Maxol announces winners of inaugural Homegrown programme
While the initial programme sought to reward four indigenous producers, such was the calibre and scale of entries that six winners were chosen from more than 100 hotly contested entries
10 May 2023
A spotlight was shined on six of Ireland’s leading, indigenous food and drinks producers as Maxol announced the winners of its inaugural Homegrown at Maxol Programme.
The announcement followed a month-long search for Ireland’s finest small to medium sized food and drinks businesses, with the aim of providing winners with a free listing at up to 72 Maxol stores in the Republic of Ireland, as well as invaluable mentorship along with PR and marketing support.
While the initial programme sought to reward four indigenous producers, such was the calibre and scale of entries that six winners were chosen from more than 100 hotly contested entries.
The winners are: White Hag Brewery (Sligo) a contemporary independent brewery, creating modern beer; All About Kombucha (Galway), a freshly fermented sparkling tea made from organic ingredients; Good 4 U (Sligo), a range of functional, healthy snacks; SAGE Meal Solutions, (Cork) an extensive range of condiments, meal pots, sides, bakes and pies; The Luxury Confectionery Company (Cork), makers of premium chocolate tablet bars and truffles; and Absolute Nutrition (Dublin) whose range includes convenient, ‘functional’ protein and energy snacks.
An expert panel of judges reviewed the entries before the six winners were finalised. However, it was one outstanding producer, All About Kombucha that was crowned inaugural Homegrown at Maxol Champion for 2023. More than 200 retailers cast their vote at Maxol’s recent Retailer Conference at The K Club, with All About Kombucha, a freshly fermented sparkling tea brewed from organic ingredients securing the overall title.
Keith Loftus and Emmett Kerrigan, creators of All About Kombucha spoke about being crowned the inaugural Homegrown at Maxol champions: “We’re delighted; ‘Buzzing’ as Emmett would say! We joked that the only thing better than getting a Hole in One in The K Club was being crowned Homegrown with Maxol champions in the first year of the competition. The importance of awards such as Homegrown cannot be overstated here. We’re always impressed to see the best of what Ireland’s producers bring to these types of events. Securing the listing, not to mention all of the additional support that comes with this programme is invaluable to us and we are looking forward to seeing our products in Maxol fridges over the coming weeks.”
Brian Donaldson, CEO, The Maxol Group said: “The decision to award six local producers in our inaugural Homegrown programme is a clear indication of just how good Ireland’s artisan food and drinks sector is right now. The win will not only help drive much-deserved awareness for these amazing producers, but it will hopefully enable them to scale up and open doors to new opportunities. Maxol strives to be at the heart of communities right across Ireland and we’re proud to play our part in spotlighting these wonderful local producers and products and look forward to running this programme again to support even more local producers.”
Homegrown at Maxol was launched in partnership with Champion Green, an initiative that supports local businesses across Ireland. Speaking about the programme, Evelyn Moynihan, Kilkenny Design CEO and Champion Green co-founder said: “This programme is about larger, successful businesses giving a hand-up to the many exciting SMEs and start-ups we have in Ireland by championing our local producers. Maxol is offering tremendous market exposure for new brands and businesses within the forecourt and convenience store sector. On behalf of Champion Green, I’d like to extend a hearty congratulations to this year’s winners.”
This is the first programme of its kind in the forecourt and convenience retail sector to offer immediate and tangible support to local businesses across Ireland. It’s a central part of Maxol’s focus on expanding its range of homegrown products across its network, reflecting its transition in the food and drinks arena.