Sustainably grown seaweed, whiskey flavoured popcorn and Cork’s finest gluten-free fresh chilli sauce are just some of the innovative products selected to join this year’s FoodService Academy. Run by Bord Bia and Musgrave MarketPlace, the programme aims to help participants grow sales within the foodservice, or out of home food, market. The initiative also offers the opportunity to achieve growth within Musgrave MarketPlace’s foodservice business, supplying over 6,000 customers each week ranging from hotels and restaurants to pubs and nursing homes.
Coordinated by Bord Bia and now in its second year, FoodService Academy will take place over four months and comprise of both workshops and mentoring. Representatives from Musgrave MarketPlace will participate in the workshops, sharing invaluable practical insights and experience to help the companies better understand areas such as supplier set-up, food safety requirements and distribution model as well as sales and marketing support.
Launching this year’s programme, Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia’s Foodservice Specialist, said “Foodservice in Ireland offers major opportunities for suppliers providing innovative products and solutions to meet changing consumer needs. We’re delighted to roll out the second year of our ‘FoodService Academy’ initiative, supporting our belief that food businesses should increasingly look to the foodservice sector as a viable route to market. Now worth €7.5bn and forecast to grow to over €9bn by 2020, this route to market is delivering real growth and value for Irish food and drink companies.”
Sheena Forde, Trading Director, Musgrave MarketPlace added: “Following on from the success of our FoodService Academy last year and that of the SuperValu Food Academy, we are now looking forward to the second year of our programme to support Irish foodservice producers through Musgrave MarketPlace. A number of the participating companies are Food Academy graduates so we are proud to be in a position to help grow their businesses by introducing their products to our foodservice customer base. As the largest and fastest growing wholesaler in Ireland, we are ideally placed to understand the needs of the foodservice market and, as an Irish family business, we are delighted to work with small Irish companies, many of which are family owned, to give them a head start in the market. The FoodService Academy programme offers a combination of commercial and marketing expertise and will provide invaluable customer insight for the companies involved. We would like to acknowledge the excellent support of Bord Bia throughout the development of this programme, their shared passion for supporting Irish food business has been evident throughout.’’
Participants for the 2017 programme were confirmed following a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event that took place earlier this year at Musgrave MarketPlace’s recently upgraded 75,000sqft Ballymun store. Companies had the opportunity to meet with and present their products to Musgrave MarketPlace Trading Managers, Category Managers and Leinster-based sales representatives. A total of eleven companies were selected to participate in the 2017 programme:
- Clarafields, a ‘Dulche de Leche’ / caramel sauce manufacturer based in Co. Offaly
- Fresh Soup Company, Meath based manufacturers of a range of soups and sauces, free from preservatives, artificial colours or flavours
- MSC Ventures Ltd, producers of a range of fresh pestos, pastas and pizza doughs, based in Glanmire, Co. Cork
- Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co., harvesters of sustainably grown seaweed from Connemara
- Natasha’s Living Food, suppliers of a vegan and raw food snack range
- Kildare based Nutmost, producers of a range of activated nut-based snack products
- Popsy Daisy, a Dublin producer of gourmet caramel popcorn using the best quality ingredients from local producers. Flavours include Teeling’s Whiskey Salted Caramel and Apple Crumble.
- Cork’s Rebel Chilli, for their alternative range of gluten free, fresh chilli sauces.
- Rosie&Jim Dublin, a 100% gluten free plant producing whole chicken fillets in breaded coatings and employing over 30 staff
- Sea of Vitality, an innovative Dungarvan based company producing a range of award winning, value added seaweed based food products and run by husband and wife team.
- Wicklow Rapeseed Oils, for their range of standard and flavoured culinary oils made from rapeseed grown on farm in the Co. Wicklow.
Pictured at the launch were (left to right): Keith Symes, Wicklow Rapeseed Oils; Sheena Forde, Trading Director, Musgrave Wholesale Partners; Padraig Brennan, Director of Markets, Bord Bia; and Tracey Kelly, Rosie & Jim.