Hector Ó hEochagáin meets Irish foodies who made their business dream a reality
This year marks the fifth year of the Food Academy programme, which is expected to generate €50 million in sales annually for emerging Irish food producers within the next five years.
To mark the occassion, Hector Ó hEochagáin took to the road to meet some of the wonderful Irish producers and learn how their food dream became a reality.
Since the programme began in 2013, Food Academy producers, supported by their local Enterprise Offices, have sold €78 million worth of produce in SuperValu stores and the 329 suppliers involved have grown to provide approximately 1,500 jobs.
To find out what makes the passionate, creative and innovative producers on the Food Academy Programme tick, Hector took to the road to meet some of them and to hear their stories.
First stop, Celbridge to meet David Carey, founder of Fitness Food HQ. Fitness Food HQ was setup in 2017 in Co. Kildare by David Carey, a 26 year old award winning young entrepreneur. David has a background in Sport Science & Health and was also voted one of Ireland's Top Young Entrepreneurs.
Fitness Food HQ is focused on bringing innovative healthy food & drink products to the market. Their Protein Porridge offers the health conscious among us a nutritious breakfast option that you can take on the go - ideal for busy commuters and their protein water is the perfect alternative to regular water with the added benefit of 12g protein and only 49 calories per bottle.
All products are produced at Fitness Food HQ, which is a brand new state of the art manufacturing & distribution facility in Co. Kildare.
Speaking about the Food Academy Programme, David Carey said, “SuperValu has been an amazing support right from the beginning of our journey. We started out putting our products on the shelves of our local SuperValu stores but it didn’t take long until we were scaling up to nationwide distribution. . Not only did SuperValu offer us invaluable industry knowledge and mentoring but also a belief in the strength of product.”
Food Academy is a joint initiative between SuperValu, Bord Bia, the network of Local Enterprise Offices and was established to support early-stage Irish food businesses. Participating companies gain access to expertise in branding, market research, business development and distribution, to allow them to scale up and secure listings with SuperValu.
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