Legendary Irish

In a post-pandemic environment, supporting Irish products and jobs has become more important than ever and the innovation and quality craftmanship on display from Irish producers makes supporting Irish brands a truly tasty proposition, writes Gillian Hamill

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Brand Central

15 October 2021 | 0

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As ShelfLife’s readers will be only too aware, Ireland is renowned globally for our premium quality food standards. Further enhancing this reputation, last month, Bord Bia announced that 50 Irish food, drink and horticulture companies had achieved gold membership Origin Green status based on exemplary performance in reaching their sustainability targets. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue commented on Ireland’s strengths in this area, noting: “Food Vision 2030 charts a way forward for all of us in the agri-food sector to deliver on its key ambition – for Ireland to become ‘A World Leader in Sustainable Food Systems’.”

Supporting homegrown and local produce and thereby supporting Irish jobs has continuously been a major focus for Irish shoppers – a fact clearly demonstrated each and every year in our ‘100 Most-Chosen Master Brands’ published in partnership with Kantar. Now, this commitment has been copper-fastened in a post-pandemic environment. Fortunately, according to KBC Ireland’s Austin Hughes, Irish jobsdata for the second quarter of 2021 showed a very strong but not entirely surprising rebound in numbers at work as health-related restrictions eased and the re-opening of the economy gained momentum. According to Hughes, the jobs data confirms that “the Irish economy is now seeing a strong and broadening rebound in activity that is underpinning jobs growth”.

The EY Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni Survey 2021 also revealed some encouraging insights. According to the survey, the outlook for entrepreneurship on the island of Ireland remains bright despite the twin headwinds of Brexit and Covid-19, with almost nine out of 10 entrepreneurs (88%) intending to increase headcount in the next 12 months.

The broad view for the future is positive amongst entrepreneurs, however 96% cite talent issues as a major challenge to growing their business – both the availability of a skilled workforce across the island and the ability to attract and retain the right talent to their businesses. This has significantly increased as a point of concern since 2019 when 53% said talent issues were a major obstacle to growth.

While positive signs of recovery are emerging, Irish consumers are more aware than ever of the continued importance of supporting Irish. Indeed, the prevalence of ‘Irish staycations’ has made many people reflect more on the positive advantages of supporting Irish. This was demonstrated by a Guaranteed Irish study published in July of this year, which found that 84% of Irish people say locally sourced Irish produce plays a significant role when deciding where to dine out.

Fortunately, the quality, handcrafted standards of the homegrown companies listed within these pages makes supporting Irish products and jobs an even easier decision for shoppers nationwide.

Deliciously Meat Free

Denny has been at the forefront of consumer trends for 200 years. 2020 saw the brand move into meat free for the first time where it quickly established itself as the fastest growing chilled meat free brand, with the number one chilled meat free product, with its Meat Free Sausages*.

The brand has continued to innovate in this space, growing its Meat Free range to nine products across both chilled and frozen categories.

October sees Denny’s latest Meat Free NPD hit the shelves, with the launch of Meat Free Deli Slices which come in two flavours, Ham Style Deli Slices and Chicken Style Deli Slices. Senior brand manager Matt Paterson said of the launch, “we are really excited to see these hit the shelves as we see a real gap in the market for truly delicious meat free lunchtime options”.

The new Denny Meat Free Deli Slices will be nationally distributed from mid-October at €2.50 (RRP).

*(Source: Nielsen IOI Data up to 28/3/21)

A delight from Dingle

The Dingle Single Malt Batch 6 is fully matured exclusively in Tawny port casks

Dingle Distillery is proud to launch its highly anticipated sixth and final release of its Single Malt Batch series – Dingle Single Malt Batch 6.

Some 15,000 bottles of the liquid have been produced with an all-port maturation and with an additional 1,000 Cask Strength bottles available.

Priced at €70.00 (RRP) per 70cl bottle with the Cask Strength priced at €150.00 (RRP), the new single malt whiskey (46.5% ABV) is available to purchase now at DingleDistillery.ieIrishMalts.com, Celtic Whiskey Shop and across independent off-licences nationwide. Dingle uses non-chill filtration to produce its whiskey and adds no colouring.

Elliot Hughes, managing director at Dingle Distillery, said the team are delighted to launch the final batch in a series of carefully curated whiskeys.

