Lily O’Brien’s range

Irish chocolatier Lily O’Brien’s has taken a bigger bite out of the UK retail market with sales in the country jumping 30% in 2015.

UK retail value reached £8.3m in 2015, compared with £6.3m in the previous 12 months, after growing its supermarket and retail listings. The business supplies the big four and Waitrose, as well as Booths, WH Smith and BHS.

Lily O’Brien’s, founded in the early 1990s by Mary Ann O’Brien in County Kildare, plans to further increase its visibility in the UK market during 2016 with product launches to include a new range of 80g premium tablets and a higher tier range.

Total revenues for the group rose to more than €27m (£21.1m) in 2015, up from €25.3m in 2014. The business declined to provide profit figures but said it had increased its marketing investment used for brand building over the past three years as a result of higher profits.

“We are making significant inroads into the UK premium chocolate market, amongst many exceptional brands,” marketing manager Suzanne Walsh said.

“We have set ourselves robust targets to meet over the coming years, as we plan to grow our brand awareness by 20%, increase our market share to 5% of the premium category within the next two years and grow our online sales – all with the overall objective of doubling the size of the business within the next five years.”

Lily O’Brien’s is also revamping its online offering, with a new website.

“We are confident that our product launches this year will further cement Lily O’Brien’s position within the British luxury chocolate market,” Walsh added.