SuperValu supports local as 15 Food Academy producers are listed in-store
SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer, is proud to announce that from today, products from 15 new Irish food producers who have successfully completed the Food Academy programme will be on sale in SuperValu stores.
Now in its seventh year, SuperValu Food Academy is a unique food business development programme between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). Participants in the programme receive training in market research and branding, food safety, marketing, finance and business development.
The programme helps early-stage Irish food and drink businesses to get their start in the food retail sector with their first, all-important supermarket listing in SuperValu. For the 15 food start-ups, today marks the culmination of a journey that began back in October 2019 when they started the SuperValu Food Academy training programme and completed a series of training and mentoring courses.
This support for local is all made possible by SuperValu’s independent retail model, whereby retailers can give SuperValu Food Academy members access to one or a small group of stores, allowing them to manage demand as they grow their operations.
One of the food start-ups to list in SuperValu is Thanks Plants, a 100% plant-based, handmade vegan sausages brand. Produced locally in Ireland, Thanks Plants is a delicious and wholesome option for vegans and anyone trying to reduce their meat intake and is available in a number of varieties, including apple and sage; sundried tomato and herb and a frankfurter option.
Aisling Cullen, who set up Thanks Plants, said: “Over the last six months, with the help of SuperValu’s Food Academy, I’ve been working steadily to develop a unique product. Without the help of Food Academy, I would not be where I am now. It has given huge support to all the producers involved, and I recommend it for any new producer starting out.”
Some of the other suppliers include: Larkins Farm, Muckross Creamery and Loch Measc. These new suppliers reflect a shift in thinking towards sustainable, local food production and comprise healthy, plant-based and gluten-free offerings, underpinned by values of provenance, transparency, and authenticity.
Food Academy producers have sold a combined €140 million of produce in SuperValu since 2014, supporting 1,500 jobs in the economy. To date, 620 producers have come through the programme, with 272 producers currently enrolled in the programme.
Commenting on the Food Academy programme as products from 15 new producers go on sale in SuperValu stores, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said “We have been supporters of local for 40 years and it’s part of our DNA. We started SuperValu Food Academy to support local food start-ups and the programme is more important than ever as we see consumers swing back to support our local food producers.
SuperValu’s network of independently owned and operated stores across Ireland means that we are best placed to support local food start-ups through SuperValu Food Academy. Our independent retailers can provide local producers with their all-important first supermarket listing, helping them to create employment in local communities, We believe in local business and Food Academy is great way for us to help new businesses to grow and get the support they need.”
The SuperValu Food Academy programme is now open for applications until Friday, June 26 2020. To apply, contact your Local Enterprise Office for an application form on www.localenterprise.ie
SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and has 223 stores nationwide. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private-sector employers. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.
The 15 new producers include:
Katie’s Kombucha, Dublin
Thanks Plants, Dublin
Maisha Coffee, Dublin
Lets Chaat, Dublin
Builin Blasta, Galway
Portmagee Whiskey, Kerry
Muckross Ice Cream, Kerry
Lough Measc. Mayo
Kaffa Coffee, Mayo
Subh Fraoc Ban, Monaghan
Larkins Hill Farm, Tipperary
Tex Mex Addict, Cork