Sporting champions!

As the shelves of the nation’s convenience stores and supermarkets demonstrate, healthy credentials such as protein content have become considerably more important for Irish shoppers over the past decade. Read on to find out more about the products that will help the nation’s growing army of fitness fans sustain and maintain their game


Brand Central

22 February 2019 | 0

As Euromonitor Ireland points out, and our market-savvy readers will be only too aware, Ireland has undergone a mini health and wellness revolution in the last few years since a report by the WHO into obesity predicted that the country would be the most obese nation on earth by 2020. This sparked a number of government-led public health campaigns, followed by a huge uptake in numbers participating in sports and increased interest in specific diets.

What’s more, within the broader sports nutrition category, the energy drinks segment continues to grow across the island of Ireland in both value (14.2%) and volume (12.9%)*.

*(Source: Nielsen 2018 vs 2017)

Fulfilling consumer demand

Fulfil launched two new flavours last year, Chocolate Hazelnut Whip and Chocolate Salted Caramel

Fulfil launched two new flavours last year, Chocolate Hazelnut Whip and Chocolate Salted Caramel

With a 74% share in the protein bar market, Fulfil remains the category leader

With a 74% share in the protein bar market, Fulfil remains the category leader

Fulfil Vitamin & Protein Bars continue to reinvent the snacking category with genuinely tasty, healthier alternatives to standard chocolate confectionery bars. In 2018, the brand continued to grow and remains the category leader with a 74% share in the protein bar market*.

2018 was a very successful year which was largely down to the introduction of two new flavours, Chocolate Hazelnut Whip and Chocolate Salted Caramel. The two latest additions have jumped into the number one and number two positions within the range.

Fulfil has created a more indulgent protein bar category with these new mouth-watering flavours whilst still maintaining the positive credentials of 20g protein, less than 3g sugar and nine vitamins in each bar. 2019 will see more exciting innovation from Fulfil to excite and delight consumers.

Keep up-to-date on all things Fulfil on Instagram @Fulfil_Nutrition or Facebook @FulfilNutrition.

Tapping into plant-based protein demand

Forest Feast’s Limited Edition WholeSnacks range delivers protein-rich options for consumers looking for a healthy snack alternative

Forest Feast’s Limited Edition WholeSnacks range delivers protein-rich options for consumers looking for a healthy snack alternative

Premium dried fruit, nut and seed snacking company, Forest Feast, is meeting the growing consumer demand for plant-based protein with its Limited Edition WholeSnacks range, which includes Spicy Protein Mix, Turmeric & Chipotle Nuts & Seeds and Natural Nut Mix – all of which are a source of natural, plant-based protein.

Recent analysis from Mintel shows the biggest market driver for alternative protein sources is increased health concerns among consumers, with the main motivations for protein consumption being building muscle, muscle maintenance, weight loss and weight management.

“Plant-based protein is no longer a niche trend among healthy eating enthusiasts,” says Deirdre Burns, trade marketing manager at Forest Feast. “In fact, consumer snacking trends show that high protein is a main purchase motivation for snacks, with 28% of adults interested in those which pack a protein punch.

“The new WholeSnacks products were developed to directly tap into these changing snacking preferences,” Burns adds, “and to help consumers who want protein-rich options to choose from, for a healthy snack alternative.”

All mixes are available in 40g single serve packs and will be price-flashed at €1.

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack Data Nov 2018)
**(Source: Last 12 Weeks Internal Trade Sales converted)

Absolutely one to watch

Absolute Nutrition’s Protein Balls, Chia Energy Bombs and Rawlo's offer healthy on-the-go snacks

Absolute Nutrition’s Protein Balls, Chia Energy Bombs and Rawlo’s offer healthy on-the-go snacks

2019 has already seen more growth for Dublin-based snack food company Absolute Nutrition and its range of healthier snacks and treats, with new listings in Daybreak, Irish Independent Health Foods and Meaghar’s Pharmacy group. The company has also launched its online store which offers Absolute Nutrition’s snack range along with a variety of reusable, eco-friendly merchandise, baking accessories and health and wellness journals. Jo Davey’s new range of snack flavours will be added to her online offering in the coming months.

