Thursday, January 7, 2010

What's got us talking this week....

Imposter brands – Irish or not

To buy locally seems like an ideal solution to the bitter cold snap that Ireland has faced these past 18 months. If we dig deep, I think most Irish consumers would buy home produce. But lets face it, we are feeling it in our pockets at the moment.

But how realistically do we do ‘our bit’ and warm up the cold front and kick start our year? It's easy really when you think about it. Reach for a home brand! You know, the brands that give us that cosy feeling. The ones we pack in a corner of our suitcase when we are off to far flung corners of the globe. You would think - a spoon full of Siucra sugar in our mug of Lyons, would be just that, but are we being fooled? Are these brands we call our own, Irish, the real thing? Think again. Welcome to the world of imposter brands!

We live in a global economy; we must continue to compete globally and to represent our Irish brands to the worldwide stage. But, where along the way have the Irish people been duped into a false sense of security? In a time when we should be supporting our own Irish brands to revive our economy, stimulate jobs and promote the country – certain brands are benefiting off the back of the ‘Irish brand’, when shockingly they are not what they claim to be!

Here are some of the brand imposters that are not as Irish, as we thought -

Siucra Sugar
Jacobs Biscuits
Lyons Tea

Find out who the imposter brands are and share it with us!

Join in the conversation and have your voice heard.


  1. I always thought Rachels was Rachel Allens but just checked the website and its some UK company!

  2. Jacobs... always thought they where Irish, shocker!

  3. I totally agree that this is a great idea, but oh come on... just because a company is called Rachel's doesnt automatically mean that its Rachel Allen... its sheer laziness to assume as such. Isnt Guinness part of the Diagio group? With headquarters based in the UK? How Irish is that?
    As I said, great idea, just needs more sound notions.

  4. Lyons Tea was an Irish company for 94 years, but was bought by the Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever in 1996. They have retained production in Dublin - unlike their other 'Irish' brand HB, which since 2005 is produced in Wall's facility in Northern Ireland, shedding 180 jobs in the Rathfarnham factory.

    The Lyons website calls it "one of Ireland's biggest and best loved brands" and speaks of the Irish love of tea in the first person plural, so presumably it still feels Irish at heart...

  5. I like what you're doing here folks but just wanted to throw something out there in regards to Irish brands and even the retailers.

    I work in the design industry and in the past have come across a few Irish brands that have outsourced their design/print/advertising to UK and European companies. I am all for buying Irish, supporting our own but when many printers, designers and advertisers are making redundancies and going out of business it is essential that we promote Irish integration to keep people off the dole queue.

    Personally, I won't buy any Irish brands that I know don't work with Irish studios. That goes for retailers too. Superquinn and SuperValu are a good example of retailers getting it right, all their design and own brands are done here... Kerrygold do it right too, their latest advert which I love (the one with the pregnant girlfriend "He might be born in Germany but his first steps will be on Irish soil") was produced by Irish International BBDO.

    If more Irish brands used Irish resources then their will be more Irish people in employment, earning a wage to purchase their products, give and take...