Irish Black Butter in Portrush is in line for its first sales in the Middle East.
The Co Antrim-based producer of a unique savoury/sweet spread and a peanut butter version has been approached to supply its products, including the multi award winning Irish Black Butter, to a foodservice operation in gas-rich Qatar on the Persian Gulf.
Irish Black Butter founder Alastair Bell explains: “I’ve had a number of approaches recently following my success on winning three starts in the Great Taste Awards and from my appearance on Dragons’ Den.
“These have included interesting opportunities from a foodservice operation in Qatar with successful business in the country and also a request for samples from a retailer in Boston.
“I am immensely encouraged by the strength of interest in Irish Black Butter in the international marketplace. These and other approaches I’ve had are currently being explored and will be sending samples.
“I’ll then be seeking to follow up the contacts with a view to doing business in these exciting markets. Qatar in particular will be home to the FIFA World Cup in 2022,” he adds.
Mr Bell established the company in November 2017 to create a novel spread using Northern Ireland’s PGI rated Armagh Bramley Apples. The product, which also includes cider, treacle and a touch of brandy was influenced from an apple spread he experienced during a visit to Jersey.
The product was described by Mr Bell as a “New Taste of Ireland’ for visitors to the island as well as local consumers.
Irish Black is now on sell in Britain as well as in the Republic of Ireland with independent retailers. Upwards of 100 delis and independent food stores on the island of Ireland currently stock the butter.
The product has also won UK Great Taste and Blas na hEireann food awards over the past two years.