Deli Lites lands £500k deal with Musgrave for Planet Cafe heat and eat range

Deli Lites lands £500k deal with Musgrave for Planet Cafe heat and eat range

Food-to-go producer, DELI LITES has landed a deal with Musgrave NI to supply its new Planet Café brand to Centra, SuperValu and Mace stores across Northern Ireland.

With an expected deal value of £500,000, the range has been piloted at McGoveran’s Centra in the Cathedral Quarter, Belfast and will be rolled out in stores across NI over the next six months.

Planet Café is a heat and go range designed to be cooked in its packaging, with products inspired by tastes of the world including tóstas, burritos and paninis with vegetarian and vegan options available.

Delivered frozen directly to the retailers from the Musgrave warehouse, the products can be defrosted by staff as and when they need them, cutting down on waste. Once defrosted the products have a four-day shelf life and can also be heated in store to be hot held for 90 minutes providing customers with a hot option on the move.

The launch is part of Musgrave’s ongoing partnership with Warrenpoint-based DELI LITES. Since the partnership began in 2012, the DELI LITES range has sold more than £10 million worth of products across Musgrave NI’s portfolio of stores.

In 2019, Musgrave extended its collaboration with the company to launch its own brand of food-to-go products, Fresh For You, which has over 30 product lines including sandwiches, wraps, salads and ‘heat-to-eat’ options.

Commenting on the deal, Julie Cherry, Trading Director at Musgrave NI said: “Providing convenient and tasty food-to-go products for our busy customers is a priority for us and we are excited to launch the brand new Planet Café range in our stores.

“The pilot at McGoveran’s Centra in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter is proving to be a success and is extremely beneficial during the busy lunch time period to ensure continuous availability. As we roll out to our retailers around Northern Ireland, we expect its success to continue.

“Our ten-year partnership with DELI LITES is a sign of Musgrave’s commitment to supporting local suppliers and stocking local, quality produce. As a family-owned company, we are continually on the lookout for new local high-quality food and drinks brands to add to our shelves to support our local economy.”

Barbara Hawkins, Key Account Manager, DELI LITES, said: “Our Planet Café brand has been nearly two years in development, and we are excited to launch the range throughout Musgrave’s extensive portfolio of stores. Heated in the packaging, the products are all precisely portioned allowing retailers to accurately calculate their margins, which can be a challenge with deli counters.

“Easily heated, they also reduced the time required to provide hot food options at deli counters and can be hot held for up to 90 minutes to allow retailers to stock hot food options even when their deli has closed.

“We have seen an increase in demand for a hot food offering which suggests people are looking for affordable luxuries. Whether it is people working from home, in the office or simply those who fancy a tasty lunch treat, Planet Café is there to meet this demand, offering convenience with tasty flavours from around the world.”

Commenting on the pilot, Donagh McGoveran from McGoveran’s Centra in Cathedral Quarter said: “The Planet Café products have been a runaway success in our store with customers commenting on the excellent quality. From a store point of view, the products have a strong margin at a reasonable price point and the ‘thaw and serve’ mechanism helps us reduce wastage. As the product is cooked in its packaging, each product already has all the necessary legal and mandatory allergen information on it and makes it perfect for our grab and go counters.”

Caption: Musgrave NI Trading Manager, Michelle McDonnell; Centra Cathedral Quarter Deli Manager, Jonah Gardner; and DELI LITES National Account Manager, Barbara Hawkins launch the new Planet Café range at the city centre store.