Sizzling sales

In good news for retailers, sales of barbecue sauces were up by 53%, and ignition-related products, typically used to light barbecues, were up by +51% to €1.6m during the week ending 12 April 2020, according to Nielsen data. Both indicators bode well for the category in the weeks ahead


Brand Central

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18 May 2020

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Few things feel as summery as the unmistakable scent of a barbecue. Once the sun starts shining, it’s not long before barbecues across the nation are fired up. Cooking and dining al fresco is the perfect antidote to a long Irish winter. The shopping list for an outdoor barbecue runs the usual gamut; buns, burgers, sausages, hotdogs. Veggie burgers and sausages are a must for those avoiding meat products. Shoppers like to personalise their meal with condiments, sauces, pre-packs, sides and salads, with strong sellers within the category highlighted below.

Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19, there is good reason for optimism within the BBQ category. Irish shoppers spent €371m on groceries during the week ending 12 April 2020, an increase of 14% compared to the same week ending on Easter Sunday in 2019, according to data released by Nielsen.

Making the most of the good weather we’ve been experiencing recently, Irish customers took to their gardens during the Easter weekend – a trend that looks set to continue as consumers adjust to the ‘new normal’ of Covid-19 restrictions. According to Nielsen’s data, during the week ending 12 April 2020, sales of barbecue sauces were up by 53%, and ignition-related products, typically used to light barbecues, were up by +51% to €1.6m. As the need for restaurants to remain closed during coming weeks is likely to remain in place, consumers will be looking to spice up their mealtimes and make them more fun – and what better way to do that than with a spot of al fresco dining with the family?

Further reflecting the popularity and enthusiasm for barbecuing across Ireland, is the success of The Big Grill festival which is now anticipating running for its seventh year in Dublin, as Europe’s largest BBQ festival. Celebrating the art of cooking with fire and smoke, the event brings chefs, cooks and pitmasters from Ireland, UK and further, along with over 20,000 visitors to smell, taste, discover and learn about all kinds of barbecuing, grilling and smoking. This is apt demonstration of how the barbecue has been elevated from a humble occasion to an opportunity to impress with their cooking prowess, for Ireland’s foodie fans.

Now YR talking!

Ireland’s original spicy sauce since 1837, YR Sauce is made from a blend of quality ingredients

It’s that time of the year: BBQ season! The perfect time for consumers to create a feast and memories with family or friends by grilling their favourite foods, adding YR Sauce to give them extra flavour: “Now YR Talking!”

YR Sauce is a uniquely flavoursome and legendary sauce that makes popular BBQ foods taste deliciously better and more interesting. It can be drizzled on traditional family favourites such as chicken skewers, baked potatoes and mouth-watering burgers, used as a dip for sausages, or YR Sauce can be used in a tasty marinade for wings, pulled pork or ribs.

YR Sauce is Ireland’s original spicy sauce since 1837 and has been in the heart of Irish families for generations. YR Sauce is made with a surprising blend of superior quality ingredients including apples, dates, tomatoes, soy sauce, spices, vinegar and onions from an old secret recipe, giving it a sweet yet spicy flavour.

The sauce is owned by Primeline Sales and Marketing, which is creating new and exciting recipes incorporating YR Sauce to appeal to new audiences, while showing loyal customers new ways to cook with this essential condiment. These recipes include vegan, vegetarian, meat, healthy dishes and more. The brand uses the colloquial Irish line of approval, “Now YR Talking” to highlight the quality ingredients in the sauce and to evoke those heart-warming moments we look forward to where we get a bit of ‘me time’.

Moy Park chef Julia Winters is pictured helping prepare 1,000 meals for donation to The Resource Centre Derry

A boost for ‘meals on wheels’

With the help of other businesses, Moy Park is cooking thousands of meals for vulnerable members of our local communities.

Moy Park’s culinary team in Craigavon, Co. Armagh, has turned its new product development kitchen into a production line, to create 1,000 healthy, nutritious meals a week, which will be distributed by The Resource Centre Derry (RCD) during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The RCD provides vital services and advice to people in the north west including welfare support, financial hardship advice as well as training and day-care. The group also provides a ‘meals on wheels’ service and operates a community shop which has seen demand more than double due to ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

Local companies who have donated produce for the meals include Kerry Foods in Portadown, Wilson’s Country, The Flavour Works, Irwin’s Bakery and Daily Fresh. JMC Packaging Ltd also donated all the food containers and installed a special tray-sealing machine at Moy Park to ensure all meals arrive safe and fresh.

