For many families in Ireland this Christmas, there will be an empty space at the dinner table over the holiday season. In the first four months of 2012, a total of 46,500 Irish people emigrated, according to the CSO.
Many of those who have left Ireland for opportunities abroad long for a taste of home especially around the holiday season, which has resulted for in an increase in sales for some Irish companies.
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“It’s been a bit of a silver lining for us,” Lulu O'Sullivan, CEO of Gifts Direct.com told RTE’s Morning Ireland.
“This year our exports on the hampers will be up 26 percent on last year,” said the Irish business owner.
The Irish company has been shipping goods abroad for over 15 years. The most popular destinations are the US and Australia.
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After doing a straw poll among staff here in our NYC office, here is a rundown of some of the most popular requests from Irish people living abroad.
1. Teabags – There is nothing like a strong cup of Irish tea. Whether it’s Lyons or Barry’s, a few tea bags will never go astray over the holidays.
2. Rashers & Sausages – Longing for the smell of cooking Irish rashers? A full Irish breakfast is the perfect meal to remind you of home comforts.
3. Brown bread – A good wholesome slice of brown bread, smothered in Irish butter! Brown bread mix is also the perfect way to create an Irish favorite in your own home.
4. Tayto Crisps– Despite there being hundreds of chips (we call them crisps in Ireland), nothing beats a bag of cheese and onion.
5. Roses Chocolates – In Ireland, it’s hard to find a Christmas tree that doesn’t have a tin of Roses underneath it. So it’s no surprise they are a favorite abroad too.
6. Irish butter – The Irish bread is nothing without some home grown butter!
7. Jacob’s Chocolate Kimberley’s - Food Ireland describes them as the ‘Best Selling Tinned Cookie in Ireland’ Soft biscuits filled with white mallow and covered with milk Chocolate, they will get a quick death!
8. Sliced Pan – A good sliced pan of local bread is a great companion for a full Irish breakfast.
9. Spaghetti hoops - Spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce – perfect comfort food! While these are actually a British export, they remain popular among ex-pats.
10. Lily O’ Briens Chocolates – The brainchild of mother Mary Ann O'Brien, these Irish chocolates serve as the perfect treat over the holidays.