Belfast-based Food Stories has signed a deal with Costa Coffee in the Czech Republic that will see 50 stores stocked with a range of fruit crisps.

The deal to supply 50 Costa cafes in the Czech Republic is the latest in a string of export successes signed by Michael Heaslip, managing director of Food Stories. It follows an agreement to supply Pinkfinch crisps to Hungary’s Wizz Air in Budapest.

Food Stories, a Food NI member company, is now supplying Pinkfinch Apple Fruit Crisps and Banana Fruit Crisps directly to the Costa network. The Costa deal is the company’s first move into the Czech market.

Michael Heaslip said: “I attended a ‘meet the buyer’ event at the British Embassy in Prague in September 2018 run by the British Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic.

“Following from the event we made a number of retail and food service contacts that we have been developing over the past 12 months. The deal with Costa Coffee is a particularly exciting development for our business. The Costa Coffee brand in Czech Republic is run by Lagardère Travel Retail, one of the largest operators of food service and convenience retail outlets in the country. The company also has substantial business at airports in Europe, including Belfast International, and further afield.

“We are hopeful this initial listing will lead to an expansion of our business in the market and an opportunity to explore other markets in which Lagardère operates,” added Mr Heaslip.

He continued: “We have had amazing support from the British Chamber of Commerce team in the Czech Republic. They have been proactive at identifying potential sales channels for our brands and have made a host of introductions. This listing would not have been possible without them.

“They see Pinkfinch as a fantastic brand offering crisps that are healthy and functional with attractive packaging, which matches the demand for healthy products and growing consciousness of consumers in Czech Republic.

“As a gluten free, nut free and vegan friendly product we also expect it to appeal to allergy sufferers,” he added.

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