Cloud Corn takes to the air with Tahitian deal

Getting ready for Tahiti, left, Jonny Murphy, local accounts manager, Elizabeth Curdy, operations manager, and Michael Heaslip, managing director of Cloud Corn
Getting ready for Tahiti, left, Jonny Murphy, local accounts manager, Elizabeth Curdy, operations manager, and Michael Heaslip, managing director of Cloud Corn

Passengers on Air Tahiti Nui flights to and from the exotic islands of French Polynesia are now enjoying artisan popcorn from Belfast.

Cloud Corn, based in east Belfast, has begun supplying the airline serving international centres as well as hundreds of islands with its increasingly popular range of hand blended popcorn snacks.

Based at Papeete, the Tahitian capital, Air Tahiti Nui’s network includes the US, France, Japan and New Zealand as well as tourist islands in the south Pacific such as Bora Bora and the Cook Islands.

The contract followed the Belfast artisan company’s recent participation in a major food trade show in Hamburg.

The popcorn range was launched in March by Michael Heaslip, founder and managing director of Food Stories, established in 2014 to provide marketing and distribution services to smaller food companies in the province .

Since then he has launched a number of his own brand products, including Cloud Corn.

“We knew from the start of the venture that the popcorn market in Britain and Ireland has become highly competitive and that we had to look for business abroad for sustainable growth.

“We decided, for instance, that all the nutritional information on the packaging should be in six languages – English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Italian.

“As a result of this strategic focus, we’ve been taking part in major trade shows, assisted by Invest NI, in Europe and further afield and have developed an extensive network of good contacts, now including Air Tahiti Nui, certainly our most remote customer to date.

“The Tahiti order is an encouraging breakthrough for us at such an early stage in our development. We provided samples at the request of their buyer and an order followed shortly afterwards. The business is a great endorsement of the quality and flavours of our popcorn,” he added.