Business News

The Taste Bud 20

By Business & Finance
01 May 2015
Tesco Taste Bud
Pictured at the Tesco Taste Bud launch event in partnership with Bord Bia today were (l-r) Aidan Cotter, chief executive, Bord Bia; John Paul O’Reilly, commercial director, Tesco Ireland; and Nicola Kearns, Niks Tea.

Tesco Ireland and Bord Bia today unveiled its newly rebranded annual supplier development programme called Taste Bud. Twenty Irish food and drink companies will today join the fourth annual programme which helps Irish companies to secure, grow and maintain a listing with Tesco at home in Ireland and in Tesco markets overseas.

Taste Bud is the only supplier development programme in Ireland offering Irish food and drink companies export potential to international markets and currently participating companies are collectively listed in over 1,000 Tesco stores. Some well-known Irish brands that have participated in this programme and now export to Tesco UK stores include: Ballymaloe Country Relish, Lily O’Brien’s, Keoghs Crisps and Glenilen.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Taste Bud programme today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD said: “Irish produce is amongst the finest in the world and it is incredibly important that we support what is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. As a valued supporter of the Irish food and drink sector, it is encouraging to see the on-going success of Tesco’s supplier development programme with Bord Bia, which gives Irish companies the opportunity to innovate, grow and compete internationally, ensuring that more Irish products reach shelves both in the domestic and overseas markets. This kind of innovation and growth helps us deliver on the ambitious growth targets for the agri-food sector in Ireland.”

Aidan Cotter, chief executive, Bord Bia commented: “Taste Bud is a comprehensive and practical programme that provides Irish food and drink businesses with access, workshops and mentoring as well as the platform to develop and expand their businesses exponentially. Bord Bia has supported the programme for four years and we are heartened to hear the many, many success stories from Irish companies who have taken part and gone on to grow both locally and internationally.”

Alan Gray, managing partner, Indecon Economic Consultants said: “One of the most noteworthy findings of the research is that because of the unique scale of the purchases of Irish food and drink by Tesco internationally, Tesco is the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food and drink. Continuing to maximise the sub-supply potential of export markets within Tesco internationally should continue to be given priority.”

Taste Bud runs over a seven-month period and incorporates local, national and export levels to support companies at various stages of their development. Participants receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with Tesco buyers and technical experts as well as access to relevant consumer insights.

The participants in the 2015 Taste Bud Programme are as follows