“We wanted to create something different in terms of its taste, its packaging, the branding and the format. We were aiming at export markets from the very beginning and we knew that we needed a great product if we were going to succeed.”
Barry Broderick, Co-Owner Broderick’s Bars
Case Study: Broderick’s Bars
The Broderick’s range of cake bars and mini-bars are now exported to 30 countries around the world and can be found on the menus of a number of leading international airlines, including American Atlantic and Delta Airlines. The company, which recently moved to a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Tallaght, employs 110 people.
This is just the start, according to co-owner Barry Broderick, who adds that innovation has been at the very heart of the business since it began life as Ina’s Handmade Foods in 1994.
“The business started out in my Mum’s kitchen when my brother Bernard and I were kids”, he says. “We got involved as unpaid labour back then and have been working in it ever since. Back then, we produced a range of cakes for coffee shops and the food service sector generally. We always used Belgian chocolate and butter, and saw the opportunity for a premium grab and go offer using those base ingredients. That’s where the idea came from initially.”
Barry and Bernard then set about developing Broderick’s Bars. “We wanted to create something different in terms of its taste, its packaging, the branding and the format. We were aiming at export markets from the very beginning and we knew that we needed a great product if we were going to succeed. You have to have a product that people are interested in and that they want to buy again. You need to have a USP, and innovation is so important to that. You can’t stand out from the crowd without it.”
He appreciates the support Enterprise Ireland has provided over the years. “Enterprise Ireland has been a very good partner”, he says. “They really try to help you to achieve your ambitions and are very good at helping you scale a business. They mentor you through the growing phase of the company. They help you put the structures in place to build the business. Their Management for Growth and Leadership 4 Growth programmes have also been really helpful. It’s really about bringing best practice to your business, so that you can scale your business and grow jobs, and grow exports.
“On the R&D side, it’s very good because it enables you to realise the importance of R&D and innovation”, he adds. “Exporting success requires a lot of innovation and we really wouldn’t have been able to do that without Enterprise Ireland assistance. It allowed us to commit the time, people and finances to research projects, which enabled us to do something different and stay relevant in the eyes of our customers.”
Innovation remains central to the company’s growth ambitions. The latest additions to the Broderick’s range are BC bars, a range of natural, healthy, protein bars. “A lot of research went into developing these bars, and that knowledge is now available to the food service side of the business as well.”
The Tallaght facility also has a dedicated gluten-free unit. This will play an important part in the company’s future growth plans. “We want to be more than just a brand, we want to be bring people an authentic experience through great-tasting innovative products.”