George Best Belfast City Airport has partnered with Food NI and all local councils to launch the search for Northern Ireland’s Best local food and drink product – offering a prize of £30,000 free marketing support and brand visibility at the airport for the winner.
The competition is open to food and drink producers based across Northern Ireland, with the £30,000 prize including £20,000 of branding on site at Belfast City Airport and £10,000 of online support through the airport’s digital channels.
The chosen products will then feature on the airport’s Facebook page, with the most popular from each council progressing to the final. This will take the form of a tasting session judged by a panel of food and drink experts.
“The continued growth of our local food and drink trade is hugely important to the Northern Irish tourism industry and the airport is a committed champion of our local producers,” said Belfast City commercial and marketing director Katy Best.
“We are very pleased to partner with Food NI on this exciting initiative to continue the success of the NI Year of Food and Drink.
“With 2.67 million passengers from all over the world travelling through the airport each year, the winning producer will have full exposure to a fantastic level of footfall and visibility. We would urge all companies, no matter how big or established they are, to enter.
“The competition will help to significantly raise the profile of all the shortlisted products, not just the winner, and we are working closely with all local councils to ensure the geographical reach of the competition extends right across Northern Ireland.”
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.
“This competition is a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of our most talented and exciting food and drink producers, who are vital to Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector,” said Food NI CEO Michele Shirlow.
“Our local products are world class and last year they really began to receive the recognition they deserve, both nationally and internationally, through the NI Year of Food and Drink.
“In 2017, we are reflecting on the tremendous impact the NI Year of Food and Drink has made, with the initiative expected to have generated around £40 million of advertising globally – about four times what we set out to achieve.
“This competition is a way of building on the legacy of 2016 as we aim to make Northern Ireland a ‘go to’ food destination over the next three to four years.”