CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2023 START-UP AWARD WINNER Born Again Bites
AND OUR EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNER ZINGIBEER
Lion’s Den is a pitch event for food and beverage start-ups in Ireland, organised and hosted by Bradley: The Brand Agency in partnership with the four Local Enterprise Offices, Dublin region. Lion's Den 2023 took place at the Dublin Food Chain 2023 Producer Showcase.
Two categories means two winners of two €6,000 Digital Marketing Packages with Bradley.
The Start-up Award is for Food and Beverages start-ups, trading less than two years, and the Excellence Award is for Food and Beverages businesses trading from two to five years.
The two winners of Lion’s Den each received a Digital Marketing Package from Bradley: The Brand Agency, to the value of €6,000 each for a digital campaign to promote their food or beverage business.
Prize included digital strategy, planning, creative, advertising spend and evaluation along with digital insights and mentoring from the Bradley Team throughout the process.
Shortlisted candidates had to present a four-minute pitch on their food or beverage business on stage at the Lion’s Den event on Thursday 26 October 2023 at the Dublin Food Chain Producer Showcase for an audience of trade and retail buyers, and producers. The winner was decided by a panel of industry professionals and leading decision makers in the industry.
Shortlisted candidates included:
Start Up Award - Tae Tea, Fairmental and Born Again Bites Excellence Award - Sorbetto, Chimac and Zingibeer
Congratulations to our Start Up Award Winner Born Again Bites
and our Excellence Award Winner Zingibeer
The Producer Showcase celebrates what Dublin Producers have to offer and encourages buyers to supply local food and beverage products. Hosted and organised by Dublin Food Chain - an initiative of the four Local Enterprise Offices, Dublin region in partnership with Bord Bia.
Dublin Food Chain
Thursday 26 October 2023
Gary Osborne is a driving force at Bord Bia's Thinking House, as an Insight and Brand Planning Specialist. He's an advisor for companies of all sizes, dishing out consumer, channel and market insights that propels momentum. Gary will be chairing the panel of lions, leading the pack in the decision making process. With a BA in International Marketing and an MA in Marketing, he's got the academic aptitude to match his practical expertise and a sharp focus on how the top of the food chain market themselves.
Domini Kemp has a roaring reputation as an award-winning Euro-toques chef, food writer and entrepreneur. Armed with an MA in Gastronomy and Food Studies and the author of five cookbooks, Domini's knowledge extends far beyond the stovetop. She regularly contributes to TV and radio discussion and consults on various restaurant and food projects. Domini is currently the resident chef for Food & Wine Magazine and has recently become CEO of Valence Hospitality, a hospitality group that has taken over two new premises in Dublin.
Donal Flynn isn't just a Food and Wine Buyer, he's a culinary expert on the prowl for new producers. With 17 years in the industry, Donal knows the ins and outs of the food and beverage industry and world-class food producers. Now working as a Food and Wine Buyer at Fallon & Byrne, he's curating the buyer experience of premium food and beverage in store. He knows food excellence, and he's on a mission to find up-and-coming food and beverage brands, and bring his customers flavours that'll tickle their taste buds.
Andrew Bradley, founder of Bradley: The Brand Agency is the ringmaster and host of the Lion’s Den stage. Andrew established Ireland’s first dedicated brand agency for Irish enterprises; specialising in brand strategy, creative, digital, retail and packaging design. One of a select group of agencies, Bradley: The Brand Agency have in-house expertise across the full spectrum of brand building activities: insight, strategy, creative, digital, and marketing communications. Bradley has built and developed brands for many leading clients in the food and beverage sector.
Born Again Bites from Well Spent Grain Ltd have taken a sustainable approach to producing snack bites, using brewer's spent grain in their products. Following research, partners Patrick Nagle and Sunkyung Choi discovered the potential of brewer’s spent grain and started their own venture. Their business model is rooted in circular economy principles as brewer's spent grain is the largest byproduct of the beer brewing process. Born Again Bites Peanut and Dark Chocolate Soft Snack Bites are high in fibre, vegan friendly, 100% plant based protein, with no artificial flavours or preservatives. A good energy booster that has been handcrafted, uses 100% recyclable packaging and supports the local community. They have found a way to upcycle this underutilised resource into delicious and nutritious snack bites. Citing it as a win-win system where disposal costs to the brewer are reduced and value is added to a byproduct.
A family business, run by father and daughter Kevin and Rachel Byrne, Zingibeer is the first and only Irish produced ginger beer. Focused tirelessly on the taste and quality of ginger beer, Zingibeer has filled a gap in the category for a lower sugar, clean label alternative to other ginger beers, ciders and fermented beverages that have dominated for so long. A refreshing alcoholic ginger beer, using all natural ingredients and without the use of sulphites or other preservatives. Not beer, flavoured with ginger but rather fermented ginger with a twist of lemon zest and a hint of botanicals resulting in a truly zingy, refreshing, and revolutionary ginger beer. Zingibeer is also naturally gluten free and vegan friendly.
X-LITE started as a college project in Trinity College. Two friends, Pat and Olly saw a gap in the market for a refreshing, low calorie, and sugar free alcohol product. After receiving exceedingly positive feedback when they pitched the concept to their class they decided to turn their idea into a reality. X-LITE is a low calorie, sugar free alcohol product. It is vodka based and is 4.2% abv. They currently have three flavours available in Tesco and Spar stores nationwide.
Shane Ryan is the founder of Fiid, a 100% plant-based, ready meal food business. Shane’s roar was the loudest back in 2019 when he won the Lions Den competition and has since grown his business exponentially by using only natural plant based ingredients. "I am madly in love with the impact we’re having with fiid so far and have even more of a fire in us now to not stop until we change the game completely. It means a lot to us to have come and competed against some incredible brands that we watched quite closely. Winning Lions Den is an acknowledgment of the work we have put in and what we know we can be."
Everest Granola participated in the Lions Den pitch competition at the Food & Retail Hospitality Expo at Citywest in 2018. Séamus Tighe had noticed a gap in the market for quick, healthy, on-the-go food, high in proteins, fibers and not packed with sugars, "I like the sales part of the business, so I really enjoyed Lions Den at the Food & Drink Conference, it was a great experience. In the future, we want to focus on new product development and the export market."
Founder of Anu Dairy Kevin Kennedy spoke to independent.ie following the announcement of the pitching result. "To be fair the other teams were fantastic and they were far ahead of us in terms of domestic sales but our company is based on export. So we've had to invest time-consuming into seeing how the export works and to see if we can get it to scale." Anú Dairy is an organic dairy company based in Cork producing the world's first K2 Vitamin butter. The company methods go beyond the typical organic food company as Anú Dairy is also a regenerative agriculture company that develops solutions to increase soil organic and carbon levels along with traditional chemical free practices.
The Irish Biltong Co. is a family owned business in Co. Kildare. John and Noreen Doyle both come from farming backgrounds and John’s family has been in the meat industry for over 60 years. The Irish Biltong Company participated in the Lions Den pitch competition at the Food & Retail Hospitality Expo at Citywest in 2016. “Winning first prize has totally transformed our business by gaining placements in some of Europe’s largest retailers in Ireland, the UK, Belgium and Germany. I would highly recommend any start up food business to participate."