Irish aisles are shining!
It’s clear from numerous data sources that Irish shoppers simply love Irish brands. That’s not just because homegrown heroes support jobs and in turn our economy, but because the proof is in the pudding – the quality Irish ingredients and time and care that have gone into creating these products can be tasted every time!
24 October 2023
Irish retailers – from the local community store to the nation’s largest multiples – are huge supporters of Irish producers. Not only do they give Irish goods vital shelf space, but often they actively work in partnership with Irish suppliers to encourage their development and drive growth for both businesses. The reasons for this are obvious for those of you who have tasted the brands displayed on these pages – often their taste credentials are genuinely superb – as testified by multiple award wins – to say nothing of their entrepreneurial genius which creates true market breakthrough, often helping to developing brand new categories and sub-categories in the process.
According to new research conducted by Bibby Financial Services, 90% of Irish SMEs say they are the confident about their business prospects in 2023. The 2023 Global Business Monitor, which surveys nine countries on topics such as business sentiment, opportunities and challenges, shows that Ireland and Germany, both at 90%, are the most confident nations about business prospects for the year ahead.
67% of Irish SMEs say they have experienced an increase in business over the last six months, while 18% state their performance has remained the same. Companies in Ireland are confident this positive trend is set to continue, with 72% of Irish SMEs saying they expect their revenue to increase over the next six months, the second highest globally. 20% expect it to stay the same while 8% expect sales to decline.
The true taste of home
Tayto, the number one crisps and snacks brand* is also Ireland’s number one indigenous grocery brand*. As market leader, Tayto consistently captures the nation’s hearts and tops the polls as the most missed brand by Irish expats each year**. Being a much-loved market incumbent, Tayto plays a huge role in shaping market trends and through consistent NPD, integrated through-the-line campaigns and great-tasting products, the brand remains front of consumers’ minds and top of their shopping lists.
Using insights citing taste as the key purchase driver for the Tayto brand**, Mr. Tayto appeared on our TV screens this year with a new above-the-line (ATL) campaign titled ‘Tayto: The True Taste of Home’. The emotional hello and goodbye with a loved one at the airport are a feeling that Irish people know well, but Mr. Tayto knows how to truly welcome anyone home, and a packet of Tayto can be more powerful than it seems. The TV advert really resonated with Irish consumers who scored the ad 98 out of 100 on emotional connection***.
The Tayto brand remains as relevant today as when it first launched back in 1954. While NPD and fun advertising campaigns capture the Nation, Mr. Tayto also keeps audiences entertained across social media and his TikTok account keeps him front of centre with the Gen Z audience in particular.
Tayto has plans to continue supporting campaigns ATL in the coming months and we hear we will see something very special on our screens this Christmas. We all can’t wait to see what’s in store for this iconic brand that will turn 70 next year.
*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack Value Sales MAT Sept 2023/Top 100 FMCG brands)
**(Source: Annual Brand Preferences Amongst the Diaspora study, undertaken by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of Checkout magazine)
**(Source: Red C Research 2022/2023)
***(Source: Red C TV advertising research July 23)
Taste above all else
O’Donnells is the leading hand-cooked crisp brand in Ireland, currently holding a 11.7%* value market share of the crisps category. O’Donnells is the most awarded crisp in Ireland, having amassed countless awards from expert judging panels over the past number of years, highlighting the exemplary quality of Ireland’s number one hand cooked crisp brand**.
New to the market are O’Donnells 125g Crinkle Cut Ballymaloe and 125g Crinkle Cut Sour Cream & Onion. The grooves of the furrows ploughed on the Seskin family farm are the inspiration for the O’Donnells Crinkle Cut Furrows product. The extra deep ridges capture more of the outstanding taste and flavour that O’Donnells consumers know and love. This summer, the brand celebrated the launch of the new flavours by hosting a lunch for media and content creators at Seskin Farm in Tipperary, home to the O’Donnell family.
