LAST February, Lidl Ireland called out to Irish suppliers to enter products into their Supplier Development Programme, Kick Start. The programme, run by Lidl Ireland and supported by Bord Bia, is designed to help small and medium Irish food and drink businesses to grow their brand and build their supply network.
Sixty suppliers – including one from Mayo - have been chosen from across the country and their products will be sold in all 195 stores in Ireland and Northern Ireland for a limited edition Best of Ireland food promotion, commencing on September 17. Some 86 new and exciting products will go on sale this month.
The Mayo supplier featuring in the Kick Start Programme is Reel Deel, a small craft brewery based in Crossmolina, at the foot of Nephin.
Founded in 2014 by Marcus Robinson, the company's aim is to produce outstanding local ales using the best of ingredients and to leave the bland, industrial stuff behind.
Marcus moved from Yorkshire to Mayo with his wife, Catherine, and their family, to revisit Catherine's Irish roots. After years of planning, mastering techniques, perfecting flavours and a lot of hard work, Marcus and brewer Paul Williams created their award-winning craft beers.
To create beers full of flavour, their ingredients are carefully sourced, hand selected by their brewers, and chosen according to their quality and distinct flavours. Their beers will be on sale at Lidl, priced at €2.99.
Other Mayo suppliers taking part in Lidl's Best of Ireland food promotion are Kelly's of Newport, Shanvalley Innovative Food Company Ltd., and The Breadski Brothers.
All suppliers selected have attended a series of free, comprehensive seminars which has guided them through the process and taught them skills to help grow their business ahead of their products going on sale at Lidl.