The Experts' Guide to Gold at Blas na hEireann

Jun 1, 2018, by Kevin O'Brien - Category: Retail Ready

How to win gold at Blas

The Blas awards are a showcase of the finest in Irish produce, where big brands and artisan producers rub shoulders. Winning a prestigious Blas award is not easy. We have teamed up with GS1 Ireland members who took home the gold at Blas last year to give you their top tips on how to wow the judges at Blas.

Caroline Rigney - Rigney’s Farmhouse Foods

Gold in Breakfast Cereal (Granola)

To win at Blas, you need to stand out from your competition. The key to that is in perfecting your recipe. You will need to impress the Blas judges on several levels, but a unique, well thought out product using the best of ingredients will not fail to cause a stir with the judges.

Mag Kirwan - Goatsbridge Trout Farm

Seafood Innovation Award, Chef’s Choice Award

It’s all about taste. If you have a product that tastes absolutely fantastic, then that’s enough. We embraced innovation as a way to better meet the needs of our customers. We developed easy-to-cook foods in smaller serving sizes, which are perfect for people on the go. Not only is our food convenient, but it’s also healthy and bursting with flavour. It all starts and ends with your product.

Paul O Connor - Trouble Brewing

Gold in Beers & Lagers

With the Blas awards, you have to put your best products forward. We entered our Kill lager into the Blas awards, sure that it would stand out from the pack. It is a Vienna style lager, which is a rather malty with a big flavour profile. We work hard to make the best product we can for our customers and we believe that quality speaks for itself. If you do that right, the awards will surely follow.

Sarah Donnelly - New Product Development – Oliver Carty

Best in Connaught, Chef’s Choice, Gold in Ready Meals & Prepared Foods (Hot) – Stuffing, Gold in Butter (Flavoured), Gold in Seasoning

You must be passionate about your product, the concept and its vision. Carry out market research and understand what your customer is looking for. Be innovative and creative always. Don’t over complicate products. Ensure your raw materials are at the highest standard possible and in so far as is possible keep products Irish.

Jo Davey - Absolute Nutrition

Gold in Dietary Specific (Other)

When you compete in Blas you’re up against the best in the country, so getting gold as a new company was huge. It takes hard work to win awards and our passion and commitment are the foundations of our success. Your product has to be innovative and a little different or it will be lost in the crowd. The experience and brand exposure you get from Blas will be invaluable to you. Even if you don’t win in your first year, keep coming back until the gold is yours!

Brian Brennan – An Sean-Teach

Best Start-up

Getting the taste of your product just right is vital. Remember, you may not get gold on year one, but there’s nothing wrong with coming away with bronze or silver. Gold will come!

Entering the Blas na hEireann awards

GS1 Ireland are proud sponsors of this year’s Blas na hÉireann awards. To find out more about the awards, visit the Irish Food Awards website. To get a barcode for your product, visit GS1 Ireland.

Tags: blas, food, award, gold, winner,