Truly Irish Country Foods was established in 2008 by a group of pig producers who, dissatisfied with the quality of meat being sold to Irish consumers, decided to take matters into their own hands. The cooperative now has 93 shareholders across all counties of Ireland and has since expanded from pork and bacon products to include butter, cheese and most recently granola and porridge.
In order to survive and thrive as a food business in the current environment, businesses have to be innovative and respond to current trends in consumer behaviour. The role of protein as a key component in a healthy diet is well established and Truly Irish wanted to explore opportunities in this area.
Solution through Shannon ABC
A senior researcher was assigned to this project, with expertise in food, emerging technologies and a significant national and European food network. A report was produced which included a thorough review of commercially available sources of protein and detailed the physiologically linked levels of such proteins required in drink and bar formulations. A summary of functional ingredients with EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) supported health claims was also included and a number of emerging market segments, which have been identified as having potential for tailored/targeted products, were also reviewed. Finally, a number of recommendations were made in terms of emerging opportunities for Truly Irish.
Based on the report produced by Shannon ABC, Truly Irish identified a lactose free milk drink as an ideal opportunity to progress. Following a year of product development, Truly Irish established the formulation and branding for a lactose free milkshake that is high in protein, low fat, 539mg calcium per serving and has an extended shelf life. The product is due to launch in October 2017. This product takes Truly Irish into new product categories & new market sectors.
The product is a long life ambient product that can be sold through Convenience, Foodservice, Gyms and similar outlets. The product is catering to a trend in the mass market consumption of protein added products. The product will also travel to markets in UK, Europe & Middle East. The lactose free product is growing in popularity in these markets. The product will be launched in Ireland on 4th October & will also feature at Anuga in Cologne from 7th October 2017 for its European launch.
Truly Irish Country Foods are delighted to have been working with Shannon ABC for this project. They were enthusiastic & realistic at all times. Shannon ABC carried out the research components of the project efficiently and on time. The over engagement including advice on processing technology, product attributes and commercial opportunities across Europe were conveyed in a professional manner.
Joe O’Connor, Commercial Director, Truly Irish Country Foods Ltd.