Northern Ireland-based Irwin’s Bakery has secured a major contract with Asda to supply batch bread to 300 stores across the UK. 

The deal, worth £500,000 per annum to Portadown-based Irwin’s, is for three new lines of batch bread – Sourdough, Multiseed and Cornbread – and one speciality fruit and oat muffin. Each will be available under Asda’s premium own-label range – Extra Special.

Batch bread is a traditional slow-baked Northern Irish bread, baked as part of an overall batch of loaves on the sole of the oven, rather than in individual tins.

“We have a very strong partnership with Asda and have worked with its customer insight teams to develop innovative ranges which meet growing consumer demand for new tastes and flavours,” said Michael Murphy, CEO of Irwin’s Bakery.

“It’s great that one of our best-loved local breads has been given a 21st century twist and, with exposure on the shelves of Asda across the UK, has the potential to grow at a national level.”

Michael McCallion, Asda NI buying manager, added: “Irwin’s has been a trusted supplier to Asda on both an own-label and branded basis for many years, so we’re delighted to see the company secure new contracts at a national level. It exemplifies our commitment to support our regional producers and help them maximise their business opportunities with Asda.”

The bakery also just announced a new Artisan bread range, featuring a sourdough and seeded loaf.