An Irish blessing

Irish shoppers have clearly taken on board the message that supporting Irish helps support Irish jobs and are subsequently snapping up quality Irish produce


Brand Central

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16 September 2014

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Avonmore’s products are chosen on average 27 times a year by 81% of the populationA firm family favourite

Avonmore is Ireland’s favourite grocery brand, chosen on average 27 times a year by 81% of the population. The brand holds strong positions across a range of categories, from milk, cream, cheese, yellow fats, and fresh soups.

Avonmore has been a family favourite in Ireland from the early 1980s. Key to the brand’s success is its Irish roots and a continued passion for delivering quality Irish products. Avonmore is a proud supporter of both the National Dairy Council and Love Irish Food. The NDC logo on Avonmore packaging gives consumers the reassurance that they are buying milk or cream that is both farmed and processed locally. The NDC guarantee also directly supports 2,483 local jobs in the dairy sector. Avonmore has also become known for its innovative solutions, such as the ‘Easy Pour Jug’, and its range of functional value added milks, such as Super Milk, Protein Milk, Slimline Milk, Heart Active and Lactose Free Milk. The Avonmore brand is continuously innovating. In May, Avonmore launched Protein Milk, a first in the Irish milk category with 50% extra protein for muscle development. The launch was supported with a high profile campaign featuring inter-county GAA stars that included TV, print, digital and an extensive sampling campaign.

Avonmore’s range of value added creams, from Whipped Cream, to Cooking Cream and Fresh Dessert cream, continue to drive growth in the cream category. The brand’s cheese range has also recently been re-launched with new pack designs and re-sealable packs to ensure convenience and freshness.

Avonmore continues to be one of the most visible brands on Irish TV, due to its many brand campaigns, as well as its year round sponsorship of the RTÉ TV Weather. The brand has also built a strong digital presence over the past few years.

Ireland’s clear favourite

Ballygowan Natural Mineral Water brand celebrates its 30th birthday this yearBallygowan Natural Mineral Water, Ireland’s original and most popular water brand, celebrates its 30th birthday this year. All Ballygowan is bottled in a dedicated bottling facility in Newcastlewest drawing on an exclusive source deep underground which has been filtered by nature for 750 years.

This year the innovative brand is going for gold. Ballygowan has been showcasing a new look since April in a bid to support the fight against cancer. For six months, all 500ml still, 750ml sports cap, 1L sport and 2L still bottles across the trade feature a special gold label – with the aim of  raising €100,000 for the Irish Cancer Society and Marie Curie Cancer Care. The limited edition packs are supported with a through-the-line campaign fronted by comedian and cancer survivor, Des Bishop.

*(Source: Millward Brown)

**(Source: AC Nielsen Scantrack)

Fuelling a winning Irish performance

Energise Sport’s isotonic formulation, with electrolytes and added vitamins, enters the blood stream faster to ensure hydrationThe Energise brand states it is going from strength to strength by tapping into consumers’ needs for affordable energy. Energise Sport holds 21% share of the on-the-go sports category and sales continue to climb quickly as recession-hit consumers pick up the great value €1 price-marked pack (PMP). In fact Energise Sports states its cash rate of sale is more than double that of Powerade. (Source: Nielsen Scantrack, MAT August 2014)

Available in Orange and Mixed Fruit flavours, Energise Sport’s isotonic formulation, with electrolytes and added vitamins, enters the blood stream faster to ensure hydration and fuel winning performance. Now Energise is bringing affordable energy to the stimulant energy category with Energise Edge 440ml. Energise is the only sports and energy brand that is 100% produced in Ireland.

The story of real ham

Brady Family celebrates the ever-growing success of its finest quality traditional ham, with an engaging short film that goes behind the scenes at the Brady Family home in Timahoe, Co. Kildare, where the family favourite has been produced since 1978. This video tells the story of real ham, and how the traditional process sets Brady Family ham apart from the rest; through flavour, texture and shape. Visit to see the video, produced by Marmalade Films and directed by Daniel Hegarty.

The success of Brady Family is evident in the brand jumping 28 places into the Top 100 FMCG master brands in Ireland to number 75, as reported by Kantar Worldpanel. Market share has also more than doubled, from 3.5% to 7.9%. In addition to this, the Brady Family Glazed by Hand Prepack was awarded two stars at the Great Taste Awards 2014, a strong accomplishment for a first time entry into a competition.

For more information, visit the Facebook page or check out Twitter @ihamrealham.

Ice cold satisfaction

Bulmers is Ireland’s favourite cider, produced in Clonmel from 17 varieties of Irish appleWith staying in being the new going out, an ice cold Bulmers is the perfect accompaniment for a great night in. Cider is an excellent accompaniment to food and in particular, spicy, aromatic flavours such as Thai, Chinese and Indian.

