Tesco is helping Portadown-based Irwin’s Bakery to bring a Northern Ireland favourite to Britain.
Irwin’s has secured a deal with Tesco which will see it stock Jammy Joeys and Snowy Joeys in more than 700 Tesco stores across Britain.
The listing has increased Irwin’s annual business with Tesco by 10% and the contract means the Co Armagh bakery will supply more than one million packs of Joeys to Tesco stores in Britain each year.
A Joey is a sweet, moist madeira bun with a light texture which is then dowsed in a delicious flavoured coating and sprinkled with desiccated coconut.
Joeys were created by Howell’s Handmade and first appeared in Northern Ireland in 1985. When Irwin’s acquired Howell’s Handmade in 2009 it immediately ramped up production of them and it now bakes 60 million Joeys each year.
The rollout of Joeys into Britain followed a successful short-term promotion which led Tesco to listing them nationally.
John Hopkins, Irwin’s Bakery Sales Director, said: “As Northern Ireland’s leading bakery, we are always delighted to share the news of a much loved local product’s popularity in other markets.
“We have invested in our production facilities, which has allowed us to increase capacity and win business on this scale. It is fantastic to secure this contract with Tesco as it not only strengthens our existing relationship but showcases the quality and taste of our products.”
Caoimhe Mannion, Tesco Northern Ireland’s Marketing Manager, said: “We are delighted that such a firm favourite in our stores in Northern Ireland is now being brought to a wider audience.
“This deal to supply Joeys to Tesco stores in Britain builds on a relationship between the two companies which stretches back more than 20 years.
“And it once again highlights the willingness of our Northern Ireland-based commercial team to help local food and drink companies to win business with Tesco right across the UK.”
Irwin’s, which is Northern Ireland’s only indigenous plant bakery, already supplies around 200,000 packs of product per week to Tesco stores across the UK and Ireland under brands such as Rankin Selection, Irwin’s and Howell’s Handmade as well as Tesco private label.
The bakery, which has a 400-strong workforce, has invested in its production capacity as a result of the latest deal with Tesco.