Asda is delivering on its commitment to grow its £115million annual investment in the local agri-food sector with the launch of ‘Chosen by You – Northern Ireland’ (CBY NI) – a dedicated range of food staples which will be produced by NI-based food companies after being tested and approved by local shoppers.
Showcasing Northern Irish provenance, the first CBY NI products to feature in the prominently branded range is a selection of 13 iconic bakery lines from Irwin’s Bakery of Portadown.
Worth over £1m in annual sales, the contract reflects the quality and high standard set by Irwin’s which has been a key supplier to Asda since 2003. The full range includes iconic breads such as soda farls, potato bread, batch loaf, barmbrack and sliced wheaten as well as the ever popular pan loaves and pancakes.
The new CBY NI range will be on shelf in Asda stores across the region from St. Patrick’s Day where they will complement the supermarket’s existing Chosen by You brand, which has now become the fastest growing mid-tier supermarket range in Britain.
The entire Chosen By You range sets itself apart because it is sampled, tested and selected by shoppers not only from Asda, but also from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Morrison’s. Only those products which meet the panel’s strict standards reach the supermarket’s shelves. This same approach applies to CBY NI where a panel of 700 shoppers are involved in the trial and selection process.
Asda’s Local Category Director, CJ Antal-Smith commented, “We’re the first supermarket to launch a dedicated Northern Irish own label range. Our customers told us that they loved Chosen by You but buying ‘local’ remained a top priority for them so the obvious next step was to develop a regional own label option. The result is CBY NI and we’re delighted that Irwin’s is the first local company to come on-board and develop a range which reflects the quality, taste and value our customers want.”
Asda will continue to extend its CBY NI range through a range of local suppliers during 2012.
Irwin’s Sales Director John Hopkins said the company had invested significantly to perfect the new range:
“We’re delighted to have extended our strong relationship with Asda to produce the first ever Chosen by You NI range. With 100 years experience in baking breads and hotplate products such as pancakes and soda farls, we have the expertise and knowledge that Asda relies on from its supply partners to deliver the quality ranges which local consumers demand.”