Northern Irish craft bakery Ashers is setting its sights on the overseas market after attending the Summer Fancy Foods Show in New York last week.

The trip, organised by Invest NI, enabled Newtownabbey-based Ashers to see how things work on the other side of the pond.

The fair, organised by The National Association for Speciality Food Trades (NASFT) took place between 29 June and 1 July, with over 1,000 exhibitors and around 25,000 attendees.

“We’re hoping to export some of our own range, in particular our Irish Fruit Loaf,” said Ashers general manager, Sylvia Weatherup. She explained the experience was a real eye opener, after having the opportunity to visit a number of bakery stores. US bakeries are “very different” to the UK from the types of window displays to the pride and passion shown about the products, she said.

“The staff were able to give so much information about the products,” said Weatherup, which is something she’d like to implement in Ashers. “It was a chance to get insights into trends and hopefully how to take our business to the next level,” she added.

Ashers was formed in 1992, and has eight bakeries, four of which are franchised. It produces a range of breads, cakes and morning goods for its shops and retailer customers. NASFT, a not-for-profit business trade association, was established in 1952 with the aim of fostering trade, commerce and interest in the speciality food industry.