Aldi to invest over €500,000 in artisan Irish food and drink producers

Pictured are (back row L-R) Kieran Wall (Walls Honest Chips), Karen Boyd (Choice Pizza), Loretta Kennedy (Mamabear Foods), Keith Loftus (All About Kombucha) and (front row L-R) Laura Harper (Aldi), Cathal Allen (Ballyvourney Pudding), Tara McCarthy (Bord Bia), Deborah Crowley (Funky Monkey Food) and Padraig Barry (Aldi) at the announcement today that the GROW with Aldi supplier development programme is back for 2020

‘Grow with Aldi’ call for entries opened on 20 January

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16 January 2020 | 0

Aldi has announced the return of its ‘Grow with Aldi’ supplier development programme for 2020, which will see it 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 140 Aldi Ireland stores.

Last year’s six overall ‘Grow with Aldi’ winners were on hand today to announce that Aldi is seeking applications from small to medium-sized food and drink producers across Ireland to develop market-ready products for sale nationwide. The programme has delivered over €2m in sales for the Grow with Aldi suppliers over the last 2 years.

Aldi will pick up to 60 of those products entered as part of the ‘Grow with Aldi’ Specialbuys event at the end of May 2020. A final five of the products will then be chosen to become a core range listing in all of Aldi’s 140 stores nationwide.

Developed in partnership with Bord Bia, the programme is designed to help small and medium producers gain experience and exposure for their products. Participants will receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with the Aldi buying team, the Aldi marketing team and Bord Bia technical experts.

Last year, Irish suppliers applied to take part in ‘Grow with Aldi’ with many hundreds of products entered. Over 60 products went on sale in June 2019 as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuys event. Six products were then chosen to form part of the core range nationwide.

The six winning suppliers and products are:

  • All About Kombucha, Galway – Kombucha
  • Funky Monkey Foods, Dublin – Curry Mix and Salt & Chilli Mix
  • Walls Honest Chips, Cork – Chips
  • Ballyvourney Pudding, Cork – Black and White Pudding
  • Pizzado Pizza, Co. Down – Pizza Bases
  • Mama Bear Ketchup, Cork – Ketchup

John Curtin, Aldi Ireland group buying director, said the first two years of the programme proved “very successful” and led to Aldi “forging “new links with fantastic Irish suppliers from around the country.The quality of food and drink produced in Ireland is outstanding,” he said, “and we are very much looking forward to sampling all of the products that enter this year.”

Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, highlighted how the programme helps meet the need for Irish products and enables producers to develop their businesses. “Bord Bia research tells us that Irish people understand the importance of supporting local food producers when they do their shopping,” she said. “Grow with Aldi not only helps meet that customer need for Irish products, but also gives small and medium Irish producers the essential skills, support and mentoring to develop and expand their businesses exponentially.”

Velo Coffee was a Grow with Aldi 2018 winner and according to founder Rob Horgan, support from the programme took the business to a new level. “The detailed personalised mentoring we received gave us exposure to industry experts that a business at our infancy wouldn’t normally have access to,” he said. “This led to us being included on the Enterprise Ireland Sunday Business Post Top 100 to watch. The approachable team in Aldi were there to support us during every bump in the road. This made the whole process fool proof, which we needed! Thanks to the support of Grow with Aldi we moved our business to a purpose fitted production facility last year. This has given us the confidence to increase our workforce. The on-shelf exposure we received has also grown our Foodservice side of the business.”

Food and drink companies can apply by contacting grow@aldi.ie. Further details are available at www.aldi.ie/grow.

 



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