Q&A with Mairead Ovens, New Product Development Manager with Westernbrand Poultry

Q&A with Mairead Ovens, New Product Development Manager with Westernbrand Poultry

Q. Tell us about your products?

A. From Lisnaskea, we supply both ready to eat and breaded chicken products into SPAR stores working in accordance with BRC and Bord Bia codes of practice.

Striving to achieve the highest quality and maintaining high food safety standards is of the upmost importance to us. The material we use for processing comes from our sister site in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo so it’s local, fresh and we know its high quality. 

For our breaded range, we have worked very closely with our coating supplier to develop a breadcrumb made from tin baked loaves, which gives the product a natural colour variant throughout, as well as providing a great crunchy homemade texture. 

Q. How long have your products been on the shelves of SPAR & EUROSPAR?

A. Our Products have been in store since June 2014, starting with breaded chicken steaks and breaded chicken nuggets. Since then, we have added breaded chicken goujons as well as ready to eat chicken breast products, including whole cooked fillets, slices and pieces allowing for a hassle free, convenient option.

Q. What’s your favourite meal to make with your products?

 A My favourite meal to make with our products is chicken carbonara using our chargrilled chicken slices. The smoky chargrilled flavour really compliments the creaminess of the sauce and because the chicken is already cooked, it’s a very quick and convenient option for those busy days!

Q. What’s your fantasy dinner party meal?

A. It would have to be a supreme breaded fillet of chicken, accompanied by a creamy mushroom sauce served with champ, honey glazed carrots and parsnips.  

Q. Which Northern Irish food producer would you love to collaborate with?

A. We would love to work with Crust and Crumb located beside us in Fermanagh who manufacture pizzas. With this type of product, there is great potential for exciting new product development and flavour combinations!

Q. Tell us one thing about your products that might surprise our shoppers?

A. There are more chickens on earth than humans. Chicken is taking over and the demand is huge as Poultry now accounts for nearly half of all the meat bought in the UK! Our products are produced using 100% Irish chicken breast meat. We are proud to keep it local.