Caribbean cuisine from Belfast at SHOP 2008

Caribbean cuisine from Belfast will be featured for the first time on the Invest Northern Ireland stand at the forthcoming SHOP exhibition in the RDS, Dublin from 29th September to 1st October.

Delicacies such as ‘Run up and Run Down Sauce’, Jerk sauce, a unique Jutney blend of Caribbean styles jam and chutney, and coconut bread, will be featured by Windrush Cuisine, a west Belfast business which is among seven food and drink companies launching at SHOP. Windrush Cuisine was formed in 2004 by Wendy McGuire, a trained chef whose family roots are in Jamaica.

Seven newcomers will be among 11 Northern Ireland food and drink companies showing on the Invest NI stand at SHOP, which is now Ireland’s biggest food retailing exhibition. Invest NI was among the first organisations to back the event when it was launched.

Other first time foods on show include langoustines cooked by an innovative process pioneered by Rooney Fish in Kilkeel, one of Ireland’s leading seafood companies. Rooney already supplies chilled and cooked langoustines to other European markets including France. Flynn Foods of Roslea, Co. Fermanagh will be showing a range of cooked meats.

Irwin’s Bakery of Portadown will also be showing a range of morning goods including its award winning Rankin Selection, products developed in association with celebrity chef Paul Rankin. The bakery recently gained a Great Taste Award for a Christmas pudding developed with Rankin.

Returning to the show to build on last year’s successes are Around Noon, a Newry-based supplier of hand made sandwiches and wraps, Classic Mineral Water, Lurgan, a specialist in spring water and minerals, Deli-Lites, Warrenpoint, a producer of sandwiches and wraps, and Wilson’s Country, Craigavon, a leader in pre-packed vegetables and fruit for the convenience market.

Products from Northern Ireland also range from sandwiches, premium yoghurt and spring water, to pre-prepared vegetables, ice cream, and cooked and frozen meats.

As a result, the Northern Ireland stand will feature a very broad representation of quality food and drink from the region’s producers.

A key theme of the Northern Ireland presentation is innovation underpinning an industry that’s currently worth almost £3 billion annually and has been growing steadily over the past decade, for instance, food and drink sales rose by five per cent in 2007.

Export sales to markets including the Republic of Ireland were worth around £630 million in 2006. The Republic is now firmly established as the most important export market for Northern Ireland food and drink processors.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food Director, says: “Our companies now recognise that SHOP is a gateway to sales in the Republic. It is seen as an essential event that enables them to make contact with key buyers from the multiples as well as specialist food stores in Dublin and further afield. It’s an event which works extremely well for Northern Ireland companies.”

Northern Ireland Food and Drink Companies at SHOP

Around Noon, Newry, Co. Down – sandwiches and wraps

Clandeboye Estate, Bangor, Co. Down - premium yoghurt

Classic Mineral Water, Lurgan, Co. Armagh - sparkling and still water and minerals

Deli-Lites Sandwich Company, Warrenpoint, Co. Down - sandwiches and wraps

Flynn’s Fine Foods, Roslea, Co. Fermanagh – cooked, uncooked and frozen meats

Irwin’s Bakery, Portadown, Co. Armagh – morning goods and bread

Mullin’s Ice Cream, Kilrea, Co. Londonderry - ice cream

Norbev, Ballymena, Co. Antrim – beverages processing

Rooney Fish, Kilkeel, Co. Down – prawns

Wilson’s Country, Craigavon, Co. Armagh - vegetables, potatoes and fruit

Windrush Cuisine, Belfast - Caribbean cuisine