Pride of Ireland

A moreish meal cannot be made without simple yet quality ingredients; an area where Ireland has traditionally always excelled. Nowadays, leading Irish producers are combining traditional know-how with innovative new formats and flavours to create some superb results, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

14 October 2019 | 0

In many cases, Irish consumers have a deep and abiding relationship with food brands. Snacking, grocery and dairy brands have been a staple for decades; they are brands Irish people have grown up with and still purchase every day. In short, these brands are tied up in Irish culture and society in a unique way.

Every year, in the ‘Kantar 100 Master Brands at Home’ ranking published by ShelfLife, Irish brands consistently come out on top. The importance of supporting local, homegrown producers is fully appreciated by the major retailers, who are keen to share their credentials in this area with shoppers. For example, SuperValu sources from over 1,800 Irish food producers and states that it continues to source locally wherever possible, an approach which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

The German-founded Aldi and Lidl have also realised the importance of supporting local producers during their years here. Aldi states that it will sell over €700 million worth of Irish goods this year, sourced from Irish producers, manufacturers and suppliers across the country. It has also invested more than €1,000,000 in its Grow with Aldi supplier development programme since 2018, which offers up-and-coming artisan Irish food and drink producers the chance to have their products listed in Aldi’s 139 stores.

Since the opening of its first store in 1999, Lidl states the group has come a long way and is proud to be an integral part of communities, working with a growing number of Irish suppliers. Lidl deals with over 200 Irish suppliers to bring fresh, local produce to its network of 200 stores on the island of Ireland and invests €700 million in sourcing Irish produce annually.

The knowledge that they are supporting Irish jobs is a key reason why consumers are keen to buy homegrown produce. In March of this year, Guaranteed Irish, the not-for-profit business membership organisation which champions more than 550 homegrown and international businesses in Ireland, said it expects employment among its members to increase by 4,151 in 2019, with 53% of members reporting that they expect to hire new staff by the end of the year.

This continued growth comes as total employment at all Guaranteed Irish member businesses reached 71,390 in 2018, an increase of 43.3% (21,573) on the same figure for 2017. As well as existing members increasing their employee numbers, this figure also reflects the fact that more than 200 new members joined the organisation last year.

Total revenues among its members increased to €26.2bn in 2018, up €350m in just 12 months. Turnover figures for sales in Ireland by member companies also increased last year – rising by 2.3% to reach €11.2bn.

Research published by Guaranteed Irish highlights the importance to consumers of supporting businesses that contribute to Ireland’s economy and society. A third of respondents believe it is ‘very important’ to buy from businesses that create jobs in Ireland. A business’s involvement in its local community was also deemed to be significant, with 48% of respondents believing it was ‘quite important’ or ‘very important’. Fittingly, 134 Guaranteed Irish members spent €4.66m on their formal CSR programmes in 2018 – an average of €475 per employee. 

According to Helen McEntee, Minister of State for European Affairs: “It’s vitally important that we encourage people to shop and buy local. If we all do this, we will boost local economies, helping to make towns and villages more sustainable throughout Ireland.”

True traceability

Established in 2009, Truly Irish is a food company owned by 85 Irish farming shareholders. As a proud member of Bord Bia, Truly Irish does not comprise on quality, and as a result, the brand has earned the trust of its customers. The Truly Irish brand produces premium, quality food products, which are fully traceable back to Irish farms. The company prides itself on its name but also its slogan ‘Our Name is Our Guarantee’. Customers who purchase a Truly Irish product can be fully confident in getting a top quality, premium tasty Irish product.

Truly Irish products which are available to buy across the Irish and European markets include Traditional Irish Premium Sausages, Traditional Black & White Pudding, Traditional Cured Rashers, Maple Cured Rashers and Smoked Rashers, Back Bacon Joints & Fresh Pork, Truly Irish Creamy Butter, Truly Irish Select White Cheese and Truly Irish Select Red Cheese.

Truly Irish became a fully verified Origin Green member in April 2016. The company’s aim is to improve the health status of the nation. Truly Irish is fully committed to making Ireland a sustainable food source, implementing sustainable methods in all production and farming practices. The group will only use locally sourced materials as this supports Irish jobs and all its pigmeat is 100% traceable back to Irish farms.

100% recycled bottles

This year, Deep RiverRock became the first major water brand on the island of Ireland to produce a 100% recycled bottle range. This means every bottle within the Deep RiverRock PET range will be made from 100% recycled material along with being 100% recyclable. Deep RiverRock put this message on the front of all of its bottles to clearly highlight the importance the company places on sustainability.