“This launch will be of particular interest to those who have followed our journey since our first batch release in 2016 but also for those who want to experience the art of the Dingle Whiskey distilling process through the final Single Malt Batch in the series,” Hughes said.

“At Dingle Distillery, we always endeavour to create really special and unique products and we think this is evident in Single Malt Batch 6,” he added. “We are really proud of this launch and can’t wait for whiskey fans to try it.”

Graham Coull, master distiller at Dingle Distillery, said it was a pleasure to be part of the distilling process.

“Our Single Malt Batch 6 is fully matured exclusively in Tawny port casks, Batch 6 is a great of example of the interaction between single malt spirit and fortified wine,” Coull said.

“A whiskey with multiple layers of sweetness and a well-balanced depth of flavour,” he described Batch 6 as a true “must try, even more so as it is the last in the series”.

Distillery distinction

Readers will know Dingle Distillery for its highly regarded Dingle Gin, recognised as ‘World’s Best Gin’ at the World Gin Awards in 2019. The distillery also produces Dingle Vodka, noted for being quintuple distilled.

A sister company of the Porterhouse Brewing Company, Dingle Distillery opened its doors in 2012. With an ethos centred on quality, artisan whiskey production, Dingle is an independent family-owned business.

For more information, follow Dingle on social media:

Instagram @dingledistillery, Twitter @DingleWhiskey  and Facebook @DingleWhiskey.

Pizza perfection

Goodfella’s is Ireland’s number one frozen pizza brand

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 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.

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 has 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 the brand’s newest innovation — Goodfella’s Pizza Pockets — the team has created a delicious 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!

Bread made better

Gallaghers Bakehouse’s sourdough loaves are fermented for a light texture and flavoursome taste whilst full of fibre

Gallaghers Bakehouse has been baking delicious fresh bread since 1968 in the picturesque village of Ardara, Co Donegal. The bakery is now introducing a new range which is set to transform the bread category. Built on a growing trend towards sourdough and a demand for healthier and tastier choices, the new range perfected by Gallaghers’ expert bakers includes sourdough that is fermented over 12 hours and baked slowly to deliver a unique and great tasting bread, which even when toasted maintains shape and bounce. The result is simply bread made better.

This exciting new range boasts all the benefits of sourdough goodness, fermented for a light texture and flavoursome taste whilst full of fibre, offering a bread that is not just tastier but also healthier too. Using only the simplest ingredients and time, the range includes products packed full of health benefits including high fibre, low sugar, good gut health, digestive, and vitamin boosts. Included in the expansive offering are a selection of Loaves, Bloomers, Soda Bread, Baps, Buns, and a Healthy Range too.

Daniel O’Donnell stars in a major new campaign featuring revealing the secret of just how Gallaghers Bakehouse is bread made better

“We are exceptionally proud of this exciting new range from Gallaghers Bakehouse and delighted that people across the country can now enjoy a healthier and tastier bread choice,” says Greta Hammel, chief marketing officer for Gallaghers Bakehouse Bread.

“Throughout lockdown we saw a growing trend towards sourdough, and we genuinely feel that this range can be a significant disruptor to the category,” she adds.

To support the campaign, Gallaghers Bakehouse has launched a major new campaign featuring Daniel O’Donnell revealing the secret of just how Gallaghers Bakehouse is bread made better. The campaign will run across radio, digital, OOH, PR, and print.

Q&A with Tom Noonan, head of marketing at Bewley’s

Tom Noonan

Q: How does Bewley’s – and specifically the iconic Grafton Street café – occupy a role within Irish culture and heritage?

A: After 180 years in business, Bewley’s has had a profound impact on the Irish coffee scene and has one of the highest brand recognition rates amongst consumers in Ireland.

Our role within Irish culture and heritage comes down to the fact that we ensure our people and customers are at the centre of everything we do; from coffee farmers and brokers to people we employ and families we support. One of the values of our business is to respect people and this can be seen all the way through our supply chain.

Over the decades, we have not only mastered the art of great-tasting teas and coffees but have also positioned ourselves as part of the fabric of Irish culture with Bewley’s Grafton Street. The café is the beating heart of our business – it’s where we bring the Bewley’s experience to life and is an important part of the coffee journey for our customers.

