• Cyril McAree

Musgrave MarketPlace & Bord Bia Team Up For Fourth Year of FoodService Academy


Handmade patés and terrines; organic cider vinegar, sheep milk yogurt and a range of vegan burgers and desserts 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 Musgrave MarketPlace and Bord Bia, and now in its fourth year, FoodService Academy takes place over four months and comprises both workshops and mentoring for all participants. Representatives from Musgrave MarketPlace 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 the distribution model as well as sales and marketing support.

Launching this year’s programme, Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia’s Foodservice Specialist, said “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 fourth 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 €8.2bn and forecast to grow to €9.3bn by 2021, this route to market is delivering real growth and value for Irish food and drink companies.”

Sheena Forde, Trading Director, Musgrave MarketPlace added that, “Following on from the success of our previous FoodService Academy programmes and that of the SuperValu Food Academy, we are now looking forward to the fourth year of our 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. We would like to acknowledge the excellent support of Bord Bia throughout the development of this programme, their shared passion for supporting Irish food business has been evident throughout.’’

There are many success stories from the FoodService Academy and ‘Newgrange Fine Foods’ is a great example of how support from the programme can transform a small business. Newgrange Fine foods is a family run and owned business set up by Michael Mc Allister and Ronan Carr in 2000. Since taking part in the 2017 Food Service Academy Programme, Newgrange Fine Foods now deliver a delicious range of fresh soups, porridge and potato products to Musgrave Wholesale Partners, supplying 59 Daybreak stores which are part of Musgrave, as well as 100 Circle K stores which are supplied by Musgrave MarketPlace.

Ronan Carr Director at Newgrange Fine Foods added that “The FoodService Academy was an excellent platform that gave our company a unique insight into the way the large foodservice providers operate. It was also a great opportunity to network with other producers that were at different stages of their foodservice journey” Participants for the 2019 programme were confirmed following an independent Product Assessment Session that took place earlier this year at Musgrave MarketPlace’s 75,000sqft Ballymun Food Emporium. Companies had the opportunity to submit their product samples to Musgrave MarketPlace Trading Managers, Category Managers and Leinster-based sales representatives.


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