Warrenpoint based food-to-go manufacturer DELI LITES has announced it is creating 45 new jobs at its Milltown Industrial Estate factory as part of a £4.3million investment to support its growth in global markets.
Established in 1998 by co-founders Jackie and Brian Reid, DELI LITES supplies a range of hand-crafted food-to-go products to a host of major retailers across Ireland, the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world. It produces over 40million products annually and employs more than 200 people.
Making the announcement, Brian Reid, CEO of DELI LITES said: “Over the last five years, we have experienced exponential growth, securing new contracts with major multiples, cafe chains and blue chip customers worldwide. With chef-led innovation, our products are healthy, tasty and convenient and therefore appeal to a wide-ranging consumer base.
“We’ve been working in partnership with Invest Northern Ireland since 2007. Over the years the agency has supported us to upskill and grow our team and purchase new equipment which has enabled us to extend our product range and introduce Industry 4.0 technologies. Almost 70 per cent of our business is now export-led which has been strengthened by introducing new innovative award winning ranges which are disrupting the ‘food to go’ industry, whilst delivering on the changing consumer demands and proving very popular in the Baltics and Scandinavia. The 45 new staff will help us to fulfil growing demand for our product ranges, expand our export reach in Europe, the UAE and the US.”
Invest NI has offered DELI LITES £499,800 of support towards the 45 new roles and marketing development activities.
George McKinney, Director of Technology, Services and Scaling at Invest NI said: “DELI LITES is a company we identified very early on as having the potential to scale at pace and we weren’t wrong. Over the years, we’ve offered multiple supports to expedite its growth and the company is now experiencing strong export sales on the back of a commitment to innovation and service excellence.
“The Department for the Economy’s 10X economic vision recognises the need to ensure Northern Ireland becomes a more innovative region that supports new business development. Our support to help DELI LITES create 45 jobs in Warrenpoint is helping to deliver this vision. Once in place, the new jobs will generate over £1.3 million of additional annual salaries for the Northern Ireland economy; a welcome boost for the Newry, Mourne & Down District Council area.”
Echoing Invest NI’s comments, Councillor Cathy Mason, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council added “Today’s announcement is fantastic news and a welcomed investment both for DELI LITES and the wider Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area. DELI LITES have proved their commitment in being innovative and the addition of 45 jobs is testimony to their determination to continue to penetrate global markets. Brian and Jackie have developed the business into a major employer in the area and I wish them continued success on their journey”.
In recognition of DELI LITES’ commitment to innovation, it has been awarded a Silver Level Innovator Certificate from Innovate NI.
Invest NI is committed to driving innovation in Northern Ireland and is a proud partner of Innovate NI, a Department for the Economy programme, helping local businesses innovate successfully. For further information, visit www.innovateni.com