Business

Auchan customers to taste luxury granola from Co Down

David and Jill Crawford of Just Live a Little in Portaferry

LUXURY breakfast granola producer Just Live a Little in Portaferry has won business with Auchan in France, which is the 11th largest food group in the world, with a significant presence in 15 countries and employing more than 300,000 people.

The company, established by husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford in 2011 and based in a farmhouse on Strangford Lough, is supplying two of its artisan granola products – Whole Almond and Cranberry and Cashew – to 100 Auchan supermarkets in Paris and other centres across the country.

Commercial director Jill Crawford said: “This is a tremendous breakthrough for us with one of the world's biggest retailers.

"The listing is the outcome of our strategic focus on building business abroad and especially in France and other major European markets over the past five years. France is a pivotal European market in which consumers appreciate premium quality products, especially from artisan enterprises, that offer outstanding taste.

“Auchan has been our radar in France for some time. So, it was hugely encouraging for us to secure this initial listing for 100 stores for two of our premium artisan breakfast granolas. We are keen to work with the Auchan team to build on this hugely important business for us.”

Just Live a Little has developed a successful portfolio of breakfast granolas and snack bars for UK retailers as well as international supermarkets.

The granolas, all handcrafted, are currently exported to other European markets including Germany, Ireland, as well as Scandinavia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

In the UK, Just Live a Little supplies major retailers including Waitrose, Sainsbury and Tesco. It is also listed by Ocado, the leading on-line retailer.

“As a result of our commitment to sales outside Northern Ireland, we now export more than 60 per cent of our products. We recognised when we launched the business that success in international export markets would be essential if we were to grow the company,” Mrs Crawford added.

“Our business, both at home and abroad, is built on developing and sustaining close working relationships with retailers and by responding and quickly to their individual requirements.”

As well as branches throughout France, Auchan has a presence in China, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Ukraine and Vietnam. It boasts 630 hypermarkets and 2,874 supermarkets around the world.

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