The O’Donnells team loves the earth and through its packaging reduction programme, the brand is committed to reducing its impact on the planet. O’Donnells has made significant reductions to the amount of film used in the range – it has removed 22% of film from impulse and sharing pack formats and 38% from the multipack range.
Throughout the autumn, O’Donnells is live with the ‘Taste Above All Else’ campaign, spanning video on demand (VOD), digital, social and in-store, as well as sponsoring Today FM’s number one Morning Show with Dave Moore.
*(Source: Nielsen MAT Value Sales 16 July 2023, Crisps.
**(Great Taste Awards, Free From Food Awards, Irish Quality Food Awards and Blas na hEireann Award)
Make life golden
Kerrygold, Ireland’s leading butter brand, has announced the extension of its product range with the launch of the Kerrygold Butter Stick. The handy 100-gram format offers food lovers greater variety for a host of usage occasions while delivering the unmistakable great taste that Kerrygold is known for all over the world.
Made from the milk of Irish grassfed cows, the new format maintains Kerrygold’s rich, creamy real butter taste while responding to the evolving needs of diverse household sizes by offering more convenience and increased choice for Irish consumers. With 25-gram markings on the pack, the Kerrygold Butter Stick is made for every cooking occasion and gives baking enthusiasts and budding cooks greater functionality and flexibility in the kitchen, as they strive for the perfect flavour.
The Kerrygold Butter Stick is now stocked nationwide at most major supermarkets, convenience and independent retailers in addition to the core range of Kerrygold Butter products including Salted and Unsalted, Kerrygold Spreadable and Kerrygold Softer.
For more information, see: www.kerrygold.com/ie/.
Authentically natural and good-for-you
Fiid launched on the scene in early 2019 with the aim of disrupting the ambient grocery aisles, drawing in a younger, more discerning and health-conscious shopper while making plant-forward food accessible to everyone.
Founder Shane Ryan says that consumers have really “connected” with the brand and the problem they are solving. “There is still huge demand for brands that offer authentically natural and good-for-you foods with ingredients that shoppers recognise and trust,” he says. “The need for convenience has not abated post-Covid with consumers now more than ever looking for shortcut solutions without compromising on nutrition and taste. We’re excited to be championing on this in Ireland and beyond.”
Fiid makes a range of six quick-cook, meal bowls served in a pouch. The range is 100% plant-based, made with all-natural ingredients and ready to eat in as little as 90 seconds. Each meal is prepared by placing fresh ingredients in Fiid’s pouch packaging, sealing it and then cooking gently to perfection in a hot water bath to extend the shelf life naturally, without additives or preservatives. In addition, the full range is high in protein and fibre making them on-trend kitchen essentials.
Backed by industry heavyweights such as Strong Root’s Sam Dennigan, Fiid is Ireland’s leading B Corp – a collection of companies around the world that balance people, planet and profit, meeting high standards of sustainability, social responsibility, transparency, and accountability, is fully carbon neutral (the world’s first carbon neutral ready meal) and, through its sales, feeds every student every day at the Mazangoza School in Malawi in partnership with feeding project charity Mary’s Meals.
Fiid is available to order in Ireland via GM Marketing.
Rigorously vetted for quality
Established in 2013, Hale Vaping emerged to transform Ireland’s vaping landscape. Hale’s mission is clear; help Irish smokers embrace a healthier, cost-effective alternative to cigarettes.
Hale proudly manufactures its own e-liquid locally, in Carlow; proudly Irish made and Irish owned. With 70 own-branded vape stores across the country selling the Hale range, Hale also distributes its products into the convenience, forecourt, and grocery channels.
Hale offers retailer support that extends beyond product distribution, providing personalized sales support, merchandising expertise, and efficient stock management solutions. The company’s commitment to retailers includes next-day delivery, informative point-of-sale materials, and a dedicated in-house data analysis team for optimised sales strategies.
Through Hale’s years of experience, the team has curated a range of premium, TPD-compliant vaping products, rigorously vetted for quality, and performance. This is why Hale Liquids are the number one selling liquid in the Irish market today. Hale also works directly with manufacturers across the globe to bring the Irish vape consumer top international brands such as Elf Bar, Lost Mary, SKE Crystal and many more.