Absolute Nutrition currently supplies 400 stores across Ireland with its range

Absolute Nutrition currently supplies 400 stores across Ireland with its range

Absolute Nutrition’s multi award-winning snack range is handmade in a purpose-built gluten free bakery in Greenogue Business Park, Rathcoole. Founded in 2014 by Jo Davey, a trained holistic nutritionist and mum of four, she has used her love of wholefoods to create a convenient range for all to enjoy.

With a natural flair for recipe creation and NPD, Davey has elevated her company in a mere four years to market leader in the snack food convenience category in Ireland. Absolute Nutrition has won numerous food and business awards including Blas Na hEireann 2016 and 2017, Irish Free From Food Awards 2018, Overall Winner 2018 at National Enterprise Awards and Best Start Up 2018 at the ShelfLife C-Store Awards.

Absolute Nutrition currently supplies 400 outlets in Ireland with its range of Protein Balls, Chia Energy Bombs and Rawlos.

For more information, visit,, email or follow @absnutfoods on social media.

Continuing to gain momentum

Avonmore Protein Milk is now available in Original, Vanilla and Chocolate flavours

Avonmore Protein Milk is now available in Original, Vanilla and Chocolate flavours

Avonmore Protein Milk has seen success to date with innovation in flavoured variants driving growth in the brand.

Avonmore Protein Milk is the milk brand of choice for a wide range of exercise enthusiasts, with convenient pack formats delivering 25g of high-quality milk protein per 500ml a key driver. Its convenience, flexibility and taste make it a great choice for breakfast, smoothies, or as a drink after a workout.

Avonmore Protein Milk is available in Original 1L and 500ml formats and the addition of Vanilla and Chocolate flavours in 500ml format has broadened on-the-go appeal for the brand with further developments planned.

Avonmore Protein Milk is supported by a national advertising programme including outdoor commuter formats, as well as digital and social media activity.

For more information on Avonmore Protein Milk, visit

Feed your adventure

Each Clif Bar contains 4-5gm of fibre and is a source of proteinThe Clif Bar is the leading energy bar in North America100% of cocoa ingredients for Clif Bars are sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farmsKelly Hunter Distribution ( delivers weekly into every key account throughout Ireland including the Musgrave Group, SuperValu, Centra, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, BWG, Spar, Eurospar, Londis, Iceland, Circle K and Applegreen. Excellent service with fast moving brands offering generous margins are the qualities the company is known for. Kelly’s coordinates promotional activity with promotional displays in-store around 50 events (such as BANFF Film Festival, Wicklow 200, Musgrave’s Triathlon) across Ireland throughout the year.

Clif Bar, distributed by Kelly Hunter Distribution, is the leading energy bar in North America, made with wholesome ingredients such as organic rolled oats. Clif Bar is thoughtfully crafted and inspired by athletes and foodies in the Clif kitchen; available in many tasty flavours including Chocolate Chip, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Blueberry Crisp and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, to mention a few. Clif Bar is an energy bar purposely crafted in a way that is both good for our communities and the planet. In addition, 100% of cocoa ingredients for Clif Bars are sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Clif Bars contain 4-5gm of fibre and are a source of protein.

Fuelling winning performance

With a 23.5% share of the on-the-go sports category, sales for Energise Sport are growing ahead of the market at 40.7%The Energise Sport brand is going from strength to strength by tapping into consumers’ needs for an affordable sports drink. In a category that is growing by 12.8% in the latest Nielsen read, Energise Sport holds a 23.5% share of the on-the-go sports category* and sales for this product are growing ahead of the market at 40.7%.

