The company behind the only yoghurt made in Northern Ireland is branching out with a little help from Tesco.
Clandeboye Estate, already famous for its range of yoghurts, is now supplying yoghurt smoothies to Tesco.
The blueberry, mango, strawberry and toffee flavour smoothies are initially being sold in 12 stores across Northern Ireland.
The listing is set to increase Bangor-based Clandeboye’s annual business with Tesco by up to 30% and it has also led to the company taking on a new technical production manager.
Bryan Boggs from Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt Company explained: “Our partnership with Tesco since 2008 has allowed the business to grow year on year with sales to Tesco in 2014-15 showing a 30% increase on the previous year. This gives us the confidence to keep developing and investing.”
The deal is initially expected to be worth £100,000 per annum to the Co Down company.
Caoimhe Mannion, Tesco Northern Ireland’s Marketing Manager, said: “Clandeboye Estate’s existing products are a firm favourite in our stores in Northern Ireland and we have no doubt these additions to the line-up will be a big hit with customers as well.”
The small company, which has a seven-strong team, only uses milk from its own herd of Holstein and Jersey cows which graze on the pastures of the Clandeboye Estate outside Bangor.
Bryan further explained: “Having established ourselves firstly with Greek-style and natural yoghurts, then a range of flavoured yoghurts, we looked at how we could grow the portfolio of products while still only using our own milk and sticking to what we do best, which is making yoghurt.
“We knew there were people not happy with the texture and high sugar content of standard fruit smoothies, and of a growing interest in dairy-based smoothies, so the obvious move was to develop our own range of yoghurt smoothies.”
He added: “They are still based on our whole milk natural yoghurt blended with fruits or toffee to make a luxurious drinking yoghurt. These are ideal drinks, or snacks on the go, and have proved really popular at breakfast and lunchtime.”
Two of the smoothies – blueberry and mango – have already made their mark by winning Great Taste Awards, adding to the long list of Great Taste Awards which the company has picked up for its products since it was established in 2007. Organised by the Guild of Fine Food, Great Taste is the acknowledged benchmark for speciality food and drink in the UK.