Throughout 2023, Hale has invested heavily in corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives and is proud to partner with WEEE Ireland to provide battery takeback facilities, ensuring that everything possible is being done to educated and inform consumers on how to dispose of their used vapes correctly.
As the company evolves, Hale Vaping remains committed to growth, innovation, and meeting the evolving needs of consumers – and of course, continuing to emphasise the clear message; “If you don’t smoke, don’t vape”.
Helping Irish businesses to grow
Working with over 800 Irish suppliers, with over 3,500 Irish products across their range, and as a sixth-generation family-owned Irish business, Musgrave MarketPlace is proud to support local suppliers, jobs and communities.
As a key partner of hospitality, Musgrave MarketPlace is always scouting for innovative, new value-added products to supply to its network of customers, and recently launched its new Green Shoots initiative. In collaboration with Bord Bia, the initiative invites local Irish businesses to pitch themselves – ‘Dragon’s Den’ style – to a panel of foodservice experts, spanning culinary, purchasing, sales and marketing.
Five successful Irish suppliers from the first round of applicants have begun the process of launching their delicious products across Musgrave Marketplace:
Builín Blasta is located in the heart of Galway’s Gaeltacht, with a range of unique sauces and condiments that are quick and delicious. Its glorious onion smoked mayo and salsa makes you wish the last taste never arrives.
- The Uneek Functional Cheese Company
Based in County Limerick, The Uneek Functional Cheese Company specializes in making and creating luxury cheese sauces, which are both vegetarian and gluten free. The brand’s cheese sauce takes the time and hassle out of sauce preparation and supports a varied staffing skillset.
- The Vanilla Bean Patisserie
An artisan patisserie based in Co. Cavan, The Vanilla Bean Patisserie specializes in creating artisanal and handmade desserts. This attention to detail and craftsmanship ensures that each dessert is unique, delicious, and of the highest quality.
- Spice O’ Life
Located in West Cork, Spice O’Life produces a range of spice and seasoning blends as well as liquid sauces, marinades, and flavoured mayonnaises. Versions of classics such as Sweet Chilli and Smokey BBQ ooze flavour as well as some top-notch homemade style marinades.
- The Cultured Food Company
Also located in Cork, the Cultured Food Company specializes in creating high-quality, naturally fermented food. Its products offer new and exciting options that are not only tasty, but also full of health benefits.
To find out more about our Green Shoots initiative and to shop these products, visit musgravemarketplace.ie.
Centra celebrates producers with 28 awards at Blas na hÉireann
Centra’s Irish food producers have claimed 28 awards at this year’s Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards.
Centra scooped an impressive seven Gold awards for products including Inspired by Centra Overnight Oats, Centra Rapeseed Oil, Centra Streaky Smoked Rashers, Centra Mango Kefir and The Happy Pear Hummus.
Celebrating and rewarding the top tier Irish food and drink products, Blas na hÉireann awards are the biggest blind tasting of quality Irish produce on the island and sees producers across the nation competing to take home the coveted accolades.
The awards, announced on Friday, 29 September, saw Ireland’s number one convenience retailer Centra producers take home a total of seven gold, 13 silver and eight bronze awards. The big wins include 11 products from the Inspired by Centra range, expertly created to bring you a range with value in mind without compromising on taste or quality.
Award winners within the Inspired by Centra range include mouth-watering favourites such as Inspired By Centra Irish Angus Sirloin Steak with Peppercorn Butter and Inspired By Centra Italian Napoli Salami, Spicy Piccante Salami & Roasted Red Pepper Pizza.
Other key award winners from our Centra range include Centra Hi Fibre rolls, Centra Tomato & Basil Soup and Centra Irish Creamery Butter.
