Proud to be Irish!
Some of these products are brand new, some are as old as the hills, but all are totally Irish and indispensable in their markets.
21 September 2015
With a reputation for the finest quality ingredients and age-old recipes and production techniques, the realm of Irish brands across multiple categories is a strong one. Irish brands such as bread, dairy, confectionery, soft drinks, alcohol and more have been a part of Irish daily life for generations and so are market leaders here and overseas, where thousands of Irish products are stocked by multiples and enjoy strong sales. Here at home, buying Irish is an integral part of shopping for Irish consumers, with 41% deeming it important and only 11% saying it’s not specifically an important part of their purchasing decision*. Meanwhile, three out of four shoppers said they are more likely to buy something if they notice it is Irish, making it an area with huge opportunity for growth despite the abundance of iconic brands already in existence.
*(Source: Bord Bia: Retaining Loyalty to Irish Brands, November 2014)
Blast & Wilde is owned and operated by married couple Bernie and Graham Canning, who serve as sales & marketing manager (Bernie), and operational manager and financial director (Graham). Between them they have more than 50 years’ experience in the food and hospitality industries. Through their work in farming and cuisine, Bernie and Graham spotted a niche in the market for some brand new flavours that they believe have never been tried before. So began the story of Blast & Wild butters and pestos, winners of last year’s Blas na hÉireann Supreme Champion award.
Blast & Wilde is all about authentic flavour, made from quality, fresh, locally sourced seasonal ingredients, moulded into products for the food connoisseur and kitchen rookie alike. The company firmly believes that anyone can become a chef by bringing their products into the heart of every family home.
Blended by hand, Blast & Wilde products are easy to use and extremely versatile as a spread, in soups, on pizzas, in casseroles or as toppings with a wide variety of seasonal flavours. The company is also developing and innovating new products all the time. The Cannings are passionate about food, something they say is reflected in the taste, quality and presentation of their butter and pesto products. Blast & Wilde butter products are manufactured in a brand-new allergen free facility, with another purpose-built, BRC-approved facility being used to develop new sauce and pesto varieties. The Cannings say that bringing their Blast & Wilde range to market has been very rewarding, but not without its challenges also. They were assisted with the branding and packaging by a local agency, Bam Media, and the couple say they are focusing on their unique selling points.
On the subject of winning the latest Blas na hÉireann award, the Cannings say they knew their product was high quality, but they never expected to win the prestigious prize. “It has opened a number of high-profile doors for us,” says Bernie Canning, “and it has given us a big confidence boost for our business.”
As well as the Blas na hÉireann award, Blast & Wilde also won two stars at the prestigious Great Taste Awards, for its new Smoked Wild Irish Garlic Pesto. The food manufacturer’s Cultured Butter and Garlic and Peppercorn Butter also took stars in the same competition. The company also has more new ranges and flavours on the way; it seems the story is just beginning for this Irish brand.
POLE POSITION IN POULTRY MARKET
Moy Park, Ireland’s number one poultry brand, continues to be a market leader in the poultry sector, according to the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel.
Representing 6.3% value share of the poultry market across 52 weeks*, the Moy Park brand reaches 46.1% of households across the year. Brand growth has accelerated in the latest 12 weeks with value performance +33% versus the same period last year. Moy Park has successfully recruited new shoppers whilst also encouraging shoppers to purchase the brand more frequently.
This increase in market performance is reflective of Moy Park’s commitment to innovation and response to consumer demand. In April of this year the company launched the first Roast-in-the-Bag chicken product to use cutting edge thermoformed packaging technology. The state of the art packaging is a printed, sealed pack that can go straight into the oven. The new ‘shelf to oven’ whole chicken product was launched under the Moy Park ‘Good Kitchen’ range, which was developed to target a growing market for added-value fresh chicken products.
Launched in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland marketplaces in April, the products achieved listings with Dunnes Stores and Tesco Ireland as well as through the convenience channels in Ireland and have successfully resonated with the Irish consumer. Profile analysis from Dunnhumby indicates that the products appeal to a family orientated and younger demographic in line with the market positioning as a convenient meal solution for the time-poor shopper**.
