Exotic delights

Blue Dragon is brand leader in the Oriental stir-fry sauces category, with 41.2% market share
Blue Dragon is brand leader in the Oriental stir-fry sauces category, with 41.2% market share

Perceived as being naturally healthy and often in convenience formats, some ethnic foods are by default on trend in many respects for the Irish consumer

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Brand Central

15 April 2009 | 0

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At a glance: ETHNIC FOODS

  • In 2007, non-nationals accounted for an estimated 13% of the RoI population
  • Spanish cured meats are thought to be among the best of the delicacies from Spain, particularly premium Ibérico and Serrano ham, chorizo or sobrasada
  • Manchego, Idiazabal, Cabrales or Torta del Casar are just some of the 100 plus different cheeses produced in Spain
  • The Oriental market is one of the fastest growing areas within the Irish grocery industry
  • Producer of high-quality pan Oriental products, the Blue Dragon brand overall is worth £25.5 million (Nielsen YE 27 Dec 2008) with a year-on-year growth of 14.6%.
  • Blue Dragon is brand leader in the Oriental stir-fry sauces category, with 41.2% market share
  • Knorr has developed different ranges of ethnic sauces to suit consumers’ need for convenience and desire for taste difference
  • Caribbean food has seen 52% value growth in the last five years and was estimated to be worth £41 million in the UK market
  • Levi Roots has been a key contributor to the Caribbean segment with Reggae Reggae Sauce now the second biggest selling sku in the hot and BBQ sauces category

 

Indian and Chinese foods have dominated the ethnic foods market for many years, although they are relatively mature and other sub-sectors such as Mexican/Tex-Mex, Thai, Caribbean, Malaysian, Japanese, Indonesian and Polish foods are currently demonstrating higher growth.

New customer base potential has arisen from Ireland’s growth of ethnic communities; in 2007, non-nationals accounted for an estimated 13% of the RoI population. Increased travel has also broadened consumers’ tastes.

Market analyst Mintel finds ethnic foods could become part of consumers’ repertoire of every day meal solutions as they fit current trends towards naturally healthy foods and the desire to home cook, while foods such as Thai are perceived as naturally light options. Healthier recipes for ready-meals and cooking sauces has also stimulated renewed market growth and the market for ready-to-cook foods has continued to grow.

Dragon’s den

Producer of high quality pan Oriental products, the Blue Dragon brand overall is worth £25.5 million (Nielsen YE 27 Dec 2008) with a year-on-year growth of 14.6%. The Chinese range makes up a large part of Blue Dragon’s portfolio, offering authentic products including stir-fry sauces, noodles and soy sauce, that allow consumers to recreate authentic Chinese flavours. Blue Dragon attributes the success of its Chinese range to more widespread travel across China, as well as greater exposure to new tastes and flavours at home.

Blue Dragon is brand leader in the Oriental stir-fry sauces category, with 41.2% market share. Attracting 659,588 new buyers to its stir-fry range in the last year alone,

Blue Dragon stir-fry sauces are now worth £11.4 million and are growing at a rate of 18.3% year-on-year. Blue Dragon has grown its presence in the stir-fry category through successful promotional activity on the well-established 120g sachets, as well as attracting new buyers with innovative new ranges in the form of standard and premium sachets and premium jar stir-fry ranges.

Blue Dragon is dedicated to creating innovative NPD which reflects consumer demand and provides increased choice, recently adding more vibrancy to its established Oriental stir-fry portfolio. The revamp consisted of improved packaging design, to increase taste appeal to engage new and existing consumers, the addition of two new variants to the standard stir-fry sachet range (Blue Dragon Sweet Soy with Garlic & Ginger and Blue Dragon Thai Basil & Lemongrass), and two further additions to its premium stir-fry sachet range (Blue Dragon Sweet & Sour with Coriander and Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli & Kaffir Lime).

Orient Express

The Oriental market is one of the fastest growing areas within the Irish grocery industry and with its striking and distinctive new look packaging across the range, the Amoy brand is very much on trend offering consumers healthy, tasty and convenient food through its range of stir-fry sauces, soy sauces, noodles and ingredients.

As consumers are constantly looking for time efficient ways to experiment with different food, the Stir Fry Sensations range from Amoy offers the perfect solution through its extensive and varied selection; from traditional Aromatic Sweet and Sour to Thai Green Curry, Roasted Peanut Satay and Succulent Szechwan Tomato.

The Amoy ‘Straight to Wok’ Noodle range allows consumers to create delicious stir-fries in minutes. Including four varieties, Fine/Thread, Medium Traditional, Thick/Udon, and spice infused Singapore Noodles, all offer the perfect accompaniment to Amoy Stir-fry Sensations sauces and vegetables. Also, the Amoy Soy Sauce range offers a choice of soy condiments, including Reduced Salt and Light Soy, Dark Soy and a variety infused with Chilli. Amoy also offers an extensive range of stir-fry ingredients including Chinese Stir-fry Vegetables, Thai Stir-fry Vegetables, Beansprouts, Baby Corn Cobs and Coconut milk.

