Irish greats

Irish brands consistently come out on top in the ‘Kantar 100 Master Brands at Home’ ranking published by ShelfLife

With the full economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis as yet unknown, 2020 is a year when it has never been more important to support homegrown Irish brands which are providing jobs and keeping our economy going. Fortunately, the taste credentials, quality standards and continual innovation by Irish brands make it an easy choice to support our homegrown greats, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

Read More:

21 October 2020

Share this post:



In Ireland, consumers have a deep relationship with Irish food brands. Homegrown snacking, grocery and dairy brands are innately tied to Irish culture and society; they are brands Irish people have grown up with and still purchase every day. Each year, Irish brands consistently come out on top in the ‘Kantar 100 Master Brands at Home’ ranking published by ShelfLife. What’s more, the importance of supporting local, homegrown producers is fully appreciated by the retailers, who are proud to share their credentials in this area with shoppers. With that in mind, below we outline the heavyweight Irish contenders that deserve pride of place on shelves across the nation.

TITLE: Q & A with…Michelle Daly Lennon, marketing manager dairy, Kerry Food

Michelle Daly Lennon

Q: How have you been innovative with your marketing to cut through all the ‘noise’ in the marketplace and attract consumers’ attention? 

A: We live in an ever-changing world where consumers have more access to information at the tips of their fingers than ever before. Brands need to continuously evolve and connect with consumers in disruptive ways to ensure their share of consumers’ attention.

At Dairygold, we put the consumers at the heart of everything that we do, ensuring only the highest quality products go to market and building campaigns that connect with consumers in their chosen space and in a relatable way. As a brand, we have worked continuously to build a memorable brand identity while staying relevant to the times.

Since the onset of Covid-19 consumers are looking for comfort, that little moment of joy and escapism in their lives and our new campaign ‘Spread the Goodness’, delivers on that emotional need. We have aimed to recreate that uplifting feeling you get when you eat a slice of deliciously melty Dairygold toast – essentially aiming to bring a virtual hug right into people’s living rooms.

Launched on 1 October, ‘Spread the Goodness’, features a young woman, Jess, who after enjoying her Dairygold toast continues through her day spreading ‘random acts of Dairygold Goodness’, inspiring others to go forth and make their world just that little bit good-er.

Dairygold’s new ‘Spread the Goodness’ campaign aims “to recreate that uplifting feeling you get when you eat a slice of deliciously melty Dairygold toast”

A fully integrated plan will support the new TVC with instore activity highlighting our new look 100% recyclable pack and a digital campaign bringing ‘Dairygold Goodness’ to life and encouraging consumers to ‘Spread the Goodness’ wherever they can.

Q: This October you are launching a new 100% recyclable pack. Can you tell us more about this?

A: Consumers are striving to limit food waste, shop more consciously and buy more sustainable options. As the number one spreads brand in Ireland, we recognised the importance of evolving our packaging to meet consumers growing desire for sustainability.

While our lid and tubs have always been recyclable, we needed to find a recyclable solution for our coverleaf while ensuring there was no impact to the shelf life or quality of Dairygold. Our teams worked to find a solution that would allow us to obtain a fully recyclable accreditation while maintaining our product integrity. We are delighted to share this with the market in October.

Q: How will Dairygold’s new packaging design increase the brand’s on-shelf standout? 

A: BSM (butter, spreads and margarines) is the second most auto-shopped category in grocery with shoppers only spending on average three seconds at shelf. After a number of years in the same packaging, Dairygold needed a shakeup in how we showed up on shelf to ensure we were continuing to engage our shoppers. Our new-look 100% recyclable packs use colour to differentiate our range while at the same time injecting more life and personality into both the Dairygold brand and the BSM category. We have also retained our core brand semiotics such as our brand marque, churn and buttercups to ensure instant recognisability amongst our loyal shoppers.

Q: How has the Covid-19 crisis affected the business? What are the key lessons you will take away from this challenging time?

A: The need for agile ways of working, planning and innovative solutions has been highlighted over the previous six months. People are placing more emphasis on shopping more consciously, buying local and embracing trusted brands that prioritise quality and wellbeing. Dairygold’s Irish heritage, great tasting products and dairy credentials mean that we are well positioned to meet these growing consumer needs.

Spread the goodness

Worth over €30m RSV, Dairygold holds 20% market share within the BSM category

Dairygold is the market-leading butter, spreads and margarine (BSM) brand in Ireland, and has been a staple in Irish hearts and fridges for over 30 years. The brand is worth over €30m in retail sales value (RSV) and holds 20% market share within the BSM category.