“As the leading Irish convenience retailer, we pride ourselves on offering quality Irish produce for our customers to enjoy,” said Ian Allen, managing director, Centra. “Our trusted suppliers scooping 28 accolades at this year’s awards demonstrates this. The Blas accreditation is a testament to Centra’s quality products from trusted Irish suppliers available across our network of 494 Centra stores nationwide.”
Now in its 16th year, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards sees competition from a range of top-quality Irish producers across 32 counties.
SuperValu producers triumph at the 2023 Blas na hÉireann Awards with remarkable 94 wins
Producers of SuperValu, Ireland’s largest grocery retailer, took home a remarkable 94 Blás na hÉireann awards recently in another winning year for the retailer and its local producers.
SuperValu own brand and its Food Academy producers picked up 94 awards – winning 26 Gold, 24 Silver, 30 Bronze, five Chef’s Larder and nine speciality awards. SuperValu Signature Tastes won five Gold awards: highlighting the exemplary quality across the top-tier range. This brings the total number of awards won by SuperValu and its suppliers over the last three years up to an incredible 303 awards across SuperValu own brand, SuperValu Signature Tastes, Food Academy, and The Happy Pear.
Considered to be the ‘Oscars of the Food World’, the prestigious Blas na hÉireann awards celebrate and reward the very best tasting Irish food and drink products, and the passionate, committed producers who produce them.
SuperValu award winners included one prestigious ‘Chef’s Larder’ awards, won by Oliver Carty for Signature Tastes Hampshire Easy Carve Gammon. Food Academy producers took home four of the highly coveted awards; including Cherry Orchard Community Garden’s Mixed Salad Leaves, Clonmore Farm’s Mixed Salad Leaves, Dainty Greens Microgreens Medley, and Roll It Pastry’s All Butter Puff Pastry. This highly regarded title is awarded for ingredients, specialist products or recipe staples that a chef would find to be a valuable part of their larder. Another key highlight was for SuperValu Food Academy producer Achill Island Sea Salt, taking home the ‘Best New Product’ for Achill Island Sea Salted Nougat with Cashew Nuts.
SuperValu Signature Tastes and own brand took home a total of 10 Gold awards including SuperValu Natural Kefir of Clóna Dairy Products Ltd, a West Cork based manufacturer of 100% Irish fresh milk and cream products and SuperValu Rapeseed Oil of Newgrange Gold.
Also included in the Gold award line-up was SuperValu Signature Tastes Irish Hampshire Smoked Rack of Bacon (exclusive to SuperValu), produced by Oliver Carty. The business is owned and run by Ted Carty, whose foresight, innovation, and love of the business has brough Oliver Carty to where it is today, one of Ireland largest pork and bacon producers.
It was also another successful year for SuperValu’s Food Academy producers who picked up 48 awards – 13 Gold, 8 Silver, 14 Bronze, four Chef’s Larder, one Best New Product and eight Best in County; including one Gold award from Ballykilcavan Brewing for its Blackwell Irish Stout.
David and Lisa Walsh-Kemmis established Ballykilcavan Brewing Company on their family’s historic farm in 2016, spanning 13 generations since 1639. They founded an on-farm brewery sourcing 100% of barley from the estate and introduced hop gardens while committing to sustainability and maintaining their Origin Green Sustainability status for 2023. With a dedication to preserving the farm’s legacy, each beer is named after a specific location on the farm, showcasing full ingredient traceability and emphasising the unique terroir of Ballykilcavan.
“2023 has been another stellar year for SuperValu at the prestigious Blas na hÉireann awards,” said Ian Allen, managing director, SuperValu. “We are incredibly proud of our local producers as they receive the recognition they deserve.”
Honouring Irish heritage through innovation
In the ever-evolving world of confectionery, Cleeve’s Irish Confectionery in 2023 proudly represents tradition, quality, and Irish heritage. Established in 1882 by the Cleeve brothers in Limerick, this iconic Irish brand has gracefully endured over a century of changing tastes.
Ampersand, entrusted with preserving Cleeve’s legacy, has unveiled a significant rebranding initiative, marking a milestone in the brand’s 140-year history which is set to captivate Cleeve’s to a new generation of confectionery enthusiasts.
