Fermanagh bakery Crust & Crumb gobbles up £24m pizza deal with Lidl

TASTY PIZZA BUSINESS: Mark McCaffrey of Crust & Crumb Bakery with Lidl's Northern Ireland regional director Conor Boyle
TASTY PIZZA BUSINESS: Mark McCaffrey of Crust & Crumb Bakery with Lidl's Northern Ireland regional director Conor Boyle

FERMANAGH-based bakery Crust & Crumb has secured a mouthwatering deal worth £24 million to supply 20 new lines of pizza across more than 1,000 Lidl stores in the UK and Ireland.

The firm, which is Ireland’s largest manufacturer of ambient, chilled and frozen dough-based products, has been a preferred supplier to Lidl since 2013.

And it says the new deal will be a springboard for further export growth later this year.

Crust & Crumb operates from two major production facilities in Derrylin (one of which is a gluten-free site) and a further site in Ballyconnell, County Cavan, which it opened last year.

In just 12 months the company doubled its staff numbers from 140 to nearly 300, and in its last trading year its sales soared from £17.1 million to £27.4 million.

The company will supply 20 varieties of Deluxe range sourdough pizza, selected for its premium quality and craft ranges, six Chef Select pizza lines chosen for its supreme taste range, and two flavours of its Simply pizza value range.

Crust & Crumb's Mark McCaffrey said: “Supported by a dedicated team of craft bakers, we take great pride in producing a range of world class products which pack real punch in quality, taste and value.

“We’re delighted to expand our partnership with Lidl Northern Ireland. It has enabled us to access new markets and expand our customer base across the UK and Ireland, supporting our ambitions for export sales to additional EU markets later this year.”

Conor Boyle, regional director of Lidl Northern Ireland, said: “From small beginnings we’ve built an outstanding relationship with Crust & Crumb and are thrilled that this new contractual arrangement will bring its great-tasting, quality, locally-made products to thousands of new consumers.

“An innovative company with renewed capacity for growth, we see the hard work and commitment by its team of staff and are proud to support its expansion.”

Last year, as part of its 20th anniversary in Northern Ireland, Lidl commissioned an independent report which indicated that it spends £290 million annually with suppliers across the north and supports 3,500 jobs.

John Hood, director of food & drink at Invest NI, said: “Crust & Crumb is a highly ambitious company which we have supported since it established almost a decade ago, and this announcement is testament to its sharp focus on innovation, which has been the driver in helping it to increase its product range with Lidl.”