Sainsbury’s Local, the supermarket’s convenience stores in Britain, has listed Pinkfinch healthy snacks from Food Stories, the Northern Ireland producer.
Sainsbury’s has chosen the two Pinkfinch natural snacks – Crispy Apple and Banana and Crispy Green Bean and Sugar Snap – for around 300 stores.
The fruit and veggie snacks could contribute to five-a-day recommendations. They are also based on real fruit and vegetables and are both gluten-free and high in fibre.
The innovative range is the outcome of market research and product development over almost three years by Michael Heaslip, who founded Food Stories in Belfast in 2014. The company also produces Cloud Corn artisan popcorn.
“My aim was to develop a healthier crisp, one which could contribute to the five-a-day diet recommendation. We developed a unique cooking process that maintains the benefits of the fruits and vegetables,” Mr Heaslip explains.
“They are based on real fruit, are gluten-free and high in fibre, making them an ideal and tasty snack for children,” he adds.
The business with Sainsbury’s for its convenience stores followed a direct approach by the Northern Ireland company. “I approached the relevant buyer by email and then followed by sending samples,” Mr Heaslip continues.
“The buyer liked the crisps and this led to further discussions about a listing. It’s a marvellous boost for our business to be listed by one of the UK’s leading supermarkets in its convenience stores,” he adds.
Food Stories was launched by Mr Heaslip as a distributor of artisan foods before he decided to develop his own snacks following market research to pinpoint market opportunities, especially in Europe.
As a result of an extensive marketing drive the company’s products are now on sale in France, Spain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.