Velvet Cloud, the Mayo-based producers of sheep’s milk, yogurt and cheese, have signed a deal with Tesco Ireland in which their Velvet Cloud Live Natural yogurt is now appearing on the shelves of 32 Tesco stores.
“One of the greatest challenges as a smaller food producer in Ireland is having the resources to make your product available to anyone who is interested in it,” said Michael Flangan one of the founders, on whose farm the business is based.
The family business, which was set up in 2015, has been enjoying increased sales year on year.
The Flanagans produce Velvet Cloud live sheep’s yogurt (their core product) and Rockfield by Velvet Cloud, a semi-hard cheese (produced seasonally), on their farm in Claremorris.
The business has been able to exploit some key macro food trends which have emerged in the past few years. These trends include an increasing awareness of the importance of the gut microbiome in mental and physical wellbeing, an increasing demand for dairy alternatives, and an increasing demand for naturally high protein products.
“A large number of our customers tell us they are sensitive to dairy, yet they can eat Velvet Cloud! Velvet Cloud is still dairy, but sheep, goat, and buffalo milks all contain a different protein – an A2 protein, compared to cow’s milk which contains A1 protein,” Michael explained. “A2 protein seems to be easier to digest, and it doesn’t cause the typical reactions, like eczema, asthma, acne, sinus and bloating that cow dairy can cause for some.
“Now finally, with this new Tesco listing, when we get a call from an interested customer, we can direct them to a stockist nearby.”