The managing director at a Cork-based food marketing company, has been celebrating a true ‘bull’s eye’ after past and present clients scooped more than twenty awards at the recent Blas na hÉireann / National Irish Food Awards 2012 Kerry (7th October, 2012).
Conor Hyde, who established Bullseye Food Marketing in 2001, says there’s been a jubilant atmosphere among colleagues and clients as full details of the outstanding results have emerged.
“It’s really incredible that Bullseye Food Marketing has worked with so many of the businesses that walked away with awards in Dingle”, explains Conor.
“In recent years, I’ve travelled extensively to food and seafood trade events throughout the UK, continental Europe and the US. I’ve met and worked with food businesses worldwide, but I have to say that the levels of energy and enthusiasm among Irish businesses are absolutely superb.
At Bullseye, we collaborate with every type of food business, ranging from farmers’ market start-ups to multinationals with portfolios of instantly recognisable household brands. However, I always have an enormous amount of admiration for Irish food entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of establishing their business – it’s a massive challenge. To even get to the stage where a brand identity has been drawn out and a product range has been launched is an excellent achievement.
Since 2001, I’ve worked with over a hundred early-stage food businesses so I have a complete understanding of the perseverance and determination it takes for a start-up to become a fully-fledged business and began to implement a professional sales and marketing plan. Picking up an award and being recognised on a national level means the world to Blas na hÉireann winners.”
In operation since 2008, the Blas na hÉireann Awards recognise the ‘cream of the crop’ in terms of Irish food production. Organisers say the annual event sets out to celebrate the very best-tasting Irish food and drink products and reward Ireland’s passionate, driven producers.
All Irish companies are invited to submit products that are commercially available to the public in three outlets. These products are then tasted by over sixty judges.
It’s the biggest ‘blind-tasting’ project in the country; the judging system was created by food science experts at University College Cork.
Last year, businesses that had been mentored by Bullseye Food Marketing scooped seventeen awards. This year the tally was even more impressive with twenty-two awards being handed down to food labels that have received Bullseye mentoring, training and consultancy.