Retail Breakthrough for Local Enterprise Office backed Start-Ups

food academy

Fourteen food and drink producers from around the country have made a retail breakthrough this month by securing a space on SuperValu shelves through the Food Academy programme.

The 14 companies, supported by the national Local Enterprise Office network, began the Food Academy Start programme in 2017. This is a training and mentoring programme for early-stage food companies, run by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) jointly with Bord Bia and SuperValu.

Their products can now be found in key SuperValu stores from this month as part of a trial, marking a major milestone for the start-ups,

Run over a series of workshops, the Food Academy programme nurtures new start-ups in the food and drink sector, focusing on areas such as business development, food safety, responding to market trends, distribution and driving sales.

2018 marks the fifth year of the programme and over the last five years, graduates have sold €78 million worth of produce in SuperValu stores, supporting approximately 1,500 jobs in over 320 LEO-supported businesses.

The Food Academy programme is also expected to generate €50 million in sales annually for emerging Irish food producers within the next five years.

The next Food Academy Start programme for Galway participants is already underway, with a number of local firms hoping to join the latest successful companies on Supervalu shelves.

The Food Academy Start companies that are “going live” this month are:

Nicoya (nut butters), supported by LEO South Dublin

Buttercream Dream (vegan cupcakes), supported by LEO Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

Sarah’s Rawbites (raw vegan bars), supported by LEO Fingal

Irish Syrups (dandelion and elderflower syrups), supported by LEO Kildare

Ballykilcavan Brewing Company (craft beer), supported by LEO Laois

Invis A Veg (grated vegetables for children’s meals), supported by LEO Laois

Run On Pulses (vegan burgers), supported by LEO Laois

Le Paysan (chicken liver and vegan pate), supported by LEO Wicklow

Melody Street Foods (marinades and mayonnaises), supported by LEO Wicklow

Rohan’s Sauces (sauces), supported by LEO Wicklow

Sukhi’s India (pakora and curry masala mixes), supported by LEO Wicklow

Wicklow Brewery (craft beer), supported by LEO Wicklow

NutriQuick (taco fries, chilli con carne and peri peri chicken), supported by LEO Wicklow

Mont Beer (craft beer), supported by LEO Wicklow


For more on the Food Academy programme, email