“We are keen to do all we can to help those in need, so we approached our food charity partner FareShare to see who we could link in with locally,” says Moy Park’s head of culinary, Aaron Dixon.

“RCD provides invaluable help to the local community and has seen demand for its food services skyrocket beyond its capacity,” he adds. “With incredibly generous contributions from food and packaging companies in the area, we’re delighted to prepare and donate these meals to help RCD reach those people most in need of support.”

For details of the food services provided by The Resource Centre Derry, visit the organisation’s Facebook page:

Major impact on carbon emissions

Calor BioLPG outdoor cylinders are already proving a hit with customers and they are making a major impact on Ireland’s carbon emissions too. It is nearly a year since Calor launched the first renewable gas cylinders on the market across the island of Ireland. Calor BioLPG patio gas cylinders are available in 6kg and 11kg, perfect for patio heaters and barbecues.  The cylinders are available from all Calor retailers.

Calor first launched BioLPG in 2018. The certified renewable gas is made from a traceable blend of renewable vegetable oils wastes and residues. Initially the product was only available to Calor’s bulk domestic and business customers, but in April 2019, the first renewable gas cylinders came to market.

This small change being made by Ireland’s retailers and their customers is already making a difference.

Bring your flavour this summer

Chef has been an Irish favourite since 1921, proudly made in Cabra, Dublin. Chef is confident it delivers the ultimate barbecue accompaniment with sauces to suit all tastes and occasions.

Irish consumers love Chef because of its distinctive flavour, one which they have grown up with and which is unmistakable. Taste is the key differentiator for Chef versus the competition and this summer Chef is asking consumers to ‘Bring Your Flavour’.

An Irish favourite since 1921, Chef adds some real zing to barbecue favourites

From zingy Tomato Ketchup, smooth Brown Sauce and tangy Barbecue Sauce, Chef helps  consumers add a bit of bite, kick and zing to barbecue favourites – burgers, sausages and meats.

Chef also has a range of salad accompaniments including delicious Beetroot, Onions, Pickles and Salad Cream (60% less fat than standard mayo).

As we move into summer season, there are some key points to note in order to have a strong BBQ season in-store

  1. Placement of key BBQ products beside each other in-store is key – increasing the potential to up-sell and ensuring that the consumer sees your store as a destination shop for BBQs.
  2. Larger pack sizes of sauces tend to sell well at this time of year as consumption levels are high.
  3. The Irish summer can arrive quickly and without very much notice – you always need to be prepared with ambient stock like ketchup and sauces on hand. 
  4. Don’t forget the gas cylinders and the charcoal!

Q & A with… Matt Tomlinson, managing director, Standard Brands (Zip)

Q: How has Covid-19 affected business?

A: Zip has been working hard to ensure that the supermarkets are fully stocked with our range of summer-specific charcoal and firelighters. We want to ensure that although consumers are being encouraged to stay at home by the government, they are able to enjoy a BBQ with their loved ones if they choose. Firelighters are one of the top four essential items (medicine, toilet rolls, disinfectant cleaner and firelighters) in Ireland and as our factory in Castlebellingham has been able to put in place social distancing measures to keep it running, we are able to maintain supply to our customers and ensure business as usual. You can find our Zip BBQ products in all major retailers. Please BBQ responsibly and follow the government’s guidelines on social distancing and essential travel.

Q: Sustainability has become more important than ever for many consumers. What changes has Zip made to become more sustainable?

A: Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We have been working hard to reduce the amount of waste our factory produces. We are in the process of a water project that will save 5 million litres of water over four years, we have moved to become a zero landfill waste site and we’ve audited our carbon footprint and reduced it by more than 30% .

Zip has implemented social distancing measures at its factory in Castlebellingham, Co. Louth, to ensure retailers remain fully stocked with its range of charcoal and firelighter products

What marketing initiatives are planned for spring and summer 2020?

A: Our marketing strategy for summer 2020, like many other brands, has experienced a shift due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown in place. Consumer habits have changed and we are seeing more and more consumers buying online, and using social media as a forum of entertainment and information gathering. We’ve also seen the major retailers change the way they are advertising which has had a knock-on effect to how we talk to our consumers. We are continuing with our successful integrated 2019 campaign ‘How do you light yours?’ with a big push through our social media platforms. We focus on the easy, hassle-free way to start your BBQ with Zip and are sharing creative recipe ideas that are fun for our consumer to make with their families whilst at home.




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