The contract with Applegreen, a leading supplier of convenience foods to forecourt operators in the Republic of Ireland, will see Deli Lites supply Applegreen with an extensive range of gourmet sandwiches and tortilla wraps on a daily basis.
The Minister said: “This very significant contract establishes Deli Lites as a major supplier of gourmet food solutions to Applegreen for its network of more than 70 forecourts throughout the Republic of Ireland. It positions the company for further growth not only with Applegreen, but also many others, in a marketplace which continues to offer substantial business opportunities for Northern Ireland suppliers.
“The clear message from the success of Deli Lites is that Northern Ireland companies can compete and win in export markets. They simply need to invest resources on developing close working relationships with customers and by being flexible as well as responsive to their specific requirements.”
Jackie Reid, who formed the business with husband Brian in 1999, said: “The contract is a tremendous endorsement of our products and the customer focus which underpins our business approach. Over the past year, our business has grown by 40 per cent, assisted by a commitment to grow sales substantially in the Republic.
“We’ve been building a relationship with Applegreen over the past year, which has enabled us to understand fully their food retailing operation, their commitment to provide consumers with premium quality products and their specific requirements especially in terms of healthy eating. Our products, for instance, are free from hydrogenated fats and use only free-range eggs.
“The new business is also benefiting other Northern Ireland companies because of our commitment to source as many ingredients as possible from local suppliers. In addition to support for our current expansion, Invest NI has provided assistance towards new product development, export marketing and staff development as well as expert lead generation advice in our target market,” she added.
Adrian Grimes, Head of Food at Applegreen, said: “We are proud to serve over 400,000 customers a week in our forecourts. It’s extremely important to us to provide tasty and high quality sandwiches and other delicious sweet treats to our travelling and commuting consumers.
“The response to our teaming up with Deli Lites has been overwhelmingly positive. Since January 2012 Deli Lites has been providing us with a range of excellent food products which have delighted our discerning customers. It’s refreshing to work with people that have such passion and take such pride in turning out high quality affordable food. We look forward to working with Deli Lites into the future to develop new and even more delicious ways of making our customers happy.”