Food Academy Start Programme


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 Wicklow 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:

  1. Consumer insight
  2. Technical advice
  3. Resource planning
  4. Commercial advice
  5. Marketing Development

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. Please email Annette Rowsome at  if you are interested in this course.  If we have sufficient interest we will consider running a Food Academy Programme over the coming months. 

How much does it cost?

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

Any queries?

Please contact local Enterprise Office Wicklow on 0404 30800 or email

Food Academy - Course Overview

The Food Academy consists of 4 workshops 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 listing to a national listing with Supervalu.

 Programme Objectives

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

Workshop One (Module One and Two)  

Module One – The Market and Market Analysis

  • Overview of the Irish Market
  • Routes to Market
  • SWOT Analysis of your Business 

Module Two – The Consumer

  • Consumer Lifestyle Trends
  • Interpreting Trends & Data
  • Gap Analysis
  • Supervised Visit to a local Supervalu store 

Workshop Two (Module Five) 

Module Five - Pricing

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

Delivered by Bord Bia (Module Three)

Module Three – The Proposition

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

Workshop Three (Module Six and Module Four)  

Module Six - Marketing

  • Marketing Plan
  • Preparing for the Retailer Pitch
  • Guest Speaker – Established Food Company

 Module Four – The Product

  • Product Launch Checklist
  • Packaging & 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 preparations 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 

Moving on

This additional module prepares participants 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.