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  • Annie Dunne

Balmoral Show Highlights - 5 Innovations from Northern Ireland!

Hello Food Enthusiasts!

This week I attended the Buyers Showcase at the Northern Ireland Food & Drink Pavilion in Balmoral Show, organised and funded by Invest Northern Ireland. It was such a delight to speak to and sample so many wonderful food & drink products. It was inspiring to witness the evolution of established brands alongside the emergence of innovative newcomers, all dedicated to pushing the boundaries of culinary creativity and showcasing the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer.

The NI Food & Drink Pavilion at Balmoral Show is the highlight of the agri-food calendar in Northern Ireland and the Pavilion provides an excellent platform for local producers, makers and entrepreneurs to meet consumers, promote and sell their products to thousands of people and also to talk to potential buyers and do real business.

In case you fancy a visit, The Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank is hosted in the Eikon Exhibition Centre showgrounds from Wednesday 15th May to Saturday 18th May 2024.

As always, enjoy the read!

Annie x


The team at Burren Balsamics are constantly innovating and always seeking ways to enhance their customers pantry. Their ethos centres on handcrafted Irish flavour and innovation. They love to champion Ireland's unbeatable produce, as they carefully infuse small-batch Balsamic Vinegar with local ingredients. To celebrate 10 years of flavour creation, they've partnered with the world's oldest distillery Bushmills on the north coast of Ireland, to create something that exemplifies the very best of both their crafts. The range they've created brings together the rich heritage of Bushmills and their own artisan craftsmanship.


Based in Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland, Basalt Distillery uses state of the art distilling technology and molecular level precision to forge unparalleled three-dimensional spirits. Their story begins with the 60-million-year-old basalt rock that filters the purest water from our 600ft borehole. This water, combined with state-of the-art, stainless steel distilling equipment, allows them to create spirits with unparalleled taste and consistency. They’re as passionate about protecting the awe-inspiring geological wonder of their homeland as they are about celebrating it. That's why they have introduced their refillable bottle, which delivers all the intricacies of their unparalleled three-dimensional gin, while helping protect the planet. It’s fully-recyclable and can be transported more energy efficiently.


The lovely team at Jackson Roze have been busy redeveloping their brand look and feel and creating and developing new products. Jackson Roze was founded by an Armagh family who successfully revived a non-alcoholic ginger wine, one of the most popular flavours of the past generations. They are producers of a homemade, traditional, non alcoholic ginger wine. They are passionate about finding ways for consumers to drink more of their products, that's why they have introduced ginger shots to the range. Made using Apple Cider Vinegar, capsicum and their core ingredient, ginger. They have a range of flavours from turmeric to pineapple and elderberry. Whether you love a good workout at the gym, want to improve your health and immune system or just love Ginger in the morning, why not try a bottle every day before breakfast.


Made with the same care and quality as all their food in their restaurant on the Lisburn Road. Gary McIldowney, owner of Slims Healthy Kitchen, developed and launched the range of retail convenience meals to offer health conscious consumers something truly delicious. Each meal is made from scratch, using 99% fresh ingredients (peas come in frozen) and they cook as much of the ingredients on site, including rice, to ensure they retain the quality. The range is very eye-catching on shelf and comprises of all your meal favourites, including sticky chicken, loaded cheese burger wedges and beef ragu. Exclusively available in retail.


Today, May 17th, is the last day for registration to join us at the BrandBite event on May 22nd at Bia Innovator Campus, Athenry. You'll have the chance to hear from industry luminaries such as myself, founder of food consultancy The art of GRATE food, Pat Kinsley, founder of Neworld, Richard Cullen, founder of Jelly Bean Factory, marketing expert Sharon Noonan and consumer insights specialist Michelle Frawley.

For more information, tune in to my conversation with Sharon Noonan on The Best Possible Taste podcast. Learn how to apply for our exceptional branding program. T&Cs apply. For more information:  BrandBite - Building Your Brand for Business Success - Taste 4 Success Skillnet.

🌐 Reserve your spot for the BrandBite event here:

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