Nowadays it's hard to tell what's what in the aisles of a supermarket so we pulled together a list of Irish favorites that are most certainly still Irish.
A report released by lobby group Love Irish Food in 2015 revealed a number of interesting opinions held by the average Irish shopper (out of a survey of 1,000):
• 95% of Irish shoppers think “country-of-origin” stickers should be on all products in stores
• 11% believe current labeling in Ireland is clear
• 87% of Irish shoppers try to “buy Irish” with 74% saying they try to buy products with the “Love Irish Food” sticker displayed on the packaging.
Love Irish Food dismissed current laws and regulations regarding produce packaging and country-of-origin stickers, stating that many companies are duping Irish shoppers into thinking they are “buying Irish,” when they are not.
“Lyons Tea, Cully & Sully soups and HB Ice Cream are examples of products that some people believe are Irish made. By using local Irish business addresses on such packs, shoppers may think that the brands that they are buying are produced here in Ireland.”
TheJournal.ie produced a list of 'Irish' foods no longer produced in Ireland. We decided to put together a list of produce that is still produced in Ireland. The list includes Irish-owned and non-Irish-owned companies that produce their goods on the Emerald Isle.
Tayto are the quintessential Irish crisps (potato chips). Set up in 1954 by Joe Murphy, Tayto has captured the hearts and stomachs! of the Irish people. According to their own stats, 525 packs are bought each minute. There are three flavors to pick from Smokey Bacon, Salt & Vinegar, and Cheese & Onion, but true connoisseurs know that Cheese & Onion is the superior choice. Tayto is made in Ireland and owned by Irish company Largo Foods. Largo Foods also own the similarly excellent Hunky Dory, King and Perri range of crisps. Between those four brands, Largo makes up almost 50% of the booming Irish crisp market.
The formidable Finches has always been a staple of the Irish pub, where kids were set to run around the back room with a glass bottle of the orange stuff and some cheese & onion crisps. Finches is an Irish-owned company, producing a fizzy orange-flavored drink with Irish spring water and juices. The Gleeson Group, which owns Finches, also owns Cadet, the tiny bottles known for making regular appearances in children’s lunchboxes, and Country Spring, the gargantuan bottles of fizzy soda pop wheeled out at birthday parties to quench the thirst of hordes of children.
Although now owned by international conglomerate Diageo, Guinness still ranks as one of the most Irish drinks going. Vast quantities of the black stuff are still produced at St. James’s Gate in Dublin. A meal almost in and of itself, Guinness can be enjoyed as a pint, or as an added ingredient in plenty of Irish dishes.
Brennan’s bread is an Irish brand through-and-through. Its bright yellow packaging is known to spark a sense of delight in all who see it. Wholly Irish-owned, the bread is produced in Dublin. This bread makes for excellent toast and sandwiches.
Flahavan’s porridge (oatmeal) has been milled in County Waterford for over 200 years. The nutritious, filling bowl of oat-y goodness has been the champions' breakfast of choice in Ireland for years. Served plain, or with honey, fruit or sugar, Flahavan’s is an excellent way to start the day.
While it may be difficult to believe, Ireland is not home to any tea plantations. So while the tea leaves are grown abroad in parts of Africa and India, the blending of the tea is done in Ireland. When you ask an Irish person abroad what they miss most about home, their eyes take on a starry quality and if you listen close enough, you can usually hear them whisper “Barry’s Tea.”
7. Cheddar Cheese
Set up in 1959 by local businessmen and farmers, Wexford Creamery has a sterling reputation for providing world-class cream, milk, and cheese. Wexford Cheddar has won countless Gold Medal awards for taste and quality and is delicious with savory crackers.
8. Ballymaloe Relish
Ballymaloe is one of the most beloved family brands in Ireland. Based in Cork, Ballymaloe does a mean business in relishes, sauces, and dressings. The recipe for the famous Ballymaloe Country Relish dates back to the 1930s and is a favorite in mothers’ and chefs’ kitchens across Ireland.
A familiar sight in many supermarkets around the world, Kerrygold is one of the most successful Irish brands. Its name is on both butter and cheese. Kerrygold is celebrated the world over for its rich, creamy taste. Their 100% natural products are delicious with any meal, but often taste best on warm toast or potatoes.
10. Clonakilty Black Pudding
Tasting Clonakilty Black Pudding is almost a religious experience, with their secret recipe remaining one of the last, great secrets of mankind. Try it with soda bread or brown bread and prepare to be impressed.
11. Goodfella's Pizza
Look into just about any Irish freezer and you’ll be sure to find a deep dish Goodfella’s Pizza. Though Ireland is not renowned for its Italian cuisine, Goodfella’s has been a favorite dinner-time meal for families and college students across the country. While it may not be a patch an American slice, this frozen pizza has a special place in the hearts of Irish people, home and abroad.
So while Cadbury’s Chocolate may actually be a British company, over 19 million Cadbury’s bars are produced in Ireland every year. By far the chocolate of choice for most Irish people, Cadbury’s has an almost overwhelming range of products to choose from. From Crunchies to Flakes to the whole host of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars to pick from, Irish people are "spoilt for choice."
* Originally published in August 2015, updated in 2021.