Tesco Taste Bud programme with Bord Bia delivers €30 million worth of Irish food and drink sales

Tesco says it is the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food and drink, as 20 companies sign up to its 2015 #TescoTasteBud supplier development programme



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29 April 2015

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Tesco Ireland and Bord Bia today unveiled its newly re-branded annual supplier development programme called Taste Bud. Twenty Irish food and drink companies will today join the fourth annual programme which helps Irish companies to secure, grow and maintain a listing with Tesco at home in Ireland and in Tesco markets overseas.

To date, 50 Irish companies have completed the development programme, recording over €30 million worth of sales to Tesco stores, with nearly a quarter of this revenue generated in the UK, highlighting the export opportunities realised through the programme. Taste Bud is the only supplier development programme in Ireland offering Irish food and drink companies export potential to international markets and currently participating companies are collectively listed in over 1,000 Tesco stores. Some well-known Irish brands that have participated in this programme and now export to Tesco UK stores include Ballymaloe Country Relish, Lily O’Briens, Keoghs Crisps and Glenilen.

Today’s launch of the Taste Bud programme coincides with the launch of comprehensive research into Tesco Ireland’s impact on the Irish economy, conducted by independent international economists, Indecon.

The research states that Tesco is the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food and drink. Over 13,000 Irish farm families supply their produce to Tesco. What’s more, Tesco’s total value of Irish food and drink exports exceeds the value of France and Spain combined.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Taste Bud programme today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney commended the initiative, stating that it gives “Irish companies the opportunity to innovate, grow and compete internationally”.  

Taste Bud runs over a seven-month period and incorporates local, national and export levels to support companies at various stages of their development. Participants receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with Tesco buyers and technical experts as well as access to relevant consumer insights.

John Paul O’Reilly, commercial director, Tesco Ireland added: “Tesco is passionate about Irish food – we are the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food and drink and we export €931 million worth of Irish products each year. Our support for Irish suppliers is central to our business and growing year-on-year.”

The participants in the 2015 Taste Bud programme are as follows:

  • Local: Bombay Pantry; Niks Tea; 250Kal; Bia Ganbreise; Nüsli; Organic Little One; McCormack Farms
  • National: Goodness Grains; Boutique Bake; Chilly Moo; BRÚ, Powerful Yogurt; Galway Hooker; Kilmore Quay
  • Export: Lakeland Dairies; Coomara; Flahavan’s; Ballineen Fine Foods, Keohane Seafoods, Coolmore Foods


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