Top international hotel chain brings home bacon from Portadown

Feb 26, 2007

The prestigious Radisson SAS Hotel group in London is now serving bacon at breakfast supplied by William Sprott Ltd of Portadown using a highly secret, traditional dry-curing technique.

The contract – Sprott’s first in Great Britain – followed a ‘cold’ call to the hotel chain by Michelle Charrington, Invest Northern Ireland’s retail food marketing consultant. She lined up an opportunity for buyers to sample the rich flavoured bacon that Sprott has been producing since 1880 at its Co Armagh factory.

As a direct result of this initiative and the outstanding quality of the company’s products, Radisson is now serving the bacon at its flagship hotel in London.

Boyd Hunter, Sprott’s General Manager, commenting on the order, says: “Radisson is focusing on offering guests a really top quality meal to start the day, so only the best bacon is acceptable.

“We were delighted to be asked to provide our bacon to such a prestigious hotel because we believe our bacon has an exceptional flavour and texture that is the result of our practice of allowing the bacon to mature slowly using a formula that remains a closely guarded secret.

“We don’t try to compete on price. Our focus is – and always has been - on quality, texture and above all, flavour. What we offer is a traditionally dry-cured bacon,” he adds.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Food Director, welcoming the company’s market breakthrough, says: “This is an excellent example of the tremendous work of our marketing consultants in helping to increase awareness of the quality products readily available from Northern Ireland suppliers.

“Their role in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland is to help in generating sales for companies. This involves pinpointing key buyers in the retailing and foodservice sectors for our companies, making initial sales contacts and then setting up opportunities for them to pitch directly for business from those in position to place orders.

“It’s an immensely important initiative for Invest NI that is producing real and substantial benefits for many of our food companies. Indeed, new business worth around £2 million has been placed over the past few months for local companies through this support,” he adds.

Sprott will be among almost 40 Northern Ireland companies taking part on Invest NI’s biggest-ever presentation at the International Food Exhibition in London next month.

Formed in 1880 in Portadown by William Sprott, the company employs around 30 people in processing bacon, ham, cooked ham and sausages. It moved to its current premises in Edward Street in 1925 and has continued to invest continuously in its products and facilities. In 1960, an expansion programme included the town’s old Savoy Cinema. The modern factory is EU licensed and operates to HACCP quality and traceability standards.

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