Cleone Foods, makers of Island Delight patties, believes that the sunshine food of the Caribbean is a sleeping giant that is starting to rouse itself.
The company, based in Birmingham, currently makes 100,000 patties a week that it supplies to outlets all over the UK including the big four supermarket chains Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and Morrison.
Confidence in the future is encouraged by a 15 per cent increase in sales in January and February compared with the same period last year.
Investment including a new production line and cookers and a major warehouse extension means that Cleone Foods now has the capacity to produce 500,000 patties a week a five-fold increase.
“Caribbean foods have lagged behind other ethnic cuisine but this is starting to change and we have invested heavily during a time of recession to increase our production capacity,” said Wade Lyn, managing director of Cleone Foods.
“There has been a jump in sales especially since we launched our Jerk Chicken Pattie last year. Our sales are also going up in areas away from our traditional core markets where there is a high concentration of African Caribbean people.
“This is very encouraging as one of our objectives is to see Caribbean food enjoyed and appreciated by people of all cultures and backgrounds.”
He said that Cleone Foods recognised that concerns about production capacity is often a deterrent to large supermarket chains placing orders with smaller suppliers.
“Our investment in additional capacity is designed to provide reassurance that we are well placed to cope with increases in demand and meet new orders without any concerns.”