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Bord Bia Awards: the winners

Entrepreneurship rewarded at food industry ‘Oscars’

Branding: Glanbia, Avonmore Super Milk
Glanbia is a leading performance nutrition and ingredients group, employing more than 5,800 people in 34 countries. Headquartered in Kilkenny, Glanbia has leading brands in cheese, cream and liquid milk, and and its products are sold or distributed in over 130 worldwide.

Avonmore Super Milk is its flagship brand and in 2014, Glanbia set out on an aggressive growth strategy. The campaign was based on the insight that consumers are increasingly concerned about the lack of vitamin D in their diets and posing Super Milk as the solution would shift the dial in terms of market share.

Glanbia sought to strengthen the consumer connection with a new creative campaign called “Playground of Life” showing generations of Irish families growing up, enjoying life and not slowing down at all as they got older. The campaign included TV, outdoor, radio and digital advertising, and a new website. As a result, Super Milk sales grew by 4 per cent in a category with declining sales last year (-2 per cent year on year), outperforming overall milk sales by up to 6.3per cent in volume terms.

Consumer Insight: Glenisk, High Protein
Greek Yogurt As part of its 2014/2015 business plans, Glenisk set out to grow the declining fresh dairy produce category, otherwise known as yogurt, as well as its own market share. It relied heavily on consumer insight to develop a new product and market it in a way that resonated with consumers. Ultimately, Glenisk developed a range of high protein, authentically-strained Greek Yogurt, a very thick yogurt with a unique texture and a concentration of nutrients – more than twice as much protein as a regular yogurt.


The marketing challenge was to launch the range in April 2015, and to build awareness in the eight week window post-launch. The new range was targeted at those aged 18-44, and those with a specific interest in fitness and nutrition. It explored consumer trends, reviewed yogurt markets across the world, analysed food themes and the eating habits of hardcore fitness fans – the new generation of female consumers who aspired to be “strong, not skinny”. It was a unique approach for Glenisk and the investment of time had paid off. The launch of the range has already delivered a 10 per cent increase in revenue for Glenisk year on year.

Digital Marketing: Britvic Ireland, Club Orange #thebestbits
Britvic Ireland is the number two soft drinks company by volume on the island of Ireland. It is owned by Britvic plc, which also has market-leading operations in Great Britain and France, and a worldwide presence through Britvic International. The company has a proud brand history that spans over 240 years. Its portfolio includes Irish brands such as Ballygowan, MiWadi, Club and TK. It also has exclusive agreements to make and distribute global brands such as Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew Energy.

It was shortlisted for this award based on the success of its Club Orange #BestBits online campaign, which was created to tap into themes of Irishness, nostalgia and colloquial humour. Through targeted partnerships with key online influencers, bloggers and vloggers, the #BestBits campaign created highly-engaging content at a very low cost. It reached more than 5.3 million influencers through online/PR mentions, while over 350,000 consumers viewed the video content on Facebook and YouTube. Club Orange sales increased by close to 10 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.

Success at Home: Celtic Pure
Celtic Pure Limited was established in 2000 by Padraig and Pauline McEneaney. In the early years, the husband and wife team produced and ran all its operations from their garage, delivering door to door in the evenings. In 2014, the company manufactured and sold more than 40 million bottles of Irish spring water from its state-of- the-art 40,000sq ft production facilities.

During its start-up phase, Celtic Pure was confident Irish consumers’ habits had changed considerably towards drinking bottled water on a more regular basis. However, it acknowledged that to remain competitive in this growing market, it needed to manufacture its own bottles. Last year, the company invested over €3 million in a new bottling line that increased the production capacity to 100 million bottles per annum.

Over the last two years, the company has also built up and recruited a strong management team across production, maintenance, quality, logistics and CRM. In the past eight years the lowest percentage increase on sales year on year was 15 per cent.

Entrepreneurial & Export: Gallagher's Bakery, Pure Bred
Gallagher's Bakery was established in 1968 as a family-run business in Ardara, Co Donegal. The bakery traditionally serviced the northwest region with conventional bakery products until 2012 when it entered the gluten-free bakery market with its PureBred and Promise Gluten Free brand names.

