Centra staged first ‘Champions of Healthy Living’ hurling event in Nowlan Park with Kilkenny hurling stars

Kilkenny stars Richie Hogan and JJ Delaney enjoy hosting a Q&A session with budding sport stars.

Over 350 children lined out in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny, last Saturday, for the first of Centra’s twelve ‘Champions of Healthy Living’ events this summer. Multiple All-Ireland champions, Richie Hogan and JJ Delaney, were on hand on the day to give healthy eating and training tips to young aspiring hurlers from local Kilkenny clubs.

Girls and boys from all over the county came in their droves to take part in a very special hurling skills session and learn from some of the best in the game. This year’s event has a strong focus on healthy eating and nutrition, with the Centra Champions providing some invaluable tips on how they can perform to the best of their ability!  As well as the fun skills session, children enjoyed a great family day out that brought the whole community together with a delicious BBQ and host of entertainment on the day.

On the day Emeralds GAA Club in Urlingford also won themselves a place in the grand finale of the community events, taking place in October in Croke Park. They will be one of a selection of clubs to take part in the ultimate behind the scenes day out as they enjoy a special training session with Centra’s ‘Champions of Healthy Living’, a stadium tour and lots of entertainment! To be in with a chance to win, take your best club selfie with your local Centra store owner and submit it on www.centra.ie.

The Kilkenny event was hosted by the following Centra stores; Blanchfield’s Centra Mooncoin, Conway’s Centra Mullinavat, Carroll’s Centra Knocktopher, Holligan’s Centra College Road, Nolan’s Centra Ardnore, Hennessy’s Centra John’s Green, Cullen’s Centra Bennetsbridge, Dunphy’s Centra Thomastown and Deegan’s Centra Urlingford.

Throughout the summer Centra is undertaking a ‘Champions of Healthy Living’ survey with parents at each community event and Saturday’s event has revealed some interesting findings about Kilkenny’s eating habits. Topping the poll the survey showed that Kilkenny children’s favourite fruit is apples (34%), while their favourite vegetable is carrots (31%). Their least favourite vegetable is brussels sprout (28%), just ahead of mushrooms (24%). When it comes to treats almost a third of parents give their children a treat two to four times a week, while just 7% of children are never given a treat.

The survey also examined who their child’s favourite hurler was, along with exploring what sports star comes to mind when they hear the word ‘champion’. Unsurprisingly in Kilkenny, Henry Shefflin topped the poll for both!

This year Centra has introduced a new GAA product range, perfect for all the budding Henry Shefflin’s. The new range includes a range of sandwiches, all less than 450 calories, as well as delicious ‘Fruit Pots’ and strawberry and mango smoothies – one of your 5 a day.

Centra, at the heart of communities throughout Ireland with over 460 stores nationwide, is continuing to work with the GAA to promote and develop the game of hurling for all ages right across the country; in both developing and well established hurling counties.

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155 Small Food Producers Rolled out to SuperValu stores across Ireland

Food Academy participants, The Happy Pear, The Cool Bean Company and Nobo ice-cream

Small producers who have been participating in and have completed the Food Academy Start and Advance programmes are now being rolled out to 221 SuperValu stores nationwide which will result in sales of over €10 million in 2015.  The programme which is a joint initiative between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Office Network was established in 2014 to support small food companies in Ireland.

Over the last 12 months, the Food Academy programme has been working with hundreds of small food producers around the country, to have had their products trialled in their local SuperValu stores. Now 155 food start-ups will see their products grow sustainably across 221 SuperValu stores. A huge variety of innovative products feature in this range from nettle syrup to dairy free ice cream, free from breads, breakfast combo puddings to authentic spices and even a “healthy” chocolate.

