SuperValu’s Irish Christmas dinner creates 170 additional jobs and over €10 million in Irish food sales

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading independent food retailer has today announced that its Christmas dinner sales will generate over €10m in sales of Irish produce.

In addition, 170 seasonal jobs have also been created by companies supplying SuperValu’s 100% Irish Christmas dinner including; turkey, ham, potato, carrots, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, and plum pudding suppliers. These companies include IGWT Poultry, Oliver Carty Ltd., K&K Packs Ltd, Wilson’s Country Potatoes, Folláin and Seery’s.

With shoppers more conscious than ever of supporting Irish companies and Irish jobs, SuperValu is stocking even larger amounts of Irish produce to meet demand. SuperValu estimates that it will take five trucks to deliver its 230 tonnes of Irish Brussels sprouts for the Christmas dinner. Over 650,000 bags of Irish potatoes will be purchased and over half a million kilos of Irish carrots – enough to cover a round-trip from Dublin to Cork – will be sold.

Commenting on SuperValu’s Irish Christmas sales, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director SuperValu said, “Now more than ever before, it is vital to support our Irish suppliers and producers. Consumers are choosing Irish and SuperValu is responding. By buying Irish products this year in SuperValu, consumers will help to create 170 additional jobs in Ireland and over €10 million in retail sales for Irish suppliers.

We are proud of our support of Irish goods, and to be in a position to offer local, home-grown produce to our shoppers in our 195 stores nationwide. This Christmas, 100% of the traditional Christmas dinner ingredients at SuperValu will be sourced or produced in Ireland. Christmas dinner is many people’s favourite meal of the year, and opting for Irish ingredients this year will make this great family occasion even tastier.”

SuperValu is Ireland’s leading independent food retailer and the only retailer with a store in each county. SuperValu’s commitment to Irish based producers includes sales of over €1 billion worth of fresh Irish food every year. In 2010 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6 billion to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

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Free range chicken farmers secure listing with SuperValu

SuperValu has announced that from today, it will stock a new premium brand of free-range Farmers to Market Irish chicken with an estimated value of €1.3million in retail sales.

Farmers to Market comes from a partnership between Manor Farm Chicken processors (Carton Brothers) and twelve free-range chicken farmers from counties Cavan and Monaghan. The partnership incorporates chicken houses, feed and ventilation systems designed to ensure the highest standard of animal welfare, guaranteeing a consistent quality and superior taste produced in an environmentally friendly way. It is the first partnership of its kind in the Irish chicken industry.

Just last week, Farmers to Market were successful at the SuperValu Irish Food Producers Awards 2011 winning the Best Newcomer Category. SuperValu is committed to stocking only 100% Irish-produced poultry that contains the Bord Bia quality mark. The Farmers to Market free-range chicken range, which is available in all SuperValu stores nationwide, further enhances this commitment.

Martin Kelleher Managing Director SuperValu said, “SuperValu guarantees the provenance of all our poultry, all of which is born bred and reared in Ireland. This Farmers to Market partnership further enhances that policy and also serves as a boost to the Irish chicken industry. A commitment to Irish suppliers is at the heart of SuperValu’s business and we are delighted to support this initiative.

He continued, “We are the only retailer to stock 100% Irish meat and poultry and our poultry sales alone were worth €65 million in 2010.  Similar to a number of other initiatives such as our Supplier Development programme, we are delighted to assist small suppliers get their products onto shop shelves.

Charles Smith of Farmers to Market said, “Farmers to Market is thrilled to have our products stocked on the shelves of one of Ireland’s leading retailers, Supervalu. To grow from a small industry in Cavan and Monaghan, to receiving the support of SuperValu is a great achievement. We are delighted that our products will reach such a wide audience, throughout SuperValu’s network.

SuperValu is Ireland’s leading independent food retailer and the only retailer with a store in each county. SuperValu’s commitment to Irish based producers includes sales of over €1 billion worth of fresh Irish food every year. In 2010 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

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Winners of SuperValu Irish Food Producers Awards 2011 announced

Seven food and beverage companies have been awarded accolades in the SuperValu Irish Food Producers 2011, in association with Enterprise Ireland.  The Awards, which took place in Dublin, recognise excellence, quality and innovation within the food and beverage sector in Ireland. From hundreds of entries, six winning category entries were chosen and the Irish Food Producer of the Year 2011 was named.

