New Chook Chook retail poultry brand takes wings
Chook Chook, a funky new brand, has been launched by one of Northern Ireland’s longest established poultry businesses to grow sales in key markets including the Republic of Ireland.
The new gourmet meals reflect European and Asian influences and have been created by the company, which is based at Cullybackey, near Ballymena in county Antrim, in association with top chef Andy Rea, joint owner of restaurants in Belfast including Home, a Bib Gourmand award winner. The link–up reflects the company’s focus on creating restaurant quality meals for eating at home.
The new convenience meals, mostly handcrafted by the company’s 50–strong team, are available in 356g trays in a folder with cooking guidance at £3.99 RRP. They are:
Four Thai Spice Marinated Chicken Burgers;
Four Mozzarella, Basil and Sundried Tomato Chicken Meatballs;
Two Chorizo, Manchego and Red Pepper Chicken Breasts;
Four Bombay Masala Chicken Burgers;
Two Pancetta, Basil, Mozzarella and Sun Ripe Tomato Chicken Breasts; and
Two Breadcrumbed Chicken Escalopes with three Cheeses and Basil Melts.
The new range is already on sale in Northern Ireland and is attracting inquiries from retailers in the Republic of Ireland, a market the company has targeted for growth. The Chook Chook brand was developed by the family–owned and managed business to strengthen its retail sales.
“We are aiming to do more business outside Northern Ireland,” says managing director Wesley Dickey. “We are keen to expand sales in the Republic. If there’s a customer who wants a good quality chicken product, we’re happy to talk to them.
“We offer quality – not a mass produced product. Chook Chook is small and flexible and can produce niche products too. We are also able to respond to customers’ requirements faster than the bigger processors.”
He adds the company, which has been in business for over 60 years, developed the Chook Chook brand “to create something different in a fiercely competitive business environment. “The Chook Chook brand gives us a different personality and a way to talk to customers that we haven’t tried before,” he adds.
The company processes chickens and turkeys from farms within a 15–mile radius of its plant. It supplies the farms with day–old chicks and feed and the farmers raise them. All its products are created and finished by hand and packaged on site.
The new range has already been listed by SuperValu, Spar and Nisa stores in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s Copeland Gin, a specialist in fruit infused craft gins, has been listed by Marks and Spencer. The top retailer has chosen Copeland’s unique raspberry and mint gin for its 18 stores across Northern Ireland – just 11 months after the launch of the company and its ‘ginfusions’.
Dairy companies in Northern Ireland are keen to grow business for cheese and butter particularly in Europe and beyond. More than 80 per cent of Northern Ireland dairy products are currently sold outside the region. Although Great Britain and the European Union remain key markets for Northern Ireland dairy products, exports outside the EU are becoming more important.
Wild Power Wheatgrass in Northern Ireland has won business with top online retailer Ocado for its award winning range of healthy wheatgrass–based drinks.
Authentic beef biltong has been launched in Northern Ireland by an artisan business which has its roots in South Africa.
Dairy co–operative LacPatrick has unveiled a new operation in Northern Ireland that will allow it to process milk on both sides of the Irish border, especially for a growing number of customers in Great Britain. The company has seen a surge of business in Britain as food manufacturing companies there increasingly turn to local suppliers in advance of Brexit.
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