Three years ago, the group concluded the bakery market in the UK and Ireland was in continued decline as consumers moved away from traditional bread for health/lifestyle reasons. It identified the gluten-free bakery market as a high growth/high margin category that seemed destined for continued strong growth, across many countries around the world.

In addition to engaging with coeliac associations worldwide, it invested in comprehensive global qualitative and quantitative research to understand consumer experience of existing brands. In a series of taste tests, its newly developed gluten-free products rated highest, and feedback from consumers and retailers alike was unanimously positive.

Today, Gallagher's Bakery successfully trades with the biggest retailers in the world, and consumers in Canada, the US, Australia, UK and Ireland enjoy gluten-free breads and cakes produced from its facility in Ardara. The company employs 260 people, up from 95 in 2012, with employment expected to grow further, as its brands continue to flourish in overseas markets. Export sales growth has been steep, now accounting for more than 70 per cent of turnover.

Innovation: Nobó
Nobó is a Dublin-based food company dedicated to creating the world's finest dairy-free, healthy and delicious foods. Founded by Brian and Rachel Nolan, the company's first product is Frozen Goodness, an award-winning dairy-free alternative to ice cream. It is the world's first ice cream alternative made from avocado and coconut milk and sweetened with pure honey.

To gauge consumer reaction, in 2012 Brian and Rachel spent the summer weekends at Marlay Park and Dún Laoghaire farmers’ markets, which provided the ideal testing grounds and resulted in key consumer feedback on the taste, texture and branding. Since then, the product has been successfully grown nationwide. Nobó is exporting to Dubai and about the expand into the UK market. The brand name Nobó , meaning no cow, has played a role in communicating both the product’s Irishness and its dairy-free ingredients.

Sustainability: Glanbia Ingredients Ireland
Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) is the country's leading dairy company, annually processing 1.8 billion litres of milk into a range of ingredients for export to more than 60 countries. GII supplies international food and nutrition companies across a range of sectors from branded cheese and butter to the infant, sports, clinical and affordable nutrition markets. GII is a 60:40 joint venture between Glanbia Co-op and Glanbia plc.

As a dairy processor of scale, GII has always been focussed on energy consumption and the associated costs. The removal of the dairy quota system in 2015 will open up opportunities for the expansion of dairying in Ireland and it is GII’s ambition to lead the international field in sustainable dairying. Sustainability targets across its five manufacturing plants are delivered as part of the overall environmental objectives and targets, headed up by its environmental management team. Meanwhile, the sustainability targets on farm are delivered by the Glanbia milk advisory team.

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 Q1 2016 as well as driving environmental excellence, reducing energy use, GHGs and water abstraction per tonne of milk processed at manufacturing plant level. GII's ambition is to reduce carbon emissions by 10 per cent by 2020, zero waste to landfill by 2015 and a 25 per cent reduction in water abstraction by 2020.

Sustainability: Island Seafoods Ltd
Island Seafoods Ltd is a Killybegs-based family-owned and run business, established in 1986. Its products includes mackerel, herring, sprat and blue whiting.

Inspired by green ethics, the organisation constantly strives to build on the continual process of environmental improvement that has underpinned the business over the past 20 years. Earlier this year, Island Seafoods was selected as Green Seafood Business of the Year at the annual Green Awards, in addition to the Overall Green Business of the Year Award.

Sustainability is reflected in all areas of the business from world-class water treatment and waste procedures to advanced energy management techniques. In April 2014 Island Seafoods became a verified member of Origin Green, Bord Bia’s sustainability programme for the food and drink industry. it is now working to reduce the overall electricity usage, energy consumption of ice machines by 33 per cent by 2016, and water consumption for cooling and cleaning by 15 per cent by 2016. In addition, there is a comprehensive plan in place in terms of food waste, renewable energy, cold store lighting and social sustainability initiatives.