Energise Sport has announced a new sponsorship with the Belfast Giants ice hockey team

Energise Sport has announced a new sponsorship with the Belfast Giants ice hockey team

Available in Orange and Mixed Fruit flavours, Energise Sport is specially formulated to supply carbohydrate energy and minimise the impact of the loss of water and electrolytes during your exercise routine which is essential for achieving optimum performance. Energise is the only sports brand that is 100% produced in Ireland.

Energise Sport has always had strong roots in the GAA and has been supporting players and teams through sponsorship since its launch. Some exciting news for this brand, is its new sponsorship with the Belfast Giants ice hockey team. The sponsorship will see the drink, alongside its sister brand, Ballygowan, fuel the Elite League team during training and games both on home ice, and away. Keep an eye out for the exciting activity planned for this brand in 2019.

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack OTG Sports Category – MAT December 2018)

A snacking revolution

Global manufacturer Grenade recently launched a ‘Snacking Revolution’ campaign and began a nationwide UK tour in Birmingham, to help redefine the healthier eating mould.

Snacking is a major market within the UK and is currently estimated to be worth around £18billion*. However, the sector’s rapidly evolving and an increasing number of shoppers (45%)* are looking to transform their snacking habits by turning to healthier options.

Importantly, three in four UK consumers say that taste is the most important reason for buying a snack*.

As an industry leader, Grenade, which grew by a staggering 152% within the convenience channel last year and drove 62% of all value growth within total protein bars**, is spearheading a new way of thinking that comes with a healthy range of flavour-packed treats, all designed to challenge people’s perception of what wholesome foods actually taste like.

Grenade’s hero products are currently its Carb Killa range, which are the best-selling protein bar on the market, outselling the second biggest brand by more than 50%**. All bars within this range contain up 23g of protein and less than 2g of sugar per bar and are triple-layered with nougat, caramel and real Belgian chocolate. They’re also available in a range of punchy and memorable flavours, including Jaffa Quake, Cookies and Cream, Peanut Nutter and the new Birthday Cake flavour.

Grenade’s extensive healthy snacking portfolio also includes shakes and spreads. For more information, visit

*(Source: The Thinking House August 2018)

**(Source: IRI Marketplace Total UK Convenience 52 we 02/12/18)

***(Source: IRI Marketplace, Total UK Protein Bars, Value Sales, 52 we 02/12/18)

A protein portfolio to be proud of

Kinetica Protein Deluxe bars offer consumers a low sugar, high protein snack

Kinetica Protein Deluxe bars offer consumers a low sugar, high protein snack

Kinetica Sports is an Irish success story in the sports nutrition arena. Launched in 2010, it has a dedicated following amongst leading sports professionals and organisations both at home and abroad. With a growing range in retail, Kinetica is now available to a wider audience who are taking an active interest in their nutrition and fitness. Unlike other brands in this sector, Kinetica offers a full sports nutrition range from everyday convenience to specialist nutrition. In 2019, expect to see increased awareness of the brand as it announces some national sporting partnerships, including naming rights. Taste is a key feature of Kinetica’s appeal so look out for the Kinetica sampling team at key wellness events during the year.

Kinetica’s range for the retail trade includes:

Kinetica Protein Deluxe bars: These bars lead the market in achieving a great balance between taste and nutrition. The protein deluxe range provides a low sugar, high protein snack with a superior taste and multilayer texture. The milk protein content results in a snack that can keep consumers fuller for longer and support their diet and training.

Kinetica Protein Milk offers 27g of protein per serving, with zero fat and only 170 calories

Kinetica Protein Milk offers 27g of protein per serving, with zero fat and only 170 calories

Kinetica Protein Milks: For those looking for a drink rather than a snack, Kinetica’s protein milk offers great taste and nutrition on-the-go. It offers a superior balance of protein and calories offering 27g of protein per serving, with zero fat and only 170 calories. Ideal for the gym bag, the tasty range of milks provide extra protein during or after exercise.

