Local food producers secure a kick start from Lidl NI
From left, Connor Morgan, Oh So Lean; Steph Fulton, Wee ChoCo; Declan O’Donoghue, Erne Larder; and David Grant, The Little Meat Company.
Northern Ireland’s fastest growing retailer, Lidl, is serving up a taste of home this September as 11 new products from four local producers have been selected to go on sale across all 200 Lidl stores throughout the island of Ireland from September 2 (for a limited period while stocks last).
From fiery chocolate to succulent pulled meats, the locally made artisan products crafted in Northern Ireland have been selected as winners in this year’s Lidl Kick Start Supplier Development Programme.
The Kick Start Programme is designed to help small and medium size local food and drink producers grow their brand, build their supply network and reach new customer audiences.
Earlier this year, Lidl called on local producers to enter the programme and pitch their product to be stocked across all its stores. Producers across right the island of Ireland applied for the programme, with 11 new and exciting products from Northern Ireland passing the taste test and earning their place on the shelves this month.
This year’s winning range includes Erne Larder Marmalade with Whiskey from Fermanagh, Little Meat Co’s pulled meat range (chicken, turkey and pork), Oh So Lean ready meals (chicken curry, chilli chicken and spicy vegetable noodles), Oh So Lean smoked burgers (turkey and steak) and Wee ChoCo chocolate bars (honeycomb and chilli and lime) produced in Co Down.
“The Lidl Kick Start programme is an unrivalled platform for a small company like ours to boost our business and achieve a higher level of exposure for our products and brand,” said Steph Fulton, chocolatier and director of Wee ChoCo.
“We are delighted that one of Northern Ireland’s fastest-growing retailers has given its endorsement to our products for great taste and quality and we look forward to utilising its expertise to help make us export success story. We can’t wait to see where this programme takes us.”
Since taking part in the inaugural Lidl Kick Start Northern Ireland scheme last year, local producers have been enjoying the benefits that a boost from a major retailer can provide to smaller businesses.
As well as the limited edition in-store promotion, Kick Start also provides the ambitious companies with free business development seminars delivered by a panel of Lidl and wider industry experts, covering key disciplines such as quality control, packaging, communications and brand building.
Representing a major investment by Lidl into its local supplier network, the Kick Start programme is now open for applications for its 2020 scheme.
Northern Irish food and drink producers interested in applying can find out more information and submit their applications by visiting www.lidl-ni.co.uk/kickstart.