Commenting on the announcement, Eamon Howell, Trading Director for SuperValu said: “We are delighted that 155 small food producers who have graduated from our Food Academy programme are now listed across our full store network.  This is a real endorsement to the Food Academy initiative which allows us to bring community based food start- ups to market and provides them with the potential to grow their businesses even further, providing employment for themselves, members of their community and for some – family. It is great to nurture the energy and passion of these entrepreneurial producers and harness this into producing a range of products that we, as the number one Irish retailer, are proud to stock on our shelves

We are currently working with an additional 250 small food producers in our Food Academy Start programme where we are providing them with the tools, mentoring, advice and expertise to trial their product in their local stores.  SuperValu’s unique retail model with stores independently owned and operated means that owners can purchase directly from local suppliers. As a result, retailers can develop a tailored offer for their local community and shoppers will often find products in their local SuperValu that is not stocked in other supermarkets.  By matching SuperValu stores with start-up food business in their area through the Food Academy programme is providing a real boost for local economies throughout Ireland”.

At the launch, Rachel Nolan from Nobo ice cream said “We joined the food academy programme last year  as a small producer and today we are in 221 stores nationwide. The programme certainly helped us develop our product, identify the pitfalls early and grow with the confidence. The support from SuperValu is genuine and vitally important for the growth of small Irish producers like us.

SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and 75% of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible and purchases almost €2 billion worth of goods from Irish suppliers which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

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Supervalu’s Best Beef Ever – Pop Up Bistro a Huge Hit with Diners

SuperValu recently launched their Best Beef Ever across stores nationwide and to celebrate, SuperValu hosted a Best Beef Ever Bistro where Kevin Dundon cooked a feast for lucky diners at secret location on Dawson St, Dublin 2. Check out the video below to see what happened.

The pop up bistro took over the space on Dawson Street for two nights to showcase SuperValu’s best beef ever, with lucky diners winning a seat through a social media competition. Guests were treated to a sumptuous meal that was a cut above the rest, prepared by celebrity chef Kevin Dundon. The menu included Smoked and Barbecued Beef Brisket served on the block, 21 Day Dry Aged Chargrilled Cote du Boeuf served with Horseradish Mash, followed by Opera Style Gateau.

Already selling more fresh meat than anyone else to consumers across Ireland, SuperValu has continued to drive the quality agenda, and, through a focus on improved processing and ageing, the great SuperValu quality meat has now got even better.

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Centra champions healthy living through GAA partnership

Pictured left to right: Patrick Horgan, Henry Shefflin, Conal Keaney, Hannah Mahony, Sean Whelan and Rebecca Moriarty.

Centra ‘Champions of Healthy Living’ ambassador and GAA legend, Henry Shefflin, along with Patrick Horgan and Conal Keaney lined out today in Herbert Park, Dublin as Centra launched its GAA endorsed product range and its new community event summer tour, which will spread Centra’s healthy living message across Ireland. A selection of the finest inter-county stars, past and present, will travel the length and breadth of the country to give healthy eating and training tips to the next generation of hurling stars.

This summer Centra has introduced a special new GAA endorsed product range, perfect for all budding Henry Shefflin’s. The range is convenient for all the family and is perfect when you are on the go during those busy summer months. It includes a variety of low calorie sandwiches, along with delicious ‘Fruit Pots’ and nutritious strawberry and mango smoothies – one of your 5 a day.

There will be twelve community hurling events taking place over the next three months, starting this Saturday (23rd May) in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny before travelling on to counties from Cork to Donegal and Galway to Dublin. Children will participate in a specialised hurling skills session with some of the best players in the game and will pick-up some tips on the diet and nutrition of a Champion! The events are run with the support of local Centra stores in each area and feature a host of entertainment along with a barbeque for all.

The grand finale of these community events will take place this October in Croke Park; the home of GAA. Centra is giving a selection of clubs a once in a lifetime chance to win the ultimate behind the scenes day out as they enjoy a special training session with Centra’s ‘Champions of Healthy Living’, a stadium tour and lots of entertainment!

