Sustainably grown seaweed, whiskey-flavoured popcorn and Cork’s finest gluten-free fresh chilli sauce are just some of the innovative products selected to join this year’s FoodService Academy.

Run by Bord Bia and Musgrave MarketPlace, the programme aims to help participants grow sales within the foodservice, or out of home food, market.

The initiative also offers the opportunity to achieve growth within Musgrave MarketPlace’s foodservice business, supplying over 6,000 customers each week ranging from hotels and restaurants to pubs and nursing homes.

Programme Overview

Coordinated by Bord Bia and now in its second year, FoodService Academy will take place over four months and comprise of both workshops and mentoring.

Representatives from Musgrave MarketPlace will participate in the workshops, sharing “invaluable practical insights and experience” to help the companies better understand areas such as supplier set-up, food safety requirements and distribution models as well as sales and marketing support.

Launching this year’s programme, Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia’s Foodservice Specialist, said that Foodservice in Ireland offers major opportunities for suppliers providing innovative products and solutions to meet changing consumer needs.

“We’re delighted to roll out the second year of our ‘FoodService Academy’ initiative, supporting our belief that food businesses should increasingly look to the foodservice sector as a viable route to market.

“Now worth €7.5 billion and forecast to grow to over €9 billion by 2020, this route to market is delivering real growth and value for Irish food and drink companies.”

Sheena Forde, Trading Director, Musgrave MarketPlace said that following on from the success of the FoodService Academy last year and that of the SuperValu Food Academy, the company is now looking forward to the second year of the programme to support Irish foodservice producers through Musgrave MarketPlace.

A number of the participating companies are Food Academy graduates so we are proud to be in a position to help grow their businesses by introducing their products to our foodservice customer base.

“As the largest and fastest growing wholesaler in Ireland, we are ideally placed to understand the needs of the foodservice market and, as an Irish family business, we are delighted to work with small Irish companies, many of which are family owned, to give them a head start in the market.

“The FoodService Academy programme offers a combination of commercial and marketing expertise and will provide invaluable customer insight for the companies involved.”

  • Clarafields, a ‘Dulche de Leche’ / caramel sauce manufacturer based in Co. Offaly.
  • Fresh Soup Company, Meath-based manufacturers of a range of soups and sauces, free from preservatives, artificial colours or flavours.
  • MSC Ventures Ltd, producers of a range of fresh pestos, pastas and pizza doughs, based in Glanmire, Co. Cork.
  • Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co., harvesters of sustainably-grown seaweed from Connemara.
  • Natasha’s Living Food, suppliers of a vegan and raw food snack range.
  • Kildare-based Nutmost, producers of a range of activated nut-based snack products.
  • Popsy Daisy, a Dublin producer of gourmet caramel popcorn using the best quality ingredients from local producers. Flavours include Teeling’s Whiskey Salted Caramel and Apple Crumble.
  • Cork’s Rebel Chilli, for their alternative range of gluten free, fresh chilli sauces.
  • Rosie&Jim Dublin, a 100% gluten-free plant producing whole chicken fillets in breaded coatings and employing over 30 staff.
  • Sea of Vitality, an innovative Dungarvan-based company producing a range of award winning, value-added seaweed-based food products and run by husband and wife team.
  • Wicklow Rapeseed Oils, for its range of standard and flavoured culinary oils made from rapeseed grown on farm in the Co. Wicklow.