Football Special, the legendary drink of many Donegal childhoods and teetotallers, is now set for a nationwide launch this summer bringing a unique taste of Donegal across the country.
Plans are in place for Ramelton based company, McDaid’s, to launch their award winning drinks including Football Special, Pineapple, Cream Soda and Banana across Ireland next June.
Football Special is one of McDaid’s oldest and most distinguished products winning two awards for excellence in 1984 and 1989 from the London Beverage Society.
Like other famous soft drink brands, its unique recipe has been a closely guarded secret for generations. One of the key ingredients could be the pure local spring water used to produce the fruity beverages.
Now after 50 years the business os getting ready to branch out.
Current owner Edward McDaid explains: “My father was a founder member of the Swilly Rovers Football Club in Ramelton and they were trying to come up with a soft drink that could be put into the cup after a win, instead of whiskey. The fruit syrup flavours that are used are all fairly common and shouldn’t belong together but they do,” he said.
The company is about to add a new marketing and sales person to his six person staff and they are aiming to rebrand and increase production at his plant as the product goes nationwide in June.
Speaking of their capability to meet the potential demand, Edward says they are “fine on the production side” and can increase production three fold at their Ramelton base if needed.
The drink will be distributed through a network of distributors across a number of select locations in time for the summer market.
“We are gearing up for the summer really”, Edward explained adding: “We are trying to get it out there further afield and we’re hoping it will be on the shelves in June. It is not possible for us to distribute ourselves directly to the larger market so we will be using an existing network of wholesalers that are based in places like Dublin, Galway and Kerry.”
Its humble beginnings began when James McDaid Jnr., along with his role as CEO of the company was also on the founding board of Swilly Rovers FC and wanted to celebrate winning trophies by filling the cup with an exciting but non-alcoholic beverage. They created a drink and named it ‘Football Cup’. Later this was changed to Football Special.