We hear so many stories from people about fond memories of time spent in Bewley’s Grafton Street, whether it’s the ritual of a sticky bun and cup of coffee on a shopping trip to Dublin or taking a moment to appreciate the surrounds of a bustling Grafton Street at one of the café’s windows. Bewley’s Grafton Street is an iconic Irish landmark and not many brands can share the same heritage with their customers – it’s something we are really proud and protective of.

Q: How many Irish jobs does Bewley’s support and how significantly does the company contribute to the Irish economy each year?

A: Bewley’s employs over 200 people in Ireland, and they represent our business every day. Through the unique relationships we have developed over the years, we are focused on protecting our people and the business we’ve helped grow.

Bewley’s Big Coffee Social for Hospice is a great example of how we give back to our communities. Over 4,500 coffee socials take place around the country and our partnership with Hospice raises €2 million in much-needed funds every year.

Giving back is an important piece of our business and education is a big part of that. We’ve trained numerous World, Irish, and British Barista champions and at last count, we had trained more than 2,000 baristas across the island of Ireland.

Q: Through the group’s Fairtrade, sustainability and quality standards, how has Bewley’s worked to create a brand that is a source of national pride?

A: At Bewley’s, we take pride in our series of ‘firsts’, particularly as a lot of those relate to our sustainable business practices. We were the first brand in Ireland to import Fairtrade certified coffee, the first coffee brand to be certified carbon neutral and we are one of the founding members of Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme. This is something we are proud of and believe that our Irish customers hold in high regard.

Since 2010, we have decreased the waste that we send to landfill by 84% and reduced our CO2 emissions per tonne of manufactured coffee by 62%.

Of course, sustainability is continually evolving; we’re always looking to improve and innovate in this area.

Q: How has Bewley’s worked as a team with your retail partners across Ireland to navigate the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic?

I don’t think any brand or company could have foreseen the impact that Covid-19 has had. It fundamentally changed our way of life and, in a business context, it made us think about how we run our operation. As consumption moved from out of home to at home, we worked closely with our retail partners to ensure that we could meet these new levels of demand. In our foodservice business, we had to adapt quickly and continue to innovate to meet our changing customer needs. We moved our training model online and developed the Bewley’s Connect platform where our customers can engage in barista training 24/7 and we also offer additional digital resources such as machine servicing guides and access to recipes.

Now, as we’re emerging from the pandemic, we believe that we’re well placed to better service our customers.

Q: How is Bewley’s innovating to meet the latest consumer trends in flavour profiles and formats within the Irish market?

A: It’s fascinating that in just a few short years, Irish coffee drinkers’ tastes have evolved and changed so dramatically. We have adopted a new coffee culture and with that has come a demand for new flavour profiles and better-quality coffee.

One of the biggest shifts in coffee consumption in the past number of years has been the newfound popularity of plant-based milk. What initially started in the retail sector with consumers choosing plant-based milk to drink at home, has now become the norm in cafes, restaurants and hotels across the country. We recognised the uptake of these plant-based alternatives and late in 2020, we launched our partnership with Alpro to offer Ireland’s first bean-to-cup plant-based coffee dock. We have seen great success with this in our c-store network and we are continuing the roll this out to operators across the country.

Within the foodservice industry, an emerging trend we’ve seen is the increase in automation. In cafés, this is seen in automated grinders, Puqpress tampers, pre-programmed espresso machines, and even automatic milk steamers.

What’s next for us on the beverage innovation front is the launch of an immunity range of coffee-based drinks. We see an ever-growing demand from consumers for functional beverages and in Q4 this year we’ve just launched Ireland’s first range of Immunity Coffee.

Ireland’s original and number one bottled water

All Ballygowan bottles are 100% recycled plastic and continue to be 100% recyclable

Ballygowan, Ireland’s number one water brand, relaunched this year taking a major step forward on its sustainability journey. All plastic bottles are now made from 100% recycled plastic and continue to be 100% recyclable.

The shift to recycled bottles will remove 51 million virgin PET bottles (non-recycled) which is 1288 tonnes and replacing it with 100% recycled and 100% recyclable rPET bottles. A further 245 tonnes of plastic are also removed through light weighting in 2021. When recycled correctly, the new rPET bottles can be reused over and over again, becoming a contributor to the circular economy, and resulting in a positive impact on the planet.

Ballygowan’s home at Newcastle West, now operates on 95% renewable energy and 100% renewable electricity. That is the highest level of renewables use by any Britvic factory worldwide. The facility at Newcastle West has also achieved zero waste to landfill.