These types of recycled bottles can result in up to 79% lower carbon dioxide emissions compared to virgin polymers and will help to eliminate approximately 1,500 tonnes of virgin plastic from the supply chain annually**.

*(100% recycled material – applies to bottle, excluding cap and label)

**(Source: ALPLA study by Roland Fehringer)


Refreshing new innovation

Irish Yogurts Clonakilty is a family-run business producing award-winning yogurts and crème fraiche. The company has recently launched four new products in two ranges which are stocked in Dunnes Stores and independent stores nationwide.

The first range of products are Snack Pots, available in two varieties, a Greek Style Live Yogurt with a Mango & Passionfruit Compote and a Greek Style Live Yogurt with Senga Strawberry Compote. These are made with Irish local farm-fresh milk, real fruit compote and live yogurt cultures. They also have natural ingredients with no preservatives and no additives.

Ideal for eating on-the-go or snacking anytime of the day, the Snack Pots are a source of protein and calcium and are gluten-free.

The second range of products launched are fridge-friendly 1kg natural live yogurts available as 1kg Whole Milk Natural Live Yogurt and also 1kg Low Fat Greek Style Natural Live Yogurt.

Both of these have no added sugar, are high in protein, a source of calcium and are gluten-free. They’re great for eating on their own or adding to smoothies, eating with fruit, cooking or baking.

For further details or to get in touch, visit or email

Bursting with blackcurrant goodness

MiWadi is a truly iconic Irish brand and continues to grow from strength to strength in the marketplace. From humble beginnings in 1927, MiWadi is still produced in Dublin to this day and around 17 million litres of MiWadi are consumed every year.

This year, MiWadi introduced a new flavour into the 0% Sugar range, MiWadi 0% Sugar Blackcurrant. All of the blackcurrants that go into each bottle are harvested in season for a great refreshing taste. The result is a smooth-tasting drink for all the family with no artificial colours or flavours. The MiWadi 0% Sugar range is unique to the MiWadi portfolio in that it is sweetened from a natural source (stevia leaf extract) and delivers the same refreshing taste that has made MiWadi a family favourite for 92 years.

MiWadi continues to grow year-on-year, maintaining its number one position in the flavour concentrates category*. MiWadi is a key brand in the Love Irish Food campaign and knows that buying Irish is important to MiWadi consumers. MiWadi 0% Sugar is stocked in all major supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide with an RRP of €2.69 for a 1 litre bottle that makes up to 20 glasses.

*(Source: Nielsen Value Share MAT TY. Data to 11 Aug 2019)

Home is where the heart is

Homebird Irish Roast Turkey slices were shortlisted for both the Irish Quality Food Awards and Blas na hÉireann finals, due to take place this month

At O’Brien Fine Foods, a love of Irish produce is at the heart of everything the group does, and it firmly believes the people of Ireland share this passion. That is why the makers of Brady Family Ham launched Homebird; a range of 100% Irish Bord Bia-approved carved chicken and turkey slices.

O’Brien Fine Foods, in partnership with Manor Farm and Hogan’s Farm, is committed to low food miles, and wants to bring nutritious tasty Irish produce from its three families to yours. They believe homegrown produce is better for the environment and better for Ireland’s local communities, which is why they’ll always be proud to be Homebird.

Since its inception, Homebird has been recognised as a quality, tasty range through the Irish Quality Foods Awards (2017 and 2018) and Blas na hÉireann (2018). Homebird’s craft and passion for delivering high-quality Irish produce has also been recognised in 2019, with Homebird Irish Roast Turkey slices being shortlisted for both the Irish Quality Food Awards and Blas na hÉireann finals, which at the time of writing, were due to take place later this month.

Roasted to perfection and ready to serve, the Homebird range is sure to inspire by offering consumers real food convenience without the compromise.

Your only ham!

Brady Family Ham is cured for three days before being slowly steam-cooked and dressed by hand to create a distinct, delicate flavour

What makes Brady Family Ham special is that it is real Irish ham, made from one single pork joint, slow cooked to perfection in the traditional way, with no added water. Brady Family Ham is crafted using only the finest Irish pork, sourced from Bord Bia-approved farms. It is crafted using a traditional method of curing for three days before being slowly steam-cooked and dressed by hand. It is this traditional method that creates its distinct and delicate flavour.