Cleeve’s chocolate bars, beloved by Irish consumers, now proudly feature a minimum of 30% cocoa solids, ensuring a significantly enhanced chocolate tasting experience. What’s more, Cleeve’s chocolate is now free from palm oil and vegetable oil, reaffirming Ampersand’s and Cleeve’s commitment to quality.
The recipe upgrade coincides with a new packaging look that combines modern sophistication with classic vintage charm. The fresh design honours Cleeve’s rich history while adopting a new visual style that connects with modern consumers. Vibrant gold typography and art-deco inspired branding evoke memories of the past while still exuding contemporary appeal.
The chocolate bars are also elegantly wrapped in vibrant, colour-coded flow pack foil packaging designed to maintain their freshness. The packaging is also eco-friendly and fully recyclable, reflecting Cleeve’s dedication to sustainability. The bars are also showcased in striking full-colour shelf-ready cases, perfect for prominent placement in retail outlets.
Today, Cleeve’s operates from a state-of-the-art 2,000 square meter factory in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, supporting Irish jobs throughout the supply chain. The new confectionery line, distributed by Ampersand, offers a range of milk chocolate confections and bars which include a popping candy variant for children, toffees and caramels that embody the essence of Irish craftsmanship and quality that defines Cleeve’s.
Cleeve’s newly rebranded chocolate bars retail at €1.20 and are available in a convenient 34g format, offering the ideal portion for an authentic Irish treat. The range includes classic flavours that have been favourites for generations: Macaroon, Mint Crisp and Sea Salt Caramel Crisp. Both Macaroon and Mint Crisp are also available in a sharing size 90g pack format priced at €2.30. The new Cleeve’s Popping Candy Chocolate Bar offers superb value priced at just 50c for the fun 20g format.
Cleeve’s Irish Confectionery continues to prove that some traditions are too sweet to let go. For confectionery retailers, this rebrand isn’t just a change in packaging; it’s an opportunity to share in the legacy of Irish confectionery and offer customers a taste of the past, present, and future.
For more information on Cleeve’s Irish Confectionery, visit cleevesirishconfectionery.ie or Cleeve’s social media pages on Instagram and Facebook. If you would like to order Cleeve’s, contact your Ampersand representative or call the sales line on 01 4130150.
Passionate about chocolate
Lily O’Brien’s is the largest of the Irish brands in the premium box chocolate market in Ireland and is the second largest brand overall in the total premium box chocolate category. (Source: Nielsen MAT Dec 2022). In business for over 30 years now, Lily O’Brien’s has become a firm favorite in homes across the country providing consumers with affordable premium luxury chocolate products for gifting and sharing with family and friends.
The passion for chocolate that first inspired Mary Ann O’Brien is still present in every aspect of the business and remains at the very core of what Lily O’Brien’s does. Based in the heart of Co. Kildare, the company now employs 218 employees. The highly experienced team are passionate about creating innovative chocolate recipes and mouth-watering chocolate creations using the finest quality ingredients to create special moments of enjoyment.
Recently awarded Brand of the year 2023 by Chambers Ireland, Lily O’Brien’s has a strong track record in innovation in boxed chocolates and premium sharing. The Desserts Collection and the Gift-Wrapped Ultimate Chocolate Collection are both in the top five SKUs in the premium inlaid boxed chocolates market in Ireland (Source: Nielsen Mat Dec 2022). The Desserts Collection contains a mouthwatering selection of six of the world’s best loved desserts recipes. The Ultimate Chocolate collection contains a selection of milk white and dark chocolates and comes gift wrapped perfect for last minute gifting.
The latest addition to the brands portfolio and perfect for informal get-togethers and sharing with family and friends, the Lily O’ Brien’s Truffles range was launched in September 2022. Available in eye catching single flavour 200g cartons of individually wrapped chocolate truffles, there are three products in the range – Milk Chocolate Truffles, Salted Caramel Truffles and Vanilla Truffles which are all proving very popular with consumers. Salted Caramel Truffles was voted Product of the Year 2023 in the Chocolate Category at the Product of the Year awards. Competing against household names, the decadently delicious Salted Caramel Truffles was awarded following a consumer survey of 8,000 people carried out across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland by Kantar.
