ARDEE AND the name of Ferdia is to go global thanks to a local chocolate manufacturing company.
Ferdia Fine Foods is to change its branding on Danucci Chocolates to Ferdia, in honour of the famed warrior.
And already the mention of an ancient Irish hero has caught the attention of the Japanese market who want to know the full story of the 'Ardee Samurai'.
'We had a number of orders in from China for Christmas and Japan looks promising,' CEO John O'Mahony stated this week.
While still operating under the Danucci brand until the relaunch next month, the prospect of promoting Ferdia is proving big in the Land of the Rising Sun.
'When we told them about the origin of the name they were really taken by it. They want all the information they can get on this Irish figure.'
Members of the Ardee Historical Society have volunteered their services in an effort to bring the name of Ferdia to a world market.
Marketing Executive Jenny Coyle has been working on the various aspects of the Ferdia Chocolates and the initial reaction has been very positive.
'Danucci sounded Italian to many people and they couldn't believe they were actually made in Ardee. So we decided to rebrand the name and give it a real Irish feel,' she stated.
John and his brother-in-law Noel Kerr set up Ferdia Fine Foods in 2010, incorporating Danucci, and now they feel the time is right to tackle the global market.
'People say they taste too good to be Irish and that we just package them but they are made in Ardee and we have three distributors out on the road, bringing them around the country,' John added.
The likes of the UK, Germany and Dubai also take them.
For the first time Ferdia Easter Eggs are also being planned and the ultimate aim are chocolate Ferdia warrior figures.
'We employ 18 people here and the Ferdia promotion will consolidate that and if it takes off who knows what will happen. Before Christmas there was seven day weeks here, so that's a good sign,' John continued.
The plant can produce up to 20,000 chocolates per day and there are up to a dozen different varieties.
To celebrate The Gathering 2013 and the coming rebranding, they have even organised an online competition for people to win flights home from anywhere in the world at www.ferdiafinefoods.com.