Ethnic melting pot

Knorr has developed different ranges of ethnic sauces to suit consumers’ need for convenience and desire for taste difference. Knorr Ragu, which stands out in its iconic jar, offers a choice of seven flavours. All Knorr Ragu sauces are thick and chunky, making them versatile and consumable in a variety of ways. Knorr Ragu also contains more tomatoes for enhanced health credentials, such as extra anti-oxidants. In addition, the range is completely free from artificial flavours, colours and preservatives, further reassuring consumers of its high quality and healthy credentials.

The Knorr Curries range caters for different tastes, from Knorr Mild Curry to Knorr Hot Curry, as well as a Knorr Fruity Curry for consumers who prefer something sweeter. Equally, Knorr Chicken Tonight range of cook-in sauces also comes in a number of interesting varieties, such as Sweet & Sour and Spanish Chicken, providing a tasty and healthy family meal quickly and conveniently. Chicken Tonight sauces contain no artificial flavours or colours, only quality ingredients with more herbs, spices and vegetables than ever.

Caribbean roots

Caribbean food entrepreneur Levi Roots has launched a range of cooking sauces, including the three variants: Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae, Caribbean Curry and Jamaican Brown Stew. The initial launch saw the products hit Sainsbury’s shelves across the UK in November 2008.

Caribbean food has seen 52% value growth in the last five years and was estimated to be worth £41 million (Thai and Other Emerging Ethnic Foods- UK Mintel 2007). Over the past 12 months, Levi Roots has been a key contributor to the sales and awareness of this cuisine with Reggae Reggae Sauce now the second biggest selling sku in the hot and barbecue sauces category (Nielsen Value MAT 09/08/08). Levi Roots is set to capitalise on its strong position, driving incremental sales across the brand portfolio with last year’s launch.

Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce has the original Reggae Reggae taste with scotch bonnet chillies and allspice, more tomatoes and onions, to give this sauce a thick delicious texture. Caribbean Curry Sauce is made in an authentic style curry with onions, garlic and herbs. And finally, Jamaican Brown Stew is a national favourite of Jamaica; rich and spicy with tomatoes and spring onions, the term ‘brown’ refers to frying or browning of meat. The Levi Roots brand prides itself on providing authentic and exciting meals for friends and family, which reflects the vibrancy of the Caribbean.

Viva Espana

The Spanish Economic and Commercial Office based in Dublin is asking Ireland to think twice about its Iberian neighbour and its cuisine. A key country in the Mediterranean diet, Spain also boasts of a mixture of Eastern, European and American influences that makes it a paradise for gourmet food lovers. In terms of produce, it has a vast variety of vegetables, meat, fruits and fish, and a unique selection of Mediterranean healthy gourmet products. All of this, the Spanish Embassy’s Economic and Commercial Office invites people to sample at the upcoming Discover Spanish Taste gastronomic tradeshow, taking place on 29 April, at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin (contact dublin@mcx.es). Companies and categories represented at the trade show include:

Olives and olive oil: Don Carlos (Boyne Valley), Foodhunter Trading (Artisan Foods), Grupo Vegajardin (Fallon&Byrne), Priorat Natur (Vinostito), and Rafael Salgado (Artisan Foods), are available in the Irish market. Companies looking for distribution however, inlcude Aceitunas Barruz, Alimentary Spanish Products, Castillo de Canena, Columela, Daabio, and Valmasera.

Cured meats: Thought to be among the best of Spanish delicacies, particularly premium Ibérico and Serrano ham, chorizo or sobrasada. Cecinas Pablo (Sheridans Cheesemongers), Espina (Eirespan), Floristan (Eirespan), Foodhunter Trading (Artisan Foods), Marcos Salamanca (Eirespan), Pedro Nieto (Vinostito), and Vegajardin (Fallon&Byrne) are available in Ireland. Cárnicas Serrano, Consorcio de Jabugo, Covap, Delicasa, and Jamón de Trevélez, are seeking distribution here.

Cheese
: Manchego, Idiazabal, Cabrales or Torta del Casar are just some of the100 plus different cheeses produced in Spain. Grupo Vegajardin (Fallon&Byrne) and Foodhunter Trading (Artisan Foods) are present in Ireland already, while Covap, Delicasa, and Ilbesa looking for distribution.

Canned gourmet products: Conservas Ortiz, Foodhunter Trading (Artisan Foods), Riberebro (Spanish Flavour), and Vegajardin (Fallon&Byrne) are currently available. Aceitunas Barruz, Alimentary Spanish Products, Columela, and Valmasera, are seeking entry to market.

Spices, seasonings and other gourmet products:
Spices and condiments such as vinegar, saffron or pimentón are key ingredients in many Spanish specialities, with other gourmet products from mineral water to dried fruits also important. Currently, Vichy Catalan (David O’Reilly), Foodhunter Trading (Artisan Foods) and Vegajardín (Fallon&Byrne) are available. Almondeli, Columela, Daabio, Paneco, Risnak, and Valmasera are looking for distribution.

 

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