Westmeath Company Oliver Carty Ltd, which supplies pork products to SuperValu nationwide, was named the overall Irish Food Producer of the Year. Oliver Carty Ltd was chosen for their considerable investment in new packaging technology, as well as the new and innovative products they have brought to the market this year.

Category winners included:

  • Best Newcomer: Farmers to Market
  • Best for Quality: Dunn’s of Dublin
  • Best for Innovation: Oliver Carty Ltd.
  • Best Fresh Product: Keeling’s Ltd.
  • Best Local Producer: St. Tola Goat Cheese
  • The People’s Choice: Barry’s Tea (Ireland’s favourite Irish brand)

Congratulating the winning companies, Martin Kelleher MD SuperValu said, “Ireland’s food and beverage sector is Ireland’s largest indigenous sector and is renowned as one of the best in the world. The SuperValu Irish Food Producer Awards are all about celebrating Irish companies who give this sector its deserving reputation. I want to congratulate Oliver Carty Ltd., all of the other winning companies and entrants in this year’s Award who work tirelessly all year round work to consistently deliver quality, fresh, local produce.

SuperValu is proud to support Irish suppliers and the Awards are an opportunity to celebrate them. 75% of everything stocked in SuperValu stores is sourced or produced in Ireland and all of our meat, fish and poultry is 100% Irish.

We look forward to continuing and developing new partnerships with Irish suppliers in the year ahead at SuperValu, to help ensure that our food and beverage sector in Ireland continues to thrive and that customers have their choice of fresh, Irish products in all of our stores.

The Irish Food Producers Awards are a further example of SuperValu’s commitment to Irish suppliers and producers which includes sales of over €1 billion worth of fresh Irish food every year. In 2010 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

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SuperValu opens new Dun Laoghaire store

Total SuperValu investment of €25 million creates 400 jobs in 2011

SuperValu has announced the opening of its new store in Dun Laoghaire Shopping Centre, which was officially opened earlier today by the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore TD. The new store brings total investment in SuperValu stores to €25 million in 2011, which has created 400 jobs at locations nationwide including Dun Laoghaire, Mountmellick, Athy, Manorhamilton and Fermoy.

Officially opening the new store in Dun Laoghaire, Tánaiste Gilmore said, “I am delighted to open this new SuperValu store for a number of reasons. It is a good news story, not only for the 70 new employees and their families, particularly with Christmas around the corner, but also for the local community. They will now have greater choice in where they shop and greater access to Irish produce.

Dun Laoghaire, like towns throughout the country, has been hit hard by the recession. However I believe the opening of this store is a very positive sign that the local business community is fighting back and I warmly welcome that.

The latest store to open in the SuperValu network is the new €1.6 million store in Dun Laoghaire, which is owned by the centre owners, with initial in-store set up and support being provided by Eddie Kane and Dan McCartney of the Kane McCartney group of SuperValu stores.

Its opening comes in the wake of an investment of €90 million by SuperValu in delivering price savings to Irish shoppers, reducing the price of the average weekly SuperValu shopping basket from €132 to €102, a saving of €30.

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director SuperValu, said, “This new store in Dun Laoghaire brings total investment in SuperValu stores nationwide to €25 million in 2011, which has created 400 jobs. SuperValu’s core business is at the heart of local communities, run by local businesspeople. We contribute to thriving town centres around the country, supporting local suppliers and creating local employment. We are backing Ireland. The new store in Dun Laoghaire is a great opportunity for SuperValu to continue that regional focus and I look forward to further expansion in the year ahead.”

Geoff Barry, Manager SuperValu Dun Laoghaire, said; “Our customers will be able to take advantage of the fresh food, value for money and excellent customer service that is synonymous with SuperValu. We place a strong emphasis on supporting Irish suppliers and stocking Irish-made produce, with 75% of all goods available in the store either produced or sourced in Ireland. Additionally, the store will sell only 100% Irish meat and poultry, which has been born, bred and reared in Ireland.

The store will boast a superb fresh food offering, which includes an expert butchery department, an excellent fresh fruit and vegetable selection and a range of exclusive breads from its own in-store bakery department. A full off-licence will also offer a wide range of world wines, beers and spirits.

SuperValu is Ireland’s leading independent food retailer and the only retailer with a store in each county. SuperValu’s commitment to Irish based producers includes sales of over €1 billion worth of fresh Irish food every year. In 2010 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6billion to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector. 75% of everything in SuperValu is either produced or sourced in Ireland and it is the only supermarket to stock 100% Irish meat including beef, pork, chicken, lamb, ham and bacon.