Ballygowan offers Irish consumers the opportunity to buy a locally produced brand, bottled at source in Ireland. Not only does this support Irish jobs, it also reduces the environmental impact of transporting bottles of other water brands from factories across Europe.

In addition to the launch of the new bottles, Ballygowan has launched a new brand identity. The new Ballygowan logo, a ‘sky to land’ logo, encapsulates the brand story of Atlantic rainfall drifting in from the Atlantic Ocean which falls on land close to Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. It is filtered through mineral rich limestone over 750 years and then it returns to the surface from a well, where it is bottled and enjoyed all over Ireland.

Hot stuff!

Hot Chip Dublin’s cookie dough comes cleverly wrapped in baking paper making it extremely easy to chop up and bake straight from the fridge

Hot Chip Dublin is an artisanal producer of premium quality cookie dough, which produces cookie dough rolls for retail and cookie dough balls for cafes and grocery stores to bake fresh in-store.

Currently, Hot Chip Dublin’s range of handmade products made in Dublin, is stocked in over 40 locations across Ireland. The group currently offers 500g cookie dough rolls for retail. Current flavours include Mixed Chocolate (the biggest seller) which is infused with a generous helping of the finest Belgian dark and milk chocolate, White Belgian Chocolate, S’mores and the new 100% plant-based Vegan cookie dough.

The company also recently collaborated with Avoca to produce an exclusive Caramel, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt flavour cookie dough.

Established in September 2020 by Dave McSharry, the goal of Hot Chip Dublin was to introduce a gourmet cookie dough to the Irish market, made using the highest quality ingredients, which is big on flavour and distinctive in terms of look, taste and texture. The idea came to McSharry after he moved home from Australia after living there for three years.

“Premium cookie brands like Crème London, Levain Bakery, Maman, Jacques Torres and Chip NYC were a big part of why I started Hot Chip Dublin as I wanted Irish consumers to have access to iconic cookies that would be thicker than the typical, flat, circular cookies, that would be crispy yet chewy and that would taste like a really delicious and decadent treat,” McSharry says.

As such, the brand uses the highest quality ingredients like Irish butter and flour and Belgian chocolate chips in its cookie dough, which is also made with no additives, preservatives or stabilisers. The best quality ingredients along with months of recipe development enabled the company to create a distinctive and unique “signature” cookie which is crispy on the exterior with a soft gooey molten centre and chock-full of Belgian chocolate chips. The texture, taste and look of cookies is the unique selling point (USP).

Rapid expansion over the past few months has seen the brand become the go-to for premium cookie dough here in Ireland. It is currently stocked in many well-regarded stores across Ireland such as Avoca, Fallon & Byrne, Mortons, Lotts & Co, Wilde and Green as well McCambridges and Joyces in Galway.

“Sales have been excellent for several months now and as a result we have moved into a bigger facility in Tallaght where we have four employees making our popular dough every day,” says McSharry.

A family favourite

MiWadi has been a fruity and flavoursome part of childhood in Ireland for 94 years

MiWadi is a truly iconic Irish brand and continues to grow from strength to strength in the marketplace. From humble beginnings in 1927, MiWadi has been a fruity and flavoursome part of childhood in Ireland for 94 years and has always remained relevant to Irish families with a wide range of flavours in its Regular, No Added Sugar, 0% Sugar and Drops ranges. MiWadi is still produced in Dublin to this day and is a proud member of Love Irish Food.

This summer, MiWadi was delighted to announce that every bottle of its 0% Sugar range is now fortified with Vitamin D which supports your family’s immune system.

Vitamin D is very important in our diet to help support your family’s general health, growth and development but it can be difficult to achieve the recommended daily intake of 5µg. It has been reported that Vitamin D deficiency is very prevalent in Ireland*.

MiWadi makes the water that you need to drink each day, extra delicious and refreshing. The 0% Sugar range contains no more than five calories per glass and is available in four fruity flavours: Orange, Apple & Pear, Apple Berry and Blackcurrant.

MiWadi continues to grow year-on-year maintaining its number one position in the squash category**.

