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Northern Ireland Food, Drink & non-food related producers invited to ‘Grow with Aldi’

Aldi ‘s investment in the ‘Grow with Aldi’ Supplier Development Programme hits €3m

  • ‘Grow with Aldi’ call for entries opens on Sunday, 17th January
  • Supplier development programme returns for fourth year offering huge opportunity toNorthern Ireland based producers to win a place on Aldi’s shelves nationwide
  • Irish food, food service and non-food products invited to enter this year
  • Entrants encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability
  • For the first year, non-food related products have a chance to appear on Aldi’s shelves
  • Aldi has invested over €3million in small Irish producers and suppliers since Grow with Aldi began

Aldi is seeking applications from Northern Ireland’s small to medium food, drink and non-food related producers to take part in the 2021 Grow with Aldi supplier development programme, giving them the opportunity to be listed in Aldi stores nationwide.

Aldi today announced the return of its ‘Grow with Aldi’ supplier development programme for 2021, which will see it supporting Irish suppliers, offering them the chance to become a core range listing in all 145 Aldi Ireland stores. To date, over 500 Irish suppliers have entered the Grow with Aldi programme over the last 3 years, with Aldi’s investment hitting €3million.

This year, the Grow with Aldi message is encouraging suppliers to also highlight the sustainability of their products and packaging. This year will also see non-food related Irish products have the chance to appear on Aldi’s shelves e.g. candles. Aldi will pick up to 60 products entered as part of the ‘Grow with Aldi’ Specialbuys event 6th of June 2021.  A final six products will then be chosen to become a core range listing in all of Aldi’s 145 stores nationwide.

Developed in partnership with Bord Bia, the programme is designed to help small and medium producers gain experience and exposure for their products. Participants will receive tailored mentoring and bespoke workshops with the Aldi Buying team, the Aldi Marketing team and Bord Bia technical experts.

Last year, over 75 products went on sale in May 2020 as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuys event. Six products were then chosen in July to form part of the core range nationwide.

The six winning suppliers and products were:

  • Dromod Boxty (Dromod, Co. Leitrim)
  • Saturday Pizzas (Little Island, Co. Cork)
  • Hellbent Boerewors Sausage (Newtownards, Co. Down)
  • The Popcorn Factory Candy Floss (Coleraine, Co. Derry)
  • Prokulture Organic Kombucha (Sallins, Co. Kildare)
  • The Piccolo Pizza Co. Pizza Sauce (Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow)

John Curtin, Aldi Ireland Group Buying Director, said: “The first three years of the programme were very successful for everyone involved, and Aldi forged new links with fantastic Irish suppliers from around the country. During Covid-19, we were also in a position to help even more small Irish suppliers listing on our shelves as part of the Grow with Aldi programme, so we know that the quality of food and drink produced in Ireland is outstanding. This year, we are asking suppliers to include products that highlight their work on sustainable food and products, we are looking forward to sampling what is on offer, as well as trying out non-food related products as part of the programme for the first time.”

Commenting on the programme, Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO said: “As we enter another challenging period for the food industry, it’s hugely important we continue to support our local Irish food and drink producers. Recent research by the Bord Bia Thinking House revealed that 39% of Irish consumers are buying local grocery brands more often and the Grow with Aldi programme plays an important role in showcasing the distinctive, innovative and delicious products small and medium Irish suppliers are working hard to create. The programme also supports participants as they develop essential business skills and capabilities through workshops and tailored mentoring which is key to building a resilient and thriving indigenous food and drink sector for the years ahead.”

Speaking about how Grow with Aldi has benefitted Funky Monkey Foods, Deborah Crowley, Grow with Aldi 2019 winner said: “The Grow with Aldi program has given Funky Monkey Foods an opportunity of a life time. Without the program Funky Monkey Foods would not be what it is today. Due to the support mentoring and exposure we received from the Grow with Aldi program, we have grown and expanded dramatically. The Aldi team could not have been more supportive and understanding to our needs as a small start-up business. The time and understanding the Aldi team set aside for us as a new and inexperienced business was priceless.  This has given us the opportunity to work on new products to add to our range, grow and create local jobs. The Grow with Aldi program has changed our lives and our business in ways we could never have imagined. We now have the ability and the confidence to continue growing.”

Irish food, drink, food service and non-food related companies with ambitions to take their product from concept to shelf and see it stocked in Aldi’s 145 Irish stores can apply for the Grow with Aldi supplier development programme by contacting grow@aldi.ie. Further details are available at www.aldi.ie/grow.

Today Aldi also confirmed it is extending its temporary shorter payment terms initiative for small and medium Irish suppliers for the entirety of 2021. The initiative was introduced at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic to ensure Aldi’s suppliers are paid as quickly as possible. The commitment means Aldi will continue to process payments for suppliers that transact up to €1M worth of business annually within five working days.  Over 200 Irish food and drink producers Aldi partners with will continue to benefit from the shorter payment terms this year.