Picture by Michael Cooper
In picture is (left), Tim Kells, Marketing Manager of Alfee’s Flatbreads in Newtownards, with Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food Director.
Alfee’s Flatbreads, produced in Newtownards, are to be included in the automated catering units developed by Feastpoint in London, the company behind a highly innovative solution for out-of-hours food catering. Alfee’s has taken part in a series of Invest Northern Ireland food promotions in Great Britain.
Alfee’s is supplying Feastpoint with three hand rolled flatbreads – spicy chicken, ham and cheese, and eggs and bacon – for new generation automated food dispensers, which combine a chill cabinet and a microwave/convection oven with the latest touchscreen cooking technology. Feastpoint invented and is now rolling the dispensers out to corporate and other clients across the UK including Easyjet and many NHS sites.
The company’s success in Britain was announced by Tim Kells, Marketing Manager at Alfee’s, and welcomed by Maynard Mawhinney, Director, Invest NI Food Division. Alfee’s is part of Rich Sauces, also based in Newtownards, a major producer of quality mayonnaise and sauces to customers throughout the UK, Ireland, other parts of Europe and the US.
Mr Mawhinney said: “This is an important breakthrough in Britain for a product developed by one of our most successful local manufacturers to widen its market base and grow business in the fast growing market for quality snacks.
“Rich Sauces has taken part in many of our food marketing activities in Great Britain and the US and has been assisted by our team of food marketing advisers. The company has also used our Northern Ireland Naturally stands very effectively at major exhibitions such as IFE and Lunch, both in London, to gain important feedback from potential customers in foodservice and food retailing.
“Alfee’s Flatbreads were officially launched at the recent Lunch Show at Old Billingsgate in London, where the product was shortlisted by the panel of expert judges in the Innovation Challenge.”
Mr Kells said: “This is a new direction for our company. We have reacted to the decrease in skills in the foodservice industry and so have developed an end product that is capable of being heated in almost any cooking appliance a kitchen may have. We’ve benefited significantly from the advice and practical support from Invest NI’s marketing advisers and from the assistance in promoting the products at major international exhibitions.
“The secret of our tasty flatbreads really is in the sauce. Our new product development chefs have developed a unique range of hand rolled, filled flatbreads that combine quality and convenience.
“The product is so convenient in that it can be cooked whilst still in its packaging. This makes Alfee’s Flatbreads ideal for a self-serve operation like Feastpoint.
“Winning the business with Feastpoint is an important endorsement of the quality and outstanding taste features of the range because this company’s strategic focus, since its establishment in 2003, is on creating quality, convenient and richly flavoured meals to meet the needs of companies for good and cost-effective out-of-hours food catering.
“Our range can be enjoyed anytime of the day. The flatbreads can be used as a meal replacement or a substantial snack – cooked in under two minutes. Our range has been developed to suit every meal - breakfast, lunch, dinner or late night snack.
“We are also reacting to our customers’ demands by developing more recipes including a vegetarian product due for launch in the first quarter of 2012,” added Mr Kells.
The new frozen flatbreads carry forward the expertise in sauce gained since the company’s formation in 1987 and which has been recognised by a series of awards including UK Great Taste Awards.
“The fantastic response we have had to our filled Flatbreads at Lunch and with customers such as Feastpoint bodes well for Alfee’s succes into 2012 and beyond,” added Mr Kells.