Food Academy Start Programme

Food academy

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The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), Bord Bia and SuperValu understand the importance of supporting artisan food producers within communities throughout Ireland. Across SuperValu’s network of 223 stores, a large range of locally produced Irish products are stocked. The LEO’s, Bord Bia and SuperValu actively assist the business development of artisan food producers.

In 2013, SuperValu, Bord Bia and the LEOs formed a partnership and created the “Food Academy Start” Programme.

The Food Academy Start programme works with and nurtures artisan food producers through their journey to obtaining their first retail listing with SuperValu. 'Food Academy' is currently working with over 200 producers throughout the country.

In addition, the LEOs can assist food producers to develop their business with capital, salary and marketing investment and Bord Bia can provide marketing grants, market information and export opportunities.

Programme Format:

The programme consists of intensive training, workshops and mentoring given by experienced food marketing consultants. As part of the programme, there is an opportunity for producers to pitch their products to local SuperValu representatives, obtain their feedback and secure a three month trial in a local SuperValu store.

The intensive workshops will provide companies with business support and knowledge including consumer insight, technical advice, resource planning, commercial advice and marketing development. The programme has a core commercial focus and all participants will have the opportunity to pitch their product or idea to a local SuperValu representative, with a view to securing an initial local listing.

Contracted Trainers for this programme: Bullseye Food Marketing

The Training Workshops

Day 1: Market Background and Understanding the Consumer

  1. Understanding Consumers
  2. Market Background
  3. Research and Data
  4. Marketing Strategy & Segmentation    
The objective of this module is to ensure that companies put the consumer at the centre of all activities and that they then work with the most relevant retailer/foodservice operator to bring their product to market. Without understanding who they are targeting it won’t be possible for them to get their marketing mix right i.e. product features/quality/price, packaging, branding and which retailer/foodservice they should target.

Day 2:

  1. Introduction to Finance
  2. Pricing
  3. New Product Development
  4. Food Safety and Food Labelling
  5. Packaging
  6. Managing Human Resources
The objective of this module is to ensure that companies are running their businesses correctly and legally. This is the internal look at the best way to manage and grow their businesses. 

Day 3 & 4: Growing Sales & SuperValu presentations

  1. Routes to Market
  2. Buyer Meetings
  3. Promoting with Confidence
  4. Marketing Plans
  5. Branding and Packaging Designs
  6. Public Relations
This module should help businesses be confident that they have a good understanding of the different elements of the marketing mix and how they can use them to drive profitable sales. The first three presentations relate to the preparation needed prior to listings i.e. packaging design, route to market and preparing to meet buyers. The final three focus on growing sales once listings have been achieved.

Mentoring Supports:

Each participant will be able to avail of up to 4 hours of mentoring over the course of the programme to address specific issues one-to-one. If you are selected for trial then further mentoring can be provided to help you prepare

Schedule 2017 Programme:

  • 10th May

  • 16th May

  • 23rd May

  • 30th May

  • Bord Bia Presentation day to be confirmed
Time:9.30am – 4.30pm each day
Venue: Oriel House Hotel Ballincollig
Cost:€200 per company participating

How to apply for the programme:

  • Please complete the online application form.
  • Your application will be reviewed and we will carry out a screening process by telephone or face to face.
  • Please note that we reserve the right to refuse an application based on a client’s suitability and readiness for the programme.

Please send samples if available to your Local Enterprise Office 

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