Kennedy Bacon, the award-winning producer of dry cured bacon in Northern Ireland, is targeting other food manufacturers and caterers with an innovative flake product
Based on a family pig farm near Omagh in county Tyrone, Kennedy Bacon, which has won UK Great Taste and Blas na hEireann Irish Food awards, has developed dry roasted bacon flakes that are ideal for pizzas and sandwich makers throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Mervyn Kennedy, who established the small business on the farm in 2013 and combines the business with his role as a pig farmer, explaining the decision to develop the new dry roasted bacon product, says: “The flake product is a response to increasing interest in ourexisting range of dry cured products from food producers and caterers.
“We’ve identified a range of new business opportunities from pizza and burger toppings, sandwich fillings and salads in particular. While manufacturers and caterers are our primary target, the new flakes are also ideal for home cooks.
“Our investment in additional production facilities including a sophisticated new oven represents the significant increase in capacity and gives us scope to develop new products and business especially outside Northern Ireland in the Republic of Ireland,” he adds.
The new dry roasted flakes are available in 1kg catering trays and follow the earlier and successful launch of dry cured lardons for chefs and home cooks.
The small company now has an extensive portfolio of award winning bacon and gammon products as well as pork sausages. Mr Kennedy has been producing dry cured bacon products since the 1990s. He set up the bacon business in response to the demand in Tyrone and then from further afield for his artisan products.
He cures all the products by hand and manufacturesthem in a state-of-the-art production operation. He’s also drives the company’s marketing operations.
“I have always had an interest in producing good food and started by curing for individual customers and then went on to bring my product to our local market in Omagh and then on to shows and fairs all over NorthernIreland,” he continues. “I then went on to find farm shops and delicatessens which were keen to stock our products. Now our products can be found in a wide variety of supermarkets and specialist food shops,” he adds.
In addition to supplying Musgrave Group’s SuperValu stores, Kennedy’s bacon products are distributed by Henderson Group, Northern Ireland’s leading wholesale business, to Eurospar supermarkets and most recently to Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the region. The company continues to be the mainstay a key food and farmers’ markets in Northern Ireland.
“We do not over-process our products,” he adds. “We add less salt and no phosphate or water, ensuring our product is the healthiest it can be. Our aim, as a company, is to produce premium and tasty products at competitive prices.”