SuperValu launches Taste of Local initiative showcasing local producers as survey reveals majority believe buying Irish is important

SuperValu launches Taste of Local initiative showcasing local producers as survey reveals majority believe buying Irish is important

  • Research reveals 81% of people think buying Irish is important
  • 33 local producers complete Food Academy programme and will be showcased in new Taste of Local section in SuperValu stores
  • Food Academy supports 320 producers and 1,500 local jobs nationwide, 52 weeks of the year

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading retailer, has announced the launch of its Taste of Local initiative which showcases small Irish food and drink producers in stores across the country. The launch comes as new research reveals 81% of people think it is important to buy Irish products. From today, 33 new Irish food and drink producers who have completed this year’s Food Academy programme will have their products available in the Taste of Local section in-store.

The Taste of Local initiative, which highlights quality local Irish food and drink products, showcases the producers who have gone through the Food Academy Programme as well as highlighting hyperlocal products that are unique to local stores.

According to the new consumer research, the main reasons people buy Irish is to support local jobs (59%) and Irish businesses (54%). More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) said they agreed that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of buying more Irish products. Some 77 per cent of respondents said they prefer to buy local whenever possible, while nearly two-thirds (64%) said they have made a conscious decision in the past 12 months to buy more Irish and local products.

The Food Academy programme, which is delivered in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices, gives early-stage food and drink producers an opportunity to get their products on SuperValu shelves 52 weeks of the year. The programme has been an established part of the Irish food industry for nine years now and supports 1,500 jobs nationwide.

Currently, the Food Academy Programme supports 320 Irish food and drink producers. Their products are available 52 weeks of the year in their local SuperValu stores. Food Academy producers achieved sales of over €30 million and 6% growth in the last year highlighting the continuous support from customers for local and Irish products. Food Academy producers have sold a combined €200 million of produce in SuperValu since 2013. 

Carmel Biggane, Food Academy Manager at SuperValu, said: “Supporting local, Irish communities and businesses is at the heart of everything we do at SuperValu. Food Academy producers are delivering consistently high quality, great tasting products that are at the cutting edge of innovation. Producers are very finely tuned to the needs of today’s consumer and embody a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit to deliver exciting brands for the future.

We are delighted to launch another 33 new producers from this year’s Food Academy programme, which will be showcased in Taste of Local. This year's new entrants have a wide range of products from plant-based offerings, organic produce, healthy convenience, sustainably foraged and harvested, as well as innovative non-alcoholic drink.

Uniquely, our Food Academy programme supports producers 52 weeks of the year, so shoppers will be able to buy these great tasting products throughout the year, making a big difference to these small local producers. I’d like to extend our congratulations to the 33 producers who successfully completed this year’s programme, we look forward to seeing your products on our shelves around the country.”

Tara McCarthy, Chief Executive, Bord Bia, said: Ireland’s food and drink producers are known at home and internationally for their high quality, distinctive products and sustainable manufacturing practices. Bord Bia is proud to be in partnership with SuperValu and the Local Enterprise Offices to deliver the Food Academy programme which enables small businesses to navigate through their initial growth phase. We believe that in a demanding trading environment growing companies’ skills and capabilities in consumer understanding, branding and business development provides them with a strong foundation. We wish the 33 graduates from this year’s programme continued growth and success.”

Padraic McElwee, chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices added: “We are committed to fostering an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship and the Food Academy programme partnering with SuperValu and Bord Bia is an example of our commitment in action. We have a proud tradition of food entrepreneurship in Ireland and the high-quality of Food Academy producers is a testament to this. For small businesses in the sector, Local Enterprise Offices can help them start-up through the Digital School of Food and the Food Starter programme, get them ‘market-ready’ through the Food Academy programme and help them to grow even further through specific business training and mentoring.  It’s fantastic to see these 33 small businesses follow in the footsteps of so many others and we look forward to continuing to support them grow over the coming years.”

