Crilly’s Confections, Ireland’s leading manufacturer of boiled sweets, has won its first export business in Spain.

The family-owned business, based in Newry is supplying its successful premium range of traditional handmade sweets in bags to a distributor in Malaga for stores in the region. 

Crilco sweets on sale in Malaga
Crilco sweets on sale in Malaga

The deal, according to Crilco director David Crilly, follows an approach from the specialist confectionery distributor who had heard about the company’s popular range of boiled sweets and was keen to introduce them to consumers in the Malaga region.

“We were delighted by the approach from the distributor who indicated that he was impressed by the outstanding quality and variety of our successful range of bagged sweets which has also won export business in other parts of Europe as well as China. 

“We had to develop the business by email, phone and social media due to Covid-19 restrictions. We aim to meet the distributor when the restrictions are lifted and we are able to travel again. We’ll be keen in particular to host a visit to our plant by him.

“Our market research shows that Spain has considerable potential for premium confectionery and especially in the Costas where there are significant numbers of people from Britain and Ireland.  

“The Malaga deal gives up an important springboard to grow our business in Spain in the months and years ahead. To this end, we’ll be working closely with the distributor to explore further business opportunities.” he adds.

The successful Northern Ireland business also sell its range of boiled sweets, all produced at its manufacturing operation in Newry, to customers in the Republic of Ireland, the US, Australia, Germany, Italy, France and the Czech Republic.

The company currently employs more than 30 people in Newry.

Crilco, which was established in 1974 by Mr Crilly’s father Peter, is the last remaining producer of boiled sweets in Ireland and among a small number in the UK. Great Britain remains a vitally important markets and customers include discount retailer B&M Bargains

Crilco produces its confectionery by traditional methods of mixing sugar and glucose and adding acid and flavours. It currently produces 50,000 bags of sweets every day, which equates to a million bags a month.




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