Menthol range from experts Crilly Sweets in Newry to counter winter chills

David Crilly and the team at Crilly Sweets in Newry are gearing up for the winter season of colds, coughs and sore throats with the launch of a novel range of menthol remedies.

Saturday, 20th November 2021, 5:00 pm

A director of Ireland’s biggest producer of hard sweets and one of very few in the United Kingdom, David is busy lining up new retail deals here, in Britain and the Republic of Ireland for the family firm’s first range of menthol drops produced in the company’s plant just outside the border city. The menthol drops are already starting to appear in shops ahead of winter coughs and sneezes.

The company, a longstanding exporter of confectionery throughout Europe and as far as China’s vast network of pick and mix shops, has created Mr Crilly’s, an eye catching brand for the six strong flavour range - Honey and Lemon Menthol; Throat and Chest Menthol; Menthol and Eucalyptus; Blackcurrant Menthol; Cherry Menthol; and Peppermint Menthol.

The new menthol sweets are a logical extension of Crilly’s vast experience in developing and manufacturing boiled sweets and other confectionery for clients worldwide. Crilly’s is one of the unsung heroes of local exports and is now one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful confectionery producers in China.

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Ciaran, David and Peter Crilly of Crilly’s Sweets in Newry

David, the marketing director, runs the family business with father Peter, the founder and managing director, and brother Ciaran, the production director. The small business, which now employs 40 people, was established by Peter in 1974.

David explains: “We’ve been working on the development of the menthol drops for several years and have now produced a range of different flavours that customers are finding delicious and, of course, help in combating colds, chills and sore throats so common at this time of year especially in the UK, Ireland and Europe.

“We’ve created a distinctive branding for the menthol range which reflects our family tradition in quality and tasty hard boiled sweets. And we are delighted with the very positive response from retailers here and further afield. As result, the novel range is now attracting firm orders from home and abroad.”

The novel range for the company is also a further and excellent example of the focus of smaller food enterprises here on investment in innovation for opportunities pinpointed in markets here and abroad.

David Crilly, marketing director of Crilly’s in Newry which has just launched a range of menthol sweets

“We have a longstanding strategic focus on new product development and regularly explore opportunities with existing and potential customers. Our expertise and experience covers the broadest range of hard boiled sweets and other confectionery.

“Over the years we’ve produced specific hard and soft sweets at the request of customers and have the equipment, production flexibility and versatility to respond quickly to their requirements. Indeed, we pride ourselves on our responsive customer-focused service,” adds David.

The company developed its own recipes for the menthol sweets from extensive market research and subsequently trialling the flavours with contacts here and abroad. The launch of the menthol range is a logical extension of the company’s longstanding experience in developing and manufacturing hard boiled confectionery.

Crilly’s Sweets is owned by Crilco Confections Ltd, Ireland’s only manufacturer of quality boiled sweets and other confectionery. It’s known for its classic mint humbugs, rhubarb and custard, strawberry & cream, and pear drops. The family-owned and managed business has invested extensively in its manufacturing and storage facilities and is widely respected worldwide for the quality of its confectionery and customer focus.

The new menthol range

David continues: “We are investing substantially in productivity and marketing in key markets such as China where there are exciting opportunities for our range of confectionery. It’s a market that requires commitment, speed of response and flexibility.

“Our investment in new machinery, which is being assisted by business development agency Invest NI, has been supported by the acquisition of new and much larger warehousing. This enables to us to exploit other opportunities we’ve pinpointed in China and other markets and, of course, to meet demands for greater volumes,” he adds.

In addition to growing business with pick and match stores in China, Crilly’s also sells confectionery to leading retailers in Britain including Aldi, discounters B&M and Poundstretcher, and also exports to the Republic of Ireland, the US, Australia, Germany, Italy, France and the Czech Republic. The company frequently hosts visits to its plant from export customers including from Shanghai.

“We regularly meet them at international trade shows and are always ready to show them our production operation in Newry….and, of course, a bit of Northern Ireland especially the Mournes. It’s long been our practice to have a presence at major trade shows because they’ve produced orders over the years. The programme, of course, was effectively paused by the pandemic but is now resuming,” adds David.

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