Pure Roast Coffee brews up for UK retail opportunities

Lisburn coffee roasting business Pure Roast Coffee lands deal with UK supermarket chain.

Northern Ireland coffee roasting, packaging and distribution specialist Pure Roast Coffee is targeting the UK retail market and has already landed its first contract with a major retailer.

The £1m deal will see the company supply its filter coffee, whole bean and string and tag coffee bags to a well-known supermarket.

“Pure Roast Coffee is an excellent example of a local SME that has invested significantly in new product development to grow sales and build its competitive advantage”

The company invested almost £1m in its business which included an investment in research & development (R&D) in 2020 to create Northern Ireland’s first string an tag coffee bag, with the support of Invest Northern Ireland. The company has also created ten jobs as part of the investment.

Brewing up a storm

“As more people have been working from home during the pandemic, our online coffee sales have rocketed by 60%,” said Martin Symington, director of Pure Roast Coffee.

“Recognising a gap in the market, we used Invest NI’s support for R&D to develop a new String & Tag coffee bag that meets the needs of the modern coffee consumer. The coffee bag is similar to a tea bag and is convenient to use, but doesn’t compromise on high quality flavour.

“Since 2009, Invest NI’s support has been key to our success and has helped us to grow to the stage where we have secured this lucrative GB supermarket deal. Coffee consumption in China is growing and we’ve been working closely with Invest NI’s in-market China team to grow in this market. The team has provided us with expert trade advice and connected us with key contacts and we have now opened our seventh café in Shanghai. Our ambitions are to grow this further, to over 60 stores across China in the next few years.”

Invest NI has offered the company £209,295 towards R&D, the creation of ten jobs, and website development. It has also participated in Invest NI’s DesignActive programme.

John Hood, Invest NI’s Director of Food & Drink, said: “The Department for the Economy’s 10X Economic Vision identifies the development of innovative technologies within the Food & Drink sector as essential to driving the growth of Northern Ireland’s economy. Pure Roast Coffee is an excellent example of a local SME that has invested significantly in new product development to grow sales and build its competitive advantage.

“Due to the surge in business, we also supported the company to create ten jobs in the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council area. Expanding its team has helped it to increase productivity, support it to deliver this contract and meet consumer demand.  I have no doubt that its new brand, packaging and coffee bag will enable the company to grow its share of the UK and Asia Pac markets and secure further opportunities globally.”

Invest NI’s R&D support is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the EU investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.

In recognition of Pure Roast Coffee’s commitment to innovation, it has been awarded a Silver Level Innovator Certificate from Innovate NI.

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

Recommended