Brady Family Ham has an array of award-winning products suitable for any mealtime occasion. Succulent slices of carved ham are delicious in a wholesome lunchtime sandwich while the Just Add Torn and Chunk Pieces are an ideal addition to a homemade omelette or pasta dish. Craft and quality are at the heart of what Brady Family Ham does, and that is what the brand confidently asserts makes Brady Family ‘your only ham’.

A blend of historic and modern

A new and unexpected single malt, The Sexton has been crafted by master blender Alex Thomas

The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey is crafted by master blender Alex Thomas, one of Ireland’s few female whiskey blenders.

A modern malt, The Sexton comes to market during the explosive rise of the Irish whiskey category. Born out of a blend between historic Irish whiskey-making traditions and modern-day maturation experimentation, it represents the changing face of Ireland, capturing the heritage and provenance of the past and the optimism and the creativity of the future.

The Sexton Single Malt Irish Whiskey is a new and unexpected single malt, rich in hue, approachable in taste and deep and memorable in character. On the nose, notes of honeyed malt, nuts and dark chocolate are followed by hints of marzipan and allspice.

The refreshing palate reveals notes of dried fruit which are followed by a layer of complexity; rich notes of nuts, spice and citrus oils and finally a pleasant oak finish with a honey sweetness that slowly fades. This is a modern malt; versatile and perfect for mixing or sipping.

Whiskey aficionados (and even those completely new to the category) can start their journey to living a life well lived by trying out a coveted cocktail recipe from The Sexton. A versatile whiskey in nature, The Sexton is the perfect addition to any cocktail and is available in high-end bars, restaurants and lounges.

Takeaway flavours take off

Tayto, Ireland’s number one crisp and snacks brand, is launching two new limited-edition flavours. Mr. Tayto is known to have his finger on the pulse and since the popular launch of the Tayto Spice Bag flavour, he has been busy in the kitchen developing more tasty Irish-inspired flavours! This time the new flavours are all about Irish favourite takeaways.

The new flavours are as follows:

Tayto Hot Wings flavour: This one’s for the spicy chicken wing lovers looking for full-on flavour, they’ll leave consumers wanting more.

Tayto Curry Chip flavour: Because sometimes a three-in-one just doesn’t pack the crunch you’re looking for. This one’s fuss free – proper curry sauce, like the guy in the chipper does it.

If the success of Tayto Spice Bag is anything to go by, the brand is confident shops will be sold out faster than a takeaway would be ready!

To celebrate the launch, Tayto has teamed up with online comedians and content creators, Tadhg Flemming, Fionnuala Jay and Giz A Laugh’s Enya Martin. Keep an eye on their social media channels to see their take on the new limited edition flavours.

As Mother Nature intended 

Both the source of Ishka Irish Spring Water and the finished product are tested by independent INAB accredited laboratories daily

Ishka Irish Spring Water, Ireland’s leading independent branded and own label bottled spring water producer, is one of the few ‘certified spring water’ brands in Ireland.

The 40-year success story of Ishka Irish Spring Water, since 1978, has been the purity and clarity of itsAA-certified spring water. Flowing from its exclusive on-site natural springs and bottled on-site, in Ballyneety, County Limerick, Ishka’s certified spring water is unprocessed and untreated for maximum health and wellness benefits – just as Mother Nature intended.

Ishka Irish Spring Water is available from 250ml to 5L sizes, in flat and sports cap formats

The natural filtration of the local bedrock gives Ishka Irish Spring Water its exceptional pureness, with a fresh and rejuvenating taste. The source and finished product are tested by independent INAB accredited laboratories daily.

The Ishka facility is one of the most modern facilities of its kind in Europe, where product and production innovation is constant. The company has several highly sophisticated, high speed and fully automated bottling lines with computer-controlled volumetric filling and neck handling capability. The entire process is completed right on-site, from the springs to shipment, and all Ishka bottles are 100% recyclable.

Directors Mike and Denis Sutton recently announced the arrival of a new glass filling line, including an Enoberg filler. The new glass line is part of Ishka’s ongoing environmental and sustainability programme. 2020 will see the installation of an additional line – forming part of the company’s multi-million three-year investment programme.

Guaranteed Irish Ishka Spring Water is now stocked in Dunnes, Aldi and Lidl, Spar, Mace and Londis nationwide from 250ml to 5L sizes, in flat and sports cap formats. Ishka is licenced by the HSE, FSAI, Guaranteed Irish and is a member of Repak.

For further information on any of its product ranges, contact national sales manager Maurece Wallace who will be delighted to assist you at or 086-6080823.






Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