Each scoop of Kinetica Whey Protein Powder is low in sugar and contains 23g of protein per serving and 5.7g of BCAAs

Kinetica Whey Protein Powder: As interest in exercise increases, people are learning about the benefits of post-exercise protein to improve recovery. Kinetica Whey Protein Powder is quickly absorbed after exercise and offers a higher percentage protein compared to the company’s on-the go products. Just mix a scoop with 200mls of water in a shaker and enjoy. It also works well as an ingredient when added to porridge, smoothies or pancakes.

Kinetica Protein Powder is made with a superior blend of whey and the company points out that unlike many products on the market, it only contains natural colours and flavours and is low in naturally occurring sugars. Kinetica offers a 300g tub in retail which is ideal for entry level consumers. Each scoop is low in sugar and contains 23g of protein per serving and 5.7g of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids).

For more information on stocking Kinetica, contact Sean Prunty at

Get the best out of John West

The John West Infusions and Creations ranges are a convenient way for consumers to eat fish twice a weekThe John West Infusions range gives a single serving size portion of healthy fish an extra zest through the addition of a rainbow of exciting flavoursJohn West has always been a trusted family name, synonymous with quality everyday fish.

At John West, the company strives to reach its loyal customers while appealing to new consumers, by launching innovation that is not only tasty and convenient but is also relevant to consumers’ active healthy lifestyles.

When your customers are looking for solutions and inspiration to get a protein rich snack that fuels their active healthy lifestyle or even their sport training, fish can be a great natural alternative.

According to Sarah Keogh, John West’s consultant dietitian and nutritionist: “Fish is a great source of natural protein, one of the most important nutrients we need during training. Protein not only helps to build muscle, it also helps to maintain the muscle you have,” she adds. “Tuna is a fantastic source of natural protein, and salmon also provides a good intake.”

Innovations such as John West Infusions and Creations make it easy for consumers to eat fish twice a week, as recommended by the healthy eating guidelines.

The company’s latest innovation is the new John West No Drain Tuna Fridgepot. This a new format for John West’s No Drain tuna, that makes it even easier for active customers to get a natural protein snack into their training diet. Simply peal it, reseal it and pop it in the fridge!

Disrupting the healthy snacking landscape

Dale Farm is the exclusive distributor of Wheyhey’s ice cream range

Dale Farm is the exclusive distributor of Wheyhey’s ice cream range

Wheyhey has been a major disruptor in the healthy snacking market since it was founded in 2013 by Cork’s Damien Kennedy, producing the first and only sugar-free, high protein ice cream.

With its uniquely designed products, Wheyhey is leading the way, ensuring consumers do not compromise on health or taste.

Wheyhey has experienced huge exponential growth in European and UK retailers as well as proving to have better repeat rates than competitors.

In Ireland, Wheyhey has partnered with major dairy cooperative, Dale Farm, to act as its exclusive ice cream distributor. Dale Farm will be distributing Wheyhey’s sugar-free, high protein Salted Caramel, Chocolate and brand-new Coconut ice cream flavours.

Wheyhey has entered new categories with its latest innovation; great tasting, indulgent chocolate brownies, not only naturally low in sugar and high in protein but also high in fibre and gluten-free.

Wheyhey brownies are available in three tasty flavours, Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Orange and Chocolate Coconut, as both bars and multipacks.

The company’s revolutionary snacks have attracted attention from the likes of international supermodel David Gandy, who quickly came on board as an investor and entrepreneur Richard Branson who, in recognition of the brand’s potential, invited the company to become Virgin Media Pioneers.

Wheyhey brownies are available as single 40g bars in SuperValu, Centra and independent Irish stores such as The Health Store, or as multipacks of three x 40g bars in the Musgrave Group. Post launch in Musgrave, brownie multipacks will be rolling out through independent trade.

Say Yes! to exciting new snack

A new and distinctive snack brand has been launched in Ireland, with a range of fruit and vegetable and nut bars specially crafted to be both delicious and wholesome*.

