Belfast Telegraph

Initiative helps artisan food firms get foot in Tesco door

By Clare Weir

Homegrown food producers will be showcasing their products in large Tesco stores across Northern Ireland this month.

Bangor-based nut butter maker Keen Nutrition went on display at the Tesco store at Knocknagoney in Belfast at the weekend and the company will return there later in September.

Portavogie company Pizzado, which makes pizza kits, is in Tesco Newtownards on September 6 and 7, while Baronscourt Estate will be displaying its venison products in the Enniskillen store on September 13, 20 and 27.

Eglinton-based Flossie's Fudge, meanwhile, will be visiting Tesco Antrim on September 26 and 27 to showcase its range of handmade luxurious fresh dairy fudge.

And Belfast pie company Jolly Pies is at Knocknagoney on September 27 and 28, while other artisans taking up the offer include Co Tyrone egg company Woodside Eggs, which will be in Tesco Cookstown on October 4.

Caoimhe Mannion, marketing manager for Tesco NI, said that by giving artisans a shop window, they will be able to raise their profile, generate sales and get feedback on price points, packaging and flavour.

"For those who are ready for it, this will help them to build a proposal to a Tesco buyer with a view to gaining a listing with us," she said.

"We see it as a way that we can use our scale for the benefit of smaller food producers here."

FoodNI has applauded the initiative.

Aimee Beimers of Keen Nutrition added: "Tesco is providing a fabulous opportunity for artisan producers like ourselves to introduce our products to new customers.

"We are very proud of the nut butters that we make and this gives us a chance to show off our products to the wide range of customers that shop at Tesco."

Last week Tesco cut its full-year profit forecast to £2.4bn from £2.8bn.

The start date for the new chief executive Dave Lewis has been brought forward to today.

Belfast Telegraph