Kestrel Foods wins major deal in UAE
Kestrel Foods, Portadown based expert in dried fruit and nut products, has secured an export deal to supply its new sports nutrition snacking range, Acti-Snack, to the leading grocery retail chain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), LuLu Hypermarkets. The contract comes during what Kestrel Foods has described as a ‘landmark year’ for the business, with company wide sales growth up 25% on last year.
Launched in late 2013, Acti-Snack was developed by Kestrel Foods to meet the needs of the growing segment of consumers taking an interest in sports, fitness and nutrition. Each of the dried fruit, nut and seed Acti-Snack mixes was scientifically developed to meet specific sports nutrition objectives. This latest contract will see the range appear in some of LuLu’s most high profile stores in the UAE.
Lorraine Hall, Sales and Marketing Director for Kestrel Foods said: “We are thrilled to have secured this international contract with leading UAE grocery chain, LuLu Hypermarkets. We made valuable connections at the recent Gulfood exhibition in Dubai, which, combined with the support of Invest Northern Ireland, led to LuLu visiting our headquarters and subsequently agreeing to stock the range.”
Acti-Snack marks Kestrel Foods’ first venture into the sports nutrition category, having achieved great success with its established Forest Feast brand over the last 16 years. Forest Feast range is currently available across the UK, Ireland and in international markets including Russia, Hong Kong, Norway, Mongolia, Italy, Poland, Iceland and the Middle East.
“Research highlighted to us that the active, health-conscious consumer seeks snack options that carry nutritional and physical benefits and is increasingly moving away from ‘fat free’ or ‘low calorie’ options, which often carry artificial additives or sweeteners.” said Lorraine Hall.
“We recognised an opportunity and used our knowledge of dried fruit, nuts and seeds to create a range which not only tastes great but also focuses on meeting nutritional and athletic objectives, such as delivering protein for recovery, carbohydrates for fuel and a mix of proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates for endurance. The range is also gluten free, which meets the needs of a large group of consumers seeking ‘free from’ snack options.
“The initial response from retailers has been hugely positive, with over 100 outlets across the UK, Ireland and Norway already stocking Acti-Snack. This major partnership with LuLu in UAE will be pivotal in driving the brand forward internationally.” said Lorraine Hall.
The development is the result of Kestrel Foods’ heavyweight growth strategy to grow its brands in new and existing markets.
“The past twelve months represent a landmark year for our business,” Lorraine continues. “Our strategy remains focused on exports, new product innovation and finding new routes to market through online partnerships and foodservice supply. With sales growth up 25% on last year and our brands now available in 36 countries, we are proud to see that strategy delivering results,” said Lorraine Hall.
Peter Lonsdale of Lulu Hypermarkets said, “We are very proud to introduce Acti-Snack into the UAE market. Having witnessed a great demand for sports nutrition products in our stores, we are always seeking innovation in this area. The Acti-Snack range combines nutrition, taste and quality ingredients. I am certain it will have great appeal in the UAE.”
With an employee base of 63, Kestrel Foods is set to create a further ten full time positions within the next twelve months.