The new Yes! bars deliver a tasty snack by focusing on diverse ingredients that you might not expect to find in any ordinary fruit or nut bar, showcasing creative combinations of ingredients.

Each Yes! nut bar is a source of protein and contains 5g of sugar while the fruit and vegetable bars have no added sugar** and contribute one of an individual’s five a day.

Four of the bars are high in fibre with the lemon, quinoa and chilli bar being a source of fibre. The full range is gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians while both fruit and vegetable bars are also suitable for vegans. The range contains no artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours or preservatives.

The five Yes! bars are available as singles and in multipacks of three and boast five tempting ingredient combos:

  • Delicious Beetroot & Apple (123 calories per bar)
  • Lively Lemon, Quinoa & Chilli (118 calories per bar)
  • Tempting Sea Salt, Dark Choc & Almond (189 calories per bar)
  • Sumptuous Cranberry & Dark Choc (183 calories per bar)
  • Delightful Coffee, Dark Choc & Cherry (189 calories per bar)

“Yes! sets out with the bold ambition to prove to consumers that wholesome** products within this snacking category can be utterly delicious too,” says Maria McKenna, Ireland marketing manager for Yes!.

The launch of Yes! is being supported by extensive sampling as well as advertising across out-of-home (OOH), digital and social media.

*(For the nut bars – source of protein – protein contributes to a growth in muscle mass. For the fruit and veg bars – low in saturated fat – reducing consumption of saturated fat contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels)

**(The fruit and veg bars contain naturally occurring sugars)

Official hydration partner of IRFU

Lucozade Sport, the ‘Official Hydration Partner’ of the IRFU, launched a fantastic consumer promotion on 1 February to coincide with the kick-off of the Six Nations tournament. The number one sports drink in the category with a 64.8% market share,* will be helping hydrate the Irish team throughout the Six Nations and as they prepare for Japan in September. The exciting promotion offers consumers the chance to be there to support the Irish team, taking in their first two matches against Scotland and the host Nation Japan. There is huge investment behind the promotion which offers daily, weekly and monthly prizes including hydration equipment, sportswear, Six Nations tickets, access to Irish rugby training sessions, rugby balls and signed Irish rugby jerseys. A full suite of engaging point of sale has been developed to bring the promotion to life in-store.

As well as facilitating the entry mechanic for the in-store activation, the dedicated promotion website, will serve as a countdown to the road to Japan. It will provide exclusive tips and content from top Irish players around fitness, hydration and the immense importance of support from the fans.

The promotion which runs from 1 February to 30 April, will be leveraged through social media and in-store activation and will gather momentum around the Six Nations building to a crescendo towards the summer, when the overall winner will be announced. Lucozade Sport will be investing heavily again throughout the summer as the road to Japan gets closer.

*(Source: Nielsen Total Drink Now and Drink Later Value sales 30 December 2018)

Wings for every taste

The Red Bull Coconut Berry Sugarfree Edition will join the existing Red Bull line-up next month



The energy category continues to grow across the island of Ireland in both value (14.2%) and volume (12.9%)*.

In 2018, Red Bull leaped into the top 10 FMCG brands in Ireland**, climbing 16 points since 2013, demonstrating the continued growing strength of the brand in the Irish market.

With over 6 billion cans sold worldwide in 2018, the Red Bull energy drink continues to thrive and innovate into 2019, offering retailers and consumers ‘Wings for Every Taste’.

Red Bull Coconut Berry Sugarfree Edition joins the Red Bull range this March offering the same wings as Red Bull with no sugar and the great taste of Coconut & Berry.

Supported investment for the launch includes nationwide sampling with the Red Bull Wings team as well as an extensive media support campaign to drive awareness and trial.

Red Bull continues to drive the overall energy category, being the number one energy drink SKU in Ireland, providing ‘Wings for Every Taste and Every Occasion’ through exciting product innovation with variants to suit every taste and moment of need for energy.

*(Source: Nielsen 2018 vs 2017)

**(Source: Nielsen Top 100 brands 2018)













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