2015 marks the fourth year of the Tesco Taste Bud programme, the supplier development initiative run in partnership with Bord Bia. Taste Bud helps Irish food and drink producers to secure, grow and maintain a listing with Tesco at home in Ireland and potentially in Tesco markets internationally.
The programme consists of three levels to cater for suppliers at various stages of their development, from local, to national and finally export levels. Local equips the programme participants with a placement in up to nine stores, whereas the final stage, export level, can assist the brand with securing a listing in Tesco global markets.
Over a seven-month period, participants receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with Tesco buyers and technical experts as well as access to relevant consumer insights.
To date, 70 Irish companies have joined the Taste Bud programme, recording over €30 million worth of sales to Tesco stores, with nearly a quarter of this revenue generated in the UK, highlighting the export opportunities realised through the programme.
Taste Bud is the only supplier development programme in Ireland offering Irish food and drink companies export potential to international markets and currently participating companies are collectively listed in over 1,000 Tesco stores.
Some well-known Irish brands that have participated in this programme and now export to Tesco UK stores include: Ballymaloe Country Relish, Lily O’Briens and, Keoghs Crisps.