Picture by Michael Cooper
In picture is (right) Brian Agnew, Superchip Sauces, with Olive Hill, Invest NI.
Superchip Sauces in Lisburn has received assistance from Invest Northern Ireland that has led to the pinpointing of its first franchise business in the Republic of Ireland as part of a new growth strategy.
The company is now preparing for the growth that will come in providing its range of quality sauces to a franchise operation in Donegal and is targeting similar operations throughout Britain and the Republic of Ireland. It also has plans to develop franchises in other parts of Europe.
Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation and Technology Solutions, visited the company’s manufacturing base, known as BJ Sauces, where the sauces for the Superchip franchise operation are produced.
Mrs Hill said: “Our assistance to the new business has focused on advice on intellectual property (IP) issues such as trade marks, guidance on branding and on franchising. We have extensive in-house experience and knowledge in European trade mark requirements.
“Superchip is an excellent example of how a smaller company can take steps to protect its intellectual property. It demonstrates that IP is just as relevant to smaller companies as it is to bigger firms.
“In addition, we’ve assisted the company in setting up a management information system to help in developing the network of franchisees.”
Speaking about the company’s export growth strategy Brian Agnew, Managing Director of Superchip Sauces, said: “Superchip Sauces is based on the experience that we’ve gained with BJ Sauces, providing sauces to foodservice operations in Northern Ireland over the past 20 years. We have a strong business base in Northern Ireland and recognised some time ago that we’d have to look at neighbouring markets for growth.
“Invest NI suggested we consider the franchise model as an effective route to growth particularly in terms of the cafes, restaurants and canteens which are our key target market. We then carried out essential desk research to flesh out the franchise project and attended several exhibitions to help us in developing a model that suited our requirements and to utilise our manufacturing operation in Lisburn.
“As a result of this work and the technical advice provided by Invest NI, we’ve now established franchisees in Northern Ireland and are looking forward to this new development in Donegal. We’ve also pinpointed 38 territories in Britain for potential franchisees and are now actively developing a network.”