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Sweet deal for Irish chocolatier Lily O’Brien’s with new Tesco UK deal

Lily O’Brien’s chocolates to be stocked extensively in Tesco UK stores

Wednesday, 24th September 2014: Kildare-based chocolatier Lily O’Brien’s has become the latest Irish company to be stocked in Tesco UK stores, it was announced today by Tesco Ireland from the National Ploughing Championships. The lucrative deal will see Lily O’Brien’s products listed in over 500 Tesco stores throughout the UK in time for Christmas.

Having participated in a development programme in 2013 devised by Tesco Ireland in conjunction with Bord Bia, the Irish chocolate company received tailored support and guidance to help assist them in securing, growing and maintaining listings with Tesco stores.

Following a meeting with Tesco UK confectionery buyers back in June 2014, Lily O’Brien’s has received confirmation of listings from Tesco UK stores which the Irish chocolatier anticipates will be worth in excess of one million euros per annum for both seasonal and non-seasonal product lines.

Based in the heart of Co. Kildare, Lily O’Brien’s began in 1992 as the brainchild of Mary Ann O’Brien. The company now employs 120 people and export to many markets across the globe including the UK, Scandinavia, USA, Australia, and the Middle East. Speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois today, Commercial Director of Lily O’Brien’s, Jason Popplewell said, “We are really excited to bring our chocolates to the shelves of Tesco stores in the UK. The company has grown considerably in the last two decades. What started as one person with a wooden spoon, two saucepans and a passion for chocolate has grown into a global brand with international reputation for excellence. The deal with Tesco UK opens up massive long term opportunities for us.”

“Tesco Ireland has guided us and helped us grow the business significantly since we participated in the Tesco-Bord Bia Supplier Development Programme. With their guidance we have worked extremely hard to get our brand recognised by the Tesco UK buying team and I am hopeful that further export opportunities with Tesco worldwide may be possible in the future.  Having support from international retailers like Tesco is incredible,” Jason concluded.

Also speaking at the National Ploughing Championships, Malachy O’Connor, Fresh Food Commercial Category Director of Tesco Ireland said: "We are delighted that Lily O’Brien’s is expanding its distribution in Tesco UK. Lily O’Brien’s is one of the great success stories of the Tesco-Bord Bia Supplier Development Programme. This is a platform that has worked very well to help companies like Glenilen and Green Saffron in recent years to reach an international market. It is one of the ways Tesco is committed to supporting Irish suppliers.”

Lily O’Brien’s was started by Kildare-based mum Mary Ann O’Brien who named the company after her eldest daughter. Over the past two decades Lily O’Brien’s has grown into a global brand. Mary Ann remains heavily involved in the business to this day and her passion for chocolate and innovation continues to be a source of inspiration to her team.

Lily O’Briens is one of 50 Irish suppliers showcasing product at the Tesco Ireland tent at the National Ploughing Championships, taking place this week from 23-25th September in Co Laois. There is something for everyone in the Tesco Ireland tent with cookery demonstrations with renowned Irish chef Eugene McSweeney who will be showcasing a number of nutritious family dinner recipes with a focus on fresh, local ingredients.

ENDS

For further press information please contact:

Amanda Farrell, Consumer PR Manager, Tesco Ireland T: 086 390 23 14 / amanda.farrell@tesco.ie

Fionnuala Kavanagh at Q4 PR on 01 4751444 / Email – Fionnuala@q4pr.ie