What is Taste Bud?

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.


What is Tesco Taste Bud?

Graduate profile

Boutique Bake

Dublin based Boutique Bake, founded by friends Catherine Buggy and Suzanne Lynch. The duo set up the company in 2013 combining Suzanne’s studies at the Ballymaloe Cookery School, Catherine’s business background and their passion for food and baking.

Spotting a gap in the market for baking mixes without artificial flavours, additives or preservatives, the pair started selling cake and bread mixes in farmers’ markets and in 2014 joined the local level of the Taste Bud Programme. Boutique Bake’s range of award winning gourmet-baking mixes is now available in 47 Tesco stores in Ireland

Participant Profile 

McCormack Farms

In 1998, Edward McCormack and his son Stephen started growing herbs alongside their vegetables and in 2000 decided to focus all efforts on herbs and baby leaf production rather than vegetables. The family company has continued to grow and has recently launched its first value added lines of raw juices.

The McCormack family started growing over 40 years ago starting with vegetables including broccoli and lettuce and selling them directly to Smithfield Market in Dublin. The brand is best known as a supplier of baby leaf, herbs and raw juices. The McCormack family employs 83 staff in Kiltale, County Meath.


The full list of participants of the 2015 Taste Bud programme is as follows:

Local: Bombay Pantry; Niks Tea; 250Kal; Bia Ganbreise; Nüsli; Organic Little One; McCormack Farms

National: Goodness Grains; Boutique Bake; Chilly Moo; BRÚ, Powerful Yogurt; Galway Hooker; Kilmore Quay

Export: Lakeland Dairies; Coomara; Flahavan’s; Ballineen Fine Foods, Keohane Seafoods, Coolmore Foods.

To learn more about Tesco Taste Bud click here.