Bord Bia Bloom means business for Ireland’s retail and foodservice buyers

Low alcohol, low sugar and low emissions among emerging trends for food and drink companies at Bord Bia Trade Breakfast @bordbiabloom | #BordBiaBloom

30/05/2024 Bord Bia Bloom 2024 Bord Bia Food Village Biasol, Ruairi and Niamh Dooley. Photo: Fennell Photo

Ireland’s leading retail and foodservice buyers descended on the Food Village at Bord Bia Bloom today for an early morning business event at which they met with both new and existing Irish food and drink suppliers to explore potential new business opportunities. From zero sugar to zero emissions, this year’s product offering has captured some of the growing and emerging trends in food and beverage.

Speaking at this morning event Jim O’Toole, CEO, Bord Bia said “Bord Bia Bloom is a wonderful public showcase of the best of Irish horticulture, food and drink but it also offers a fantastic platform to do business. For the 100+ food and drink companies exhibiting at this year’s festival, the Bloom Trade Breakfast provides them with a much-anticipated opportunity for face-to-face engagement with decision-makers in Ireland’s leading retail and foodservice businesses. This event has a proven track record of delivering commercial business for our exhibitors and it is encouraging to see the event grow from strength to strength.”

Today marks the 11th year of the Bloom Trade Breakfast which last year generated over 100 leads and opportunities for Irish food products to gain retail listings or feature on menus in Irish foodservice outlets. Among the new business opportunities last year was an agreement between Biasol, producers of nutritious, zero-waste food products and Ireland’s largest hotel operator, Dalata Hotel Group. Following initial discussions at the 2023 Bloom Trade Breakfast, Dalata has made a commitment to stock Biasol’s range of individually packed oat bars at their Red Bean Roastery coffee dock areas in both Clayton and Maldron hotels nationwide.

Low alcohol, low sugar and low emissions
Many of the food and drink companies this year are exhibiting products capturing emerging trends such as 00 and low alcohol options e.g. HOPE beer Hop off 0.0 brew; low and no sugar products such as Mama Bear the family-friendly low-sugar range of condiments and ketchups, and Glenilen Farm’s No Added Sugar kids yoghurt pouches; and low carbon products such as the range from Ireland’s first zero energy emissions distillery, Ahascragh Distillery from Co. Galway.

For the first time this year, Food Works, the accelerator programme for start-up food and drink companies run by Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland and Teagasc is also hosting a stand in the Food Village to showcase a range of new products which are currently in development. The Food Works 2024 products include Blynk+ Craft Beverages; Chimac Sauces; Element Irish Whiskey; FemFuelz female supplement brand; Fire & 5th non-alcoholic spirit alternative range; Mór Taste low sugar jams and chocolate spreads; Reso Health supplements; Shaker&Co zero alcohol gin and SomaTech fermentation.

New Product Launches 
Many of the exhibiting food and drink companies also use the Bord Bia Bloom platform to introduce new products to the market. Among the new products being introduced this year are:

  • Mallow Mia, Donegal who are launching a new selection of fruit and floral-inspired marshmallows including rose and raspberry; orange and passionflower and lemon and elderflower
  • Ballymaloe Foods, Cork who are launching a new sauce ‘Mayolish’ which combines two favourites, Ballymaloe Relish and Ballymaloe Mayo.
  • Velo Coffee Roasters is introducing their new product, Velo Coffee + Protein, designed to energise and nourish.
  • HOPE Beer is launching a limited-edition Fruit & Flower Sour – a passionfruit and hibiscus sour beer with a striking pink/red colour

Among the new offerings in the Bloom Inn this year is the Poitín Experience which will include a selection of four Irish Poitīn producers including Micil Distillery and Intrepid Spirits.

Buying Power
Among the buyers in attendance were some of Ireland’s largest retailers and foodservice buyers including Musgrave, Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and M&S alongside specialist retailers such as Donnybrook Fair and Fallon and Byrne.

Prominent buyers in the Irish foodservice sector include Dalata Hotel Group, the biggest hotel chain in Ireland; Freshly Chopped food chain, forecourt operators Circle K and Applegreen and corporate providers Aramark, Compass and Sodexo. National foodservice distributors, Sysco, Musgrave Wholesale Partners and BWG Foodservice were also in attendance.