Irish food producers strike gold at Great Taste Awards
Irish food producers have cleaned up at this year’s Great Taste Awards — the world’s largest blind-tasted food awards — with local suppliers for the likes of Aldi and SuperValu going down a treat with a judging panel comprising of leading chefs and food critics.
Run by the London-based Guild of Fine Food, the awards — dubbed ‘the Food Oscars’ — have become the largest and most highly trusted accreditation scheme for speciality food and drink producers.
This year, the Irish won big. Bewley’s won 12 gongs for its tea range and SuperValu’s move from branded goods to local producer-supplied own-label ranges proved a canny play, as it picked up 29 awards for its ‘signature tastes’ range; 80% of which are made and provided by local Irish suppliers.
The company’s Signature Red Onion Relish — produced by the Leonard family in West Cork — and its Killowen, Co Waterford-made Strawberry Yoghurt were among the winning entries. Kerry-based seafood producer, Quinlan’s Fish was rewarded for its Smoked Wild Irish Salmon and Smoked Organic Irish Salmon products.
Aldi Ireland won more titles than any other Irish retailer — picking up 35 gongs in all. The discounter has, to date, won a total of 177 Great Taste Awards and qualifies as the most decorated Irish retailer in the last five years; having also won big at the Blás na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards and the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards.
Aldi’s O’Shea’s Traditional Irish Pale Ale (from the Carlow Brewing Company) and its Specially Selected Irish Angus Fillet Steaks (from ABP Cahir) were among its winning ranges this year.
“We are continuously introducing new and exciting Irish-sourced products and engaging more and more Irish suppliers,” Aldi Ireland’s group buying director, Rob Farrell said; noting that Aldi has tripled its annual spend on Irish products over the past five years.
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