20 September 2021
By Tom Collins
Five local Irish food producers have been chosen from 290 Food Academy suppliers and will be showcased in SuperValu stores nationwide over a three-week period. The producers are part of SuperValu’s Food Academy programme that is run in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise office.
From 23 September each of the five producers will see their products on sale across 150 SuperValu stores around Ireland. The five companies chosen for nationwide distribution include Hassett’s Bakery (Estd 1984) of Carrigaline in Co Cork, Blakes Always Organic from Co Leitrim; Little Thai Kitchen from Co Waterford; Feighery’s Farm from Co Offaly, and The Sweet Potato Pizza Company from Dublin. The products selected demonstrate the quality and range of choice that the food entrepreneurs of today are creating and delivering to shoppers across the country.
The Food Academy programme currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers, making their products available 52 weeks of the year in their local SuperValu stores. In 2020, there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales, with participants delivering €28m in retail sales.
Carmel Biggane, Food Academy Manager, SuperValu, said:
“The Food Academy programme is designed to help small businesses through their journey from start-up, to getting their products on our shelves and growing into thriving businesses. We believe in supporting local Irish Food & Drink producers and are incredibly proud to have helped so many local producers over the last 8 years. This nationwide distribution is a testament to the benefits of the Food Academy programme and the high standard of Irish producers the programme continues to support. We are really looking forward to bringing these fabulous tasting products to our customers in SuperValu’s around the country for a limited time period.”
Ciara McClafferty, Trading Director, SuperValu, said:
“At SuperValu, we have always believed in supporting local producers. Great quality and taste is synonymous with this initiative and this is another opportunity to celebrate and elevate the best of Irish food and drink coming out of the Food Academy programme. This distribution deal will give these producers access to stores around the country and provide an opportunity to promote their products to new customers nationwide.”
Now in its eighth year, 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 food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability and business development