“As Ireland’s number one poultry brand we are delighted with the latest results,” says Moy Park brand marketing manager Briege Finnegan. “The FMCG market is in a constant state of flux and with that we have to be one step ahead and meet consumer demands and expectations at every level whilst responding to the ever changing market place. We place a strong emphasis on innovation and bringing something new to the market as demonstrated by our recent product launch and we plan to continue this positive work going into 2016.”
*(Source: Kantar Worldpanel Ireland 52 Week and 12 Week data ending 19th July)
**(Source: Dunnhumby SHOP ‘Shopper Profile Analysis – Added Value Wholebirds’ Data 13th Apr – 26th July 2015)
15 YEARS IN THE COMMUNITY
Part of the An Post Group, PostPoint was established in 2000 and has been helping local retailers and communities ‘Do More’ in Store ever since. PostPoint retailers process over 18 million transactions every year, including essential footfall driving services such as mobile phone top up, bill payment, waste management, gift cards, tolling, parking and international calling cards. As well as these, PostPoint offers products and services that are useful, practical and simple. And, because PostPoint is part of An Post, customers can trust that all payments will be processed safely, securely and efficiently.
Over the last year, PostPoint has boosted its bill payment facility to over 150 billers, one of the largest in the country, allowing customers to pay the majority of national and regional bills through their local PostPoint shop. In addition to regular utility bills, customers can also pay their Local Property Tax and TV licence renewal as well as many of their local waste payments and local City and County Council payments through PostPoint.
Added to these services are exclusive An Post products such as postal products, stamps, TV licence renewal and One4all gift cards, as well as new innovative online payment products like paysafecard. PostPoint supplies electronic services to over 2,000 retailers nationwide and works hand in hand with thousands of retailers in every town and every village across Ireland. By joining PostPoint, retailers enjoy the support of a dedicated customer services team as well as an award winning sales support team on the road.
PostPoint retailers can order stamps and One4all conveniently and quickly through the PostPoint helpdesk. All orders are delivered free of charge straight to the retailer’s door. PostPoint works with all major retail brands including Spar, Centra, SuperValu, Tesco, Gala, Mace, Londis, Costcutter, Daybreak, Topaz and Applegreen. To learn more about joining PostPoint, visit www.postpoint.ie, or call PostPoint Retail Support on 1890 20 42 20.
DELICIOUS, NATURAL and FUN
Smooch has installed over 100 new in-store ice cream parlours in Ireland to date, with 70 of those opening within the last 18 months. A delicious, fun product based around natural dairy ingredients, Smooch offers choice and spectacle for kids and adults alike.
Premium whipped dairy ice cream, a long-standing favourite in Ireland, is mixed with a customer’s choice of toppings from an engaging carousel of treats: Smarties, Oreo and Ferrero Rocher are a few of the options but customers can also Smooch ice cream parlours are a hit with retailers and customers have their ice cream blended together with fresh milk and their favourite chocolate bar or fresh fruit to create a thick and creamy milkshake.
Smooch gives a store that unique point of difference and drives footfall away from competing retailers. Already the number one soft-serve ice cream solution in Ireland, Smooch plans to double its outlets here over the next three years and discussions are also in place to bring this exciting concept to the UK. For further information on Smooch products, call 1890 200 052.
IRISH AND HEALTHY
Ireland’s fastest growing soft drink is actually Irish! It’s testament to Irish creativity that Vit Hit is competing with and surpassing sales of many of the international, mainstream brands in Ireland. With sales of nearly 16 million units per year in 10 countries worldwide, Vit Hit has become a serious competitor to less healthy sugary drinks. With listings that include names such as Boots, Tesco, El Corte Ingles and Superdrug, European retail seems to be waking up to the fact that low calories and no added sugar are benefits that are here to stay.
With growth this year of over 300%, Gary Lavin, founder of Vit Hit says it’s a “testament to the brand that after 15 years of Vit Hit, people are still embracing change and moving away from sugary drinks and over to healthier drinks that are lower in calories.” Vit Hit is launching national distribution in Denmark and Norway this October. “It’s important for us to build significant relationships with distributors in other countries,” says Lavin, “as they are representing us in everything they do. We are extremely selective with our partners, because we need to know that our brand is in safe hands. We believe we have found just that in Scandinavia.”
