NORTHUMBERLAND based confectionery manufacturer Sweetdreams Ltd are shortlisted in the Food and Drink category at the ‘Made in the North East’ Awards.
The company produces a distinctively different range of chocolate products, manufacturing the wonderfully quirky and nostalgic Choc Nibbles range of chocolate treats, and operates a market leading chocolate coating business, supplying a B2B service to the food and confectionery industries.
Testament to the continued growth, diversification, and success of the business, this is the fourth time Sweetdreams has been shortlisted for these awards and in 2018, went on to win.
These prestigious awards recognise and reward the manufacturing excellence that the North East has in abundance, and provides North East companies the opportunity to celebrate their world-class quality. Encompassing ten award categories, the winners will be announced at an evening event held in the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead on 24th March 2022.
Established in 1985, the family-run Cramlington-based business has had managing director Matthew Stephenson at the helm since he bought the business in 2007, alongside his wife Cathy.
Over the past year, despite the pandemic Sweetdreams learned to pivot and sales grew by 16% across the business. Whilst developing existing products, distribution channels and exploring new market opportunities with seasonal lines, Sweetdreams re-aligned the business to deliver the right products, at the right price to the right customer base to safeguard a sustainable and profitable business.
It was also a period of reflection on the portfolio and from that, created a project of what innovation and investment was required to take the business to the next level. With investment secured, funded by Sweetdreams and The North of Tyne Growth Fund totalling nearly £750,000 in infrastructure and new manufacturing lines, it facilitated diversification of the business offering, to evolve, extend reach and enable the company to compete in the premium chocolate confectionery market.
November 2021, saw those plans coming to fruition with the delivery of a new chocolate bar depositing line - a game changer for Sweetdreams. Increasing manufacturing space from 15,000sqft to nearly 25,000sqft.
Matthew said: “Being shortlisted for the Food and Drink Award at the Made in the North East Awards is a true reflection on our dedicated team. Sweetdreams focuses on developing great relationships with our customers and get really excited about new chocolate ideas. It’s our NPD that drives us and our customers forward. Working with clients to create bespoke solutions to their confectionery ideas through new and innovative product development. Sweetdreams are also one of the few manufacturers who are able to offer plant based and ‘truly vegan’, oatmilk chocolate and dairy free products, free from the key fourteen allergens.”
“Sweetdreams’ name has impact in the British confectionery industry and will continue to disrupt, challenge and change the chocolate industry in the UK and worldwide. We have the capacity, standards and infrastructure to grow the success of Sweetdreams exponentially – increasing our national and international impact from our base here in Northumberland.”