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Introducing the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards sponsors

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Amy Bennington, commercial marketing manager of Power NI, sponsor of Best Sustainability Initiative at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Amy Bennington, commercial marketing manager of Power NI, sponsor of Best Sustainability Initiative at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

John Hood, director of Food & Drink at Invest NI, sponsor of Best Export Marketing at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

John Hood, director of Food & Drink at Invest NI, sponsor of Best Export Marketing at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Karen Carmichael, managing director of MXB, sponsor of the Leader in Marketing award at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Karen Carmichael, managing director of MXB, sponsor of the Leader in Marketing award at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Michael Hall, owner & MD of Kestrel Foods, sponsor of the Lorraine Hall Young Marketeer Award at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Michael Hall, owner & MD of Kestrel Foods, sponsor of the Lorraine Hall Young Marketeer Award at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Aaron McCracken Photography

Laura Cochrane, Group marketing manager of MBNI Truck & Van, sponsor of Best Digital Marketing Campaign at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Laura Cochrane, Group marketing manager of MBNI Truck & Van, sponsor of Best Digital Marketing Campaign at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

David Henderson, managing director of HFM, sponsor of Best Brand at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

David Henderson, managing director of HFM, sponsor of Best Brand at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Clare Forster, head of marketing at Mash Direct, sponsor of Best Marketing Campaign at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Clare Forster, head of marketing at Mash Direct, sponsor of Best Marketing Campaign at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Martin McClinton, NI operations manager of Northern Snack Foods, sponsor of Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Martin McClinton, NI operations manager of Northern Snack Foods, sponsor of Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Patrick Derry, managing director of Derry Group Ireland, sponsor of Best New Product Launch/Relaunch at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Patrick Derry, managing director of Derry Group Ireland, sponsor of Best New Product Launch/Relaunch at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

John Hamilton, director of Aqua Twist, sponsor of Best In-Store Consumer Sales Promotion at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

John Hamilton, director of Aqua Twist, sponsor of Best In-Store Consumer Sales Promotion at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

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Amy Bennington, commercial marketing manager of Power NI, sponsor of Best Sustainability Initiative at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021.

Meet the sponsors supporting the 10 categories of the 33rd annual Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards, which close for entry on Friday, June 4.

LEADER IN MARKETING

Karen Carmichael, managing director of MXB, said: “MXB are delighted to sponsor the Leader in Marketing Award as part of the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021. We have carved out our expertise working closely with a range of FMCG companies such as Moy Park, Golden Wonder Group and P&G as well as with retail brands such as the Musgrave Group so we wholly appreciate the leadership required to create a standout proposition for customers in such a competitive and ever-evolving landscape. To all those entering this award, it is the leadership you exhibit that is enabling the grocery sector to prosper throughout the challenging circumstances of this past pandemic year, and we look forward to acknowledging your effort through this award.”

BEST DIGITAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Laura Cochrane, Group marketing manager of MBNI Truck & Van, said: “We are delighted to once again sponsor the Best Digital Marketing Award at this year’s Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. At MBNI Truck & Van, our range of Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles offer the grocery sector a transport solution with the latest technology and safety. Whether it’s the small Citan, spacious Sprinter or the latest electric vans- eVito and eSprinter, there is a vehicle that will work to keep your business moving. For those heavier loads and long-distance distribution side, we have a range of Trucks you can Trust with the award-winning Actros offering the most technological advanced cockpit on the market plus class leading fuel economy and safety. We wish all the entrants the best of luck and we’re excited to see the winning entry.”

BEST SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE

Amy Bennington, commercial marketing manager of Power NI, said: “We are delighted to sponsor Best Sustainability Initiative at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021. Our core purpose at Energia Group is to transform how customers use and generate energy in a way that has a positive and sustainable impact on the environment. Power NI is evolving to be more than just your electricity supplier and as a BITCNI Climate Action Pledge signatory, we are encouraging Northern Ireland to get involved in more sustainable ways of doing business. Good luck to all entries! Power NI, part of Energia Group, is Northern Ireland’s leading electricity supplier with over 450,000 residential and 40,000 commercial customers. 2021 marks a decade of the Power NI brand and 90 years of servicing local communities with their energy needs.”

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LORRAINE HALL YOUNG MARKETEER AWARD

Michael Hall, owner & MD of Kestrel Foods, said: “We are delighted to once again be a sponsor of the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards through the Lorraine Hall Young Marketeer Award. Lorraine was known as the inspirational driving force behind our Forest Feast brand, and the award recognises the same passion and drive amongst the up-and-coming marketing stars of the future. Forest Feast was founded in 1996 by Lorraine and I, setting out to create a world class snacking business. Since then, Forest Feast been exploring the globe making it our mission to find, craft and create the best snacks that are delicious and nutritious. Today, the business and brands are recognised for their innovation and quality that sets them apart from the competition. Everything is handcrafted inhouse in our state-of-the-art production facility in Portadown by our brilliant team, but enjoyed by consumers all over the world.”

BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN

Clare Forster, head of marketing at Mash Direct, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021 and are excited to sponsor the Best Marketing Campaign category. It is ever important to support the food and grocery sector, especially after the past year, which is why we want to put a spotlight on and highlight the excellence in marketing within the industry. Mash Direct is an innovative farming enterprise, run by the Hamilton family, Martin, Tracy, Lance, and Jack Hamilton, at their family farm in Co Down close to the shores of Strangford Lough. They grow and produce quality, convenient field-to-fork vegetable and potato side-dishes that are 100% gluten-free, ranging from Mashed Potato to Cauliflower Bites; all of which are sold in major retail multiples, independents and convenience stores across the UK and Ireland.

BEST BRAND

David Henderson, managing director of HFM, said: “HFM are proud to be associated with Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards and sponsor Best Brand, recognising the great work put in by companies promoting their brands throughout the island of Ireland and further afield. Established in 2015, HFM are a leading supplier of new and used food processing packaging equipment. Our factory in Crossgar has over 1,000 machines in stock, and we work with many well-known food machinery manufacturers throughout the UK and Europe. We offer the right machinery for the right application, and ensure all machines are user friendly. HFM supplies into many sectors including meat, fish, poultry, dairy, ready meal, salad, sauce, soup, drinks and petfood manufacturing, as well as fruit & veg, confectionery, catering butchers, bakers, hotels, restaurants, contract packers, fast food outlets and breweries.”

BEST IN-STORE CONSUMER SALES PROMOTION

John Hamilton, director of Aqua Twist, said: “Aqua Twist is proud to return as sponsor of Best In-Store Consumer Promotion at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2021. Aqua Twist is Northern Ireland’s leading take home bottled water, and our 12 x 500ml packs are enjoyed by families everywhere. We are proud of our association with Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and every product sold donates to help this local charity with their amazing work. Discount Commodity Supplies is distributor of the Aqua Twist brand, along with the full range of Nestle Waters UK brands, San Pellegrino, Perrier, Nestle Pure Life, as well as a new dynamic range of American confectionery brands, Sour Patch, Mike & Ike, Calypso Drinks plus numerous others. These have added exceptional value to our retail partners’ sales over the past 12 months.”

BEST NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH/RELAUNCH

Patrick Derry, managing director of Derry Group Ireland, said: “Derry Group Ireland is the proud sponsor of Best New Product Launch/Relaunch once again in 2021 and delighted to be associated with a category celebrating innovation in the food industry. Derry Group Ireland is the first-choice logistics partner for leading retailers, wholesalers and food manufacturers in Ireland, with depots in Armagh, Dublin and Cork. The company is committed to leading the way in innovation, and constant reinvestment in the most modern fleet and accompanying high-tech IT systems makes us the obvious choice for clients across Ireland. Our new purpose-built facility Carn Coldstore in Co Armagh is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built 70,000 square foot facility with an impressive 25,000 square foot cross dock. We can store over 7,000 chilled and frozen pallets. Our range or services include order picking as well as short- and long-term storage solutions.”

BEST CSR INITIATIVE/CHARITY PARTNERSHIP

Martin McClinton, NI operations manager of Northern Snack Foods, said: “Northern Snacks’ principal route to the convenience sector is through our vastly experienced van sales team, driving great brands such as Hunky Dorys and O’Donnells alongside a fantastic KP portfolio. The use of advertising across all media types has helped increase share across the province; however type of product and great quality has been a significant factor in having such a loyal customer and consumer base. Our NPD team are working very hard to launch many more great products in the coming months, especially the BFY area of the category. Our involvement with the CSR award goes back many years. Our view is that if we can help in any way to encourage CSR, we are extremely glad to do so and I can’t wait for the awards ceremony later this year.”

BEST EXPORT MARKETING

John Hood, director of Food & Drink at Invest NI, said: “Invest Northern Ireland is delighted to sponsor the Best Export Marketing Award at the 33rd Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. Exporting is crucial to the growth of the Northern Ireland economy and it is important to applaud and celebrate Northern Ireland’s hard working and resilient food and drink producers. Despite a challenging year, many companies have continued to develop and execute successful marketing campaigns with an innovative approach, which has led to an increase in export sales and further business growth.”



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