New Meath food producer is Supreme Champion at 2014 ‘Blas na hÉireann’ Irish Food Awards
Slane-based Blast and Wilde chosen as Supreme Champion from more than 2,000 products submitted for consideration
10 October 2014
A Meath-based family-owned food company specialising in natural flavours, which was only established a year ago, has been awarded the very top honour at this year’s Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards, which were held in Dingle, Co. Kerry on the weekend of 3-5 October.
Flavoured butter a real hit
Blast and Wilde, which is based in Slane and run by Graham and Bernie Canning, was chosen as the Bord Bia-sponsored Blas Supreme Champion 2014 from a huge entry of more than 2,000 products submitted for consideration at the hugely-acclaimed competition and showcase for Irish food producers.
“We are absolutely thrilled,” said Bernie Canning of Blast and Wilde. “We only got the business off the ground a year ago and since then we have been making flavoured butter including Roast Garlic and Pesto, Black Olive Tapenade, and Chilli, Lime and Coriander. Graham and I both have a passion for food and flavours and we are honoured to have taken to the top award at Blas as well as first, second and third in the dairy butter category.”
Chairman of The Irish Food Awards, Artie Clifford congratulated the winners, saying the number of entries broke all records this year. He said that a win at Blas opens doors to producers who want to get established or expand into new markets.
The SuperValu Signature Tastes range and SuperValu own-brand products came away with a total of 26 awards. With nine gold, 10 silver and seven bronze awards, SuperValu local suppliers who won included Kepak, Oliver Carty, Mallons, Dunn’s Seafood, Ballymaguire, Follain, and Fusco Foods.
Tesco Ireland took home four gold, six silver and one bronze award for a range of meat, bakery, dairy and convenience products.Christine Heffernan, Corporate Affairs director, Tesco Ireland said: “These eleven awards for Tesco own-brand products underpin our commitment to delivering high quality products at an affordable price for our customers. We stock products from over 400 local food and drink suppliers in our 146 stores including the suppliers that we are sharing this success today at the Blas na h’Eireann awards. In addition to the Tesco own-label product winners, we would also like to congratulate some of our suppliers that were both shortlisted and won for their own products including Keoghs Crisps, Silver Hill Foods, Kerry Foods, O’Brien Fine Foods, Boutique Bake and The Scullery to name but a few.”
Success for discounters
Meanwhile Lidl Ireland’s own brand products supplied by Irish producers took home eight gold medals, three silver medals and eight bronze medals making this Lidl’s most successful year with a total of 19 awards.
Aldi Stores (Ireland) also congratulated its Irish suppliers who have been awarded an additional nine titles in this year’s Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards. Aldi’s Irish suppliers have now won 75 Blas na hÉireann Awards since 2009. Aldi’s Irish suppliers won three gold medal, two silver medal and four bronze medal awards in Dingle at the awards ceremony.