Lily O’Brien’s share bags are the ideal indulgence for self-treating or sharing. The current range of five recipes has recently been extended to include a new Milk Chocolate Orange recipe. With Orange currently a favourite with consumers this new addition is sure to be a winner.
Lily O’ Brien’s is continuously investing in packaging design and in-store displays to showcase the range in store and to ensure consumers receive the very best product experience. The brand will also be supported with an above-the-line (ATL) campaign in Quarter 4. The campaign ‘For the ones you really know’ reflects Lily O’Brien’s core values; passion for chocolate and passion for people and is focused on the importance of relationships and letting those around us know how much they are loved.
With national distribution available through Tennant & Ruttle, contact your sales representative for more information at www.lilyobriens.ie.
Ireland’s fastest growing crisp range
2023 has been another successful and exciting year for Keoghs Crisps as the brand continues to grow both domestically and internationally. As the largest owned crisp manufacturer in Ireland, Keoghs are delighted to announce huge brand growth in both the Kantar and Nielsen Top 100 brands for 2023 with 26th position in Kantar and 56th for Nielsen. This year’s food awards season has been abundant for Keoghs picking up three prestigious Great Taste Awards including a double star award for its Crinkle Cut Salt and Vinegar, three Blas Na hEireann Awards and one Irish Quality food and Drink Award. The Keoghs Sweet Chilli crisps variety is really this year’s stand out flavour, picking up gold across all award bodies.
Recently, Keoghs unveiled exciting new packaging designs for its Crinkle Cut crisp range, brought to life through the creative talents of local illustrator Peter Donnelly. The new packaging depicts scenes Irish landmarks, mostly that of Keoghs local North County Dublin. This move aims to capture the true essence of Keoghs Premium snack brand and helps align Keoghs Crinkle Cut range to the Keogh Masterbrand. Keoghs Crinkle Cut is Ireland’s fastest growing crisp range and the brand looks forward to continued growth with a fresh new look for 2024.
Wicklow in a bottle!
The Powerscourt Distillery has made history with its latest release – one hundred years since a whiskey has been distilled in the county, 100% malt, 100% distilled on the Powerscourt Estate and 100% Wicklow in a bottle! The Powerscourt Distillery Fercullen Single Malt is available at selected stockists across Ireland and from the Powerscourt Distillery and Visitor Centre, plus its online store, with a RRP of €55.
This whiskey’s complex flavour profile boasts a nose filled with toffee, baking spices, vanilla, dessert apples, pears, soft leather, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baked buttered pastry crusts. On the palate, enjoy rich notes of vanilla custard, soft oak, salted caramel, digestives, and tarte tatin, followed by a warming finish complemented by oak spices, soft leather, honeyed almonds, and stewed fruits.
“Our first Fercullen Single Malt release takes authentic inspiration from our unique location,” says John Cashman, the head of new product development for The Powerscourt Distillery. “It is a great honour to be involved in the inaugural release of a whiskey which was completely distilled here in Powerscourt Distillery. The whole team are exceptionally proud of this key milestone in our story, especially our first employee and senior distiller, Johnathan Graham, who, alongside our founding master distiller, supervised the first distillation in 2018. Our award-winning master distiller, Paul Corbett, has curated the final liquid – a sensational single malt worthy of the title, ‘Spirit of Wicklow’.
“The spirit laid down at Powerscourt Distillery in 2018 is of exceptional quality,” adds Paul Corbett, master distiller. “To have the opportunity to blend these liquids and establish the DNA of Fercullen Single Malt has been an honour. I look forward to blending many more releases of Powerscourt Distillery liquid in the coming years.”
Available from Barry & Fitzwilliam or Powerscourt Distillery directly.