Willowbrook Foods in Northern Ireland has won a contract to develop, produce and supply a range of deli-style salads to flight caterer Alpha Catering.
Willowbrook, which supplies pre-packed vegetables, deli salads and convenience dishes for foodservice and retail, is providing 68 deli salads to the London-based company.
The range of salads was developed by Willowbrook’s new product development team in association with Alpha chefs for in-flight meals supplied to major international airlines.
John McCann, founder and managing director of Willowbrook Foods, which is based in Killinchy, County Down, said: “Winning this significant business from such a prestigious and quality focused customer as Alpha Catering is a marvellous boost for us and especially for the expert team in our Innovation Centre.
“It’s also a tremendous endorsement of the skills and experience of the centre and our overall ability to respond quickly, in a flexible and effective way to the requirements of such an important customer."
Among the salads created by Willowbrook are Thai quinoa, lemon olive pasta, apricot tabouleh and potato Liegeoise. Although many of the recipes are quite diverse and unusual, Willowbrook focused on providing a local flavour as much as possible. The company used Northern Irish ingredients where possible, including potatoes, carrots and rapeseed oil.
Alpha Catering has bases in 60 airports worldwide and provides more than 320,000 in-flight meals a day to over 130 airlines in 21 countries.
Willowbrook Foods is the largest processor of lettuce bags and salads in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It currently employs 250 people in Willowbrook Foods and a separate business, Willowbrook Fine Foods, a specialist in convenience meals and side dishes.