A new 38,000 sq ft factory has just been opened by prepared salad specialist Troy Foods in Leeds.

The company has been posting year-on-year sales growth of 25% for four years on the back of a lucrative relationship with the discount retail sector and needed the extra space to continue expansion.

Though Troy has been supplying Lidl since 1999, it has only recently begun to export to the discounter's European stores. For the past 18 months, its short shelf-life products such as chilled sandwich fillers have been appearing in stores in the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and Denmark.

"As a result, we are developing many more lines for some of Europe's largest retailers," said managing director David Perry.

Growth was being driven by two conflicting consumer demands - added-value and healthy produce.

"We find discounters are incredibly loyal customers," said Perry. "They are hard people to negotiate with - but who isn't?"