Consumers can grab a Bulmers original or opt for the lower cal Bulmers Light. This has all the flavour and alcohol volume of its big brother, but with just 92 cals per long neck bottle, it’s a great, lower cal alternative.

If you’re feeling fruity, Bulmers Berry and Bulmers Pear offer great bite and crispness. Bulmers is Ireland’s favourite cider, produced in Clonmel from 17 varieties of Irish apple and widely known for its starring role at many a home occasion for over 80 years.

And remember, whether you’re going out or staying in – enjoy alcohol responsibly. Bulmers is available from C&C Gleeson.

At the heart of it all

Carroll’s ham is carefully nurtured, hand-crafted using only the highest quality pork and slow cooked for a better taste

Carroll’s has grown from small beginnings as a local success in the midlands to becoming a nationwide favourite. Established in 1979, Carroll’s takes great pride in its local roots in the heart of Ireland and in crafting the finest Irish hams.

Using traditional family recipes, a Carroll’s ham is carefully nurtured, hand-crafted using only the highest quality pork and slow cooked for a better taste.

Carroll’s is proud to hold the Bord Bia Quality Mark of approval on its range of cooked hams. This offers the company’s customers the assurance of knowing Carroll’s hams are 100% Irish and quality assured.

The new Carroll’s readymeal range includes Chicken Curry, Salmon Tagliatelle, Tagliatelle Bolognaise and Spinach and Riccotta CannelloniThe new Carroll’s readymeal range with flavours including Chicken Curry, Salmon Tagliatelle, Tagliatelle Bolognaise and Spinach and Riccotta Cannelloni are made using only the finest quality ingredients and are both convenient and tasty.

Carroll’s will be present again at this year’s National Ploughing Championship following the success of last year’s event, with a wide variety of activities to entertain visitors. A Carroll’s TV advert will shortly be running on the lead up to the Ploughing Championship across many different TV platforms.

Carroll’s is an Irish producer with a great heritage. Remaining true to its local roots, Carroll’s proudly supports 149 local jobs in its manufacturing plant in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and supports hundreds of more jobs indirectly nationwide. The company is expanding its tasting team which will be offering in-store product sampling nationwide. Carroll’s offers attractive tailor-made promotions across all ranges.

Golden glow

Connacht Gold butter has “bags of flavour” according to Great Taste judgesConnacht Gold is a growing Irish brand, renowned for its premium quality and award winning butter range.

Connacht Gold featured in the top quarter of Kantar’s ‘100 Master Brands at Home’. The brand has scooped numerous Blas na hEireann and Great Taste Awards, including most recently, gold stars at Great Taste 2014 for its Softer, Creamery, Garlic and Herb and unique Low Fat butter.

With cows free to graze lush Irish pastures all summer long, Connacht Gold Butter is rich with a creamy taste and “bags of flavour” according to Great Taste judges.

Over the past two years, Connacht Gold has invested in a TV advertising campaign for its Low Fat butter, helping to significantly increase category share and penetration, in addition to reinforcing the product’s key message – Connacht Gold Low Fat Butter is real butter – made with no vegetable oils or chemically treated fats.

Indeed, other products within the range are supporting the brand’s expansion, including its multi award-winning Softer butter and newest addition, Unsalted butter, which will both feature on TV as part of Connacht Gold’s upcoming sponsorship of Rachel Allen’s new series, ‘All Things Sweet’ on RTÉ 1.

Two new premium products are also due to hit supermarket shelves in the coming weeks, including Connacht Gold Cracked Pepper butter and a Gourmet Butter with Sea Salt.

For more information, visit and

Passionate about chocolate

The passion Mary Ann felt for her chocolate products back in her 1992 kitchen can still be felt throughout the business to this day and makes Lily O’Brien’s stand out from competitorsLily O’Brien’s has been passionately creating chocolates in Co. Kildare since 1992 and currently employs more than 110 at its headquarters in Newbridge. Founded by Mary Ann O’Brien in her kitchen and named after her daughter, Lily O’Brien’s has grown into a truly international brand over the past two decades, with exports accounting for more than 85% of annual turnover.

Positioned as an affordable luxury, Lily O’Brien’s has maintained its position in the Irish market as one of the country’s best-loved premium chocolate brands with consistent market share, proven sales performance and a depth of range.

A proud member of the Love Irish Food campaign, the Irish chocolatier has been consistently ranked in the top three best-selling premium chocolate brands in Ireland. With stylish packaging, award-winning chocolate recipes and a range of products tailored to meet consumers’ shifting needs, budgets and evolving tastes, Lily O’Brien’s consistently commands approx. 15% market share in the premium confectionery category during key confectionery seasons (Source: Nielsen 2013, Sales in multiples).

A family affair

Within the McGargles family, Granny Mary’s Red Ale was recently voted Ireland’s number one red ale by users

Craft beer continues to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the Irish beer industry, with over 40 micro or small batch breweries popping up around the country.

