Deli Lites serves up 45 NI jobs

Food-to-go maker Deli Lites produces 40m products a year and is disrupting the ‘food-to-go’ business globally.

Warrenpoint-based food-to-go manufacturer Deli Lites is creating 45 new jobs at its Milltown Industrial Estate factory as part of a £4.3m investment plan to bolster its growth in global markets.

Established in 1998 by co-founders Jackie and Brian Reid, the business 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.

“Almost 70pc 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”

Deli Lites produces more than 40m products annually and employs more than 200 people.

Chef-led innovation

“Over the last five years, we have experienced exponential growth, securing new contracts with major multiples, cafe chains and blue chip customers worldwide,” said co-founder Bian Reid.

“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 70pc 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,” Reid said.

Invest NI has offered Deli Lites £499,800 of support towards the 45 new roles and marketing development activities.

 In recognition of Deli Lites’ commitment to innovation, it has been awarded a Silver Level Innovator Certificate from Innovate NI.

“Deli Lites is a company we identified very early on as having the potential to scale at pace and we weren’t wrong,” said George McKinney, director of Technology, Services and Scaling at Invest NI.

“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,” McKinney added.

Image at top: Jackie and Brian Reid, Owners of Deli Lites with George McKinney, Director of Technology, Services & Scaling, Invest NI.

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.