John Mackle & Elaine Hall, Mackle Petfoods, are pictured outside an Albert Heijn store in the Netherlands.
Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Jonathan Bell today announced Dungannon based Mackle Petfoods, has signed a deal to supply its Naturo petfood product to Dutch supermarket giant Albert Heijn.
Welcoming the deal, estimated to be worth £1.5million over the next two years, Jonathan Bell said: “Mackle Petfoods Naturo range was launched in the UK and Ireland in 2013 and the deal being announced here will now see the product on the shelves of 200 Albert Heijn stores in the Netherlands.
“One of my core priorities is to help local businesses grow and develop through export success and innovation. Local companies are continuing to broaden their horizons and explore new horizons. Mackle Petfoods is an excellent example of a home grown family business which takes export as seriously as its domestic business, and is building on its success to date by exploring and grasping the opportunities out there to develop its business abroad. I am pleased Invest NI’s Trade Advisory Service were able to support the company enabling them to carry out essential market research and identify and set up meetings with key buyers in the Netherlands.
“This company’s success is a good example for other Northern Ireland businesses considering exporting as it highlights the significant opportunities in overseas markets with the right determination and ambition.”
Managing Director John Mackle said: “We quickly realised through intensive market research, storechecks and market visits that there was nothing quite like Naturo on the Dutch supermarket shelves. In a pet loving country like the Netherlands, with 4.5 million cats and dogs, we saw an opportunity for Naturo, especially as the Dutch prefer quality natural products.
“We also did our homework before entering the Dutch market and realised that there are some differences between the Netherlands and our domestic market. This helped us to ensure our product offering was exactly what the market wanted and included determining that we needed to launch the product in full colour Dutch language sleeves.
“During this whole process we have been supported by Invest NI who has provided excellent market research reports, provided introductions to the Buying Team at Albert Heijn and have supported our presentation and translation requirements.
“This deal now gives us a strong platform for further growth and we are excited by the business opportunities available. Our next steps will be to continue to develop the business base we have created in order to enhance our market position.