Families in Qatar learning to live a little luxury at breakfast time

Just Live a Little, the Northern Ireland producer of luxury breakfast granolas and healthy snack bars, has won significant business in Qatar for one of its most successful products.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 1:00 pm
David and Jill Crawford of Just Live a Little in Portaferry have signed a huge deal in Qatar

Just Live a Little, the Northern Ireland producer of luxury breakfast granolas and healthy snack bars, has won significant business in Qatar for one of its most successful products.

The company, which is based at Poraferry in Co Down, is now supplying a major retail network in the Arabian Gulf nation as a result of a deal brokered by Just Live a Little distributor CPT International in Birmingham. It’s Just Live a Little’s first business in Qatar, which is scheduled to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the first- ever in the Middle East.

On sale in supermarkets in Doha, the Qatar capital, and other parts of the country is Just Live a Little’s Low Sugar Coconut and Chia Granola.

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Just Live a Little is owned and managed by husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford who established the enterprising and export-led business in their farmhouse kitchen overlooking the picturesque Strangford Lough in 2011.

Jill, Just Live a Little’s commercial director, says the exciting deal could be among the most significant export contracts secured by the small family business.

“We have been working with the team at CPT International for some time on distributing our products to key markets such as the Middle East,” Jill continues.

“We appreciate the advice and guidance from CPT’s experienced team about doing business in the Middle East, an important target market for us, from their vast knowledge of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Egypt since its formation of the business in Birmingham in 1993.

“Our low sugar granola features colourful new packaging for the Middle East that’s fully recyclable. CPT circulated samples of the granolas to its main customers there.

The feedback was immensely encouraging and led directly to the substantial business with supermarkets in a market in which families are becoming increasingly concerned about sugar and obesity.

“Our granola was developed to meet this important developing trend in the Middle East and other markets abroad as well as at home,” Jill says. “We’ve seen the market trend towards high fibre, protein-rich, reduced sugar, low salt and vegan breakfast cereals and we’ve responded by developing innovative and tasty products that, we believe, exceed requirements and offer consumers healthy and delicious options,” she adds.

As a result of a longstanding focus on business outside Northern Ireland, Just Live a Little now exports its luxury granolas to Asia, especially Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as to Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic and Slovenia.

The company is also now among the most successful artisan providers of premium products in Northern Ireland. It has been assisted by business development agency to expand its exports by participation in activities such as ‘Meet the Buyer’ events.

The high fibre and low salt granolas reflect the small company’s longstanding commitment to healthier products that offer quality, outstanding flavours, wholesomeness and transparency for customers. In addition, all Just Live a Little products are made from the finest ingredients and are fully traceable.

Just Live a Little breakfast granolas and other cereals and snacks are all handmade here, are preservative-free and have been created by the husband and wife team.

The granolas are slow baked and are available in a range of delicious flavours. The company also makes a gluten-free granola – Triple Nut from oats grown and processed in such a way that they don’t come into contact with wheat.

Among the most affluent states in the Middle East, Qatar is a major producer of natural gas – the world’s third-largest in terms of natural gas and oil reserves. The country is expected to host the FIFA World Cup next year, making it the first Muslim nation to do so, and the Asian Games in 2030.

Just Live a Little is now among Northern Ireland’s most successful artisan enterprises in the global marketplace.

David and Jill began their business journey marketing fresh yoghurt at the iconic St George’s Market in Belfast. It was their decision to add granola - baked by Jill on the stove at their Portaferry home - to give the yoghurt a crunchier and different taste that was to open the door to a commercial breakthrough in the luxury breakfast business.

They’ve since gone on to export the cereals to an impressive list of international markets. More than 60 percent of the company’s luxury breakfast cereals are sold to customers outside Northern Ireland.

Their distinctively branded granolas are also on the shelves of major supermarkets in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland such as Waitrose, the upmarket retailer, Tesco and Asda. They are also available from big online retailers Ocado and Amazon Fresh.

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