A local Newry sweet manufacturer supplying it's products to China is just one of many recent international success stories for businesses based in the city.

Newry’s Crilco Sweets has won a second major deal in China which will see it supply a range of boiled sweets to a new customer in Shanghai. The latest deal is the second significant business there in the past six months.

The new contract is valued at £250,000 and will see the company’s successful and extensive range of confectionery on sale across China especially in pick and mix outlets which are popular with customers there.

Crilco, which is based on Flagstaff Road is Ireland’s only manufacturer of quality boiled sweets and other confectionery. The family-owned and managed business has just invested in new production and wrapping machinery to enable it to increase substantially its output of sweets.

David Crilly, director Crilco Sweets
David Crilly, director Crilco Sweets

David Crilly, director of Crilco Sweets says the latest business in China followed its participation in a major European industry trade show. “We met representatives from our latest customer at ISM in Cologne, one of a number of confectionery business shows we attend every year including a hugely successful event in Shanghai. They were interested in our range and enjoyed the quality and flavours of our products and subsequently visited our plant in Newry for further discussions.

“As a result of these talks and a tour of the factory with the new high-speed production and the wrapping machinery, which enables sweets quickly and in large volumes, they placed two significant orders,” adds Mr Crilly. 

The new business is a substantial boost for the ambitious and progressive as it seeks to grow business in China to around £1 million over the next 12 months. It means sweet lovers in China will enjoy boiled sweets long popular in Northern Ireland such as humbugs, rhubarb and custard, strawberry creams and liquorice. The company is supplying eight different confectionery lines to the new customer.

Mr Crilly continues: “We are investing substantially in productivity and marketing in key markets such as China where there are exciting opportunities for range of confectionery. It’s a market that requires commitment, speed of response and flexibility. 

“Our investment in new machinery, which is being assisted by business development agency Invest NI, will be supported by the acquisition of new and much larger warehousing. This enables to us to exploit other opportunities we’ve pinpointed in China and other markets and to meet demands for greater volumes,” he adds 

In addition to China, Crilly’s sells confectionery to leading retailers in Britain including discounter B&M and also exports to the Republic of Ireland, the US, Australia, Germany, Italy, France and the Czech Republic.

“The business there is the latest outcome of our extensive marketing campaign in global markets. In addition to a strong presence in Great Britain, we also sell to customers in the Republic of Ireland, the US, Australia, Germany, Italy, France and the Czech Republic from its factory in Newry.

The company, which was established in 1974, currently employs 22 people in Newry.

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