Tesco Taste Bud programme with Bord Bia delivers €30 million worth of Irish food and drink sales

Tesco confirmed as the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food & drink

Wednesday, 29thApril 2015: Tesco Ireland and Bord Bia today unveiled their newly re-branded 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. 

To date, 50 Irish companies have completed the highly successful development programme, recording over €30 million worth of sales to Tesco stores, with nearly a quarter of this revenue generated in the UK, highlighting the export opportunities realised through the programme. 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’Briens, Keoghs Crisps and Glenilen.

Today’s launch of the Taste Bud programme coincides with the launch of a comprehensive report into Tesco Ireland’s impact on the Irish economy, conducted by independent international economists, Indecon. Testament to Tesco’s on-going support of the Irish agri-food sector, the report’s key findings demonstrate that:

  • Tesco is the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food and drink
  • Tesco is responsible for nearly 47,000 jobs; employing 14,500 people directly in stores, head office and our depot and supporting a further 32,180 jobs in its supply chain
  • Over 13,000 Irish farm families supply their produce to Tesco
  • Tesco now works with over 480 small and medium Irish local suppliers
  • Tesco purchases €1.6 billion of Irish food and drink including €931 million for export
  • Tesco’s international stores are a major purchaser of Irish food and drink, buying 11.7% of Ireland’s food and drink exports in 2013, a figure which is growing year on year
  • Tesco’s total value of Irish food and drink exports exceeds France and Spain combined
  • Indecon estimate that the full economy wide impact of Tesco is €3.26 billion per year
  • 100% of the fresh lamb, beef, pork, eggs and milk Tesco sells is Irish

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Taste Bud programme today, the Minister for Agriculture, Food & 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 indicated that, “One of the most noteworthy findings of the Indecon 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.

John Paul O’Reilly, Commercial Director, Tesco Ireland added: “Tesco is passionate about Irish food – we are the world’s biggest buyer of Irish food and drink and we export €931 million worth of Irish products each year. Our support for Irish suppliers is central to our business and growing year on year. We are extremely proud to support over 13,000 Irish farm families and 480 Irish SMEs and through our Taste Bud programme to play a role in the current and future success of Irish suppliers through our global network.”

The participants in the 2015 Taste Bud Programme are as follows

  • Local: Bombay Pantry; Niks Tea; 250Kal; Bia Ganbreise; Nüsli; Organic Little One; McCormack Farms 
  • National: Goodness Grains; Boutique Bake; Chilly Moo; BRÚ, Powerful Yogurt; Galway Hooker; Kilmore Quay
  • Export: Lakeland Dairies; Coomara; Flahavan’s; Ballineen Fine Foods, Keohane Seafoods, Coolmore Foods

@TescoIRL     /     #TescoTasteBud     /     @BordBia


For further press information, please contact:

Amanda Farrell, Consumer PR Manager, Tesco Ireland