Food brand distributor GM Marketing in Belfast has broken out into manufacturing with the purchase of herbs and spices maker Favourit Foods.

Family-owned Favourit Foods, which is also based in Belfast, was founded in 1914 and supplies the retail and foodservice channels in Northern Ireland.

GM Marketing describes itself as a “brand-building distributor focused on core grocery categories” across the UK including the Tilda rice brand – owned by Spain’s Ebro Foods – Fox’s biscuits and Nando’s sauces.

GM’s managing director Gerard McAdorey said: “As a business, we are already supplying herbs & spices to market-leading retailers in Ireland, so this is a natural next step in the development of our business strategy and future growth plans. The brand has so much heritage and history steeped in Belfast; it was an opportunity we couldn’t pass by.”  

Favourit Foods previously traded as Martin Foods and supplies food manufacturers, retail and foodservice clients. The company is planning to build a new facility in north Belfast to add to its Duncairn Gardens distribution site in the same city and another in Leeds in northern England. The project will create 12 jobs.

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By GlobalData

McAdorey said GM plans to launch the Favourit Foods brand into new markets in the “coming months”, adding: “While this may be our first move into manufacturing, it certainly forms part of a long-term strategy for our future growth plans”. 

Meanwhile, the current owner of Favourit Foods, Sean McCrory, said the “time was right” to pass the business to a new owner “who will accelerate its growth and drive it into the next phase”.  

Financial terms were not disclosed.