The Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, has announced plans to increase its presence in selected grocery and specialty food stores throughout the western US through a major, and unprecedented marketing program during the next 18 months.

Enlisting the services of Double Eagle Market Development Company, Bord Bia has outlined a targeted and multi-dimensional business development program for the participating Irish food processors and their brands and products.

Participating companies include Nestlé Ireland Ltd, McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, Irish Biscuits Ltd, Jacob’s Biscuits, Barry’s Tea, and the Irish Dairy Board, including the Farmhouse Cheese Group. This program was launched at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show yesterday [Sunday].

Behind the new “PURE IRELAND. PURE TASTE.” theme, this 18-month effort consolidates and leverages the marketing activities of the participating companies behind a comprehensive marketing program designed to achieve increased retail distribution, and maximum consumer awareness and trial.

Besides advertising, PR, retail merchandising materials, and promotion, these authentic Irish products will be introduced to consumers through a major sampling effort in over 150 supermarkets in Northern and Southern California, and the Pacific Northwest.

Led by industry-veteran Norm Broadhurst, and headquartered in Seal Beach, CA, Double Eagle is a full service management, marketing and sales agency emphasizing marketing and sales development of food and beverage products in a variety of distribution channels.

Bord Bia is the Irish government’s official agency responsible for the market development and promotion of Irish foods and beverages. Exports of Irish foods and beverages in 2001 reached €6.6bn.