Still first in fresh

Most industries can point to specific awards that recognise excellence and achievement whether it be artistic, technical, inventive or just sheer hard work. And of course it’s especially gratifying when a respected commentator or group puts its name to awards recognising achievement in your industry — and cites you as one of the leading examples.

One of the priorities among Musgrave and our retail partners is an unstinting commitment to fresh food excellence. We are proud of having kept fresh standards high while prices remain reasonable, however tough that can be in the present economic climate. We’re also proud to see that this effort has been noted.

And not just noted once. SuperValu retailers, who won seven top awards at the recent Checkout magazine Best in Fresh Awards have received recognition in so many areas of fresh food excellence that it’s hard to know where to start. Awards for best offerings in fresh fruit and veg, fish, baking and dairy, not to mention creativity were nicely rounded off by the Best Medium Supermarket award to Ryan’s SuperValu in Grange and the Best Large Supermarket award to Field’s SuperValu in Skibbereen for its ‘continuous delivery of an outstanding selection of fresh food across the entire store and its strong visible support of local suppliers’.

Awards aren’t a motivation in themselves of course. SuperValu retailers are strong believers in fresh food excellence and aware that it is the public who are the final arbiters of whether they are getting it right. But recognition from our own industry is certainly the icing on the (freshly-baked) cake.

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Convenience shopping: old and new

In our parents’ time convenience shopping would have meant popping down the road for the basics: bread, milk and tea, say. The performance of our retailers in communities across Ireland the UK and Spain shows how important this offering remains. At the same time, however, some habits are changing, influenced in particular by technology.

Would you have imagined sending a shopping order by phone 10 years ago? And yet today not only is it possible to do so but the price of smartphones has fallen so quickly that they may soon be owned by the majority of the population. As that happens, their usefulness will become ever more apparent and the accessibility of their amazing functions will improve as manufacturers tailor them more and more for ease of use.

And that is a wonderful opportunity — an opportunity we and our retail partners are embracing already. The recent announcement of the new SuperValu Online Shopping App, for example, takes the concept of convenience shopping to a whole new level and will, no doubt, be followed by others that take advantage of technological innovation that is now part of our everyday lives. In many ways,  these innovations, however new, are part of a philosophy as old as Musgrave itself: great food, excellent service and convenience.

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The Musgrave triathlon: are you fit for it?

Musgrave Triathlon

A triathlon is about as tough as a race gets. It’s pretty impressive therefore that the annual Musgrave Triathlon can attract more than 500 athletes willing to put themselves through the incredible effort involved in completing an 800m swim, a 33km cycle ride and a 10km run.

But equally impressive is that the Irish Cancer Society, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and Breakthrough Cancer Research have benefited to the tune of over €3 million in the 11 years since it began.

This year’s triathlon takes place on September the first and if you feel you can do the training (and get the sponsorship of course) we’d be delighted to see you. If you think that getting fit for next year’s triathlon would be a more realistic aim we’d be delighted to see you in 2013 when we hope again to break through the €250,000 fundraising target. Just keep checking for news of this year’s (or next year’s) event.

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Technology for the top-up shop

Technology has a major role to play in the future of shopping. Online ordering for example is already part of Musgrave’s plans and those of our retail partners and will no doubt grow in importance. But what is most important for many of our customers is making the in-store experience as smooth and efficient as possible. That’s why the recent announcement of the first Centra store in Ireland to offer Visa contactless payment to customers is so relevant.

Customers at Paul and Kay Ryan’s Centra Clonroadmore in Ennis are the first Centra shoppers to feel the benefits of a system that allows customers to pay for small orders without entering a PIN. They simply hold the Visa card over a reader.

This is important for the obvious reason that it will speeds up transaction time and shorten queues. But it also underlines the importance of technological innovation not just to the places where you might do a weekly or monthly shop but to smaller stores where you would top up your provisions or get some food in for the next couple of days. If your shopping needs are modest then meeting them should be a very quick and easy process. Contactless payment can make that happen. And if, as futurologists insist, people will eventually wave not a Visa card but a mobile phone at a reader, we and our partners will be ready. Enhancing customer convenience is always at the forefront of our planning and technology is increasingly a key part of that planning.

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Musgrave Triathlon gives a helping hand to cash strapped charities

Musgrave today announced that their annual Triathlon, which to-date has raised €3.1 million in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin and Breakthrough Cancer Research will take place in Farran Woods, Farran, Co. Cork on Saturday 1 September.

The triathlon, which attracts over 500 participants every year, is now in its eleventh year and has set an even higher target for 2012, which is to raise a staggering €250,000 through this one day event.

To date, funds raised from the Musgrave Triathlon have been used in the construction of the Oncology/Haematology Centre and the expansion of the emergency department at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin; the development of the Irish Cancer Society services to cancer patients through its night nursing programme, its cancer helpline and allowing it to further expand its cancer information services through its Daffodil Centres located in seven hospitals across Ireland. In addition, the triathlon has funded research carried out by Breakthrough Cancer Research, the Cork based internationally recognised cancer research centre.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Musgrave said, “We are really proud of our Triathlon and the incredible funds it continues to generate each year. Year after year I am pleased to announce that this Triathlon continues to go from strength to strength, attracting more participants and exceeding its fundraising targets each year. More and more Irish people are taking to athletics, particularly triathlons and it makes sense that we use this trend to help raise monies to fight one of the most widespread diseases in this country.”

“Despite the downturn, the Irish Cancer Society, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and Breakthrough Cancer Research continue to provide excellent care, support and research for cancer patients and their families here in Ireland. However, we must acknowledge that fundraising is difficult for these charities in these cash strapped times and I am delighted that Musgrave, together with our retail partners in SuperValu and Centra, can help raise vital funds in local communities across the country and make a great contribution to a very worthy cause.”

The triathlon involves an 800m swim, followed by a 33km cycle and a 10 km run. Entry forms and advanced training schedules can be downloaded from or by contacting Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland on 021 480 3000.

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