Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Newtownards-based Pritchitts has won its first business in India.
The contract which will boost Northern Ireland dairy farmers, has led to Pritchitts, part of Lakeland Dairies, supplying products to a major distributor there. The distributor has a network of depots serving food service organisations such as hotels, restaurants and inflight caterers in the key Indian centres of Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
The Minister announced the export success as she prepares for the start of the Invest Northern Ireland trade mission to India.
The Minister, who is leading the mission, said: “This is excellent news for Pritchitts and also for dairy processing in Northern Ireland. The contract provides this export-led business with an important platform in a dynamic global marketplace that has been a target for Invest Northern Ireland for some considerable time.
“Pritchitts is a first class example of a company which has used Invest NI’s expert market research services to evaluate the size of the business opportunity for its products, to assess the extent of competition and then to pinpoint a suitable distributor to help it access the right customers in foodservices.”
The Minister outlined the support available from Invest NI.
She said: “Invest NI’s portfolio of professional services has been developed to help companies enter new markets by providing expertise and knowledge that assists them to increase sales whilst reducing the risks and costs of exploring export opportunities
“Around 30 Northern Ireland companies have used this support to enter the market in India, which is complemented by on-the-ground support from experienced trade advisers operating alongside Invest NI’s Trade and Investment office in Mumbai.”
Pritchitts manufactures a range of powder and UHT liquid dairy and dairy alternative products. It is Northern Ireland’s leading exporter of creamers, including the Millac Maid brand of minipots used by airlines and other transport businesses in key international markets.
Mr John Day, Head of Exports at Pritchitts, said: “We are very optimistic that this could provide us with a strong base in a market that is continuing to forge ahead and is projected to achieve GDP growth this year in excess of 7%. The food market is also worth £110 billion and growing because tastes are changing rapidly in metro areas where there is a middle class of around 350 million.
"The size of the market, currently the world’s biggest and fastest growing in terms of dairy products, requires a carefully shaped entry strategy. We have taken time to develop our strategy and to target customers in sectors in four and five star hotels, restaurants, fast food outlets and airline caterers. Finding the right distributor, therefore, was a key element of the strategy.
"Our research also indicated that we could compete successfully in terms of quality, value for money and service, as we are already doing in Asian and Middle East markets."