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Centra commented; “We are committed to promoting healthy living through the Centra brand and our partnership with the GAA provides the perfect platform to engage with communities around the country on this important topic. This year we are delighted to launch our GAA endorsed product range which is available in stores nationwide. Along with a fun-day out for all at our community events, our ‘Champions of Healthy Living’ hurling stars will help educate parents and children alike on the importance of eating well and being active.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail said: “Centra have combined the importance of healthy eating and being active in their new campaign and what better way to do it than by showcasing the lifestyle habits of some of our best hurlers.

Visiting no fewer than 12 counties our younger members will get to see first-hand the benefits of paying attention to what we eat and we at Cumann Lúthchleas Gael are delighted to partner with valued GAA Hurling Championship sponsors Centra on what is a most worthwhile project.

Ten-time All-Ireland Champion, Henry Shefflin added; “I am delighted to be involved once again with the Centra community hurling events. I’m particularly proud to be promoting healthy eating as it’s something I feel strongly about and I’m looking forward to sharing some valuable healthy living tips to young hurler throughout the country.

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Musgrave Group Agrees Sale of Budgens and Londis to Booker

Musgrave Group Agrees to Develop Strategic Partnership with Booker

Musgrave Group today announces that it has reached agreement to sell its GB business which operates the Budgens and Londis brands to Booker for a total cash consideration of €57 million (£40 million) on a cash free-debt free basis. Completion of the transaction is subject to CMA approval.

Chris Martin, CEO of Musgrave Group, said: “The grocery market in Great Britain is experiencing fundamental and permanent structural change, with intense competition and a deflationary environment. Given these challenging market dynamics, we carefully evaluated all of the possible options for our GB business. Having received a proposal from Booker, we concluded that a sale to Booker is the right thing for the Group and would be the most advantageous outcome for our retailers, colleagues and suppliers in Great Britain. The agreement also includes the development of a strategic partnership with Booker.

Booker will be a good fit for retailers and will continue to develop the Budgens and Londis brands utilizing the supporting supply chain and head office. Retailers will benefit from Booker’s buying strength, an extensive operational footprint throughout Great Britain including a nationwide distribution and cash and carry infrastructure and a service culture that is proven to meet the needs of independent retailers.

Musgrave GB has been a loss-making business and while the decision to sell Budgens and Londis is difficult, it will allow the Group to drive forward with its growth strategy which is about developing our market-leading retail, convenience and cash and carry brands in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain. 

We see the opportunity for growth in the improving Irish economy. To support our growth agenda, Musgrave is developing a strategic partnership with Booker. We will explore opportunities to collaborate on store formats, digital innovation, buying opportunities, sharing of best practice and to achieve cost savings and efficiencies for the business.”

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SuperValu Teamed Up With Two Generations of GAA All-Ireland Football Championship Heroes to Launch New ‘Kits for Kids’ Initiative

SuperValu has teamed up with Dublin and Tyrone GAA Football stars Alan Brogan and Seán Cavanagh and their childhood heroes; footballing legends Mick Galvin and Mattie McGlennan to reveal details of a new in-store ‘Kit for Kids’ initiative. SuperValu, proud sponsor of the GAA Football All-Ireland Championship, aims to inspire the future generation of GAA heroes by awarding juvenile O’Neills kits worth €430,000 to over 400 clubs around the county.

Taking place in 130 SuperValu stores nationwide and running until the 11th of July, shoppers will receive Kit for Kids tokens which can be donated to their chosen club through in-store collection points.

Growing up as a young footballer, it was his idol, All-Ireland champion Mick Galvin that inspired Alan Brogan to always strive for success. Brogan’s decorated career includes winning the 2011 All-Ireland Championship and lifting the Sam Maguire for Dublin for the first time since Galvin’s 1995 victory. Now a hero himself, Alan understands the role he has to play in inspiring a future generation of GAA kids – including his young son Jamie who was at the announcement with his dad. Alan is urging shoppers to support their local GAA community by getting behind SuperValu’s new initiative.

