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Laois food and drink producers invited to ‘Grow with Aldi’ as supplier development programme returns

Aldi today announced the return of its ‘Grow with Aldi’ supplier development programme for 2019, which will see it invest more than €500,000 in supporting up-and-coming artisan Irish food and drink companies

Aldi is seeking applications from Laois’ small to medium food and drink producers to take part in the 2019 Grow with Aldi supplier development programme, giving them the opportunity to be listed in Aldi stores nationwide.

Following its successful launch in 2018, Aldi is investing €500,000 in this year’s Grow with Aldi programme to support up-and-coming artisan Irish food and drink companies to develop market-ready products for sale in its 137 stores nationwide.

Developed in partnership with Bord Bia, the programme is designed to help small and medium producers develop their brand and build their supply network. Participants will receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with Aldi buyers, Aldi’s Marketing team and Bord Bia technical experts.

Aldi will pick up to 70 of the products entered to be listed as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuy event in June 2019, with each supplier providing a guaranteed volume of their product.  Up to five of the products will then be chosen to become core listed products, with the suppliers winning a contract to supply Aldi’s Irish stores year-round.

Last year, 230 suppliers applied to take part in Grow with Aldi. Five of the suppliers that took part in the Specialbuys event went on to become long-term Aldi suppliers and now have their productspermanently on sale in Aldi’s 137 stores nationwide.  These include:

  • 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 first year of the programme was a big win for everyone involved. 38 producers had their products listed nationally, our customers got to try some of the most innovative products Ireland has to offer and Aldi forged new links with fantastic suppliers around the country.”

“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.  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.”

“The quality of food and drink produced in Ireland is second to none and I am very much looking forward to tasting many of the products that enter this year.”

Commenting on the programme, Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO said: “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. Grow with Aldi is a fantastic opportunity for small and medium producers to develop their businesses, while also meeting consumer appetite for Irish produce. Participants can access a range of services, including one-to-one mentoring, consumer and market insight and branding expertise to help ensure their products remain on our shelves for years to come.”

Commenting at the launch, Richard Corrigan said: Hands down Ireland now produces some of the most exciting food in the world. The quality and diversity of the products Irish food entrepreneurs are producing is exceptional and I’m delighted to be here at the launch of Grow with Aldi that fosters such innovation.  It provides a great opportunity for Irish producers to see their products welcomed into the limelight.”

Speaking about how Grow with Aldi has benefitted Velo Coffee, founder Rob Horgan said: “We are so happy to see our products made available to shoppers across the country. 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. I would strongly recommend to any other small or medium Irish food business that they take part.”

Food and drink companies in Ireland with ambitions to take their product from concept to shelf and see it stocked in Aldi’s 137 Irish stores can apply for the Grow with Aldi supplier development programme by contacting grow@aldi.ie. Further details are available at www.aldi.ie/grow.

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