Northern Ireland cheese producer's 30% sales surge for Christmas rush
A Portadown-based cheese producer has seen a 30% increase in sales since September and is set to have sold 75,000 rounds of cheese by Christmas Day.
Ballylisk of Armagh, which has been receiving Christmas orders since September, credits the increased demand during the festive season for the sales boost.
The firm, known for its Triple Rose cheese, has just four employees but exports account for 40% of the company's turnover. This is expected to reach 70% in the next 12 months.
Besides exporting to Portugal, Italy and France this Christmas, the company has sold 1,000 rounds of cheese to long-standing customer Fortnum & Mason.
Dean Wright, founder of Ballylisk of Armagh, said: "Exporting is a big part of our business at this stage and we see it as a huge area for growth, so we certainly won't limit our boundaries to Northern Ireland.
"We have seen a significant increase in sales since September and we hope this continues at the same rate throughout 2020.
"The Ballylisk brand is recognised in the UK and further afield for its high quality, and we have already had enquiries from clients in Dubai, China and the United States; our first shipment will be leaving Portadown early next year. We are also in discussions with one of the largest cheese distributors in the UK, which will boost our sales figures again."
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Ballylisk currently receives 10% of orders online but said it is looking to increase this to 50% by next year. To keep up with demand, the company plans to transform its online business and employ additional staff to help manage the increase in production and sales.
The firm said it is also diversifying its product range and will launch a new brie and smoked brie for the first time just after Christmas.
It is also looking to enter new markets in 2020, including Japan, Dubai, China and America.