Pictured at the launch of Grow with Aldi 2022 is Trisha Lewis, Aldi Ambassador. Now in its fifth year, the supplier development programme is looking for new, innovative Irish products from both food and non-food suppliers across the country. Entries are open until 21 January. Photo: INPHO/James Crombie

Grow your food business in 2022

Many of us want to support local food producers and one company wants to help Irish innovators who want to get to the next level.

Grow with Aldi is a supplier development programme that helps the very best small to medium sized Irish suppliers build their brand. The mentor scheme is undertaken in conjunction with Bord Bia, and Aldi want to champion those that produce top-notch Irish products and make them accessible for all.

The programme is now entering its fifth year where food and non-food applicants can enter their product in January, face a judging panel in February and if successful, have their product launched in all 149 Aldi stores nationwide in May as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuy promotion.

Then up to six winners will be chosen and offered further opportunities with Aldi. This will include mentoring and development through a number of workshops such as buying process, supply chain management and social media marketing, followed by a number of individual mentoring sessions with the Aldi buying team, the Aldi marketing team and Bord Bia technical experts.

John Curtin, Aldi Ireland Group Buying Director, said: “We are now in year five of the Grow with Aldi programme, supported over 200 Irish producers on this journey and invested over €5.5 million to make these long-term partnerships a reality.

“We are inviting producers to enter from 3 January and demonstrate their innovation and creativity in product development for an opportunity to win a 12 month listing in all 149 stores nationwide. We can’t wait to see what amazing products we discover during this year’s programme.”

In 2021, 117 products from 63 Irish suppliers went on sale as part of the Grow with Aldi Specialbuys events in June and November.

Having been highly commended by the judging panel, six producers secured the opportunity to become a core or seasonal range listing in Aldi stores nationwide.

Speaking about Grow with Aldi 2022, Gillian Willis Bord Bia Small Business Manager, added; “Now in its fifth year, the success of Grow with Aldi is a testament to the fantastic quality of food and drink products being created by local Irish suppliers.

“Recent research from the Bord Bia Thinking House has shown that more and more Irish consumers are making conscious decisions to buy locally sourced products, so having the Grow with Aldi programme support some long-term success stories plays an important role in showcasing the innovative products that we as a small nation can create.

“Bord Bia is proud to partner with a programme that provides new development and growth opportunities for its suppliers each year.”

To register or find out more about the Grow with Aldi programme 2022, visit www.aldi.ie/grow. Be quick though as entries are open until 21 January!