Eight south Cork food and drink companies estimate that they gained a collective €500,000 in new UK sales from their attendance at the IFE 2013 food and drinks fair in London.
One of the world’s largest annual fairs, participating in IFE in March has proven a success for the eight Cork companies, namely Franciscan Well Brewery; Carrigaline Farmhouse Cheese; Simplee; Healy’s Honey; Ballymaloe Country Relish; Kinsale Gourmet; Virginia Harvest; and Green Saffron.
Apart from initial sales, the Irish participants have also built useful contacts in one-to-one meetings with buyers from key EU food retailers including OCADO, Budgens, Booths, Waitrose and Selfridges.
Kinsale Gourmet owner manager Owen O’Brien, said: “We had a very positive reaction from buyers and other visitors to the event many of whom were already aware of Cork’s reputation for world-class seafood. Our ‘sea vegetable’ based meals attracted a lot of attention as there is a huge interest in healthy, high-quality, fully traceable ready meals.
“We met a huge range of buyers from the UK and other international retail chains. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone under one roof. Not only did it allow us to make sales, it also allowed us to talk to retailers, distributors and others in the sector and to gauge industry trends,” said Mr O’Brien.
Supported by South Cork Enterprise Board and Cork County Council, the companies exhibited at a stand branded “Taste Cork — Taste Ireland”.
The group said IFE 2013 allowed them to showcase their products, generate brand awareness, meet new customers and reinforce existing relationships.
Cork County mayor, Cllr Barbara Murray, said that Cork is internationally recognised for its outstanding agricultural and seafood products and has become renowned as a centre of culinary excellence.
South Cork Enterprise Board chief executive Sean O’Sullivan said: “The ‘Taste Cork — Taste Ireland’ brand is something we hope to grow Cork into one of Europe’s most recognisable food regions.
“We are proud to work with these cutting-edge food companies. Their success is key to sustainable growth in the local economy.”
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