Aldi to invest €500,000 in new artisan Irish producers

Irish chef Richard Corrigan (back centre) and Laura Harper (seated centre), buying director, Aldi Stores Ireland, were joined by last year’s five overall Grow with Aldi winning producers, to announce that Aldi is now seeking applications for year II of the programme
Irish chef Richard Corrigan (back centre) and Laura Harper (seated centre), buying director, Aldi Stores Ireland, were joined by last year’s five overall Grow with Aldi winning producers, to announce that Aldi is now seeking applications for year II of the programme

Following the success of last year's programme which saw five products become part of Aldi’s core product range nationwide, the retailer has now launched the second year of the initiative which will see successful participants receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with the Aldi buying team, the Aldi marketing team and Bord Bia technical experts

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17 January 2019 | 0

The ‘Grow with Aldi’ supplier development programme will return for 2019, with Aldi pledging to invest more than €500,000 in supporting up-and-coming artisan Irish food and drink companies and offering them the chance to become a core range listing in all 137 Aldi Ireland stores.

Well-known Irish chef Richard Corrigan was joined by last year’s five overall Grow with Aldi winning producers to announce Aldi is now seeking applications for year two of the programme.

Open to small and medium food producers across Ireland, Aldi will pick up to 70 of the products entered to be listed as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuys event in June. A final five of the products will then be chosen to become a core range listing in all 137 stores nationwide.

Developed in partnership with Bord Bia, the programme has been designed to help small and medium producers develop their brand and potentially build their business. Participants will receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with the Aldi buying team, the Aldi marketing team and Bord Bia technical experts.  

Last year, 230 suppliers applied to take part in Grow with Aldi. A total of 38 suppliers and 71 products were then shortlisted and went on sale last August as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuys event. Five products were then chosen to become part of Aldi’s core product range nationwide. 

The five winning suppliers and products are:

  • Ballyhoura Apple Farm, Limerick – Pure Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Gran Grans, Galway – Lemon Marmalade
  • Rebel Chilli, Cork – Red Rebel Chilli sauce
  • Velo Coffee, Cork – Whole Bean & Ground Coffee
  • Lullaby Milk, Cork – Lullaby Milk   

Speaking at the 2019 Grow with Aldi launch, John Curtin, Aldi Ireland group buying director, said the programme allowed “customers to try some of the most innovative products Ireland has to offer and Aldi forged new links with fantastic suppliers around the country.”

He also pointed out that “the impact of the programme lives beyond the five suppliers. Grow with Aldi also presented Aldi with the opportunity to work with other applicants from 2018,” Curtin said. “For example, The Scullery, who had a range of sauces listed in our stores during Christmas. Our weekly Specialbuys programme also recently included Kelly’s Vegetarian Pudding and Wild Oats range of natural soaps and body oils. We are also working with Finnegan’s Farm and Glastry Farm on a range of vegetables and ice-cream products for 2019.”

Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, highlighted the programme’s benefits for both producers and consumers. “Bord Bia’s research has shown that the majority of Irish consumers believe it is important to buy locally sourced, high-quality food and drink products,” she said. “Grow with Aldi is a fantastic opportunity for small and medium producers to develop their businesses, while also meeting consumer appetite for Irish produce.”

Chef Richard Corrigan was also excited about the opportunity to foster such innovation. “Hands down Ireland now produces some of the most exciting food in the world,” he said, adding that the programme enabled “Irish producers to see their products welcomed into the limelight”.

One of last year’s winners, Velo Coffee’s founder Rob Horgan said he would “strongly recommend” the programme to other small or medium Irish food businesses. “ The support and mentoring given to us through Grow with Aldi has not only allowed us to share our coffee with more people than ever, but has also provided us with the skills to grow our business into the future,” he said.

To apply for the programme to take a product from concept to shelf, contact grow@aldi.ie. Further details are available at www.aldi.ie/grow.

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