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Budgens targets £100K of Christmas tree sales

Over £100,000 worth of Christmas trees will be sold in Budgens this year, an increase of 100% on last year” predicts Willie Hamilton, Trading Director for Budgens.

Rob Grant of GB Horticulture, who is supplying the Budgens trees this year explained that over 5,000 quality Christmas trees will be delivered to Budgens stores for Christmas.

With prices starting at £12.99, Budgens customers will have a choice of two tree types. The traditional Christmas tree is the Norway spruce although the Nordman fir is becoming increasingly popular. The difference between the two is that the Norway spruce drops its needles when it dries out, whereas the Nordman fir is referred to among growers as a ‘no needle drop’ tree as it should not shed its needles during the festive period.

Budgens customers will have a choice of two sizes: the 3/4ft potted and 5ft+ potted, then 3/4ft un-potted and 5/6ft un-potted in both the Norway spruce and the Nordman.

It terms of the length of time it takes for these trees to grow, the Norway spruce grows at approximately 12-18 inches per year while the Nordman grows at a slower rate of 6-12 inches per year.

This year, due to an exceptionally high demand from retailers, Budgens trees have had to be sourced not only from the UK, but also from Denmark, Belgium and around the German/Netherlands border. Hot and cold snaps at the end of the growing season in the UK resulted in some growers finding that the extremities of some trees had been damaged and therefore a higher demand for UK trees due to the drop in numbers available.

GB Horticulture decided early to secure Christmas tree deliveries from Europe to ensure the quality and good condition of trees for its customers and to confirm its pre-set prices.

Denmark and the northern European area where we are sourcing the trees from have excellent climactic conditions for growing Christmas trees,” said Grant. “Trees grow in cooler climates are stronger and the growers we use are well established; with that comes knowledge and quality.

Deliveries to Budgens stores will begin at the beginning of December and will be made on Danish trolleys, although some of the smaller stores will have their trees delivered loose in smaller vans.

Customers can extend the appearance and condition of their trees through a little care during the festive period. “Although trees dry out quicker in the home due to internal heating,” explained Grant, “measures can be taken to delay this such as misting the trees which will delay the drying out effect. However, great care must be taken to ensure that electrical goods are kept at a safe distance, including tree lights.

The market for Poinsettia plants has exploded over the last few years,” said Grant. “Their popularity has soared and those being sold by Budgens are now being transported to stores in the new fleet of temperature controlled vehicles. This ensures that customers receive the plants in excellent condition.

We are already beginning to secure trees for next Christmas to ensure we have the best quality trees available for retailers and their customers,” said Grant.

According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), the tradition of Christmas trees is thought to date back to 16th Century Germany with them being introduced into Britain during the Georgian period. The BCTGA was established in 1979.

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Centra launches new full roast 100% Fairtrade coffee

Signing a €2m supply deal with Bewleys

Centra, Ireland’s largest local retailer has announced that it has signed a €2 million deal with Bewley’s to supply its new full roast coffee bean which will be freshly ground for the ‘on the go’ coffee range sold throughout its 463 stores nationwide. Centra’s new full roast coffee is 100% Fairtrade certified and a delicious blend of premium Arabica coffee beans sourced from Brazil, Columbia and Nicaragua.

Centra, which sells over 8 million cups of coffee every year or over 160,000 cups each week has rolled out it’s new exciting full roast coffee in response to changing consumption patterns of coffee drinkers in Ireland. According to the latest research, despite the recession, coffee consumption and sales has remained relatively unaffected. The coffee in-store category has continued to grow in recent years, with the volume of take-away coffee increasing by 38%, prompting Centra to launch its new coffee bean and continue to build on its position as one of Ireland’s most popular destinations for ‘on the go’ coffee.    

Irish people still view coffee as an affordable indulgence, with good coffee becoming something of a necessity as palates have become more sophisticated and demanding, however, Irish coffee drinkers are going back to basics and purchasing more cups of regular coffee over lattes and cappuccinos.

The average cups of coffee purchased per day in Centra stores has increased from 1.5 to 2 cups, with Centra forecourt stores accounting for 20% of the groups total coffee sales, particularly before 9am each morning. This growth is primarily driven by lifestyle factors, with consumers citing their desire for an energy boosting kick-start to their day as the main reason for purchasing take-away coffee.  Centra’s forecourt store  in Charleville Co. Cork is reported to sell more cups of coffee than any other Centra store throughout Ireland, with over 130,000 cups sold each year. Centra convenience stores represent the highest sales for the mid morning and lunch time coffee trade.