Most significantly, Vit Hit has just completed a successful test and launch stage in the US market. “It seemed like a logical step for us,” says Lavin. “We tested the market 12 months ago with very strong results in Virginia, where we subsequently set up a base and launched across the state in July. Our plan is to treat the first state like a country, then when we succeed there, move to another state, and so on.” Sounds like the sky is the limit for this Irish brand.
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS SOME ‘ZIP’
Zip, Ireland’s number one ignition brand, has been lighting fires for almost 80 years and is the clear brand leader of the solid firelighter category. Safe, reliable, trusted, convenient and easy to use, Zip’s high quality firelighters are ideal for all types of indoor and outdoor fires.
Zip’s comprehensive range offers a wide variety of fire lighting solutions, including block, wrapped, firelogs and an array of ancillary and charcoal products to fulfil all fire requirements. As part of its constant innovation plans, Zip has recently launched a new, easy lighting firelog product to the market, simply called Starterlog. Powerful enough at 700g to replace the need for separate firelighters and kindling, the Starterlog will burn for up to 90 minutes, making it the perfect quick firelighting solution – for an authentic Irish fire without the hassle, just light the wrapper and add fuel after 20 minutes.
At a retail price of only €1.49, the price-marked Starterlog offers great value for money without any performance compromise. This low price point makes for an attractive and affordable consumer purchase, enabling retailers to offer unparalleled value and convenience to drive consumer sales.
Standard Brands has been making Zip premium quality ignition products in Ireland for nearly 80 years, and now sells all over the world. The current factory, based in Castlebellingham, Co. Louth, was built in 1956 and employs over 100 people from the local area, many from a long line of family members who worked at the site before them. The company also sources 90% of its ingredients in Ireland. For example, the fastest lighting firelog, Zip Croí na Tine, uses compressed Irish grown willow (obtained from local farmers) and natural waxes.
Standard Brands prides itself on being a leading Irish manufacturer, innovating for the future to generate sustainable business and to provide further employment opportunities. The ignition brand leader is an active participant of the Guaranteed Irish programme and has been since the early 90s. The Guaranteed Irish logo is one of the most recognized in Irish business, a symbol which Zip is proud to include on its packaging, proving its support for the future of Irish jobs and quality, a subject close to the heart of the business.
IRELAND’S CLEAR FAVOURITE
Ballygowan Natural Mineral Water is Ireland’s original and most popular water brand*. A commitment to quality and an innovative approach to engaging consumers has kept the brand at the top of the market throughout the decades.
Known as St. David’s Well, the source of Ballygowan was discovered by the Knights Templar in the 12th century. All Ballygowan is bottled on site in a dedicated bottling facility in Newcastlewest, drawing on an exclusive source deep underground which has been filtered by nature through mineral-rich limestone for 750 years. This journey gives Ballygowan its unique mineral composition and pure fresh taste.
Ballygowan is a proud founding member of Love Irish Food and strong supporter of Irish jobs with 44 people employed in Newcastlewest and a further 400+ employed by brand owner Britvic Ireland. This summer Ballygowan has built on its wide range with the launch of Ballygowan Sparklingly Fruity – a range of low calorie, low sugar natural mineral water drinks in a stylish can. The new range is available in singles and six-packs in three flavours: Apple, Elderflower & Lemon, Raspberry & Blackberry and Lemon & Mint. Already the range has been a huge hit with consumers delivering a 17% share of the flavoured water market after just six weeks in the market.
*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack four week Value Share August 2015).
FUELLING A WINNING PERFORMANCE
The Energise brand is going from strength to strength by tapping into consumers’ needs for affordable energy. Energise Sport holds a 19.3% share of the sports category* and sales continue to climb quickly as recession-hit consumers pick up the great value €1 price-marked packs (in fact the brand states Energise Sports’ cash rate of sale is more than double that of Powerade*). Available in Orange and Mixed Fruit flavours, Energise Sport’s isotonic formulation, with electrolytes and added vitamins, enters the blood stream faster to ensure hydration and fuel a winning performance. And now Energise is bringing affordable energy to the stimulant energy category with Energise Edge 440ml. This shows how the combination of great quality and value stimulates consumer demand.
Energise is the only sports and energy brand that is 100% produced in Ireland. The range includes Energise Sport and Energise Edge, both delivering top quality products at a great price.
*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack OTG Sports Category – MAT August 2015)