UK dried fruit and nut business Kestrel Foods has earmarked a £750,000 investment to drive its export sales, with 11 new positions to be created.

The Northern-Ireland business, which owns the Forest Feast and Acti-Snack brands, said the money would be invested this year in new processing and packaging technology to “strengthen its presence in new and existing international markets”.

“By enhancing our production facilities, we will be able to increase production capacity, introduce new packaging formats and develop bespoke products to meet the needs of our target customers at retail, wholesale and foodservice level,” said MD Michael Hall.

With “solid platforms” in Europe and Hong Kong, the company had pin pointed emerging markets, including Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, Italy and Asia Pacific, in which to grow its international sales, said Hall. “This investment represents our ongoing commitment to innovation and ensures we stay ahead of the curve, and competition, in an increasingly fast paced industry,” said Halls.

The company’s brands are currently available in more than 36 countries.