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Co-op Accelerates Welsh Sourcing Drive With Olympic Sprinter’s Sport Drink

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A dozen new Welsh suppliers are getting set for a listing in the Co-op including the Pro Iso sports nutrition drink developed by performance nutritionist Jon Williams and former Olympic Sprinter Darren Campbell MBE along with the Powys-based Radnor Hills mineral water company.

Set up in 2006, Pro Athlete Supplementation (PAS) – based in Rhymney – formulated Pro Iso for the Wales rugby team and was last month confirmed as an official supplier to the British & Irish Lions.

The Co-op will roll-out the drink to 80 of its food stores this month as part of its commitment to sourcing and celebrating local Welsh produce.

Darren Campbell with fellow PAS director Jon Williams who is also WRU National squad nutritionist

The move comes after the Co-op signed-up eleven Welsh small and micro-breweries in December, and last month committed to a £16M plus investment programme to open 12 new food stores in Wales, with major makeovers for approaching 20 other sites.

This month will also see listings at the Co-op for:

  • Welsh Lady Preserves, Bryn
  • Jones Crisps of Conwy
  • Welsh Brew tea and coffee from Newton, near Swansea
  • Matt and Ben’s Proper Fudge, Pwllheli
  • Daioni Organic milk from Ffosyficer Farm, Dyfed
  • CNWC Crackers, Ceredigion
  • Aberffraw Biscuit Co, Llanrwst
  • Parsons Pickles, Burry Port
  • Coco Pzazz hand-poured chocolate from Caersws

In addition, Radnor Hills will also see its Heartsease Farm traditional lemonade, raspberry lemonade and elderflower presse available in 80 Co-op food stores.

Darren Campbell – who lives in Rogerstone, near Newport, after moving to Wales from Manchester almost 25 years ago, said;

 “I have always been empowered by positive thinking, all I had was belief, instilled by my mother – even teachers said I would amount to nothing. My career now is all about helping others to fulfil their potential, whether that is through PAS or coaching. We are delighted with the listing at the Co-op, the first national retailer to stock our drinks. The move will support our business growth and ongoing development and help to raise awareness of our brand in communities across Wales.”

Chris Butler, National Accounts Manager for Radnor Hills Mineral Water Co – which uses an underground aquifer at the Heartsease Farm where the family-run firm was founded, said;

 “We are a proud Welsh company and the Co-op’s heritage and ethics fit well with Radnor Hill’s family-orientated values. We estimate that the listing could be worth more than 70,000 bottles of the Pro Iso drink over twelve months, in addition, the Co-op’s locations in local communities also support our taste tests on the road, a key part of our approach to reach new customers.”

Simon Dryell, Ranging Manager for the Co-op in Wales, added;

 “Our commitment to investing in Welsh produce is really gathering momentum and consumers are responding. This month sees our largest ever range of Welsh lamb and beef in store – the Co-op only sells British fresh own-branded meat – and dedicated racks of beers and ambient produce in 80 of our Welsh stores. Sourcing local produce is more than just ‘hanging out the bunting’ it’s a cornerstone of our food strategy, and we are proud to celebrate and showcase Welsh produce and give it pride of place in store.”

The Co-op has teamed-up with Pro Athlete Supplementation (PAS) to give sports fans a chance to meet Welsh rugby players in two of its stores on Wednesday, 24 May.

Gethin Jenkins and Kris Dacey will be in the Co-op’s Porthcawl food store between 4pm-6pm to meet fans. With Samson Lee and Rob Evans in its Cross Hands store at the same time. In addition to sampling Pro Iso and meeting the players, fans could also win a signed shirt. A free ticket will be given with the sale of every bottle of Pro Iso and Pro Zero sold at the two stores from Monday, 22 May until close of business on Wednesday, 24 May.

Pro Iso is an isotonic formula with unique electrolyte content, with dual carbohydrate energy source to delay fatigue and maximise performance, while Pro Zero offers calorie free, sugar free hydration with the same electrolyte formula.