Food Academy Programme

Mountmellick Development Association, Mountmellick
18 Oct '17, 21 Nov '17, 8 Jan '18, 20 Feb '18
9.45 am – 4.45 pm
Business Training

Eligibility criteria apply. You should not book or pay for a place until you have been advised to do so. Please contact us in advance.

This event is no longer available

Food Academy is a training programme aimed at supporting and nurturing start-up food businesses and will be delivered by James Burke & Associates.

The Local Enterprise Offices Laois and Offaly have joined forces with Bord Bia and Supervalu on this initiative to provide a consistent level of food marketing knowledge to new and early-stage food business owners. This programme will provide companies with long-term business supports including:

  • Consumer insight
  • Technical advice
  • Resource planning
  • Commercial advice
  • Marketing Development

The Food Academy consists of 4 workshop covering 6 modules. At the final workshop, participants will get the opportunity to present their product to a panel from Supervalu and if successful, can participate in a trial based in local shops, which in the right circumstances could progress over time to a national listing with Supervalu.

Programme Objectives

  • Develop an in-depth knowledge of the tools which can be used to assess market background
  • Understand core technical issues facing your food or drink business
  • Learn how to grow sales for your product range through better branding and packaging design
  • Gain all of the tools and knowledge necessary to launch and build a successful food business in Ireland

Programme Content

Workshop One – The Market and Market Analysis

  • Overview of the Irish Market
  • Routes to Market
  • SWOT Analysis of your Business
  • Consumer Lifestyle Trends
  • Interpreting Trends & Data
  • Gap Analysis
  • Supervised Visit to a local Supervalu Store

Workshop Two 

  • Introduction to Finance
  • Margin Calculation
  • Promotional Pricing
  • Raising Funds
  • Business plans for Food Companies

Workshop Three: Part 1 - Delivered by Bord Bia 

  • Market Mapping
  • Positioning
  • Unique Selling Points (USP’s)
  • USP Development

Workshop Three: Part 2

  • Marketing Plan
  • Preparing for the Retailer Pitch
  • Guest Speaker – Established Food Company
  • Product Launch Checklist
  • Packaging and Sourcing
  • Food Labelling & The Law
  • Food Production & HACCP

Workshop Four – Supervalu Presentations and Moving On

This is the presentation to Supervalu which the participants will have worked towards during the programme.

  • Final Presentations for the participants presentations
  • Introduction of the Supervalu panel
  • Presentation from Supervalu to the participants
  • Individual presentations from the participants to the Supervalu panel
  • Feedback from the panel to each participant

This additional module prepares for the next steps in their journey and focuses on marketing, sales and raising brand awareness.

Mentor Sessions

Each participant will receive two mentor sessions as part of the programme which will focus on individual producer needs with customised advice provided.

**Workshop content may vary slightly from that contained above.

Who can participate?

The Food Academy is aimed at those in the early stages of developing a food or drink business. Selection criteria will apply.

How much does it cost?

The Academy costs €150 and is inclusive of all course materials, training and mentoring.

How to apply?

Pre-approval is required, please complete this expression of interest form and email it to

If you are approved to participate in the Food Academy, you will be advised to book online. Please do not book online until you are advised that you are eligible to participate on the programme.

Any queries?

Please contact Geraldine Beirne on 057 93 57480 or email


Venue:                                        Mountmellick Development Association, Mountmellick

Dates:                                         18 Oct 2017, 21 Nov 2017, 8 Jan 2018, 20 Feb 2018

Time:                                           9.45 am – 4.45 pm

Duration:                                     4 days plus 2 mentoring sessions

Fee:                                             €150