Artisan and Local Food Brands – Irish Media Watch No.2

Irish Times – Saturday 22nd January – Article here

In an article entitled Tipple that won’t make you tipsy Tipperary brand The Apple Farm are mentioned. The journalist John Wilson says “It is cloudy, lightly sparkling with lovely, pure apple fruit flavour.”

Irish Times – Thursday 20th January – Article here

This is a great piece about Cork based Taste A Memory

On the back of the IBEC survey which showed that Irish food companies are more positive about their prospects than Irish business overall the piece shows how a focus on design and packaging by this brand had a positive impact on their listings and sales.

Ann Bradfield, the chef behind Taste A Memory, also recommends a spend on in-store tastings to boost awareness and sales.

and in other somewhat relevant news

“59% of Americans want better online access to Irish Food”

A commercial opportunity awaits – see Slide 31 in this post here from Amarach.

“Street food vendors are expected to populate sidewalks every two to three blocks downtown by the summer of 2014”

This decision in Vancouver will open up opportunities for local food suppliers with staff in the council screening applicants for, amongst other things, the use of local, organic and fair trade foods. Full article here.

“Green & Black’s ‘to seek split from Kraft'”
This brand does not belong in the arms of a global conglomerate. Would be good to see it independent again. Examiner article here


Leader Partnership Co’s to cease funding on-farm food businesses?

Have just come across this in the Independent on Tuesday last (18th January). I am covering it here because Leader Partnership’s around the country are the single most effective source of State financial assistance for capital intensive on-farm food enterprises.

From the Indo:

“The shock announcement by the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs last week means that no further assessments or approvals are allowed for on-farm food projects for the foreseeable future……..

The communication from the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs states that the clampdown on grants applies only to “projects involving a farmer/member of a farm family which in any way involves food preparation, production or processing”.

The communication stated that this included projects relating to meat, vegetables, cheese, ice-cream and crisps.”

This is just stupid and I have to assume that the Department will be able to take actions to reverse it.


Artisan brand producer blogs

Food production is a very, very time consuming business – one of the most intense ways of passing your life away. So it is not a surprise that blogging (which also consumes copious amounts of time) is not practiced by too many of them in Ireland.

These are the ones which I am aware of – if you know of any others please let me know 🙂

Ireland – entrepreneur seeks recipe owners seeking painless route to market. – We share with you our updates on life at our bakery and in West Cork, Ireland. – I am a chocoholic Irish ice cream man, born in New York City, and now living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland. – Cully & Sully love to cook, especially to impress! Throw a dinner party next weekend and cook something seriously impressive – Alan’s family has been tending the same small dairy farm for generations.

UPDATE: – Our family has been creating mouth watering recipes using our Organic Irish Smoked Salmon for years. Here are some of our favourites!

I will be keeping track of this list on a separate page here.


The role of design in artisan food packaging

Thanks to Kristin (whose blog is dinnerdujour) for the hat tip which lead to this post.

Written by Alexandra Lange on the design blog the full post entitled What Should Food Look Like poses a series of questions around the percieved norm in packaging design for food products which are artisan/ local/ healthy/ organic/ different in some way.

Using a range of examples Alexandra suggests:

If we want to cross class lines, and get everyone to eat better, wouldn’t it make sense to come up with packaging that was neither tacky nor classy? We need a new identity for plain, simple, grandmother-would-recognize food? Not patronizing, not upscaling. Middlebrow chips? Neutral beverages? We need supermarket aisles stocked with food, not messages about our income level.

Which is an interesting question. And to be honest for me is completely irrelevant for most of the food producers I write about. While passion for a society which eats better and which respects food which is produced properly (however defined) is core to every artisan producer I would suggest it cannot override the need to develop a brand (logo, name, packaging materials, fonts, colours, photography) that allows for clear and immediate positioning on the shelf edge.

Yet maybe there is something in the proposition to think about. A shift down a gear or two with a less pronounced high-brow brand and a more accessible visual impact could produce higher volume sales.

What do you think? For me it is a brand by brand decision and cannot be accommodated in a sweeping discussion which belongs at government or lobby group level.