Bord Bia Awards: Branding category
The Bord Bia Food and Drink Awards are designed to recognise and reward excellence in the Irish food and drinks industry. The finalists in the branding category: Glenisk; Keelings; and James Whelan Butchers, are profiled here
Emma Walls, marketing director, Glenisk: company now at number 39 in Checkout’s top 100 brands
Conor Whelan, sales and marketing director, Keelings: company a recognised consumer brand for fruit and veg
Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers: business has grown significantly through strategic partnerships
Established in 1987, Glenisk is a Co Offaly-based, family-run producer of organic dairy and goat’s milk products. The company switched to organic production in 1995, and now works with 50 small family farms across Ireland. Committed to fair trade and ensuring organic production is sustainable, Glenisk pays farmers a premium for their organic milk and procures most of the organic milk produced on the island of Ireland. The company has tripled its market share since 2008 and how holds more than 12 per cent of the total yogurt market here.
Glenisk has grown sales by more than 25 per cent year on year for the past three years, and is now at number 39 in Checkout’s top 100 brands. Having first entered Checkout’s ranking at 89 in 2010, the company has jumped significantly each year since. Glenisk is certified by IOFGA (Irish Organic Farmers & Growers Association) and by the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Glenisk products are available in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as Britain, Portugal, Spain and UAE.
Fruit producer Keelings is a 100 per cent Irish-owned business. The north county Dublin farm was established in 1926 and, in the 1930s, it began growing fruits and salads and supplying them to local Dublin markets. Today, Keelings employs approximately 2,000 people across five business units and has a turnover of €300 million. Investment in state-of-the-art greenhouses enabled Keelings to extend the Irish growing season from May to December – a first for any Irish company and a major innovation for the fruit producer. Their business now includes logistic services.
Keelings provides branded and private label produce to the retail and foodservice markets across the island of Ireland, with key customers including Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Hendersons NI, Supervalu, Centra and Superquinn. The Keelings brand, with its strapline “Love to Grow”, was launched into the produce category in 2010. The company is in 45th position in Checkout Ireland’s Top 100 Brands and the brand has become the most recognised consumer brand for fruit and veg in Irish supermarkets.
JAMES WHELAN BUTCHERS
James Whelan Butchers are artisan beef producers, specialising in Angus and Hereford dry aged beef. This is a traditional process that has been practised for generations by the Whelan family, giving their beef a natural sweetness and superb cooking qualities. Based in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, and established more than 50 years ago, the company owns its own farm and abbattoir, allowing them to give people that essential element of trust that consumers require when they buy meat. More recently they have started to develop the first Wagyu/Kobe beef herd, which is attracting huge interest from their customers and further positioning the business as a specialist butcher.
James Whelan Butchers is an established retail butcher brand with shops in Clonmel and Avoca, Monkstown. The business has grown significantly through strategic partnerships and strong relationships with other recognised Irish brands, such as Avoca Handweavers. It is operating in the Irish market and last year started to export to the UK.