A FAMILY run sweets business in Northern Ireland is bringing their traditional boiled sweets to the Costa del Sol to give sweet loving expats a taste of home.
Crilco Confections, based in Newry, Co Down have recently signed a landmark deal with a premium sweet distribution company is Malaga to ship the British staples in supermarkets across the region.
According to Crilco director David Crilly, the Irish company was approached by a connection in Malaga who had heard about their high quality boiled sweets.
“This led to a productive dialogue which showed us that there is a potentially lucrative market in Spain, particularly on the Costas where there is a large expat British and Irish population.” said Crilly to the News Letter newspaper.
“Trying to do business during COVID-19 hasn’t been easy, with many emails and phone calls but we are extremely happy that we have managed to seal this exciting deal.”
The 30-strong team at Crilco has already gained an important presence worldwide and currently supplies traditional sweets such as mint humbugs, liquorice and jelly babies acro the UK, Holland, America, Australia and Germany.
It is also China’s largest importer of British confectionary with £1 million worth of contracts per year bringing much needed income in times of economic uncertainty.
British sweets from other manufacturers are already available as certain ‘British’ supermarkets such as Iceland and Tesco across the Costa del Sol, but Crilco hopes that the new deal will help bring their products to smaller, local supermarkets and Spanish run businesses.
Crilco is one of the UK’s last remaining boiled sweet manufacturers and is Northern Ireland’s last, causing them to consistently improve and modernise their facilities to keep up with the latest trends.
“We have recently invested heavily in high tech packing and production machinery and we can now produce up to 50,000 bags of tasty treats per day, or roughly one million per month.” said Crilly.
The company has also committed to increasing their lines of sweets to include on trend alcoholic flavours such as Prosecco, whisky, and rum and coke flavoured sweets.
“Whilst we are experimenting with new flavours, pear drops are our most popular type of sweet, but we also produce other favourites such as vanilla fudge, jelly beans, cough drops and wine gums.”
The Crilco, or Crilly’s brand began way back in 1974 by David’s father Peter, who set up business in his home town of Newry after years of working in Blackpool and Slough making Blackpool rock.