First Deal in Mid East for Free'ist Free-From Foods

GM Marketing in Belfast has won significant business for its Free’ist sugar and gluten-free products from Spinney’s, the leading supermarket chain in the United Arab Emirates, with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland.

GM, which took part with Invest NI at the recent Gulfood show in Dubai, is supplying its Free’ist range of sugar-free cookies, chocolate bars and wafers to Spinney’s by means of a distribution agreement with Pan Euro Foods in Dublin. Invest NI brokered the agreement between GM and Pan Euro.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, commenting on the new business for GM, said: “GM is an ambitious and progressive marketing operation which saw a significant business opportunity arising from the growing concern in the region over obesity and diabetes and has moved quickly to offer consumers a range of sugar-free biscuit and confectionery products.

“Our team in Dubai worked closely with GM to identify the best route to market for the company’s products and introduced it to Pan Euro Foods, a Dublin-based distributor with an extensive business network in the region including Spinneys.”

Managing director and founder Gerard McAdorey said: “Spinney’s is now an immensely important customer for us and was also our first real export business. We’ve been working closely with the supermarket’s management to ensure our products are successful and also on the development of new ideas for the expanding ‘free-from’ category, which is growing in importance because of health concerns in the region. Invest NI’s support in the Emirates is immensely important and helped us find an ideal channel to this huge marketplace.

“We are now implementing plans to expand business there and also to win our first sales in Saudi Arabia, another market in which health issues are growing in Importance.”

GM Marketing offers a direct route to market and provides a complete portfolio of services including sales, order capture, distribution, promotions, marketing, market analysis, merchandising and much more.

In August 2013, the company launched the ‘Free’ist’ range, a 13-strong brand of sugar-free cookies, wafers, chocolate and jams aimed to meet the growing demand for tasty treats, especially for consumers with conditions such as diabetes. Several products in the range are also gluten-free.