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NORTHUMBERLAND based confectionery manufacturer Sweetdreams Ltd, the company behind nostalgic chocolate brand Choc Nibbles, scooped the Food and Drink Award at the Made in the North East Awards, on Thursday 18 October 2018.

These prestigious awards recognise and reward the manufacturing talent and skills that the North East has in abundance and gives North East companies the opportunity to celebrate their ongoing commitment to world-class quality and excellence.

The awards encompass 10 different categories, with the winners, including Fentimans, AkzoNobel and Thomas Swan, announced at a black tie gala on the evening of 18 October at Redworh Hall, Newton Aycliffe.

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 Sweetdreams Ltd has invested over £500,000 and a 25,000 sq. ft. factory to drastically increase the company’s output and created a variety of new jobs for the region.

Matthew said: “Winning the Food and Drink Award at the Made in the North East Awards is a fantastic achievement for the team and the perfect way to end our first year of trading in our new premises. This is a really exciting time for Sweetdreams; we identified a gap in the market for a high-end chocolate-coated product and so we have invested £200,000 in panning and coating technology. This new process will allow us to enhance existing product offerings, develop new products and reach out to brand new markets and customers.

“Sweetdreams has doubled in size over the past two years and is a retail success story the UK, and especially the North East should be proud of. We are already a leading confectionery brand in the UK and we now 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. By investing in the best technology and people, it is my intention to cycle the same standard of growth every three years moving forward, continuing to change and disrupt confectionery production in the UK.”

The company has seen substantial company growth over the past financial year. This has been achieved in part from extended discount sector penetration, new product development, international export, including the company’s first export to Ireland, and proactive development of their extensive existing customer base.

Sweetdreams Ltd will head to Insider’s national manufacturing final, the Made in the UK Awards, in June 2019.

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