Innovative LA pizza brand debuts on UK and Irish markets

La Pizza, an innovative range of premium pizzas has been developed by Derrylin-based food company Tenderlean for the UK and Irish markets, with design support from Invest Northern Ireland.

The company used design support from Invest NI to create a completely new corporate identity as well as packaging for the range of chilled pizzas. The pizzas include unique flavours such as Mascarpone Cheese, Caramelised Onion, Spinach and Pesto; Mascarpone Cheese and Sweet Cherry Tomato; Spiced Peperami and Fresh Peppers; and Cured Ham and Sliced Pineapple. Part of the Invest NI support involved the company accessing the expertise of Belfast design house, Triplicate.

The initial range – other tastes are in the pipeline – has been created by experienced chefs in Tenderlean’s new products kitchen.

At the heart of the pizzas are Italian ingredients including distinctively flavoured hand-stretched and wood fired bases from a specialist bakery in Milan. Tenderlean has added its own toppings using its vast expertise in processing meats from its own farms and others throughout Ireland.

The family-owned and managed business operates from a state-of-the-art processing plant at Derrylin and is now the only manufacturer of fresh, chilled pizzas in Ireland.

Tenderlean’s Managing Director, Mark McCaffrey, commenting on the new products and marketing approach, says: “While pizzas are new for us they are part of a strategy we have been implementing to strengthen out position in convenience meals, the fastest growing sector in the food marketplace.

“We set out to offer consumers and retailers a totally different and rich taste experience from the blending of Italian bases and sauces with our own quality assured ingredients from traceable suppliers.

“Extensive samplings produced universally positive feedback, and we believe that we’ve developed premium quality products.

“Design Development support from Invest NI was immensely important to us as we were seeking a distinctive image that will enable us to differentiate the company and its products, including the pizzas, in a very competitive marketplace. With Triplicate’s expertise we’ve achieved the look we were seeking and are confident that this will enable us to reach the ambitious growth targets that we have set for the company,” he adds.

Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI’s Director of Food, commenting on Tenderlean’s strategy, says: “This is an excellent example of how a progressive company can use Invest NI’s Design Development Programme to create attractive packaging and also to transform its entire identity. As food is probably the fastest moving consumer-driven marketplace, it is vitally important that companies employ the latest design techniques to create the strongest possible and most professional presentation.”