A small Irish snack food manufacturer has been able to make the leap from niche to mainstream in just 14 months, and Boughey Distribution is proud to be part of that story. Pinkfinch has created an innovative range of fruit crisp snacks that are now shipped and sold around the world.
Pinkfinch, which is based in County Down, Northern Ireland, was founded
in 2014 by Michael Heaslip. He began the business in his parents’ spare bedroom,
but it rapidly outgrew the confines of the bedroom and his products are now stocked
in major supermarkets. Michael sought to create a healthy, innovative crisp
snack that contains real fruit.
Global research for great taste
After three years of research and development, which saw Michael travel the world to research the perfect manufacturing process, Pinkfinch’s fruit and veggie crisps were ready for market. He was inspired by an Asia snack called Jack Fruit Crisps, and the name Pinkfinch comes from an Asian bird that seeks out the best fruit, nuts and seeds to eat. The crisps were an instant success, collecting innovation and Great Taste Awards in 2018 – flavours include Green Bean & Sugar Snap Pea, Banana and Apple. They contain real fruit, are gluten-free, high in fibre and are stocked in mainstream stores, including Sainsbury’s UK and Tesco Ireland.
Locking the flavour in
When researching his new product, Michael decided on three criteria – it had to be a great tasting snack, that was a healthy alternative to chocolate and traditional snacks, and also had to be innovative to set itself apart from the pack. This resulted in Pinkfinch deploying a unique cooking process, using vacuum crisping, that meant the snacks locked in the natural fruit flavours – to the extent that they contribute to a healthy five-a-day intake.
The results were a range of snacks that have proved a hit and are distributed throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe and the Middle East, with warehouses in Ireland and the UK. They have the same texture as a potato crisp, but are entirely fruit-based, which is making them popular with health-conscious mothers keen for their children to have an improved diet.
Boughey helps Pinkfinch spread its wings
Boughey Distribution has become an important part of the Pinkfinch set-up, as the team is lean and relies on partner organisations to compete with larger brands. Since April 2019, as part of its distribution and warehousing offering, Boughey has provided Pinkfinch with the connections and logistics to get its snacks into the big supermarkets. Pinkfinch is currently listed in 118 Tesco Ireland stores, but is also in 800 additional supermarkets across Europe, including 370 Sainsbury’s Local outlets. Though Pinkfinch works with other hauliers, Boughey currently delivers about 65% of Pinkfinch’s fulfilled orders in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Michael Heaslip, founder at Pinkfinch, commented: “Boughey is a really good distribution partner for us. From our base in Northern Ireland, we’re able to reach into the mainland UK and Boughey’s location in Cheshire is a particularly useful one for us, as it’s on a key ferry route via Holyhead. We have a great account manager, who shares our standards and seems to instructively understand our requirements. In addition to our existing range, we’re looking to expand our products in the near future, with three new flavours and another bagged snack in development, which means a reliable logistics partner is more important to us than ever.”