== Island Bakery Organics ==
The Taste of Scotland event came at an important time in Tesco’s relationship with Island Bakery Organics from the Isle of Mull. Having supplied a number of the retailer’s stores in London for a little over a year, the company has just begun to supply its range of organic Lemon Melts, Shortbread, Oat Crumbles and Chocolate Gingers to larger Tesco outlets in Scotland. The Glasgow show provided joint owners Joe and Dawn Reade with an opportunity to inform both the public and the media about their new listing. The Reades arranged for visitors to taste-test two potential new products - an apple biscuit containing pure apple juice and a coffee biscuit with white chocolate - and to choose their favourite. Underlining the value of face-to-face contact with consumers, Joe adds: "People give you a very different response when you ask for a critique, rather than just putting biscuits out."
The firm is hoping to move to a much larger bakery in Tobermory by the second half of 2009.
== Paterson Arran ==
Debbie Ballach, brands manager at Livingston-based oatcake and shortbread specialist Paterson Arran, also believes first-hand consumer research generates "an honest impression" of new products. The company asked visitors to try its new shortbread recipe, which was introduced to Tesco stores in November last year.
At present, some of Paterson Arran’s products enjoy a national listing with Tesco, while others are available only in the retailer’s Scottish stores. Attendance at such events builds a closer relationship with Tesco and could lead to further listings, she says. Also, her company benefits from the linkage to a top retailer and to "a highly professional event".
This year’s Taste of Scotland also enabled Paterson Arran to raise around £800 for the Orang-utan Foundation.
== Border Biscuits ==
"A cost-effective way of getting our products in front of approximately 20,000 consumers," is the description of the event from Paul O’Reilly, business development manger at Lanark-based Border Biscuits. "We have been supplying Tesco for approximately four years," he continues. "We do expect it to lead to additional business, not just with Tesco, although this is hard to quantify."
== Jackie Lunn ==
"It’s always nice to be at the sharp end listening to customers," observes Max Robbie, joint managing director of Galashiels-based company Jackie Lunn.
"It is also good to support Tesco in its push to promote and use local suppliers," he adds.
== Macphie of Glenbervie ==
As Tesco’s only ingredients supplier in Scotland, the name of Macphie of Glenbervie does not appear on the retailer’s shelves. So Taste of Scotland presents an opportunity to boost the company’s profile and to "promote and demonstrate products to key decision-makers within Tesco", according to commercial communications manager Karen Scott. Indeed, a senior director visiting the stand identified one particular product and said: "I want this in my stores."
Shows such as this also "allow us to test-market products that aren’t on the shelves", Scott continues. There have been examples in the past, she notes, where consumers have tried unlisted products and then written to Tesco asking when they will be able to buy them in their stores.
== JFK Partnership ==
According to John Kerr, director of the JFK Partnership sales brokerage, whose portfolio includes Duncan’s of Deeside, the choice of venue was "excellent" in attracting "a lot of passing trade". Tesco lists shortbread and olive oil oatcakes from Duncan’s of Deeside in its Scottish stores. Kerr hopes that its support of the event and positive feedback from taste-testing at the show will lead to invitations to Tesco events elsewhere in the UK and ultimately to a wider listing.
== Warburton’s ==
Warburton’s presence in at the event in George Square was also "partly a charity exercise", according to the company’s business development manager Marie McCance, since all the proceeds from products sold on the stand were destined for Yorkhill Hospital in Glasgow.
The Taste of Scotland event enabled the company to press home the message that it operates a bakery in Bellshill, to the east of Glasgow, because "a lot of people still see us as an English baker", she says. "We were also able to let people know that we have got a new depot at Eurocentral, located on the M8 motorway, and to make people realise we have a wide range of bread products," adds McCance.