Allied Bakeries Ireland (ABI) is investing £6 million in new plant and equipment that will allow it to introduce new products and extend its market share.
The investment was announced by Leslie Morrison, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland which is supporting the project.
A key element of the investment is a £1 million spend on a new sandwich hotplate that will enable ABI to launch innovative sandwich pancakes into the Great Britain market. The company anticipates that sales of the new product will reach £3.5 million a year by 2007. It plans to create 18 new jobs as a result.
Announcing the investment Leslie Morrison said: “This investment reflects ABI’s commitment to innovation and export growth. The company understands the demands of an increasingly sophisticated market and is gearing up to respond by building its capability and identifying new product opportunities.
“This is in keeping with the recommendations of Invest NI’s Food Strategy Group report which outlines the way forward for the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland. It identifies new product development as a key factor for success.”
The investment comes after ABI participated in Invest NI’s Strategic Development Programme which helped the company identify its long-term strategic objectives. These include becoming a leading bakery supplier in Ireland; building on the strength of its brands; partnering effectively with leading retail groups, and being recognised as an innovator.
ABI Managing Director, Alan Hempton, says: “We have ambitious plans to grow the company over the next five years by focusing on new product development. The sandwich hotplate is a significant investment for us and opens up the possibility of developing further product varieties which will help us to significantly increase our market share in the UK and Ireland.”