Business

Food and drink suppliers in the north get a ‘Kick Start' From Lidl

Niall Moloney, founder and CEO of PowCow was one of the success stories from Lidl's Kick Start programme last year

SUPERMARKET Lidl is offering food and drink companies in the north a 'Kick Start' and have their products stocked in over 190 stores on the island of Ireland.

Lidl's Kick Start Supplier Development Programme is designed specifically to provide small and medium-sized suppliers with the support they need to grow their brand and build their supply network. It was successfully trialled in the Republic of Ireland in 2017 providing a valuable ‘kick-start’ for over 50 suppliers.

This year, up to 80 new products, sourced from Northern Ireland and Ireland, will be selected to feature in the in-store food promotion from September. From these, three products will go on to be showcased to some 150 global buyers at Lidl’s International Food Expo opening the door to potential listings in 29 Lidl countries across the world, including the US.

Commercial director for Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland, Liam Casey said the programme is an "unmissable opportunity" for local suppliers wanting to showcase their products on a local, national and international basis.

"We are extremely proud of our Northern Ireland supplier portfolio, and see Kick Start as an opportunity to support more local companies, particularly those who are keen to enhance and expand their distribution capabilities. Lidl recognises that moving into higher-volume markets, and gaining national, international and indeed global reach, is a challenge for many SMEs and Kick Start is aimed precisely at equipping local companies to meet that challenge head on.”

"The response to last year’s programme was nothing short of phenomenal. Over 450 different products were entered, ranging from artisan chocolate chip and honeycomb sausages to gourmet marshmallows to premium granola.We want to build on that success finding up to 80 new products for this year’s promotion," he said.

The Kick Start programme, which represents an investment of almost £180,000 by Lidl, will also see all entrants benefit from a series of free business development seminars delivered by a panel of Lidl and wider industry experts and covering such topics as quality control, packaging, marketing and brand building.

Niall Moloney, founder and CEO of PowCow was one of the successful suppliers last year with his high protein frozen yoghurt. His product sold so well it has now been listed permanently in all Lidl stores.

“Kick Start was a fantastic opportunity for us. It allowed us to partner with one of Europe’s largest retailers and gave us a chance to showcase our products with Lidl," he added.

If you are a Northern Irish supplier of a food or drink product and would like the opportunity to sell your product in all Lidl stores, you can enter online at: www.lidl-ni.co.uk/en/kick-start.htm. Deadline for entries is April 15.

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