Dr Conor Kerley, whose business Phytaphix won the Best Global Start Up gong at the World Food Innovation Awards
A local Dundalk business has exceeded all expectations by winning a prestigious award at the World Food Innovation Awards despite only being in existence for less than a year.
The awards are a celebration of innovation and excellence across every category of the global food industry and are a fantastic way for firms to enhance the promotion of their brand, ensuring it gains global recognition with the Best Global start-up gong going to Dr Conor Kerley and Phytaphix.
A native of Oliver Plunkett Park in Dundalk, Dr Kerley, who produces Immune Phix, an immune support, nutrition formula based on his own research and expertise, only began trading in October but has had immense success so far.
The Marist Secondary School alumni went on to study human nutrition and dietetics at Trinity College Dublin before completing his clinical doctorate with the School of Medicine at University College Dublin and Connolly Hospital Dublin, picking up the vital knowledge to create his own nutritional formula.
Immune Phix is a convenient and delicious berry flavoured powder that is suitable for addition to any food or drink.
Despite their short time in existence, the product and the company have gone from strength to strength, with orders throughout Ireland, England, Scotland and Romania as well as interest from Germany, Scandinavia, Canada and the USA.
In December came the products first real recognition when successful at the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards, but that accolade has now been surpassed with the news they have won the Best Global start-up at the World Food Innovation Awards held virtually last month.
“It’s absolutely fantastic when you really stop and think about it, it is almost surreal to see a wee company from the wee county winning a world award” stated a jubilant Kerley.
“Obviously, there was fairly stiff competition from around the world in our category so to come out on top will separate us from others which is brilliant, we have had interest from around the world because of winning this award which is amazing.”
The judges saw a lot they liked in his product, impressed by the fact it is suitable for both adults and children, that its 100 percent plant based making it suitable for vegans, it is low in carbohydrates meaning it is suitable for a low carb or ketogenic diet and all of its ingredients are natural.
Sales of the product come mostly from online at this stage, but it is sold in pharmacies in five different counties across the country already and the ambitious entrepreneur has already got plenty of expansion plans for the flourishing business.
“We certainly want to launch at least one new product and potentially up to three, what we’re looking at the moment are products for inflammation and gut health but potentially others as well for cholesterol, blood sugar or blood pressure all based on good scientific reasoning.”
“We’d like to increase our retail footprint in Ireland and the UK and we are looking to grow our team. In the next six months we would hope to have up to five different products available in different areas exporting from our base in Dundalk and have a strong retail footprint all over Ireland and the UK.”
Kerley is extremely proud of his roots in the town and hopes to finally launch the product properly in Dundalk once things return to normal.
“I was born and educated in Dundalk, we are based in the Regional Development centre in DKIT and a lot of people in town support us in different ways. We are Dundalk through and through and certainly look forward to having a launch party in Dundalk when it is allowed.”