Lidl NI also selected its decadent meat pies to go on sale across 202 Lidl stores within the island of Ireland.
Established in 2017, The Little Meat Company specialises in producing a range of artisan hand-pulled meat products with a rich and intense taste.
With over 50 years of butchery experience, Adele Curran, David Grant and dad Peter work together to develop and refine recipes crafted using the latest techniques based on traditional values.
David Grant of The Little Meat Company stated, “With a long family history in butchery and supplying meat to the wholesale and catering industry, The Little Meat Company was formed to bring our range of artisan hand-pulled meats to a wider audience.
“Lovingly crafted, our tender and tasty products, which include pulled pork, spiced pulled beef, pulled ham and pulled chicken, are cooked low and slow for up to half a day to lock in the succulent flavours which our products are renowned for.
“In just a few short years, we have built up our business to now supply over 50 independent stores across Northern Ireland, but we knew that our business would really benefit from breaking into the supermarket retail space.
“That’s where the Lidl Kick Start Supplier Development Programme came in,” he added.
Showcasing the best of Northern Irish produce, the Kick Start local supplier development programme sees a range of selected, locally-produced products available across all 202 Lidl stores on the island of Ireland.
This year’s Kick Start products, which include succulent smoked meats, award-winning apple cider vinegar, hearty meat pies, healthy ready meals and premium Irish gin will hit shelves on Thursday 30 July and will be available for a limited time.
Now in its third year, the Lidl Kick Start programme is designed to help small and medium-sized local food and drink producers grow their brand, build their supply network and reach new customer audiences with the potential to open up new export opportunities.
David continues, “We’re delighted to be selected for the third year running for the Lidl Kick Start programme.
“This initiative has been a huge boost for our business and it’s incredibly encouraging to have the quality and taste of our products recognised once again.
“Last year, our pulled meats proved to be a hit with Lidl customers.
“This has encouraged us to diversify our product range and this year we are excited to bring our Meat Pie taster box to Lidl’s shelves.
“I would encourage any small to medium businesses out there to apply for the Kick Start programme.
“It’s a unique opportunity to benefit from the expertise of a fast-growing retailer and expand your customer base at the same time”, adds David.
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.
The selected range of artisan products featured within this year’s Kick Start programme includes two brand new suppliers; Natural Umber with their Apple Cider Vinegar produced in County Tyrone and Orchard Smoke House Smoked Turkey and Chicken Fillets from County Armagh.
Making a welcome return to the shelves are a range of delicious new lines from much-loved suppliers including Feckin’ Irish Gin, The Little Meat Company Taster Pie Box and Oh So Lean Creamy Chicken and Saffron Rice Ready Meal – all produced in County Down.
The Lidl Kick Start Supplier Development Programme is just one of many ways in which the retailer supports local suppliers.
Last year, as part of its 20th anniversary in Northern Ireland, it commissioned an independent report into the economic impact of its operations which indicated that it spends at least £290 million annually with suppliers across the region while also supporting 3,500 jobs.
For more information on the Kick Start Supplier Development Programme, visit lidlni.co.uk/kickstart.