Long Meadow Cider in Northern Ireland has won business for its award-winning products from Sainsbury’s.
The craft cider producer, based on a family-owned apple farm at Loughgall in county Armagh, Northern Ireland’s ‘orchard county’ is to supply Sainsbury’s stores in what is a significant deal for the business, now among the region’s most successful cider producers.
The ciders are now in sale in the retailer’s stores across Northern Ireland.
Long Meadow, which has won widespread acclaim, including UK Great Taste Awards, for the quality of its range of ciders using apples from its own and neighbouring farms in county Armagh, is supplying Sainsbury’s with its Blossom Burst, Medium and Rhubarb and Honey products.
Pat McKeever, who established the cider processing business with son Peter in 2012, says: “We are delighted to have won this immensely important business with Sainsbury’s in Northern Ireland.
“It’ another very significant development for us as we seek to expand sales of our ciders, juices and apple cider vinegar in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and further afield.
“The ciders are going into the stores at just the right time, ready for summer. It’s our first big supermarket deal,” he adds.
For three generations the McKeever family has been growing and processing apples at Long Meadow. The company grows and processes a variety of apples including tart Bramleys, which have EU protected status, along with sweet Katy’s, Worcester and Golden Delicious.
In 2012, Long Meadow Farm diversified into the cider industry producing two varieties, Medium and Blossom Burst. The company also produces a unique Dry Oak Aged Cider and Rhubarb and Honey. apple and oak to infuse with each other leaving a boisterous dry cider.
The progressive family business, in addition, won a major marketing competition last year run by the George Best City Airport which has given the company’s products a substantial profile at the airport. The competition gave the public the chance to select their best local product.
Sainsbury’s has 13 stores across Northern Ireland and spends around £250 million annually in sourcing a wide range of products from local suppliers. It employs around 3,000 people.