French grocery chain takes healthy option with Just Live a Little

David and Jill Crawford with their granola range
David and Jill Crawford with their granola range

Just Live a Little, the Northern Ireland producer of premium and healthy breakfast and snack foods, has won its first business in France.

The company, based at Portaferry on the Strangford peninsula in Co Down, is now supplying its luxury, handcrafted breakfast granolas to 50 Franprix stores across France in a new export deal for the family-owned and managed business.

The firm was established by husband and wife team David and Jill Crawford in 2011, and is now among the most successful smaller Northern Ireland food producers in international markets.

“Mediascore Food, a distributor, based near Paris, to both retailers and foodservice operations, was seeking a new supplier of premium granolas and heard about the company through our digital media,” said commercial director Jill.

“They approached us to see if we would be interested in supplying granola to Franprix, one of their clients.

“We were delighted to provide them with samples and to make a formal pitch for the new business. France was then a new market opportunity for us. It’s a huge and quality conscious market with immense potential developing for us from the growing focus, particularly among younger consumers, on healthy breakfast cereals.

“Mediascore liked the products and introduced then to Franprix stores. This led to an initial listing for the granolas in 50 stores across France for launch on 8th May. It’s an exciting development for us because Franprix, also headquartered near Paris, is an important grocery retailer within the international Groupe Casino.

“We are looking forward to supporting Franprix to develop awareness among shoppers of our granolas through sampling and other marketing initiatives and thereby to grow our business throughout France.”

Franprix is taking two of the granola range Whole Almond and Cranberry and Cashew.

The company has had a strong global focus since its formation and now exports more than 60% of its products outside Northern Ireland. It has developed significant business in Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Denmark, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.