Irish Food Companies Honoured at Bord Bia Awards
~ Bord Bia Food & Drink Awards 2015 ~
|Pictured are Michael Carey, Chairman, Bord Bia (left) and Simon Coveney TD, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (right) with Tim Ryan and Eoin Doyle from Glanbia’s Avonmore Supermilk, Ireland’s leading milk brand, which was named the Branding Award winner. For more details on the winners, see www.bordbia.ie/awards .|
The achievements of eight Irish food companies were recognised at the Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards in Dublin’s Mansion House last night. The Awards, held every two years, reward excellence within the Irish food and drink industry across eight categories – Branding, Consumer Insight, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Exporting, Innovation, Success at Home and Sustainability. Over 300 industry representatives from Ireland’s leading food and drink companies gathered for the ceremony, where they also heard from guest speaker, Joe Schmidt, the Irish Rugby Team’s Head Coach who provided his insight into leadership and teamwork.
Opening the event, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D. said, “I am delighted to be here at the ‘Oscars’ of the sector as we take pride in the exceptional achievements of our food and drink companies. Last year’s record €10.5 billion in exports follows five years of sustained growth by the sector, which is now well positioned as it seeks to expand towards its €19 billion export goal set in Food Wise 2025. He added, “As the industry continues to develop premium positions in established markets, significant progress is also being made in opening up new markets that can help sustain its growth. I am deeply conscious that business is not easily won and Irish food and drink companies are to be commended for their success and determination in developing Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. “
In congratulating the winners, Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia said “As the industry seeks to grow output and expand its export reach, it is important to recognise the achievements and ongoing progress of the sector, which are underpinning growth and competitiveness and elevating the industry’s reputation at home and abroad. The awards highlight the talent, imagination and sheer professionalism that is at the heart of the industry’s current success and that will secure its continued growth and expansion.”
This year, Bord Bia received in excess of 160 award entries across the eight categories which were judged by an independent judging panel (see Notes to Editor for details). Gallagher’s Bakery was honoured with two awards while two companies received Sustainability Awards reflecting the high calibre of entries. The overall category award winners included: (See Notes to Editor for full profiles)
· Export and Entrepreneurial Awards - Gallagher’s Bakery was honoured in both the Export and Entrepreneurial categories, for what the judges described as a “stunning success story and turnaround demonstrating great credibility and huge ambition”. Gallagher’s Bakery, established in 1968 as a family run business in Ardara, Co. Donegal, traditionally serviced the North West region with conventional bakery products, until 2012 when they entered the gluten free market having identified the scale of opportunity. The company now employs 260 people, up from 95 in 2012, with employment expected to continue to grow further. Export growth has been steep, now accounting for more than 70% of turnover, while the compnay successfully trades with some of the biggest retailers in the world.
· Innovation Award – Nobó, founded by Brian and Rachel Nolan, has produced the world's first dairy free alternative to ice cream made from avocado and coconut milk. The brand name ’Nobó’, meaning no cow, has played a clever role in communicating the Irishness and dairy free approach. The judges highlighted the “strong vision for future development” noting that the product has already successfully grown with retail and foodservice listings nationwide and they are exporting to Dubai and about to expand into the UK market.
· Success at Home Award – Celtic Pure, a family owned company established in 2000 by the McEneaneys, has grown to sell over 40 million bottles of Irish spring water. Over the past eight years, the lowest percentage increase on sales year on year was 15%. Last year, the company invested over €3m in a new bottling line that increased the production capacity to 100 million bottles per annum. The company, which the judges deemed a “great Irish success story”, has also built a strong management team which the judges stated was crucial to the company’s success.
· Branding Award – Glanbia’s Avonmore SuperMilk, Ireland’s leading milk brand, outperformed overall milk sales by as much as 6.3% in volume terms in a sector with declining sales, and consumer brand awareness and loyalty increased across the board. The campaign, called “Playground of Life”, was based on insight that consumers are increasingly concerned about the lack of vitamin D in the diet and posing Super Milk as the solution.
· Digital Marketing Award - Britvic Ireland’s Club Orange #thebestbits campaign was created to tap into themes of Irishness, nostalgia and colloquial humour. The campaign reached over 5.3 million influencers through online and PR mentions, while over 350,000 consumers viewed the video content on Facebook and YouTube. Club Orange sales increased by close to 10% compared to the previous year. The judges remarked on the low budget utilised compared to the results achieved, as well as on their innovative use of crowd sourcing to develop concepts from loyal Club Orange fans.
· Consumer Insight Award – Glenisk used consumer insight to develop their new range of high protein, authentically strained Greek Yogurt. The judges acknowledged the “huge lengths” Glenisk went to get a deep understanding of their consumer, in commissioning intensive research over a 12 month period and in engaging with consumers to innovatively ‘co-create’ the new range in a difficult yogurt category. Since its launch in April, it has already delivered a 10% increase in revenue for Glenisk.
Sustainability Award Boasts Competitive Edge
Due to the competitive nature of the category, the high calibre of entries and the strategic importance of Origin Green, Bord Bia’s sustainability programme, the judges deemed it appropriate to recognise the efforts of two companies. Aidan Cotter stated, “In a week when Bord Bia hosted its inaugural Global Sustainability Forum and released its first Origin Green report, it is encouraging to note the importance placed on sustainability by food and drink producers, with over a quarter of the total entries received for this award. This is also evident in the fact that, over 85% of total Irish food and drink exports are now coming from companies that are fully verified members of Origin Green. Sustainability is an established driver for the industry in terms of how it conducts business, and Origin Green has provided a renewed sense of purpose of how we can be different and still make a difference in a challenging marketplace.”
· The judges recognised Glanbia Ingredients Ireland, Ireland’s leading dairy company, processing 1.8 billion litres of milk annually into a range of ingredients for export to over 60 countries, for their outstanding achievements in this area. As a founding member of Origin Green, GII is committed to auditing its entire milk supply base to establish a baseline under a number of sustainability indicators by 2016. Their ambition is to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by 2020, zero waste to landfill by 2015 and a 25% reduction in water abstraction by 2020. The judges felt Glanbia Ingredients Ireland was “in a league of its own, with a great story to tell, while the integrity of the business plan was very impressive”.
· Island Seafoods Ltd is a family owned and run business, which was established in 1986 in the popular fishing village of Killybegs. Both the quantity and quality of sustainability undertakings surprised the judges for a company of its size. They were also impressed by the level of innovation in driving sustainability within their business. For instance, new technology has given them the ability to track the kWh consumed per tonne of fish processed. As part of their Origin Green sustainability plan, they are working to reduce the overall operational electricity usage and water consumption for cooling and cleaning by 15% by 2016. In addition, there is a comprehensive plan in place in terms of food waste, renewable energy, cold store lighting and social sustainability.