Irwin's Bakery extends Lidl Northern Ireland contract

Source: Lidl Northern Ireland

(L-R) Michael Murphy, chief executive at Irwin’s Bakery; Ross Irwin, director of Irwin’s Bakery; Ben Woods, supply chain executive at Lidl Northern Ireland; and Brian Irwin, chairman of Irwin’s Bakery

Portadown-based Irwin’s Bakery has secured an expanded contract with Lidl Northern Ireland to supply a range of bread, rolls and sweet treats.

The new deal for the full year ahead is worth £2.7 million and will see the bakery offer an expanded product range to all 202 Lidl stores in Ireland.

New items include traditional buttermilk soda bread and low-calorie wholemeal sliced bread at only 59 calories per slice.

Irwin’s Bakery will also continue to supply its Nutty Krust batch bread, Veda malted loaf and Jammy Joeys (bitesize madeira buns rolled in raspberry flavour jelly and desiccated coconut) as part of the deal alongside fruit bread, rolls, muffins, pan bread, wheaten bread, Snowy Joeys (madeira buns rolled in soft white icing and desiccated coconut) and Iced Diamonds.

This follows Irwin and Lidl’s successful 20-year partnership deal worth more than £50 million, it said.

Established in 1912 and employing more than 450 staff, Irwin’s Bakery has been a long-term supplier to Lidl Northern Ireland since it opened its first store in Cookstown in 1999.

“Since 1999, our partnership with Irwin’s has delivered over £50 million of products through our store network across the island and we’re hungry for more. This renewed supply deal with Irwin’s will see a range of innovative new products introduced alongside family favourites and cements our commitment to investing in home-grown producers as we enter a new decade of growth in the retail sector,” said Ben Woods, supply chain executive at Lidl Northern Ireland.

The supply deal is the latest move by the retailer in its ongoing support and commitment to local food suppliers, it added.

This isn’t the first time a bakery has secured a partnership deal with Lidl. In 2020, the retailer awarded Fermanagh-based Crust & Crumb a £24m annual contract to supply an expanded range of pizzas to more than 1,000 stores across the UK and Ireland.

“We are thrilled to count Lidl Northern Ireland as one of our major customers and to have supported its own success over 20 years. During this time, Irwin’s has enjoyed double digit growth across a variety of bakery sectors and our supply deal with Lidl Northern Ireland continues to grow year on year. With an eye on future growth, we are keen to expand our scope of supply through Lidl Northern Ireland and hope to bring our authentic tasting products to new markets,” added Michael Murphy, chief executive officer at Irwin’s Bakery.

“Not only has this supply contract supported our growth strategy, but is has also enabled us to increase production, create more jobs locally and expand our range of products. The renewal of the supply deal with Lidl Northern Ireland marks a new decade of partnership and we look forward to seeing where this will take us next.”