Established 29 years ago in Cork, the family-run business Ballymaloe Foods has become a staple Irish brand name offering a variety of relishes, chutneys and sauces made from locally sourced ingredients where possible. Not only has Ballymaloe become recognisable and associated with high quality produce in Irish homes as well as abroad, but the brand also offers a significant addition to foodservice menus – from gastropubs and cafés to fine dining restaurants.
A recent survey conducted by Red C Research on behalf of Bord Bia has also thrown up some interesting results for how consumers view the Ballymaloe Foods brand. 84% of those surveyed stated that Ballymaloe was the only relish brand that they would consider, with another result of 88% stating that ‘taste’ was the key factor of consideration when it came to deciding on the brand. Maxine Hyde, Sales and Marketing Director for Ballymaloe Foods, said that those interviewed in focus groups associated the brand with quality. “If you see Ballymaloe Foods on the sandwich menu it makes it that little bit extra special was the feedback we received,” she said.
With over 15 million 25g portion of relish sold in 2018 in foodservice alone there is definitely a loyal following for the brand, despite various attempts from others to duplicate it. Maxine believes the product ‘packs a lot of punch’ in terms of flavour, as well as great value for businesses as ‘a little goes a long way.’ Including Ballymaloe Relish on a menu, ‘can help show customers that the venue is supporting good quality Irish products’, and at the same time, make a toastie sound ‘a bit more tempting’.
Featuring this month at the Catex trade show in the RDS is also very important for the Ballymaloe Foods brand. “Catex is really the only significant foodservice trade show in Ireland,” said Maxine. “Every element of foodservice is represented in it, from gastropubs to cafés, and it is a great opportunity to meet so many people and see new products over three days.”
Maxine is also happy that Ballymaloe Foods is partnering up with other leading and established Irish brands such as Barry’s Tea and Glenilen Farm to attend Catex. “They’re brands to look up to and admire as they’ve kept their roots in Ireland, support local industries and have not succumbed to the private label pressures,” she said, emphasising that they are stronger supporting each other as Irish suppliers.
2019 plans for Ballymaloe Foods include maintaining their current high standards and values and refusing to compromise on them. “We are a small company but we look to the bigger companies such as Barry’s Tea and Guinness for inspiration,” Maxine concluded.
Don’t forget to visit Ballymaloe Foods at Catex in the RDS, Dublin, this February 26th – 28th. Stop by for a chat at stand C20.