Most of us hit the comfort food during the dark days of lockdown.
But our tendency to reach for the sweet stuff during tough times led to a serious silver lining for one local business owner; having launched his start-up Sweet King in June 2020, local entrepreneur Nathan Adams (26) has sold more than €1.6m in fizzy worms and sour jellies.
Now Nathan has announced major plans to more than double staff numbers, from 23 to approximately 50 people, while simultaneously doubling sales over the next 12 months.
“It has been a phenomenal year.” says the experienced digital marketer, who also runs his own agency, RMPR.
“The people of Cork have definitely made their appreciation for sweet treats known with thousands of people ordering anything from 300g sweet bags of their favourite chew – old favourites like snakes, strawberries wine gums etc. to 2kgs of our “American Mystery candy” which include classic brands such as Jolly Ranchers, Gobstoppers, Nerds, Reese’s, and Hershey’s.”
Sourcing sweets from Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and the UK, Sweet King stocks 21 different types of treat, from fizzy sours to jellies, snakes to space mix, with 1kg bags starting at around €13.99.
“We have now reached over €1.6m in sales, which was well beyond our best estimates. We have sold 150,000 bags of sweets to over 50,000 customers over the past 12 months. It has all been online sales so far, but our plan for the remainder of this year is to launch into retail. We are talking with a number of supermarket stores and distributors. We plan, over time, to have Sweet King products available in all the major chains.”
With ambitions to achieve a €5m annual turnover within the next three to five years, Sweet King will continue to extend its geographical footprint beyond Ireland and the UK into the wider EU territory.
“Over the next six to nine months, we’re planning to take on a second warehouse in the UK. As things stand with Brexit, we can’t ship direct to the UK, so having a base over there makes sense as part of our future plans,” says Nathan.
“The real dream is to take Sweet King into the USA, but that is all down the line at this stage.”