Middle East to get taste of the region

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A YORKSHIRE entrepreneur has won a £1.8m contract with a supermarket chain in the Middle East to export a new range of luxury nibbles.

Craig Benton’s preserves, crisps, biscuits and confectionery will be sold under the London Deli Company brand in supermarkets across the Middle East.

He sourced the ingredients from across Yorkshire and the products are manufactured across four sites in the region.

He now plans to set up distribution centres around the UK, starting with a warehouse on the outskirts of York later this year, which he said would create at least 30 jobs.

The London Deli Company is the trading name of export firm Luminar, which Mr Benton set up in 2011 at the age of 24

He is now in talks with companies all over the world, including Europe and India for his products and hopes to launch the brand in China and the US in the middle of this year.

“The brand has just exploded,” he told the Yorkshire Post. “It’s done far better than I expected it to do, everything’s happening at once.”

There are 15 staff employed to make the products across the four manufacturing sites and Mr Benton said two of the lines plan to take on more staff in the next two months.

Mr Benton’s first entrepreneurial venture was at school when he set up a covert tuck shop out of a musical instrument case. He said he was soon earning £100 a day in the playground.

He left school to learn his trade as a brand ambassador and buyer before setting up Luminar. He launched the London Deli Company brand, to appeal to the international market, in 2012.