The long-term success of Dairygold has been built on the brand’s ability to continuously connect with consumers through its high-quality products and commitment to continuously evolving the brand’s communications platform.

2020 will see the launch of a new communications platform, ‘Spread the Goodness’, 100% recyclable packaging across the full range and special edition Christmas pack for the festive season.

Farm-fresh award winners

Mash Direct has won 23 Great Taste Awards

Mash Direct is an innovative farming enterprise, run by the Hamilton family, at their family farm in County Down close to the shores of Strangford Lough. The company grows and produces quality, convenient ‘field to fork’ vegetable and potato side-dishes, boasting 23 Great Taste Awards, ranging from Mashed Potato to Cauliflower Bites.

The team at Mash Direct pride themselves in values of a family oriented, farming company passionate about creating the highest quality vegetable and potato side-dishes. With six generations of farming knowledge, the Hamilton family carefully selects heritage varieties of vegetables, bursting with flavour and gently prepared into an innovative, nutritious range of convenient products.

With innovation at the heart of the brand, Mash Direct has developed its Green Cabbage Bake – perfect for the changing seasons – to meet continued consumer demand in 2020

Mash Direct produces over 50 products that are 100% gluten-free and free from artificial colourings and flavourings and are available throughout the UK and Ireland. All of Mash Direct’s vegetables have been grown in perfect soil conditions due to the optimum climate and being situated close to the gulf stream around Strangford Lough, on the six-generation farm in County Down. All products have very low food miles and are easily traceable from ‘Field to Fork’ whilst also coming in recyclable packaging, contributing to a low carbon footprint for the company.

Nutritious seafood in minutes

Morgan’s Fine Fish, based in Omeath, Co. Louth is one of the longest established seafood companies in Ireland. The family business has been supplying quality seafood since 1860. The company have used its extensive knowledge to develop Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen, an exciting new range of low fat, high protein ‘ready to cook’ seafood meals.

Tapping into the ever-growing demand for healthy convenient offerings, the range was officially launched by weight loss expert Karen Daly of The Academy Masterplan and includes three tasty meals: Katsu Fish Curry, Spicy Lemongrass and Lime Seafood and Caribbean Prawns.

Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen includes three tasty meals: Katsu Fish Curry, Spicy Lemongrass and Lime Seafood and Caribbean Prawns

Gillian Morgan, R&D product developer at Morgan’s Fine Fish explains the benefits of the range: ‘From the outset, we wanted to develop an authentic and exciting seafood product with clean label ingredients,” she says. “We wanted to make it easier for customers, who may not have the time to prepare and cook fish, to enjoy a nutritious seafood meal in minutes.”

Morgan’s Fine Fish is the biggest employer in the Cooley Peninsula with 80 employees involved in sales and processing. The company is proud of its role in the local community which is why it was keen to partner with a local ambassador for the range. Following her own weight loss journey, brand ambassador Karen Daly from Dundalk, Co. Louth, is passionate about teaching people to eat better not less. “I have always encouraged people to eat more fish, but I know many people avoid cooking it at home,” Daly says. “Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen is the perfect solution. Cooked from raw in as little as four minutes, the meals are the ultimate healthy fast food!”

Morgan’s Seafood Kitchen is available in select Dunnes Stores and from Morgan’s Fine Fish shop in Omeath. Priced at €4.99, each meal contains prime pieces of fish or prawns with fresh locally sourced vegetables, basmati rice and a tasty sauce. The range is packaged in the latest recyclable ‘Evolve’ trays.

To find out more and for live cookery demos from Karen Daly, make sure to follow @morgansseafoodkitchen and @mydalymasterplan on Instagram.

Most decorated craft brewery

The Kildare-based Rye River Brewing Company is taking on the global giants of brewing. In September, it was crowned the Most Decorated Independent Craft Brewery in the world for the second consecutive year at the 2020 World Beer Awards. Reaching the top ranking in the world, Rye River Brewing Company picked up an astonishing 30 awards including one of only nine overall category winner awards for its McGargles Sean’s Export Stout, which was named World’s Best Stout in the Stout and Porter Category, beating out all other style and country winners.

Rye River Brewing Company scooped 30 awards at the 2020 World Beer Awards

The brewery also picked up an additional three World’s Best in Style awards for McGargles Dan’s Double IPA received the World’s best Double IPA title for the second time in three years, Rye River Miami JIPA was named World’s Best American Style IPA, and The Crafty Brewing Company American Style Pale Wheat Ale, brewed exclusively for Lidl Ireland, was named World’s Best American Style Wheat Beer.

