French granola fans Just Live a Little as firm boosts exports

Jill and David Crawford with one of the granolas they are sending to France
Jill and David Crawford with one of the granolas they are sending to France

Just Live a Little, Northern Ireland’s luxury breakfast granola producer, has won business with Auchan in France, among the world’s biggest retailers.

The company, based at Portaferry, Co Down, is supplying two of its artisan granola products, Whole Almond and Cranberry and Cashew, to 100 Auchan supermarkets in Paris and other centres across the country.

Just Live a Little was established by husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford in 2011 and has since become one of Northern Ireland’s most innovative food businesses and a very successful exporter.

“This is a tremendous breakthrough for us with one of the world’s biggest retailers,” said commercial director Jill.

“The listing is the outcome of our strategic focus on building business abroad and especially in France and other major European markets over the past five years.

“France is a pivotal European market in which consumers appreciate premium quality products, especially from artisan enterprises, that offer outstanding taste.

“Auchan has been our radar in France for some time. So, it was immensely encouraging for us to secure this initial listing for 100 stores for two of our premium artisan breakfast granolas. We are keen to work with the Auchan team to build on this hugely important business for us,” Mrs Crawford adds.

Just Live a Little has developed a successful portfolio of breakfast granolas and snack bars for UK retailers as well as international supermarkets. The granolas, all handcrafted, are currently exported to other European markets including Germany and Ireland, as well as Scandinavia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

In the UK, Just Live a Little supplies major retailers including Waitrose, Sainsbury and Tesco. It is also listed by Ocado, the leading on-line retailer.

“As a result of our commitment to sales outside Northern Ireland, we now export more than 60 per cent of our products. We recognised when we launched the business that success in international export markets would be essential if we were to grow the company,” Mrs Crawford continues. “Our business, both at home and abroad, is built on developing and sustaining close working relationships with retailers and by responding and quickly to their individual requirements.”

Just Live a Little is based in a farmhouse on Strangford Lough, a preservation area in county Down.

Auchan is a multinational corporation based in Croix. It is one of the world’s principal retail groups, the 11th largest food globally, with a significant presence in 15 countries. The group employs over 300,000 people.

Auchan has branches throughout France, and internationally in China, Hungary, India, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Spain, Ukraine and Vietnam. Auchan has over 630 hypermarkets and 2,874 supermarkets around the world.