Bord Bia today hosted more than 200 national and international buyers for a trade breakfast in the Food Village at Bloom, Ireland’s largest gardening, food and drink festival created by Bord Bia. The breakfast event is just one of a number of business opportunities which Bord Bia’s Bloom offers to Irish companies exhibiting at the festival with the showcase also offering a platform for emerging businesses and new product innovations to launch. A 2017 visitor report quantified spend at the show at almost €9 million, with the potential for up to €34 million spent with exhibiting companies post-event.
Bord Bia Trade Breakfast
At this morning’s trade breakfast, Bord Bia introduced more than 100 Irish food and drink exhibitors to 200 buyers including Partridges, TJX (Homesense and TK Maxx), Sourced Market and EAT from the UK. Among the Irish buyers were some of Ireland’s largest retailers such as Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi alongside specialist retailers such as Donnybrook Fair, Fallon and Byrne and Butler’s Pantry. Prominent buyers in the Irish food service sector included Dalata Hotel Group, the biggest hotel chain in Ireland; Retail in Motion, responsible for on-board retail with airlines across five continents; Freshly Chopped food chain, Circle K/Topaz, Applegreen, BWG and Musgrave Wholesale Partners.
Speaking at the event, Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia “Bloom offers a powerful platform for Ireland’s thriving craft food and drink sector to showcase their products and is the ideal opportunity to engage with potential buyers. This will be the fifth year Bord Bia has hosted this annual trade event which has yielded very positive results for producers and buyers alike. We are delighted to have such strong representation from UK buyers who have travelled not just across the Irish Sea but through the uncertain waters of Brexit. This is a significant show of confidence in the Irish food and drink industry and a testament to the work that is being done in both markets to ensure strong future trade relationships between our countries.”
Bloom Trade Breakfast Success Stories
Previous Bord Bia trade breakfasts at Bloom have resulted in a number of significant listings for Irish companies. This includes an exclusive agreement with Sadie’s Kitchen for supply of their bone broth across all Freshly Chopped outlets; the supply of Flahavan’s flapjacks on the Aer Lingus on-board menu; and listings for Pro U Yoghurts with both Dunnes Stores and BWG.
Michael Murphy, Founder and MD of Pro U Yogurts said, “The Bloom food market allows buyers to experience your product in practice and gives them the space to consider how it would work in their business. I had been targeting the Dunnes Stores Dairy buyer for some months, but I got the chance to meet her and some of her senior colleagues at Bloom. As a result we were invited in to do a presentation in July and things progressed from there.”
“We also progressed business with BWG Foodservice as a result of Bloom. Their buyers saw a real opportunity for ProU in healthcare and workplace dinning and we now supply a range of hospitals and workplace canteen through BWG Foodservice.”
Bloom has also proved to be an attractive setting for companies to launch new products over the years and 2018 is no different. One-third of the exhibitors in 2018 are new and among the new product launches will be Ireland’s launch first-ever Irish Free Range Chicken Burger from Farmers to Market.
Speaking about the opportunity, Charles Smith of Farmers to Market said, “We have chosen Bloom as the perfect place to launch this new product as the event highlights all that is excellent about Irish food and the passion of those who produce it. We have developed this new product range to address an ever-increasing demand by discerning food connoisseurs for better quality chicken that can be conveniently prepared and cooked. Bloom allows us to engage directly with consumers and gauge in real time their response to the product.”
Mr Jeffares Blackcurrants will introduce Bloom visitors to a New Lightly Sparkling Ready to Drink Blackcurrant Juice with No Added Sugar. Made from Blackcurrants grown on Des Jeffares own farm in County Wexford this is the first of his new “Ready to Drink” range. While Sadie’s Kitchen will launch a Super Seven Greens Bone Broth which has all the goodness of Sadie’s Kitchen Comforting Chicken Bone Broth, but is fortified with seven green herbs and vegetables along with flax seed.
Other launches of note will include Lainey’s Handmade Foods who will launch new packaging for their confectionary product range and Maria Lucia Bakes who will introduce their new Ancient Grains granola, which is suitable for Coeliacs as it does not contain oats.