*(Source: Department of Health Article Reporting on Vitamin D Deficiency in Ireland, April 2020)

**(Source: Nielsen Value Share MAT Total Squash Category September 2021.

Vitamin D contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and maintenance of normal bones and teeth)

Celebration for Centra suppliers as they claim 19 awards at Blas na hÉireann

The Inspired by Centra range saw 11 products receiving awards, six of which were gold

Centra food producers have claimed 19 accolades at this year’s Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards, including seven gold awards. Celebrating the very best of food and drink, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards is the largest competition on the island of Ireland for quality Irish produce. The awards, announced on 2 October, saw 15 Centra suppliers take home seven gold, five silver and seven bronze awards for their products available in Centra stores across Ireland.

The expertly created Inspired by Centra range came out on top with 11 products receiving awards, six of which were gold. Working with trusted suppliers nationwide, the Inspired by Centra gold winning products include the Inspired by Centra Irish Rotisserie Chicken supplied by Carton Bros, Co. Cavan, Inspired by Centra Irish Angus Sirloin Steak with pink peppercorn butter produced by Kepak, Co. Cork, Inspired by Centra Potato Gratin produced by Ballymaguire in Dublin and Inspired by Centra Overnight oats produced by Fresh Cut Foods, Co. Dublin.

Speaking on the success of Centra’s suppliers, Ian Allen, managing director, Centra said: “As the leading Irish convenience retailer, we pride ourselves on offering quality Irish produce for our customers to enjoy. Our trusted suppliers scooping 19 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 480 Centra stores nationwide.”

Now in its 14th year, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards sees competition from a range of top-quality Irish producers across 32 counties.

With over 480 stores, Centra employs almost 11,000 people and serves over three million customers per week. Centra invests more than €240 million in local communities per annum, which is the equivalent of €4.5 million per week through a combination of payments to local suppliers, acquisition of local business services, wages, charitable donations and local sponsorships.

Pioneering sustainability

Brothers Mike and Dennis Sutton, owners of the Ballyneety-based bottled spring water company, Ishka

Ishka, the Limerick-based bottled spring water company, is constantly looking for new ways to innovate and stay one step ahead of a rapidly changing retail environment.

As well as providing the best quality spring water on the market, it is committed to embracing environmental and sustainability innovations.

It is currently pioneering the use of tamper-proof tethered caps, tweaking its production lines to ensure the cap remains with the bottle at the recycling stage.

Aimed at reducing harmful plastic pollution on our beaches, Ishka is doing so three years ahead of an EU deadline and becoming the first bottled water company in Ireland to implement such a measure.

Ishka is pioneering the use of tamper-proof tethered caps

It is one of several ways in which it argues that a strong business model can co-exist with environmental responsibility.

Earlier this year, Ishka used the wooden-sail cargo vessel The Ilen to transport a shipment of its water to the Aran Islands and Galway city to demonstrate the sustainable ways in which business can, and should, operate.

Consumer behaviour is also at the heart of what the Ballyneety-based company does – it commissioned research last month which showed consumers in Ireland drank almost an extra litre of water a day as the pandemic locked them out of offices, schools, colleges and hospitality.

Now a strong, recognisable brand on the retail landscape, family-run Ishka is on course to increase its market share, largely because it can lay claim to being Ireland’s freshest spring water – bottled from five, 200m-deep certified wells, untouched by human contact and not stored prior to bottling.

Gold Star sauces

Co. Tallaght-based Porter & Nash has seen demand for its gourmet sauces grow as consumers experiment more in the kitchen

Porter & Nash is delighted to announce that its sauces, which can be used for cooking, pouring or used as a base for creating other sauces, have scooped Gold Star Awards at the renowned Great Taste Awards 2021. The brand received a Gold Star for its Caramelised Onion & Balsamic Sauce, and also for its Slow Roasted Garlic & Thyme Sauce. Porter & Nash’s gravy and sauce range provides a tasty edge to homecooked meals everywhere, whether they be meat-based, vegetarian or vegan. The group has seen demand for its gourmet sauces grow as consumers experiment more in the kitchen and test their taste buds.

An Irish food company founded by chefs Gavin Cassidy and Eoin Lennon in 2018, Porter & Nash’s unique plant-based range offers nutritional and flavoursome gravies and cooking sauces suitable for all cuisines and diets which are produced from Irish sourced ingredients, including Kombu Kelp seaweed from the Irish west coast. The Porter & Nash approach to cooking celebrates a balanced diet that makes the most of the flavour and quality of naturally grown sustainable Irish foods. Porter & Nash is based in Tallaght, Co. Dublin. For more information, visit www.porterandnash.com.

