COMING out the other side of the Christmas rush, Tesco NI yesterday named Fivemiletown Creamery as its first ever Outstanding Local Supplier after the business doubled its sales through the store in December.
Cliff Kells, Commercial Manager, Tesco NI, said: “We have decided to introduce an Outstanding Supplier award, through which we will publicly celebrate and recognise the enormous effort our Northern Ireland suppliers put in for our customers.
“For December 2012, our Outstanding Supplier was Fivemiletown Creamery. They have introduced a ground-breaking new cheese selection, which includes the Boilie Goats Cheese range, the new Causeway Cheese range and iconic new Irish Cottage cheese, all presented in “ready-to-go” attractive packaging from Tesco cheese counters.
“The company has managed to achieve distribution across all NI Tesco stores with a deli cheese counter. The initial customer response speaks for itself, with unique products like the Fivemiletown Creamy Smoked Brie and Causeway Cheese with Dulse featuring highly on cheeseboards across Northern Ireland over the festive period.”
“Although only a relatively small company, Fivemiletown was able to give Tesco a complete solution for Irish cheese, working in an innovative new partnership, including the introduction of Ian Laithwaite to Fivemiletown to help drive it.”
For every month in 2013, Tesco will name and promote one local supplier it believes worthy of the Outstanding Supplier award.
Ian Laithwaite of Fivemiletown Creamery said the business was delighted to be the first.
“The Irish cheese counter initiative was an exciting opportunity for us to source and present a strong range of local products alongside popular French and Swiss cheeses,” he said.
“We have superb local cheeses here, which customers are obviously enjoying seeing on the counter in their Tesco store. This has been a huge commercial success. With the introduction of the new cheese counter selection, we have effectively doubled our sales through Tesco, so we’re thrilled with the response.”
This is an extension of the Tesco Taste Northern Ireland campaign, aimed at educating customers and connecting them with the people and places behind their favourite Northern Ireland food and drink.