Installation of new pasteurisation system that will be operational from April 2023
ALDI Ireland has agreed a new £3.8M/€4.4M deal with Armagh-based Classic Mineral Water to supply all of ALDI’s 155 Irish stores with its wide-range of refreshing drinks over the next year.
Classic Mineral Water has been working with ALDI for the past three and half years. Based in Lurgan, Co. Armagh, Classic Mineral Water employs 70 staff full-time staff members. Produced and packaged in Ireland, Classic Mineral Water produce a suite of water products for ALDI’s stores in Ireland including Still Water 5l, Still Water Spring 6x2l, Water Sportscap 24x500ml and Sparkling Spring Water 6x2l. These products are sold under the well-known Comeragh brand name which is available across ALDI stores nationwide.
Classic Mineral Water
Classic Mineral Water is Ireland’s oldest water bottling company. Founded in 1948 by James McKee, the company sold soft drinks directly to customers homes, made from local town water. In 1980, after the discovery of a unique mineral water source, the McKee family decided to diversify its product range and launched the production of bottled and flavoured water. This allowed the company to start supplying directly to shops and supermarkets which resulted in Classic Mineral Water being listed as a preferred water supplier in Ireland.
Over the past 40 years, the company has developed a wide portfolio of high- quality products and is one of the few bottling companies that can produce a full suite of products to its customers including still and sparkling water, flavoured waters, mixers, isotonic and glucose drinks.
In 2018, the McKee family decided to retire from the business and sold the company to Liam Duffy and Gerard Watters, two lifelong friends. Since 2019, a total of £6M/€6.8M has been invested in installing three high speed bottling lines and ancillary services to meet customer demands. This investment has seen the company’s turnover rise from £2M/€2.3M in 2018 to more than £15M/€17M in 2023. The owners are confident that they will reach over £20M/€22.7M in 2024.
New ALDI contract
The new contract will enable Classic Mineral Water to invest in upgrading their facilities including the installation of a new pasteurisation system that will be operational from April 2023. This latest technology will have the capability to produce isotonic products in both 500ml and 750ml bottle sizes, delivering a variety of flavours including orange, raspberry, cherry, tropical and tropical blue. This new investment will allow Classic Mineral Water to upgrade their current syrup room facilities and move to using tethered caps immediately, which will help reduce the amount of plastic and cardboard used in the production process.
Welcoming the new contract, John Curtin, ALDI Group Buying Director said: “Classic Mineral Water has supplied our Irish stores for three and half years and we are delighted to extend our partnership for a further year. At ALDI, we are committed to working with Irish producers like Classic Mineral Water who continue to expand and grow their business to deliver customers with a wide range of high-quality products.”
Liam Duffy, CEO, Classic Mineral Water added: “We have been working with ALDI since July 2019, developing a strong business relationship over the past three and half years. Despite all the challenges that we have faced as a business over the past few years, we have continued to work together to ensure that ALDI customers have access to high quality products at an affordable price. Pragmatic growth continues as Classic Mineral Water invests in production capabilities to allow the business to continue to grow and adapt over the coming years.”
ALDI is committed to growing its Irish supply base and increasing the number of Irish products available in its stores. Currently working with over 330 Irish food and drink producers, ALDI spent €1.1B with its Irish suppliers in 2022.
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