Devon-based ice cream and sorbet producer Granny Gothards recently secured a deal in Dubai for 56 different flavors that is set to make the company up to £3m ($3.9m) over the next five years.
Founded in 2012, the business has grown from making just six ice creams to producing more than 195 flavors. With the UK exporting £120.4m ($156m) worth of ice cream last year, the Department for International Trade (DIT) has been supporting UK producers such as Granny Gothards with exporting advice and funding.
Due to lockdown, Granny Gothards’ ice cream sales saw unprecedented reductions. During this time, it received a request for samples from TACCT Global, a distributor in Dubai. The next day, 25 ice cream flavors arrived for a tasting, and the following morning an order for two 40ft containers of the product was received, with more to follow over the next five years.
Granny Gothards’ owner and managing director Amanda Stansfield, said, “This Dubai deal has been a saving grace for us this year as we were hit really hard by the coronavirus lockdown, with visitor attractions, National Trust sites, restaurants and hotels closing across the world.
“This export win allowed us to bring staff off furlough at the beginning of July and with UK ice cream sales diminishing after September we can continue to churn out ice cream all year round.
“We are excited about the new markets we’ll be entering in the new year, and we will continue to work with the Department for International Trade to grow our presence in the UAE and beyond.”
The new deal will see flavors such as rose water and cardamom, charcoal and coconut and salted honey sold via online UAE retailer Kibsons International. The more unusual flavors will be packaged in biodegradable wooden pots while others such as strawberry and vanilla will be packaged in recyclable cardboard containers.
Granny Gothards has been selling its range of products to the UAE since 2015, increasing profits made from exporting by 25% over the past five years. Today, international sales account for 60-70% of the company’s turnover, up from 35% before the pandemic.
During lockdown, Granny Gothards explored new export opportunities to sustain business and ended up creating a ewes’ milk ice cream range for online Chinese store Alibaba, which will launch in January 2021.
The producer also garnered interest from a retailer and a major airline in the US, as well as buyers in India and Saudi Arabia due to the company’s high protein range manufactured under its brand PROice.