Healthy sweets and other treats lure overseas buyers
Healthy sweets were attracting lots of interest at a Bord Bía conference matching up Irish foodmakers with international buyers yesterday.
The 'Super Bites' sweets made by Sligo-based company Good4U are made out of seeds, fruit and seaweed and are generating a huge swell of international interest, even though they haven't actually gone on sale yet.
Good4U has already tapped into soaring international demand for healthy food with its range of freshly sprouted seeds and the family company employs 32 people.
Marketing director Laura O'Sullivan said there was huge interest from buyers in the UK, France and the United Arab Emirates. "They're the size of a Malteser, the consistency of a chocolate truffle and they've no added sugar and they seem to really appeal," she said.
More than 5,000 meetings were held at he Convention Centre in Dublin yesterday at what Bord Bía describes as a "speed dating" event to match up nearly 200 Irish food companies with 500 buyers from Europe, the US, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter said that the weak euro was boosting the prospects of signing more deals to supply supermarkets and catering chains worldwide.
Buyers at the event range from major supermarket chains such as Sainsbury's, Asda and Walmart to highly influential US food writer and retailer Ari Weinzweig.
Mr Weinzweig said the Irish food landscape had been transformed since his first visit in 1982 when quality products such as Cashel Blue and Gubeen cheese were "lonely beacons in a dark night".