Dublin footballer Alan Brogan commented “I’m delighted to support SuperValu’s Kit for Kids initiative as I know myself just how valuable gear like that is to any GAA club. The kids in my own club St Oliver Plunketts, including my son Jamie, would be so excited to win such great gear. Whether you’re a member of a GAA club or not this is a really positive way to support your local club and its young members.” 

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director SuperValu said, “As a long-time supporter of the GAA, SuperValu is proud to launch this new initiative which brings our sponsorship of the GAA Football All-Ireland Championship to a local, grassroots level and allows us to give back to the community that supports us. GAA clubs are the backbone of so many Irish communities and we’re delighted to be able to support over 400 clubs by providing them with new kit for the GAA heroes of the future.

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Rodney’s Centra announced €300,000 store refurbishment project

Pictured from left to right: Helen McEntee, Lisa Hickey, John O’ Toole, Rodney Dolan, Bridgie Gillick and John Ryan.

Rodney’s Centra in Nobber, Co. Meath has announced a €300,000 refurbishment of its store, which will provide the village with convenient shopping facilities, placing a strong emphasis on delivering value to local shoppers and an excellent all day fresh food offering. The 1,800 sq. ft. store employs 11 staff members and is owned and operated by Rodney Dolan. The project, which was completed on 15 May, includes a self-serve soup unit, a comprehensive fresh meat range and made to order fresh pizzas.  In addition, the store has enhanced its fruit and veg range, its dairy offering and pre packed meat range. For the first time in Nobber there is a permanent whipped ice-cream machine. Also, plans are currently underway to enhance the bakery section and to introduce additional hot food ranges over the coming twelve months.

To celebrate the refurbishment the store hosted a customer event on Saturday, 16 May to thank customers and the local Nobber community for their support throughout the project. Over 150 people joined Rodney and his team including Helen McEntee TD. Guests enjoyed sampling food delights from the new deli section, engaging with the outdoor entertainers and taking part in a variety of in-store competitions.  

Speaking on the store’s investment and community involvement in Nobber Helen McEntee TD said “I would like to congratulate Rodney and his team on this refurbishment. It has not been an easy time for retailers over the past few years and it is fantastic to see a local retailer like Rodney investing in his Nobber store. Rodney’s Centra is at the heart of the community and his support of a number of groups is very important. I wish Rodney many years of success.

Rodney Dolan, Store Owner, commented “Responding to the needs of our customers we have invested substantially in a store refurbishment, which has resulted in a bright and modern store. The size of the store has increased by 50%, up to 1,800 sq. ft. As a result we will be catering for all our customers’ changing requirements for more fresh food offerings and healthier options. We are delighted with the new look store and have plenty of new and exciting ideas yet to implement. I would like to thank my team and our customers for being very supportive and patient while the refurbishment took place.

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SuperValu named as ‘Marketing Team of the Year’ at the 2015 All Ireland Marketing Awards


Pictured Left to Right: Owen Lynch, Conor Phillips, Shane Lynch, Ray Kelly, Margaret Barron, Des O’Mahony, Anne Marie Fenton, Niamh Skally, Grace O’Dwyer, Joyce Hosford, Maighread Cremin, Ellen O’Donovan and Margaret O’Donoghue

SuperValu has won the prestigious title of ‘Marketing Team of the Year’ at the 2015 All Ireland Marketing Awards in the Double Tree Hotel, Dublin recently.

The marketing team beat off stiff competition from Lidl Ireland, Kerry Foods, Liberty Insurance and Electric Ireland in clinching this esteemed accolade.

SuperValu swept the board at the ceremony, winning more awards than any other brand. As well as winning the top prize of Marketing Team of the Year, SuperValu won two other hugely sought after awards – Direct Marketing and Sponsorship Management.

The adjudicators of the Marketing Team of the Year award agreed: “SuperValu’s commitment to quality food and local community, while also offering the best value, is at the core of the brand; and this is the driver of the marketing team who are ‘believers’ in the brand. This commitment has led to the development of the challenging initiatives that have delivered a very successful year of dramatic results, with SuperValu being named Ireland’s most reputable Irish brand, and 52,000 new customers being acquired. The marketing team’s passion and personality, and its distinctive culture, are intrinsic to its commercial success.