Commenting on the announcement, Ciara McClafferty, Category Manager, Centra said “We are delighted to award the contract for our new full roast coffee to Bewley’s.  We are fully committed to supporting Irish suppliers and Irish businesses, while providing our consumers with a quality product. With the improvement of coffee standards in Ireland, consumers expect a café standard when purchasing coffee in store and this is what we supply with our new full roast bean. By purchasing Fairtrade coffee, Centra is supporting marginalised suppliers and workers, helping them move from a state of vulnerability to security and economic self sustainability.”

Speaking at the launch, Jim Corbett, Managing Director, Bewley’s said “We are delighted to sign this €2million supply deal with Centra. It is a great example of two strong indigenous Irish brands doing significant business together and in so doing, helping to secure Irish jobs in addition to providing consumers with a great tasting   quality product at good value prices. Supplying Fairtrade coffee, demonstrates Centra’s commitment and strategic intent to develop sustainable and ethical relationships with suppliers, both at home and abroad and we at Bewleys are very pleased to be involved.”  

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Britain’s biggest Budgens opens after £1 million investment

The biggest Budgens in Britain fully reopened on Tuesday 15 November 2011 after a six week extensive expansion and refurbishment.

The Budgens of Holt store has been expanded from slightly less than 9,000 square feet to over 13,000 square feet, making it the biggest Budgens within the symbol group.

We are proud that Budgens of Holt, with its new extension and extensive store refurbishment, will now offer our customers even better value and a greater range,” said store owner Michael Baker at the opening, which was attended by a large group of local dignitaries and contractors.

After the significant building extension project, we carried out the internal refurbishment over a six week period, with only small sections of the store being closed at a time to ensure that our customers had as little disruption as was possible. I am delighted that our customers will now have access to the biggest Budgens store in the country,” he said.

We are pleased to see so many of our retailers investing in refits and store developments during these challenging economic times. The Budgens of Holt team and our retail partner Michael Baker have done an amazing job to bring a first class fresh food supermarket to the people of Holt,” said Dan Quest, Budgens Sales Director. “With all the elements including an improved product range, full meat and poultry offer along with an improved bakery and Artisan breads, this store now represents a real showcase for what the Budgens brand offers that I’m sure the customers from Holt and the surrounding area will enjoy.

With well over £1 million invested in the store, many improvements have been made not only to the look and feel internally, but also in terms of extending the product ranges.

We embraced modern concepts of fresh, not only in terms of the range of produce but in how we source food from local suppliers,” Baker added.

Budgens of Holt has extensive relationships with several local suppliers enabling it to offer its customers a tempting variety of products. Fresh fish is supplied by J W H Jonas of Cromer, a local fishmonger whose specialty is supplying dressed crab during the summer, as well as cod and salmon.

Fresh meat is supplied locally by H V Graves of Briston. Customers looking for meat will benefit from a much larger in-store selection, the display of which has been increased to 10m and compliments the Budgens range. Further improvements have also been made to the frozen section which was increased by 6m; beers, wines and spirits were also extended by a similar amount.

During the initial store opening period, promotional offers for customers would include tins of Roses chocolates for £4, large bags of Kettle crisps (150g) for £1, packs of Budgens chicken breast at £3 and a 12-pack of Andrex at £4.

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SuperValu signs new deal with Uniplumo to supply Irish poinsettias for Christmas

SuperValu, Ireland’s leading independent supermarket, has today announced that it has signed a new agreement worth over €335,000 with Dublin based company Uniplumo to supply Poinsettias for the Christmas season.  As a result, SuperValu will only stock 100% Irish Poinsettias which will retail at just €3.

The deal is the latest in an established partnership between both companies, worth over €1,250,000 in retail sales and which has seen the volume of Uniplumo’s business with SuperValu increase by 40% over the past three years.

Uniplumo are specialists in the horticulture market, operating from six acres of heated glass houses near Swords, County Dublin.  The company now employs 43 fulltime staff and 28 seasonal staff.

