco and Asda in Northern Ireland, throughout the Henderson Group, the Musgrave Group, ParkNShop, NISA, Diverse Fine Foods, Irish Wholefoods and a large number of independent retailers and artisan shops. They also sell through online giant, Amazon.

Mrs Crawford said: "We also just got the deal with Supervalu in Ireland, which just happened this week."

She said that the company was targeting the Irish breakfast market initially. With a foothold already established in Northern Ireland, she said they hoped to crack Tesco across the rest of the UK in the near future.

"We have also started to talk to Waitrose and are hoping to launch our On the Go range of Portion Pots there in the Little Waitrose outlets," she said.

Mrs Crawford said the past few years had been spent perfecting their recipes and developing its product range.

"We have spent the past few years establishing our brand within Northern Ireland and we have been overwhelmed with the support for the product.

"We definitely see 2015 as the year to capture a bigger share of the UK and Ireland's expanding granola category.

"We're delighted to be working with so many big distributors and see the partnership with Ocado as the perfect opportunity to expand our customer base."

A deal to sell their granola through online retailer Ocado is the latest multiple deal for Live a Little in Portaferry. They also secured a deal to sell three lines through 19 Tesco stores across Northern Ireland. And the husband-and-wife business also chalked up a deal worth around £20,000 with a major grocery business in Hong Kong.

Belfast Telegraph