Healthy snacking brand Graze kicked-off a European expansion drive following a direct-to-consumer launch in the Republic of Ireland.

The launch - which occurred at the beginning of March - is part of the Unilever-owned brand’s strategy to expand into new markets during the coming year, including Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

Graze has seen a “positive response” in Ireland since launch, with more than 5,000 customers signed-up to its subscription delivery service.

By entering new markets “online first” Graze explained it was able to engage with customers “without having to invest in bricks and mortar”. It has tracked over 20m social media impressions, with Irish influencers and customers interested in “the brand’s purpose”.

“As the UK’s number one snacking brand, we’re really excited to be expanding our geographical footprint as we look to disrupt the European healthy snacking market over the coming year,” CEO Anthony Fletcher said.

“This is just the next step in Graze’s ongoing mission to help consumers enjoy healthy eating as we continue to lead the way in the creation of exciting, wholesome snacks to fuel busy lives.”

The Irish roll-out followed the launch of several new products since the start of the year, including a revamped lemon flapjack with 50% less sugar than the average cereal bar and a range of low-calorie snack bars.

The business was snapped up by Unilever in February in a deal worth £150m. It is currently is present in over 30,000 retail outlets across the UK, including Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and WH Smith.