At its Food and Drink Industry Awards in the RDS, Dublin at the end of November, Bord Bia presented the inaugural ‘Industry Champion’ Award to Denis O’Riordan of Kerry Foods in recognition of his outstanding contribution to delivering global success for the Cheestrings brand. More than 300 Irish food and drink industry leaders gathered for the awards ceremony which honoured the most progressive and ambitious businesses in Ireland’s thriving food and drink industry.
The award winners, encompassing some of Ireland’s best known brands, family businesses and export successes, included Diageo; Butlers Chocolates; The Happy Pear; Gallagher’s Bakery; Silver Hill Farm; Dawn Meats; Kerry Foods; Monaghan Mushrooms and Pip & Pear.
The awards were presented by Michael Creed, TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who said “Bord Bia’s Food and Drink Awards provide us with an opportunity to acknowledge the trailblazers in the Irish food and drink industry who have proven their commitment and ambition to drive the sector forward. These companies have demonstrated excellence and innovation in their use of marketing principles and consumer insight and provide an example of best practice which new and emerging businesses can aspire to. I would like to congratulate and applaud all nine companies for their vision and determination to succeed which is helping us to develop the positive reputation for Irish food and drink on the global market.”
Bord Bia this year introduced the new ‘Industry Champion’ Award in order to recognise the contribution of a committed individual, who has worked to develop the food and drink industry in Ireland at an international level.
Announcing the award winners, Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia said “Denis O’Riordan, known as ‘Mr Cheestrings’ among his colleagues in Kerry Foods, is one of the pioneers of best practice marketing in Ireland. He is recognised as being the leading force behind the international success of Cheestrings, which is now available to some 350 million people across Europe. Denis has served as a mentor and a role model for how to take a food brand from concept to global presence by embedding consumer and market insight in the business. This has led to him receiving accolades across Europe and of course here at home. His passion and belief in the marketing discipline is something every one of us in the industry can learn from. We at Bord Bia want to recognise this expertise, so it can permeate and inspire the whole industry.”
The awards, which were hosted by Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, also included winners in nine distinct categories as follows:
Branding Award Winner: Diageo for Baileys
Consumer Insight Award Winner: Butlers Chocolate
Digital Marketing Award Winner: The Happy Pear
Entrepreneurial Award Winner: Gallaghers Bakery
Export Award (Smaller Business - under €100m) Winner: Silver Hill Foods
Export Award (Bigger Business – over €100m) Winner: Kerry Foods for Cheestrings
Monaghan Mushrooms received the ‘Sustainability, Project Impact Award’ for successfully demonstrating that the business is at the technical and environmental forefront of the mushroom business. The results of their sustainability efforts has led them to develop a vitamin D enriched mushroom which benefits both the customer and environment simultaneously.
The overall winners were chosen from an original shortlist of 24 companies which were selected by a team of seven independent judges* with extensive experience in business, global markets, media, marketing, and sustainability. Visit www.bordbia.ie/awards to learn more.