McErlain’s Bakery (Magherafelt) Ltd – home to ‘Genesis Breads of the World’ - is investing £3.8 million in capability that will strengthen its product portfolio and enable it to win more business, particularly in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, its key export markets, Leslie Morrison, Invest Northern Ireland Chief Executive, said today.

Mr Morrison announced the Invest NI-backed investment with Brian McErlain, Managing Director of McErlain’s Bakery, during a visit to the company’s existing 20,000 sq ft bakery at Aughrim Road Industrial Estate, Magherafelt, where it bakes a broad range of products including the Genesis ‘Breads of the World’ and ‘Café Slice’ ranges.

The new products include mini-muffins and mini-bakes and are aimed to meet the growing demand for snack foods.

Mr Morrison said: “Invest NI is helping the company achieve its growth objectives by means of a customised business solution designed to increase overall competitiveness, based on our Principles for Business Support that offer a broad range of support for capability-building programmes.

“This announcement is also particularly welcome for this area following the recent announcement by Desmonds of the closure of its Swatragh factory,” he added.

Outlining the investment strategy, Mr McErlain said: “Our business has grown substantially over the past four years as a result of a focus on the ‘artisan’ branding, quality, customer service and the development of new products for market opportunities that we have identified particularly from our ongoing contacts with major food retailers.

“Increased capability in the breads and mini-bakes sector, for example, will enable us to diversify and exploit opportunities in snack foods, one of the fastest developing market sectors in Ireland and Great Britain.

“We want to build on our strong market reputation for being the ‘Genesis’ of breads for living. As the company prepares to celebrate its 35th anniversary, this announcement of financial backing from Invest NI is a great vote of confidence in Genesis, and is also a reflection of the hard work that has gone into the first 35 years,” he added.

McErlain’s Bakery is also taking part in several Invest NI programmes to expand capability in areas such as R&D and Business Improvement.