On Thursday night RTE aired episode 8 of the hugely success cookery series, ‘Neven Maguire Home Chef.’ With over 315,000 viewers tuning in every week this show exerts a powerful influence on the buying habits of the Irish consumer.
The format of the show is not new as it criss-crosses familiar territory of other successful Irish TV chefs such as Martin Corrigan’s ‘Mad About Fish’ series and Richard Corrigan’s ‘Richard Corrigan Knows Food’ series. Each chef presents their own unique twist on familiar recipes and what’s interesting about these shows is that they visit indigenous Irish food producers and feature their produce in the recipes.
In episode 8 Neven Maguire visited two leading Irish food brands, Flahavans and Brady Ham. The previous week he visited another leading Irish food brand, McCambridges.
John Flahavan is the 6th generation of his family to work at Flahavans, owning the company that bears his name. The company itself is thought to be the oldest privately owned company in Ireland – it’s certainly the oldest food company. Eighty years ago, there were seventy oat mills in Ireland, now there are just two.
The Brady family started curing ham the old fashioned way in the 1970s and the company is now the largest producer of traditionally cured ham in the country. Now run by Tipperary Farmer, Bill O’Brien, he maintains the age old tradition of curing ham at Brady’s, especially the butchery skills which are needed to bone and reshape the hams.
McCambridges has a long history of food production and retailing going back to 1945 but now it concentrates exclusively on its brown soda bread with leading brands such as Irish Stoneground Wholewheat Brown Bread. It’s no surprise that McCambridges is the largest user of buttermilk in the country.
With over 300,000 consumers tuning in, it would be interesting to measure the impact being featured has on the stock levels in shops of the various producers in the days following the airing of the episodes.
Evidence from the Mad About Fish series demonstrated that demand for specific fish types in fish mongers across the country increased dramatically following the airing of each episode.
In previous posts we have talked about seasonal supply chain disruptions and the challenge of beating the bullwhip effect: the (positive) impact of being featured on a high profile TV programme is another challenge that production teams must take into account. A most welcome challenge in these challenging economic times.