Three food products from the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough have been shortlisted in a competition offering producers across Northern Ireland the chance to win £30,000 of marketing support.
Graham’s Irish Cookies, Long Meadow Blossom Burst Cider and Mac Ivor’s Medium Cider are all through to the next stage of the competition organised by Belfast City Airport.
Launched in partnership with Food NI and local councils in January to find the ‘Best’ local food and drink product, the prize includes £20,000 of branding on site at Belfast City Airport and £10,000 of online support through the airport’s digital channels.
Local councils across Northern Ireland judged the entries and put forward their shortlisted products. These are now featured on the airport’s Facebook page and the product image from each council area which receives the most ‘likes’ on the airport’s Facebook page will progress to the final.
The final will take the form of a tasting session judged by a panel of food and drink experts.
Katy Best, Commercial and Marketing Director at Belfast City Airport, said: “We would like to congratulate those producers who have been selected to progress to the next stage of the competition.
“The standard of entries received has been fantastic and we were delighted with the response from producers across Northern Ireland.
“With 2.67 million passengers from all over the world travelling through the airport each year, the winning producer will be exposed to a fantastic level of footfall and visibility.
“We would like to wish all producers well in next stage of the competition, and look forward to the final tasting session when we will announce the producer that will benefit from the staggering prize of £30,000 free marketing support and brand visibility at Belfast City Airport.”
The £20,000 of free advertising on offer at the airport will be on a number of formats within the terminal, while the £10,000 of digital support will include activities such as email solus campaigns and social media take overs.
Michele Shirlow, CEO of Food NI, commented: “The calibre of the entries is outstanding and highlights the excellence of producers in Northern Ireland, whose innovation is driving the success of our local hospitality sector.
“We would love the public to show their support by visiting Belfast City Airport Facebook page and ‘liking’ their favourite product to ensure they secure a place in the final.
“It’s so fantastic to see the legacy of NI Year of Food and Drink continuing in 2017, and it is our aim to ensure Northern Ireland grows its reputation as a global food destination where visitors can taste the greatness.”
Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Garath Keating, said: “Our borough, with its Food Heartland pedigree, is home to a fantastic range of talented producers of fine quality fayre.
“The standard of entries has been incredibly high, reflective of that magnificent quality and providence.
“We congratulate Long Meadow, Graham’s Bakery and Mac Ivor’s Cider Co for making it through very stiff opposition to the next stage of the competition.
“And I would very much encourage the public to get voting for our three local products to help ensure one of them is crowned the region’s best – and with it the opportunity for fabulous support from Belfast City Airport.”
The full list of shortlisted products is:
- Graham’s Bakery – Irish Cookies
- Long Meadow Craft Cider
- Mac Ivor’s Cider Co – Medium Cider
- Mash Direct – Champ
- Echlinville Distillery Ltd – Irish Single Estate Pot Still Gin
- Clandeboye Estate Yoghurt Co – Greek Style Yoghurt
- Ewing’s Seafood – Irish Organic Smoked Salmon
- Jawbox Spirits Co Ltd – Jawbox Gin
- Melting Pot Fudge
- Morelli’s Ice Cream – Double Cream Vanilla Ice Cream
- Broighter Gold – Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
- Glens of Antrim Craft Ale and Beers – Rathlin Red
- Boatyard Distillery – The Boatyard Double Gin
- Cavanagh Free Range Eggs Ltd – Free Range Eggs
- O’Doherty’s Fine Meats – Fermanagh Black Bacon
- Abernethy Butter Company – Abernethy Butter
- Brambleberry Jams – Sea Salted Caramel Sauce
- Hughes Craft Distillery Ltd – RubyBlue Potato Vodka
- Mauds Ice Creams Ltd – Poor Bear’s Delight
- Glenarm Castle Estate – Himalayan Salt Aged Glenarm Shorthorn Beef
- Gracehill Fine Foods – Black Pudding
- En Place Foods – Blackberry & Hawthorn Vinegar
- Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative Society – Smoked Lough Neagh Eel
- Pop Notch – Salted Caramel Popcorn
- Walled City Brewery – 1689
- Donnybrewer Butter
- William Orr & Son – Comber Earlies
- Rademon Estate Distillery – ShortCross Gin
- Finnebrogue Artisan – The Good Little Company Sausages
For more information on the competition, visit www.belfastcityairport.com/foodni
George Best Belfast City Airport can also be found on Facebook (George Best Belfast City Airport) and Twitter (@BelfastCity_Air).