BY JACKIE KEOGH
FIVE Cork producers have joined the Tesco Taste Bud programme with Bord Bia.
The five form part of a group of 20 Irish food and drinks companies taking part in the fourth annual supplier development programme called Taste Bud.
They are: Bia Ganbreise, Ballineen Fine Foods, Keohane’s Seafood, Coolmore Foods and Coomara poitin, which is distilled in Skibereen.
To date, 50 Irish companies have completed the highly successful development programme, recording over €30m 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 offers food and drinks companies export potential to international markets and the 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.
The Ballingeary-based Bia Ganbreise is a dedicated gluten-free bakery making biscuits, cereals, flour mixes, cookie dough, granolas and savoury mixes.
Kevin and Marie Hennessy established Ballineen Fine Foods in 1993 with a focus on quality and innovation and, 21 years on, it supplys the leading retailers in Ireland and the UK with a range of handheld snacks and chip shop style products. The Keohane family operate a 20,000 square feet state of the art facility in Bantry in Cork with a capacity for 40,000 units per day. Michael Keohane and his sons Colman and Brian Keohane established the business in 2010.
They identified an opportunity in the market for pre-packed, ‘skin-filmed’ fish and established Keohane Seafood Limited in 2010 with the objective of breaking into the market with t innovative system for packing fresh fish.
Bandon-based Coolmore Foods is a family-owned bakery founded in 1988 making premium speciality cakes, muffins and pies. The company began as a farmhouse bakery producing cakes in the family Aga cooker at the family’s farmhouse in West Cork.
Their range of confectionery was originally supplied to restaurants in Kinsale and as the business grew, products were adapted for the retail trade to target the growing cake and convenience food market. The company operates from a 20,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility in Cork and all products are free from hydrogenated fats, artificial colours and flavours.
Distilled in Skibbereen, Coomara Poitin Irish poitin is an artisan crafted white spirit that is available in three flavours – original, wild berry and orchard fruits. Coomara is a wholly-owned Irish company headed up by Gary Gartland and Adam Taylor.