Irish retailer SuperValu has launched a new initiative – Taste of Local – to showcase small Irish food and drink producers in stores across the country.
The ‘Taste of Local’ section in SuperValu stores will feature the products of 33 new Irish food and drink producers, who have completed this year’s Food Academy programme.
This year’s new products include plant-based offerings, organic produce, healthy convenience, as well as innovative non-alcoholic drink.
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.”
Demand For Irish Products
New research has unveiled that 81% of people in Ireland think it is important to buy Irish products, with 77% saying that they prefer to buy local whenever possible.
The main reasons people buy Irish is to support local jobs (59%) and Irish businesses (54%), the study noted.
More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) agreed that the pandemic highlighted the importance of buying more Irish products.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the respondents said they have made a conscious decision in the past 12 months to buy more Irish and local products.
Food Academy Programme
Currently, the Food Academy Programme supports 320 Irish food and drink producers, and their products are available throughout the year in their local SuperValu stores.
Producers, who are part of the programme, achieved sales of over €30 million and 6% growth last year, with continuous support from customers for local and Irish products.
Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million worth of produce in SuperValu since 2013, the company added.