For more information on Food Academy, please visit:

The launch of Taste of Local comes ahead of Guaranteed Irish’s Food Month, which begins in June. SuperValu’s partnership with Guaranteed Irish is another example of how the company supports Irish producers. This partnership raises awareness of the benefits of purchasing Irish brands and encourages shoppers to buy Irish and support local.



Further media information:

Cian Doherty / Claire Rowley

Drury Communications / 

087 772 6678 (CD) / 087 269 5014 (CR)


Note to editor:

The local and Irish survey was conducted by ShopTalk in April 2022. A total of 444 people responded to the survey.

Biographies of featured producers

The Wonderful Barn – Bernard Cronin

The Wonderful Barn, a family run business, was set up in 2020 producing organic white and purple garlic. The name comes from the historic Wonderful Barn building in Leixlip, and the ultimate aim of the growing business is to reduce the amount of garlic that is imported to Ireland every year.

Dublin Hill Goats Cheese – Tim McGlynn

Tim McGlynn is owner of Dublin Hill Goats Cheese. Tim’s product is a unique hand-crafted soft creamy cheese that comes directly from goats kept on a small farm in the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Tim and his wife have a long track record of working on overseas agricultural projects and are now working towards to create a viable family income and local employment back here in Dublin.

Tasty Kitchen – Sia Browne

Food Academy producer Sia Browne, owner of Donegal’s Tasty Kitchen, took the culinary exposure of her Greek upbringing which inspired her to focus on her own food journey, creating delicious curry pastes during lockdown from her home in Donegal.

OTOFU – Méabh Mooney

Méabh Mooney, owner of Cork-based OTOFU, has been producing a range of tofu by hand using organic, non-GMO European soybeans and selling it locally in Co. Cork since October of 2021. 


Participating Food Academy producers





Blasta Delights

Áine Ní Bhraoin

Ginger Syrup


Dingle Sea Salt

Tom Leach / Rory McKeown

Sea Salt



Méabh Mooney



Skellig Jam

Richie Greene

Jams & Marmalades


Malay Kitchen

Norza Daud

Thai Paste & Sauce


The Good Dairy Company

Catherine Good



Kerry Kefir

Mary-Thea Brosnan




Kevin & Rachel Byrne

Ginger Beer


What the Faux

James Fayer/ Alan Fynes

Vegan Meat


The Raw Juice Company

Andy Pratt

Raw Juices


Tasty Kitchen

Sia Browne

Curry Pastes


Flying Saucery

Fiona Sweeney

Curry Sauces



Lisa Kleiner

Raw Cacao


Good Brew

Jeff & Dee Schroeder

Cold Brew Coffee


Ellie’s Kitchen

Ellie Kisyombe

African Hot Sauces


Little Red’s Sauce Company

Shane Doherty



Dublin Hills Goats Cheese

Tim McGlynn

Goats Cheese


OpenHive Honey

Kyle Petrie

Raw Honey


Fire and 5th

Mary Sheahan

Non-Alcoholic Spirit



Friederike Eimer



Mary-Ellen's Meadow

Rose Carolan Daveluy

Sparkling Drinks


The Wonderful Barn

Bernard Cronin

Organic Garlic


Green Family Farm

Kenneth Greene




Jane Conlon

Soda Bread


Kinsale Honey House

Séad Ní Mhaoilmhia

Raw Honey


Killua Castle 

Krause Family

Venison Meat Products



Brian Spain

Bakery Items


Fully Free Ireland

Suzanne Tubridy and Gabor Domotor

Vegan Cheese


IASC Seafood Bar Dungarvan

Caitlin Ui Aodha

Seafood pie, chowder & sauce


The Boxty House

Jack Gallagher

Filled boxty



James Gibney

RTD smoothies


Killinane Dairy Farm

Janet Miley O’ Neill

Ice cream


Marvellous Gastronomy

Alan Davies