A taste of the UK Retail Market for Irish Food Producers
A seminar created specifically for Irish food producers by Midlands distribution firm Oakland International, in partnership with Irish consultants Bullseye Food Marketing, for producers looking to enter the UK retailer market, has been hailed a complete success.
Focusing on the UK retail market, the Midlands event on Wednesday 16th May, included an address by fresh and frozen foods director at Spar, Allan Maxted, focusing on the many demands and compliances for producers, the Do’s and Don’ts of dealing with a supermarket buyer, as well as how producers should initially approach retailers such as Spar.
According to the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, the value of Irish food and drink exports increased by 12%, or €1 billion, in 2011 to reach an all-time high of €8.85 billion, and during the first nine months of the year, food and drink exports increased at three times the rate of total merchandise exports. The value of exports to the UK market increased by 6% and accounted for 41%, or €3.66 billion, of total Irish food and drink exports.As a result the sector accounted for 25% of the rise in tok.tal export revenue.
With over 20 years’ food marketing expertise, Cork based Bullseye Food Marketing is a world class provider of food marketing, training, and business development solutions, delivering cost-effective services designed to meet today’s unique food industry needs.
Kieran O’Connor, Operations Director at Bullseye Food Marketing, stated: “What a fantastic way for Irish producers to explore the many export opportunities available for market entry in to the UK. Oakland did a phenomenal job in addressing producers’ questions and in delivering what has proved to be an extremely valuable event for producers to progress potential export opportunities within the UK marketplace.”
Aimed at both the new and the experienced export producers, previous events held across the UK and Ireland have succeeded in helping many more producers break in to the UK market to work with convenience retailers such as Spar, as well as a number of the big 5 retailers and wholesalers. Oakland International’s consistency and care in their supply chain operation is a key factor in the firm’s continued success and popularity in Ireland amongst the business community.
Oakland International's MD, Dean Attwell, stated: "With a growing number of complex factors involved when working with UK retailers, these events continue to prove highly popular with producers in Ireland who are looking to export to the UK, as well as UK producers, as we discuss and examine specific issues and needs of both the producer, and importantly, the retail buyer.”
The Irish delegates took a tour of local stores, Sainsbury’s and Spar, for a personal insight and overview of store formats, product range and category management with direct feedback from store managers and other team members at store level.
With distribution depots in Ashbourne, Co. Meath, Ireland and Redditch, Worcestershire in the UK, Oakland International is well placed to identify and assist with the distribution plans of aspiring producers looking to grow their business across both retail sectors.