SuperValu has announced the launch of its ‘Taste of Local’ initiative, which showcases small Irish food and drink producers in stores across the country.
Thirty-three new Irish food and drink producers who have completed this year’s Food Academy programme currently have their products available in the ‘Taste of Local’ section in store.
The retailer highlighted that the launch comes as new research reveals that 81% of people think that it is important to buy Irish products.
According to the new consumer research, the main reasons that people buy Irish are to support local jobs (59%) and to support Irish businesses (54%).
More than three quarters of respondents (77%) agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of buying more Irish products.
The data indicated that 77% of respondents prefer to buy local whenever possible, while nearly two thirds (64%) said that they have made a conscious decision in the past 12 months to buy more Irish and local products.
Carmel Biggane, Food Academy manager at SuperValu, said, “Supporting local Irish communities and businesses is at the heart of everything we do at SuperValu. Food Academy producers are delivering consistently high-quality, great-tasting products that are at the cutting edge of innovation.
“Producers are very finely tuned to the needs of today’s consumer and embody a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit to deliver exciting brands for the future.”
About Food Academy
SuperValu explained that the Food Academy programme, which is delivered in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices, gives early-stage food and drink producers an opportunity to get their products on SuperValu shelves for 52 weeks of the year.
The programme has been an established part of the Irish food industry for nine years now and supports 1,500 jobs nationwide.
Currently, the Food Academy programme supports 320 Irish food and drink producers.
Food Academy producers achieved sales of over €30 million and 6% growth in the last year, highlighting the ‘continuous support from customers’ for local and Irish products.
Since 2013, the producers have sold a combined €200 million in produce in SuperValu.