What sets craft breweries and their beers apart is their ability to innovate and to do it quickly.  While a large brewer takes around two years to create and deliver a new product, a small brewery can have a new beer in 12 weeks.

One such company, The Rye River Brewing Company, has enjoyed success since it launched its McGargles brand in late 2013 and has developed an extensive pipeline of innovation.

They say ‘you can’t choose your family’, but you can choose your beer and it’s at the McGargles brewery that you’ll find possibly the most dysfunctional family of all.

Gravy Maevey’s pilsner was voted the number one pilsner by usersGranny Mary is the fierce and stern matriarch of the McGargles family. She is as fiery and strong as her malt-driven red ale, and is known for her temper, which is as bitter as the hops that balances it. Her red ale, recently voted Ireland’s number one red ale by users, is brewed with earthy Fuggles hops and a combination of Vienna and Cara Munich malt.

Knock Knock Ned lost his legs in a game of Red Rover when he was 17. He was quite a hoppy little chappie, just like his Indian pale ale, with a perfect balance of sweetness and bitter hops. Ned’s IPA is balanced with three types of speciality malts. Rich hops, Cascade, Target and Hallertau are what give this IPA a distinct flavour.

Outrageous and flirtatious Maeve, the youngest McGargle, brews a Pilsner that’s popular with the boys and girls alike, just like Maeve herself. Maevey’s Pilsner gets its flavour from the kilned malted barley and spicy hops used in its brewing. It’s a clean crisp pilsner with a prominent hop character a slight cake baked nose that comes from Tettnanger and Hersbruker hop varieties. It was voted the number one pilsner by users. McGargles advises keeping an eye out for more family members.

PostPoint: Do more in-store


Part of the An Post group, PostPoint was established in 2000 and has been helping local retailers and communities ‘do more in-store’ ever since.

PostPoint retailers process over 18 million transactions every year, including essential footfall driving services such as mobile phone top up, bill payment, waste management, tolling, parking and international calling cards.

Our stores offer products and services which are useful, practical and simple. And, because PostPoint is part of An Post, customers can trust that all payments will be processed safely, securely and efficiently.

Over the last year, PostPoint has boosted its bill payment facility to over 150 billers, one of the largest in the country, allowing customers to pay the majority of national and regional bills through their local PostPoint shop.

In addition to regular utility bills, customers can also pay their Local Property Tax and TV Licence Renewal as well as many of their local waste payments and local City and County Council payments through PostPoint.

Added to these services are exclusive An Post products such as postal products, stamps and One4all Gift Cards, as well as new innovative online payment products like Ukash and Paysafecard.

The One4all Gift Card is Ireland’s leading multi-store gift card and is exclusively sold through post offices and PostPoint outlets. The card is accepted in over 5,400 retail outlets nationwide.

Part of the An Post Group, PostPoint was established in 2000 and was the first company in Ireland to perform an electronic top up. Shortly after, PostPoint also became the first electronic services provider to develop BillPay in retail stores.

Now, PostPoint supplies electronic services to over 2,000 retailers nationwide and works hand in hand with thousands of retailers in every town and every village across Ireland. By joining PostPoint retailers enjoy the support of a dedicated customer services team as well as an award-winning sales support team on the road.

PostPoint works with all major retail brands including Spar, Centra, SuperValu, Tesco, Gala, Mace, Londis, Costcutter, Daybreak, Topaz and Applegreen.

If you would like more information about joining PostPoint, call 1890 20 42 20.

Yours truly!

Through buying Truly Irish, consumers are helping to protect the future of 8,000 Irish jobsFrom its beginnings in 2009, Truly Irish Country Foods has firmly established itself as a truly Irish brand. The farmer’s brand has stressed the high pork content and natural quality of its Bord Bia certified products.

Truly Irish is the fastest growing pork brand in Ireland. By buying Truly Irish, consumers are helping to protect the future of 8,000 Irish jobs.

The brand has featured on many TV programmes including Nationwide, Ear to the Ground, The Business Show with George Lee and also The Consumer Show with Eddie Hobbs. Truly Irish states it is the first brand in history to be seen as a quality mark as well as a strong brand name.

More recently, the last 12 months have been busy for Truly Irish. The brand is now available in the UK through online retailer Ocado.

Truly Irish farms have been conducting seaweed trials with partners in the ”ThriveRite” European study. The study is to investigate how seaweed extract can boost the immune system of the pig and how this could then be carried through the meat to the person who eats it giving the consumer more of a health benefit. This will feature on TG4’s Ferim series this coming winter.

Michael Cronin, former chairman of the Irish Dairy Board has taken over as chairman and professor John O’Doherty of the School of Agriculture and Food Science at University College Dublin has joined as a director. Joe O’Connor who was former head of sales at ADM Londis plc has taken over as commercial director. With the calibre of these new additions to Truly Irish, the brand believes it can only serve to drive Truly Irish onwards and upwards.











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