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International bakery deal for NZ chef dishes up the dough

International bakery deal for NZ chef dishes up the dough

Chef-turned-businessman Sean Armstrong’s successful business Loaf is expanding internationally in a multi-million dollar deal.

After six months of negotiations, a selection of Armstrong’s range of delicious gourmet slices has hit the Australian market with three containers of goods being shipped across the Tasman.

Supermarket giant Coles’ is stocking a selected range of the slices in 400 of its stores throughout the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

The exclusive multi-million dollar agreement means Loaf has increased its productivity to now operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has also led to a significant 20 per cent boost in staff at Loaf to handle the upsurge in production.

Armstrong, whose company was launched in 2004, is delighted at how fast the negotiations with Coles have gone. Coles is one of Australia’s leading food retailers, with more than 11 million customer transactions a week. Armstrong says the agreement represents the first advancement in Loaf’s business strategy to expand into other international markets.

“We knew we had a great product, and have always felt confident from the outset this would speak for itself. But one aspect that did please us was it took only six months to secure this foothold,” Armstrong says. “We are committed to building the business and this opportunity represents simply one of the many opportunities we are looking into both locally and internationally.”

The deal also comes straight off the back of Armstrong’s significant investment in building Loaf’s custom-made plant in Penrose, Auckland, completed in March last year.

“The aim of the plant was to improve our ability to serve new markets and provide for the seamless growth of Loaf products. The Coles deal represents our first step in achieving this,” Armstrong says.

Loaf’s range is available only through specialised food retailers in New Zealand. To launch into one of Australia’s most prestigious supermarkets is a major coup for the business, Armstrong says.

“My brand has been embraced by those in New Zealand who comprehend the value of producing food made from top-quality ingredients and skill. It’s fantastic Coles has also recognised this and understand its customers are looking for the best their money can buy,” Armstrong says.

“Aussie foodies are just as keen on consuming goods that use the finest-quality, all-natural components that make these products stand out above other baked goods. Our sales team, along with the Coles’ buyers, are convinced the ‘sweet range’ will be simply the start of a bigger operation across the Tasman. “

Loaf’s ‘sweet range’ 300g slices including its Sticky chocolate brownie, Explosive ginger slice, Gooey caramel slice and Cranberry and pistachio slice were launched at Coles on January 28, the slices have been repackaged to fit and resonate with Australian consumers.

Depending on the sales success of this sampling of Loaf slices, these products will be rolled out to all 750 Coles supermarkets in Australia.


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