SuperValu suppliers scoop 83 awards at this year’s Blas na hÉireann Awards

McCormack Family Farms’ SuperValu Signature Tastes Growing Pea Shoots won a prestigious Chef’s Larder Award

SuperValu’s suppliers picked up an impressive 83 awards at this year’s Blas na hÉireann awards at the virtual ceremony held on Saturday, 2 October.

The latest result has brought the total number of awards won by SuperValu suppliers over the last four years up to 432 awards across SuperValu Own Brand, Signature Tastes and Food Academy.

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 make them.

Following on from a successful year in 2020, this year was again a great success for Ireland’s largest grocery retailer. This year, SuperValu Own Brand and its exclusive brand producers picked up 32 awards – winning 7 Gold, 11 Silver and 12 Bronze.

SuperValu award winners included two prestigious ‘Chef’s Larder’ awards. These were won by McCormack Family Farms’ SuperValu Signature Tastes Growing Pea Shoots and Kepak’s SuperValu Beef Tomahawk Steak. 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.

SuperValu Signature Tastes also took home four Gold for Signature Tastes Potato Gratin of Ballymaguire Foods, Signature Tastes Chocolate Yule Log of Couverture Desserts Ltd, Signature Tastes White Chocolate and Cranberry Bites of Carleton Cakes and Signature Tastes Whole Grain Mustard by Follain. Other Gold award winners included Carton Brothers Ltd’s SuperValu 48 Hour Marinated Irish Rotisserie Chicken, Manor Farm’s SuperValu Irish Free Range Whole Chicken and SuperValu Ham and Cheese Vol au Vent by Prestige Foods.

It was also a great year for SuperValu’s Food Academy producers who picked up 51 awards – 15 Gold, 17 Silver and 19 Bronze including Roll It Pastry (Meath), Filligans (Donegal), Isle of Crackers (Wexford), Cape Clear Distillery (Cork), Sushi King (Dublin) and Love A Little Sauces (Donegal). Tipperary’s Tullahay Farm won ‘Best New Product’ and a Gold award for their Raspberry Bramble Fruit Flavoured Whey Drink. There were also four winners in the ‘Chef’s Larder’ category for Food Academy including Fancy Fungi Mushrooms (Wexford), Roll It Pastry (Meath), Olly’s Farm (Dublin) & Garryhinch Mushrooms (Offaly).  It was a fantastic day for Fiona and Malcom Falconer of Wexford based Wild About who took home the coveted ‘Supreme Champion’ award, the top accolade in Blas na hÉireann.

“2021 has been yet another outstanding year for SuperValu at the Blas na hÉireann awards with a total of 83 awards: including 51 awards for our amazing Food Academy producers,” said Ian Allen, managing director, SuperValu. “It’s been another great win for our local suppliers and producers at a time when it’s more important than ever to support local and Irish businesses. We are immensely proud of our award-winning brands and it’s wonderful to see the suppliers and producers receive the recognition they richly deserve.”

Now in its 14th year, the Blas na hÉireann awards is the biggest annual competition for quality Irish produce across the island of Ireland with thousands of products entered hoping to win Gold, Silver or Bronze Awards across 100 food and drink categories.

A fruitful partnership

MiWadi Fruit Ice is an exciting new in-store concept featuring Ireland’s number one flavour enhancer brand

Dairyglen has partnered with Irish soft drinks giant Britvic to supply new MiWadi Fruit Ice and Robinson’s Fruit Ice nationwide. The new fruit ice lines feature two flavours: Orange and Apple & Blackcurrant with no added sugars in a non-carbonated shaved ice format.

MiWadi is Ireland’s number one flavour enhancer brand* and a firm favourite amongst Irish consumers, making this a much sought-after addition to the traditional frozen drinks market.

Fruit Ice represents a new opportunity for retailers who are looking to expand their frozen drinks offering and sell one of Ireland’s biggest brands.

“Britvic is one of the leading branded soft drinks businesses in Europe, so to secure a distribution contract with them is an important milestone for us,” Dairyglen said in a press statement. “The frozen drinks category has seen huge growth during the pandemic, so we’re excited to bring retailers across Ireland something new and exciting in this space.”

*(Source: Nielsen Total Squash Category MAT 15 Aug 2021)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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