Bronagh sees plant-based foods key to growth at Craigavon’s ACTI-SNACK

ACTI-SNACK, the Craigavon-based specialist in healthy snacking for customers worldwide is making its debut into the vibrant and highly competitive breakfast market with the launch of two new plant based granolas this month.

By Sam Butler
Monday, 8th November 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 8th November 2021, 9:56 am

ACTI-SNACK, the Craigavon-based specialist in healthy snacking for customers worldwide is making its debut into the vibrant and highly competitive breakfast market with the launch of two new plant based granolas this month.

The company is now among Northern Ireland’s most innovative food producers.

The new ACTI-SNACK products reflect the strength of the company’s commitment to market-focused innovation; seen increasingly as the key to the future growth of the dynamic Northern Ireland food and drink processing industry which already contributes around £5 billion annually to the local economy and employs over 10,000 people across an extensive supply chain.

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Bronagh Clarke, marketing director of ACTI-SNACK in Craigavon

The company, part of Kestrel Foods, an established and successful producer of healthy dried fruit and nut products through its Forest Feast brand, is set to meet the demand for more natural and nutritious breakfast options that deliver on taste in what has become a fast growing category.

The new granolas are a significant extension of ACTI-SNACK’s longstanding focus on nutritious options for those keen on outdoor activities such as sports and leisure pursuits. The breakfast category, according to Bronagh Clarke, Forest Feast’s marketing director, has seen continued momentum of almost three percent growth year-on-year as consumers spend more time at home.

“As a nation we are seeking out better choices that deliver on taste and have honest health credentials,” she says. “For many people breakfast is the most important meal – a chance to fuel for the day ahead and pack in as much good nutrition as possible. Consumers are always telling us they want more choice – something packed with good honest ingredients and still tasting great to power them through the day ahead.”

Continuing Bronagh says: “We set out to create granolas that were plant-based, high in protein and low in sugar without the use of artificial sweeteners. We worked with performance nutritionists and health minded consumers to hit the right mix of nutrients that will deliver a great tasting start to the day.

The new granolas

“Our High Protein Peanut Butter Granola is made with 30% real peanut butter, tapping into the explosion in peanut butter as a flavour and protein source. Each bowlful has 23 percent protein as well as being a source of fibre, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

“Our Keto Dark Choc Almond Granola, furthermore, taps into the demand for low sugar and lower carb products. The Keto trend has been steadily gaining momentum amongst those looking to burn fat, improve lean muscle mass or those seeking out low sugar diets.”

The market for such products, Bronagh continues, is predicted to increase more than five percent every year by 2027.

“While Keto products are typically full of sweeteners as well as being at a steep price premium, we have worked to keep the products natural and the price accessible for everyone,” she explains. “We are excited to bring these two products to market and are confident they will deliver for consumers and drive incremental category growth and further success for our business.”

ACTI-SNACK granolas are all batch-made locally in the company’s dedicated granola roasting site in Co Armagh. The products are launching into Ocado, one of the UK’s biggest on-live grocers, this month with other retailers set to follow suit from the company’s extensive marketing and promotional.

The range:

 High Protein Peanut Butter Granola. Sweet and Salty crunchy granola clusters made from toasted wholegrain oats, nuts and seeds, with 30% real peanut butter and dark chocolate curls. Packed with protein, iron and fibre.

 Keto Dark Choc Almond Granola. A grain-free granola made from toasted coconut, nuts, seeds and cocoa. With only 2g of sugar per serving, it is rich in good fats, protein and fibre to keep consumers going for longer.

Both products have been developed to be suitable for vegans and those conscious about sugar in their diet.

ACTI-SNACK, which has its own processing factory in the developing Craigavon food hub, and Forest Feast are recognised healthy food brands which are both owned by Kestrel Foods Ltd, a family run business which has long been at the forefront of the market for premium and healthy dried fruit, nuts, seeds, snacks and granolas.

A Food NI member, the multi-award-winning business, formed by Michael Hall and late wife Lorraine in 1996, handcrafts everything on-site at its Co Armagh base, exporting to 26 countries worldwide.

As a result of this strategic approach to business and especially innovation, the manufacturing enterprise is now among Northern Ireland’s leading food exporters and one with a successful track record in the development and processing of healthy snacks. It has won UK recognition for its export successes and collected a series of prestigious awards including UK Great Taste.

Kestrel Foods has a customer base, which includes retail, foodservice and e-commerce for both ACT-SNACK and Forest Feast products, is committed to working with suppliers who share their vision and values for sustainable supply. 

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