Crawford’s Food in Portaferry, Co Down, a manufacturer of luxury breakfast granolas, has been assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to sell its handmade cereal products online with Amazon UK.
The small company, formed by husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford in 2010, began supplying its complete range of ‘Just Live a Little’ branded granolas to Amazon at the end of March. The contract followed an introduction to an Amazon food supplier, Minster Foods of Nottingham, by Invest NI.
The contract with Amazon was announced by David Crawford, Crawford’s Food’s Managing Director, and welcomed by Barry McBride, Invest NI’s International Business Director, during a visit to the Co Down company.
Mr Crawford, commenting on the contract, said: “Winning business with Amazon is extremely important because it is a marvellous endorsement of the quality of our breakfast granolas and is also our 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.
“Invest NI’s support, especially the advice and lead generation provided by the team of food sector marketing advisers, has been – and continues to be – immensely encouraging and is helping us to achieve our key objective which is to grow sales particularly outside Northern Ireland,” he added.
Mr McBride 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. Britain also offers significant business opportunities for artisan companies prepared to take part in the range of initiatives that we have developed for the local food industry.
“Crawford’s Foods is an excellent example of how an artisan companies can benefit from working very closely with our food marketing advisers, who have vast experience of this very substantial market.
“The business with Amazon resulted from a buying mission, one of a great many that we organise annually for retailers and foodservice organisations. This provided the opportunity for Crawford’s Food to present its granolas at a one-to-one meeting.
“The company, among 10 smaller businesses presenting to the buyer, followed up the meeting and secured the business. We are hopeful that many of the other participating companies will be listed on the Amazon site,” he added.
Crawford’s Food has also received business start and R&D support from Invest NI to develop the range of four breakfast cereals including crunchy granola, apple and cinnamon, and cranberry and coconut.
The company currently supplies Tesco NI and Hastings Hotels, as well as delis and farm shops throughout Northern Ireland and speciality GB retailers such as Partridges in London. It also recently secured its first exports to Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia with one of the region’s biggest retailers.