Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland has announced the launch of its Kickstart Supplier Development Programme for 2022, welcoming applications from artisanal producers across the region who are keen to grow their brands, build their supply networks, and reach more consumers.
Launching the programme for the fifth consecutive year, Lidl also confirmed that it has signed an annual supply deal worth £340,000 with Holywood, County Down-based spicy meat-maker Hellbent, to supply its Chakalaka Boerewors to 215 Lidl stores across the island of Ireland and to more than 800 of the retailer’s locations in Great Britain this summer.
The brainchild of South African-born Ulster Rugby aces Louis Ludik and Schalk van der Merwe, Hellbent secured a coveted place in Lidl’s Kickstart programme only last year.
Proving a big hit with Lidl’s shoppers, Hellbent has grown exponentially since then, and this latest deal with Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland will help propel its success even further, the discount retailer noted.
South African Flavours
Hellbent’s products feature a fusion of South African flavours and quality Irish meat, ‘creating a new taste sensation that pays homage to both countries and cultures.’
Featuring a line-up of beef and pork products, Hellbent highlighted that it benefitted from a range of in-store promotions across 215 Lidl stores across the island of Ireland as part of last year’s Kickstart programme, showcasing its Original and Chakalaka Boerewors (spiced using traditional farmhouse seasoning), Hellbent Burgers and Black & White Pudding, as well as its seasonal/festive Cranberry & Feta Sausages.
Speaking about the launch of the new 2022 Kickstart programme, Hellbent’s Louis Ludik said, “The Lidl Kickstart programme has been an incredible boost for our business. It’s a great way for any small business to get a taste of what it takes to supply a major retailer.
“The programme supported us at every level – from help to upscale production and meet larger orders, to marketing and business management support, and, of course, enabling us to reach more customers than ever with our products.”
Lidl Kickstart Programme
According to Lidl, the Kickstart programme is designed to help small and medium-sized local food and drink producers grow their brands, build their supply networks, and reach new customer audiences, upping their potential for new export opportunities.
As well as the limited-edition in-store promotion, Kickstart also provides ambitious producers with free business development seminars – delivered by a panel of Lidl and wider-industry experts – covering key disciplines such as quality control, supply chain management, branding and distribution, it added.
Since its launch in 2017, the programme has grown exponentially and is now delivered in partnership with Bord Bia and the Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association (NIFDA), providing a significant boost to the programme, and additional benefits and opportunities for selected suppliers.
Chris Bell, buying director at Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, commented, “At Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland, we are committed to supporting local suppliers, and one of the ways in which we do that is through our innovative Kickstart programme, which champions the local agri-food sector.
“Hellbent were fantastic to work with last year, as part of the Kickstart programme, and the new deal announced today represents exactly what the Kickstart initiative is all about – growing small and medium-sized producers to realise their full potential. As we launch the 2022 programme, I’m excited to see what this year’s intake yields.”
Applications are now open for local producers to secure a place in this year’s scheme by clicking here.