Ray Kelly, SuperValu Marketing Director commented on receiving the title: “As a team, we are absolutely delighted to win this award and receive such great recognition from the elite marketing professionals of Ireland. My teams enthusiasm and constant dedication is pivotal to the success of the brand, our retailers and the communities that they serve.

Following the AIMS, The Irish Independent hailed SuperValu’s strategists marketing leading in their field – see below:

SuperValu named as Marketing Team of the Year independant article image

The awards were arranged by the Marketing Institute of Ireland, with over 850 people from across the business and marketing community attended the event.

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Budgens scoops silver at The Grocer Own Label Awards for Discover the Taste ‘Rich Coffee & Marsala Wine Cake’

Budgens enjoyed success at The Grocer Own Label Awards last week and are delighted to announce they have received a Silver Award in the ‘large cake’ category for their “Budgens Discover the Taste” Rich Coffee & Marsala Wine Cake. The award, which recognises excellence in own label produce, was held at the Hilton Park Lane in London last Friday (8th May 2015). Sarah Miller, Rob Lugton, Alison Firth and Richard Burke were in attendance at the awards ceremony from the Budgens team.

The Budgens Discover the Taste Rich Coffee & Marsala Wine Cake is handmade in West Sussex and is created with Brazilian coffee icing and topped with Belgian chocolate curls. It beat off hot competition in the large cake category, being first shortlisted by a consumer panel and then judged by an expert panel to claim the silver award.

Budgens were shortlisted back in February and the Budgens Discover the Taste Smoked Scottish Salmon, which is smoked over oak and beech chippings in traditional brick kilns, also gained a finalist status in the ‘Ready to Eat fish’ category.

The Grocer Own Label awards received a record 1,103 entries this year and of these only 372 made the finalist shortlist following the consumer panel. The finalists were chosen by a national consumer panel and then judged by an expert panel who decided on the silver and gold award winners. The ultimate winner in each category was decided by combining the consumer panel score with the votes of the expert panel of judges.

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Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland launched new Retail Food Safety Programme

A major development took place in Tramore Road on May 5th with the initial group of Food Safety Champions undertaking the newly launched Retail Food Safety Training course.

Jointly developed by the Food Safety & Quality team and Highfield, the new 5 day programme combines the best in class food safety training methods and materials with an innovative in-store approach whereby qualified Food Safety Champions from the Programme can train staff in-store without the expense and time of sending their staff off site.

The initiative to develop the Programme came about from listening to retailers and understanding that a common approach was needed. Over two years in development it included Training provider selection, materials development and Pilot trials. Highfield were chosen for their extensive international retail training experience in UK, ROI, Middle East and US in addition to the resources and expertise they bring to the Programme.

Steps to Success! Picture of the first Group of SuperValu and Centra Retailers to attend the Retail Food Safety Training Programme in Tramore Road on 5th May.

The Programme was officially launched at both SuperValu and Centra conferences earlier this year. As a result there has been significant recognition of the benefits by retailers leading to many signing up for the first Spring / Summer sessions being held across the country.

The Programme will train over 200 Food Safety Champions & Retailers in 2015 who in turn will train up to a further 4000 staff in-store in 2015. “This innovation in Food Safety training delivery will revolutionise how we approach Retail Food safety” said Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality “it will ensure that there are further improvements to the consistency of Food Safety approach while at all times protecting consumers. We also expect that the newly qualified trainers will act as catalysts within their own stores to improve standards. Above all, this new approach is being delivered at a substantially reduced cost compared to traditional training methods so it’s a win-win all round!

The new Programme has also gained positive recognition from EIQA who will allocate additional points where stores can demonstrate the successful application of the training. The Food Safety and Quality team will continue rollout of the Programme in 2016.

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