Ulster Rugby Players Unite with Henderson Group for Food Start-Up

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Ulster Rugby Players Unite with Henderson Group for Food Start-Up

When people think of the Ulster Rugby Club, it’s usually imagery of scrums, tries and tackles that come to mind. Yet, when players are off the pitch, they have other things to do. Take, for example, Louis Ludik and Schalk Van der Merwe, who have started up their own food business. Not only that, but the pair have signed in to a deal with the Henderson Group, so as to distribute their food items to 27 Spar and Eurospar stores, based in the north.
The duo’s food start-up, going by the name of ‘Hellbent’, will see coiled beef sausages, burgers and meatballs, all of which come from Carnbrooke Meats based in Lisburn, stocked for purchase in due course. The Henderson Group recently committed to stocking products from artisanal food producers, and has since taken to sourcing its produce from 13 smaller food firms to go in its Eurospar stores.
Van der Merwe and Ludik spent several months developing their food ideas with the Ulster University food and consumer tasting suite before Hellbent became a reality. The Henderson Group frequently collaborates with this department of the university, and speaking of the unison between itself and Hellbent, Director of Fresh Foods, Neal Kelly said that it opens up their shoppers to “new, fresh flavours”. He continued by saying that it also “elevates” the Henderson Group’s status as a “foodie destination”.

From Rugby to Food, It’s a Safe Bet

Rugby players are obviously known for their large stature, so eating the right kind of food to gain that muscle mass and stockiness is imperative. Hellbent’s products actually utilise flavours from Van der Merwe’s native South Africa. The recipe for the brand’s sausages was actually sourced from the player’s parents, who have their own farm in Upington – the Northern Cape province of the country.
While you probably won’t find betting opportunities on Ladbrokes for whether the business venture will be a success or not, something tells us that shoppers will be vying to get their hands on the Hellbent products. You can, on the other hand, bet on Ulster and other rugby teams at the Ladbrokes website, if you so wish.
Speaking of the deal with the Henderson Group, Ludik said that it marks the start-up’s first distribution deal with a major retailer. He spoke of the team at Henderson’s being “very supportive”, which came as a great help alongside listing the three products provided so far. The unison saw the Hellbent packaging adapted perfectly to attract shoppers who visit Spar and Eurospar stores.
“We are looking forward to a series of tasting showcases with customers to help ensure the success of our products which are packed with flavour and are high in protein”, Ludik commented.

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