Commenting on the announcement, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said, “We are delighted to show our continued support for Irish suppliers.  Our commercial relationship with Uniplumo is another example of our partnership approach with Irish companies where we have been able to work together to grow the business.  Poinsettias are extremely popular for Christmas, so we are proud to be in a position to offer exclusively home grown plants to our shoppers. Supervalu’s commitment to investing in local produce guarantees top quality and longevity in our fresh offering.”

Tom Summerville, General Manager, Uniplumo, added, “We are delighted by this announcement which demonstrates an enormous commitment by SuperValu to home grown Poinsettia, and to Irish jobs.  Home grown Poinsettia is superior in quality and longevity and is therefore far better value for money by comparison to imported alternatives on offer this Christmas in other supermarkets. This announcement is a very significant development for Uniplumo and we look forward to developing our partnership with SuperValu into the future.”  

SuperValu is Ireland’s leading independent food retailer and the only retailer with a store in each county. Supervalu’s commitment to Irish based producers includes sales of over €1 billion worth of fresh Irish food every year.  In 2010 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu, was worth over €1.6bn to the Irish economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 Irish jobs in the farm, food and retail sector.

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Hats off to top Irish milliners

Philip Treacy, Martha Lynn, Lina Stein, Suzie Mahony, Edel Ramberg, Catherine Cooke and Tahnee Morgan create one off editions of Centra’s pink beanie hats for Action Breast Cancer

Top Irish milliners, Philip Treacy, Martha Lynn, Lina Stein, Suzie Mahony, Edel Ramberg, Catherine Cooke and Tahnee Morgan have come on board to support Action Breast Cancer by creating one-off editions of Centra’s hugely popular pink beanie hats this October. For the second year in a row Centra is supporting Action Breast Cancer, a programme of the Irish Cancer Society by selling pink beanie hats throughout its vast store network (468 stores nationwide). The beanie hats are available in two pink colours and are only €5 with all proceeds going to Action Breast Cancer.

To help raise additional much needed funds for the charity, Ireland’s leading milliners were invited to customise a pink beanie hat in their own individual style and the results are simply outstanding. The designer pink beanie hats will be auctioned off in October with proceeds generated going to Action Breast Cancer. The funds raised from the sale of the designer mittens will go towards providing information, advice and support services for women with breast cancer in Ireland.

Martha Lynn commented on the campaign; “There are very few people who can say they haven’t been affected by cancer so when I was asked by Centra and Action Breast Cancer to get involved in the campaign I was really enthusiastic about creating something individual and a little special for my pink beret. There is a lot of love and a little bit of hard work in my hat – all for a great cause!

Action Breast Cancer, a programme of the Irish Cancer Society is Ireland’s leading provider of breast cancer information and support. Over the last ten years more than 30,000 women have called the National Cancer Helpline looking for expert information, advice and support on all aspects of breast health and breast cancer. Action Breast Cancer strives to ensure that everyone affected by breast cancer receives the highest standards of treatment, support and care, and to improve the quality of life of people living with breast cancer.

For further information, advice and support on any aspect of breast cancer, call the National Cancer Helpline on Freefone on 1800 200 700 or visit

For more on Centra and to view the exclusive one-off designer pink beanies follow us

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Appy days are here again!

Shake up your meals with new Centra App

Ever wanted to treat yourself to a tasty but easy to prepare dinner after a long day, but found yourself completely stuck for ideas? Or invited friends around for a spot of lunch, only to find your menu lacking that little something? Well, help in the kitchen is now at hand thanks to a brand new free mobile App from Centra which offers delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner as quickly as you can say, ‘Bon Appetit’

As Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, Centra has put convenience top of the menu with the development of an exciting new  iPhone and Android App that is just bursting with recipe ideas. Once downloaded  for free, a simple shaking of your smart phone and Centra’s new recipe App will provide fresh, quick and easy meal ideas with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. All you need is a smart phone to become a master chef.   

Some 50 recipes have been carefully developed to suit every palate and every occasion with an emphasis on both taste and simplicity as all dishes can be prepared from everyday ingredients and served up in minutes.  Recipes can be browsed according to the time of day or simply served up at random by shaking the App –  shake and make! Good food is for sharing, so the good news is that your favourite recipes from the Centra App can be shared with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter and Email.

But that’s not all! You can also create a shopping list to remind yourself of what ingredients you need or check out what’s currently on offer in your nearest Centra store. And if you’re not sure where your nearest store is located, the App’s store locator function will help you find it. Now that’s convenience.

To download Centra’s App for free, simply visit the Android and iPhone App stores. For more on Centra, visit or find us on

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