HEALTHY OAT SNACKS DRIVE SALES GROWTH AT WHITES
Surging sales of its healthy oats breakfast cereals helped Northern Ireland based oat miller, Whites, achieve a 50 per cent growth in turnover last year. The company, which is based at Tandragee in Northern Ireland, enjoyed significant growth in all markets especially Great Britain where major grocery and health food stores now list products, including its Toasted Oats snacks, from its extensive portfolio. As well as growth in the UK and Irish markets, Whites has seen export sales increase substantially in Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and, most recently, Indonesia. New markets established during the year, including Dubai, are also achieving strong growth, according to Mark Gowdy, the company's sales and marketing manager. Among its most successful European markets is Spain where it has developed Fricodan, a very successful own brand, for a major supermarket chain there. ???While our breakfast cereals and Toasted Oats snacks are selling extremely well across all markets, all products including the traditional porridge oats are continuing to grow strongly,??? Mr Gowdy adds. ???Our growth is the result of a strong focus on achieving listings with major food retailers and is also an indication that the trend in most markets towards healthy and natural products at breakfast is continuing to gather momentum. This would suggest that consumers want to start the day with a healthy and tasty breakfast.??? Whites has invested in new product development and has expanded its range to include Quick Cook Oat Flakes for convenience, as well as Pinhead Oatmeal and Oat Bran. Among the most recent results of the company's focus on innovative products is a range of Real Fruit Porridge in new packaging with revamped branding and offered as cranberry, apple and cinnamon, and sultana, raisin and apricot. The company, which has been milling oats since 1841, now enjoys listings with all major retailers including Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco.