Picture by Michael Cooper
Pictured is Joseph Mackle, Managing Director of Mackle Snack Foods, and Carol Keery, Invest NI.
Mackle Snack Foods in Moy is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland to develop a range of healthier snacks for export.
The company is being assisted to develop All Yours, a premium range of bite-sized, crispy rice clusters, through Invest NI’s research and development support, which is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Assistance for the innovative products, which include healthy fruits such as cranberries and blueberries covered in yoghurt, was announced by Carol Keery, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research & Technology, during a visit to the company, where she was briefed by Managing Director Joseph Mackle, who founded the business in 2006.
Mrs Keery said: “This is an important strategic investment by the company that will enable it to harness the business potential of the rapidly developing market trend, particularly in Europe, for healthier snack foods especially for children and teenagers. Obesity and conditions such as diabetes are now a major issue for health bodies in Europe, the US and also in parts of the developing world.
“Our R&D support seeks to encourage and assist companies generally new to R&D to invest in such activities which can help to strengthen their competitiveness particularly in fast moving markets such as food.”
Mr Mackle said: “All Yours is a major product development and premium branding initiative by the company which builds on our successful experience in producing private label snacks for leading retailers across Britain and Ireland.
“We identified a significant market opportunity for our longstanding expertise in snack products and invested in R&D to create a range of products to meet the rapidly developing demand for snacks that are both tasty and healthier, particularly for children and young people.
“All Yours is a new range designed by us to offer a healthier alternative, especially to existing syrup coated snack bars. The range builds on the success of our Mimies, an organic and lightly baked corn puff snack we designed with children’s health in mind. This range has 30 per cent less fat than most standard children’s snacks, is gluten free and does not contain hydrogenated fats, trans fats, preservatives or artificial ingredients.
“The new products are also the outcome of our own market monitoring activities and ongoing contacts with existing customers who helped identify a gap in the market for healthier snacks.”
Existing products developed by the company for retailers in Great Britain and Republic of Ireland include bacon fries, fried onion rings, salt and vinegar sticks and cheese puffs, produced in a range of bag sizes.
The company’s focus on organic products has been endorsed by the Organic Soil Association. It has also achieved BRC accreditation.