Rye River Brewing Company was founded in 2013, is based in Celbridge, Co. Kildare and are proud owners of the McGargles, Rye River Brewing Company, Grafters and Solas brands. The brewery also brews The Crafty Brewing Company range of beers for Lidl GmBH.

Speaking about their recent success, head brewer Bill Laukitis said: “We are very proud of our beers and excited to see they are continually received well. It is a challenge to produce over 30 unique products on one site year-round, and an absolute honour that they receive such recognition on a global platform. It’s a true testament to the passion and dedication of our brewers and the whole team here at Rye River.”

Stars of the show

Three of Ballymaloe’s Foods products have been awarded stars at this year’s prestigious Great Taste international awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK.

The Great Taste Awards are known as the world’s most trusted food and drink awards. Ballymaloe Pickled Irish Beetroot was awarded two stars while Ballymaloe Original Relish and Ballymaloe Mayo were both awarded one star each. The beetroot used by Ballymaloe Foods has a strong level of connection to the farm – it is all grown locally in East Cork. General manager at Ballymaloe Foods, Maxine Hyde said the company is delighted with the accolades and they are especially welcome this year as they celebrate 30 years in business.

“We are over the moon to get such great news,” Hyde said. “We are so proud of our products and these awards are thanks to the hard work of our employees. We are so grateful to all our customers and suppliers who support these products every day.”

Coffee a hit at home

Coffee culture continues to boom across the country, but the people of Ireland have had to adapt their coffee consumption habits as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions. As a nation of coffee drinkers, the majority of coffee enthusiasts (83%) are now preparing their favourite cup of coffee at home, according to Bewley’s latest annual Coffee Consumption Report.

“Our consumers are at the heart of everything we do, and we have been loyally serving them for the past 180 years,” says Jason Doyle, managing director of Bewley’s UK and Ireland. “Over the past number of months, we’ve seen a big shift in coffee consumption habits, with more people making coffees at home and with a big emphasis on dairy alternatives, particularly among the younger generation.” Bewley’s subsequently launched a new and improved online shop as well as Bewley’s Connect; an online platform that gives baristas and operators access to a host of tools they can access online to continue to upskill.

*(Source: iReach Consumer Omnibus Survey conducted on behalf of Bewley’s. Field work completed September 2020 among 1,000 respondents aged 18+)

Take control of your Mude

The Naked Collective’s Mude range is made from only plants, vitamins and water

The Naked Collective’s range of vegan, good-for-you soft drinks offers functional health benefits built around your day. Made from only plants, vitamins and water (that’s it!), individuals can feel the physical and mental effects within five to 20 minutes of consumption.

The range includes the following options:

  • ImmunoBoost

With 69% of people putting a firmer focus on health and wellbeing in response to Covid-19, there’s never been a better time to discover Mude ImmunoBoost. Turbocharged with Beta Glucan and complex B vitamins, its clinically proven to boost immune health.

  • Play

Lacking energy? 40% of people report feeling the same during these uncertain times. Mude Play harnesses the power of organic green tea to revitalise body and mind, giving you a natural energy kick.

  • Work

Along with a dip in energy, 42% of us have experienced decreased motivation over recent months. Mude Work is the ideal antidote: active ingredient, yeast protein, helps you find focus when you need it most.

  • Chill

It’s no surprise that 40% of people have reported increased anxiety due to the pandemic. Thanks to the soothing powers of ashwagandha plant, Mude Chill is the stress-busting solution we all need.

  • Sleep

34% of us are struggling with sleepless nights post-Covid. Take control of your dreams and get a head start on tomorrow with Mude Sleep, combining chamomile and valerian root for a truly restful slumber.

(Sources: PWC Global Insights Survey 2020; Glassdoor)

New eco-friendly carton

Tipperary Water’s new TetraPak carton is 88% plant-based

This year Tipperary Water began its eco-friendly journey and launched a 500ml TetraPak carton. The carton is 88% plant-based, 100% recyclable in Ireland and has a lower carbon footprint than a standard PET bottle. This is due to the fact that it’s transported flat, filled and once used can be fully flattened and disposed of in the recycling bin.

The launch was supported by an educational in-store, digital and out of home campaign to encourage consumers to ‘Twist the Cap to Change the World’, the purpose of which was to show consumers that if everyone makes small changes to add a little green to their everyday, it will have a worldwide impact.

The new eco-friendly carton was also used to support the new sponsorship of the Football Association of Ireland, to show customers and consumers that not only does Tipperary Water care about your health, it cares about the environment too.

