Belfast Telegraph

Local creamery is the big cheese

By Margaret Canning, Business Correspondent

A Co.Tyrone cheese maker is celebrating after it won a new contract with supermarket giant Sainsbury's worth £500,000.

Fivemiletown Creamery will supply its Oakwood smoked grated cheddar to 250 UK stores.

Sales manager Kevin McManus said the product was developed to meet changing consumer tastes and the need for convenience.

"Consumers' tastes have matured considerably in the last three years and shoppers are constantly seeking products which not alone offers a stronger taste profile, but which can be used as part of convenient cooking.

"Oakwood Grated offers consumers a new twist on conventional grated products. It has been extremely popular in Northern Ireland Sainsbury's stores and we hope this success will continue in the new Great Britain stores where it is now being listed."

Last year the co-op won a contract to supply its smoked brie for Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range. Mr McManus said sales of the brie product had gone up by 75% following a revamp of the range.

"Earlier this year Sainsbury's commenced a major re-brand on its speciality cheese range.

"Fivemiletown Creamery was presented with the challenge of revamping the Taste the Difference product to aid growth within the category.

"This has been a worthwhile exercise and a real success for us."

The creamery processes milk into own-brand speciality cheeses and cheddar. It produces cheese for other companies including the Cheese Strings product for Kerry Group and also provides milk by-product whey to manufacturers in the Republic.