WEST Cork-based chef and entrepreneur Matthew Brownie’s Scrath My Pork product has been picked up by a major distributor.
The pork scratchings product, a unique alternative to popcorn and crisps, looks set for national coverage, with plans for a focus on wholesale, pub and off-licence sales. The Kiwi chef, based in Skibbereen, launched his innovative meat savoury snack product on the Irish market in 2014 ‘with a lot of hard work, a clear vision and sheer determination’.
Now Matthew’s No Nonsense Food Company has teamed up with distributor Ampersand to build the brand, also focussing on the convenience and forecourt sector.
‘Scratch My Pork provides Irish consumers with a new and exciting alternative to crisps, bacon fries and popcorn, that is currently not available on the Irish market,’ he explained. ‘Made from 100% Irish pork crackling, the product is slow cooked and foil packed, locking in the flavour and freshness. It’s in three distinct flavours and, most importantly, each product is gluten-free, dairy-free and MSG-free.
‘The last six months have been the most important,’ said Matthew. ‘It was critical to get the packaging and branding perfect, which was a credit to the team within the No Nonsense Food Company. The partnership with Ampersand has also been hugely important, as we are benefitting from the knowledge and experience that Ampersand bring to the table. I feel this is crucial to our product where key positioning within a retail outlet is paramount to increasing brand awareness of Scratch My Pork.’
In addition, the Musgraves Food Academy has been a great asset for the company. ‘Their dedicated food programme gave Scratch My Pork the start it needed to get into the Irish retail sector,’ he said.
Support came in other forms, too, as the business partnered with AIB, the West Cork Development Programme and the Cork City Local Enterprise Office, providing Matthew with business advice and financial support.
‘Scratch My Pork has still a long way to go, but there is a very clear direction now,’ Matthew, a regular columnist with The Southern Star, added. ‘I am working on new and more unique products,’ he said.