A MAJOR deal secured with ASDA will see Northern Ireland’s top selling batch bread, Irwin’s Nutty Krust go on sale in Great Britain for the first time this winter.
Representing some £250,000 annually, Irwin’s Bakery has achieved listings across 300 GB ASDA stores for both ‘white’ and ‘high fibre’ variations of the product, which has achieved iconic status in Northern Ireland since its launch over 40 years ago.
In a strategic move to reinforce the product’s authentic Northern Irish credentials and identity to GB consumers, it will be marketed under the new name – Irwin’s Irish Batch.
It will also be sold in special half loaf (400g) sizes to fit in with GB shoppers’ multi purchase approach to bread buying and also to encourage widespread trial.
Entry into the new high value GB market follows hot on the heels of Nutty Krust’s Republic of Ireland debut during the summer, and builds on Irwin’s overall £17million export business, which to date has been spear-headed by its hugely successful, multi award-winning Rankin Selection Irish breads range.
Michael Murphy, Commercial Controller at Irwin’s said: “2008 has been a signature year for our export business, having launched ‘Nutty Krust’ into two completely new markets – ROI in June and now into GB.
“The contract with ASDA is both high value and strategically important because it will position Irwin’s Irish Batch on shelves right across GB, giving it enormous visibility from the outset.
“While Nutty Krust is an iconic brand in Northern Ireland – and to an extent in ROI – we took the decision to market it in GB as Irwin’s Irish Batch because our export experience, particularly with Rankin Selection, indicates that consumers there are very positively influenced by authentically Irish products. Our GB-based brand focus groups bear this out.
“Irwin’s’ batch bread is made using traditional Northern Irish recipes and techniques, including the original fermentation and slow-baking processes – and we want GB consumers to see this Irish identity immediately because we believe they will respond very well to it.
“Also, as batch bread is a completely new concept for many GB consumers, we decided that a smaller loaf option (400g) would be well received, as it has been during the launch of Nutty Krust into ROI”.
The success of Irwin’s Irish Batch in this new market will need strong consumer communication.
Michael added: “As in Northern Ireland, the success of our batch bread is down to its great quality and taste. The same will clearly apply in GB but we also need to invest in communicating with consumers there about the product, particularly about how best to eat it – just as we have done with Rankin Selection.
“As part of this, we will be showcasing the products to some 250,000 consumers at the BBC Good Food Shows in London and Birmingham this November and December”.
Debbie Woodhouse, ASDA GB Bread Buyer, said: “We are delighted to be working with Irwin’s Bakery on another exciting new product launch for our GB shoppers, who are voting with their cash and taking more and more Irish foods into their homes.
“Irwin’s Irish Batch will be an important addition to our range of authentic nationality breads, of which Irish breads are a strongly growing category thanks to manufacturers like Irwin’s Bakery, whose products are terrific ambassadors for quality Irish produce.
“We are confident that our shoppers will love the new Irwin’s Irish Batch as they have our other Irwin’s listed products”.
© FAME Inc