Tipperary Water reports it looks forward to continuing on this eco-journey through 2021 through new product launches and leveraging brand partnerships.

Hot stuff!

Flahavan’s, a proud member of Love Irish Food and Ireland’s favourite porridge brand, continues to hold the number-one position in the hot oats category with more than 56% market share. Traditional porridge remains at the heart of the company’s business in Ireland, with large bag formats including Progress Oatlets and Organic Porridge experiencing the strongest growth in the first half of 2020 as a result of shifting consumer habits, including a rise in home baking as well as more time spent at the breakfast table due to changing work patterns.

Kantar* indicates a strong consumer shift toward trusted food and drink brands during Q2 2020, with a 33% uplift in branded product sales versus the 17% uplift in private label food products. This highlights consumers’ desires for the consistent quality of trusted brands during times of uncertainty and change. With 82% of people predicting that the country will be worse off economically in 2021**, shopping local and Irish will continue to gain momentum in the coming months. Trusted Irish brands, such as Flahavan’s, are well-placed to weather the economic downturn as consumers endeavour to ease the impact of the recession on their own towns and communities, through making more informed shopping choices.

Flahavan’s is ‘Not your run of the mill oats’ and the brand continues to support its product portfolio in communicating its differentiating message of superior quality, taste and provenance to Irish consumers through its TV, radio, OOH and digital media investments during key seasons. Its own channels – website and social; are used effectively to showcase the brand’s long history and heritage as well as highlighting the health benefits of oats and providing regular recipe inspiration on new and exciting ways to enjoy oats.

*(Source: Kantar, 12 weeks to 14 June 2020)

**(Source: B&A Consumer Confidence Tracker, August 2020)

Signature snacks

Snacking brand Forest Feast has announced the launch of a new Signature Chocolate Nut range, tapping into the growth in demand for premium and indulgent snacks.

The new range is handcrafted in-house, using oven roasted nuts coated in real Belgian chocolate.

“Take-home chocolate is currently growing 15% YOY, with 98% penetration*, and we are seeing between 150-250% growth in our own chocolate ranges,” says Bronagh Clarke, marketing director at Forest Feast. “We wanted to bring something different to the confectionery category for consumers by reconciling the goodness of nuts with the indulgence of Belgian chocolate.

“With more people spending time together at home, the range is well primed to meet demand from the current trend of in-home snacking,” she adds. “Each one has its own unique ingredient twist and they are all oven-roasted with their skin-on to give real depth of flavour.”

Launching with three variants, the range includes: Sea Salted Dark Chocolate Almonds (Gluten Free, Vegan); Belgian Milk Chocolate Brazils. (Gluten Free, Vegetarian) and Cookies & Cream Almonds (Vegetarian).

Forest Feast Signature Chocolate Nuts are available now with an RRSP of €3.50/120g.

Made with respect

Goodfella’s Pizza Pockets take only two minutes in the microwave!

Goodfella’s Pizza, launched in 1993, remains Ireland’s number one frozen pizza brand. Produced in state of-the-art facilities in Naas and Longford, Goodfella’s is proud to be made in Ireland and supporting Irish jobs.

Goodfella’s Irish operations are handled from the company’s HQ in Naas, Kildare, where the commercial team works out of the same site as the factory and has been serving Irish customers for nearly 30 years.

Goodfella’s is constantly striving to meet consumer needs and wants. Tapping into key trends and meal occasions, Goodfella’s has something for everyone and continues to deliver tasty pizzas for all the family.

Goodfella’s Takeaway pizzas are perfect for weekend nights in

The brand has a wide frozen pizza portfolio, whether it’s the Takeaway pizzas—perfect for those weekend nights in or the everyday Thin range that provides families of all ages an easy but delicious meal solution. Goodfella’s Deep Pan range now with an even lighter, fluffier base and new, more relevant toppings which tap into younger audiences and their preferences.

Given the now mainstream nature of vegan products as well as those with special dietary requirements, Goodfella’s felt it important to create ranges of both Vegan and Gluten Free that offer standout and deliver on quality. With their newest innovation, Goodfella’s Pizza Pockets, the team has created a tasty pizza snack that takes only two minutes in the microwave! A quick and easy way to get that same delicious, cheesy flavour while on-the-go.

Whatever the occasion, consumers can depend on the delicious Italian American-style pizzas from the ‘original frozen pizza people’: ‘Goodfella’s, Made with Respect!’



Share this post:

Read More:

Back to Top ↑

Shelflife Magazine