SuperValu Take Home Top Accolade at the National Grocery Retail Awards

SuperValu is revealed as Ireland’s Retailer of the Year

SuperValu has been announced as winner of the top award at the inaugural National Grocery Retail Awards this week. The awards were held by Checkout, Ireland’s leading magazine for the grocery retail industry and winners were announced virtually at the ceremony on 20th December. Along with being crowned Retailer of the Year, SuperValu took home the award for Fresh Food Retailer of the Year and several individual awards for their retailers.

The judges highlighted SuperValu’s ability to innovate and respond to key trends – from sustainability initiatives to supporting local and Irish producers and helping customers lead a healthier lifestyle – as to why they were ultimately crowned Retailer of the Year. The judges said of the win, “SuperValu has been a longstanding champion of Irish brands and has acted as a springboard for many businesses that are now household names around the country.

When it comes to the shopping experience in store, SuperValu offers an excellent path to purchase. This can be attributed to both its first-rate customer service teams and to the high quality and creativity of the branding, signage, displays, and storytelling that is evident throughout its estate.”

From retail store of the year awards to winners of best retail categories, SuperValu retailers across Ireland picked up 14 awards, including:

  • Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty winner of Retail Store of the Year (Large Supermarket) and Excellence in Fresh Food Retailing in a Large Supermarket
  • Garvey’s SuperValu Corbally winner of Retail Store of the Year (Medium Supermarket)
  • Rushe’s SuperValu Killiney winner of Retail Store of the Year (Small Supermarket)
  • Quish’s SuperValu Ballincollig winner of Ireland’s Best Food-to-Go Offering
  • Tarpey’s SuperValu Cavan winner of Ireland’s Best Deli Offering
  • Quish’s SuperValu Tramore winner of Ireland’s Best In-Store Off-Licence
  • Kavanagh’s SuperValu Westport winner of Ireland’s Best Fresh Fish / Seafood Offering
  • SuperValu Blackrock winner of Ireland’s Best Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Offering
  • SuperValu Lucan winner of Ireland’s Best Bakery Offering
  • O’Keeffe’s SuperValu Bantry winner of Ireland’s Best Fresh Dairy Offering
  • Tarpey’s SuperValu Cavan winner of Ireland’s Most Creative Fresh Food Retailer
  • SuperValu Rathborne winner of Excellence in Fresh Food Retailing in a Small Supermarket
  • Kavanagh’s SuperValu Westport winner of Excellence in Fresh Food Retailing in a Medium Supermarket

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said, “In the first year of the National Grocery Retail Awards we are delighted to be the top performing supermarket with remarkable wins in both the overall categories and for our individual retailers. Winning Ireland’s Retailer of the Year Award is an endorsement of the excellence we bring to our customers in all 223 stores in communities around Ireland every day. Our retailers also took home 14 awards, we’re immensely proud of each of our retailers and it’s wonderful to see them receive the recognition they deserve, particularly after a challenging time during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The National Grocery Retail Awards is an amalgam of Ireland’s premier awards for fresh food retailing, the Checkout Best in Fresh awards, and the leading awards for suppliers to the industry, the Checkout National Retail Supplier awards. The awards highlight best in class retailing and honour the companies and suppliers that help Ireland’s pioneering stores and retail chains to achieve levels of service and product excellence that set them apart from their competitors. The awards, hosted by Checkout, are the most prestigious and inclusive awards for the grocery retail sector in Ireland.

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Minister Humphreys announces Ennis Co. Clare as winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021

  • €1.5 Million announced in grant aid for over 1,000 TidyTowns groups nationwide.
  • Glaslough TidyTowns, Co. Monaghan named as the inaugural winner of the Young Persons in TidyTowns Award.
  • Minister Humphreys praises role played by TidyTowns volunteers during unprecedented period

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (12th November) announced Ennis, Co. Clare as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021.

The announcement was made at a scaled-back event held in the RDS today with a small number of representatives present from this year’s entries to the Competition.

The event was streamed live to thousands of TidyTowns volunteers around the country who were eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners.

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition has been in existence since 1958 and Ennis, was judged to be the best from a number of 847 entries to the competition this year.

The announcement was greeted with much celebration and excitement at today’s awards ceremony at The RDS in Dublin.

On hand to announce the results of the 2021 competition with Minister Humphreys, T.D., was Mr. Ray Kelly, Marketing Director of SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor for the 30th year.

Some of the other big winners on the day included:

  • Geashill, Co. Offaly awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Village.
  • Abbeyleix, Co. Laois awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town.
  • Cobh, Cork South awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town.
  • Ennis, Co. Clare awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Minister Humphreys said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Ennis who are very deserving winners.  Ennis first entered the SuperValu TidyTowns competition in 1959 and continue to showcase all that is good about community and volunteerism. They have been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local, regional, national and European level and won the competition previously in 2005. Given the tremendous interest in the competition and the increasing efforts made by all entrants, it is a wonderful achievement to take the national title for a second time; this really demonstrates that resilience and determination do reap rewards.

“I want to congratulate Ennis and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today.  It has not been easy for TidyTowns groups during what has been an unprecedented period.

“Like all sections of society, the pandemic has prohibited us from participating in the things we enjoy within our own communities.

“I want to commend the hundreds of groups and thousands of volunteers who, in the face of adversity, put their community first and continued to make their areas better places to live and work and to visit, all the while, adhering to social distancing and public health guidelines.

“For that, on my own behalf and that of the Government, I want to say Thank You.”

Minister Humphreys also announced a special allocation of €1.5 million in funding to support the work of individual TidyTowns Committees around the country to assist them in their continued efforts to enhance their towns and villages.

This is the fifth consecutive year that funding has been provided to support these Committees and brings the total allocated since 2017 to €6.7 Million.

The Minister said:

“The sense of belonging and pride of place that is achieved by being part of a TidyTowns group creates a wonderful welcoming atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

“Given the challenges faced by TidyTowns groups during the pandemic and the way in which they moved to an online entry process, I am delighted to be able to announce that I have secured funding of €1.5 million to directly support the TidyTowns committees who, through their efforts, bring out the best in their towns and villages.

“In total, 1,022 TidyTowns groups across the country will be eligible to benefit from this investment.”

The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor, adding:

“Today, I want to congratulate SuperValu who celebrate their 30th anniversary of partnership with TidyTowns and sponsorship of the competition. The competition continues to attract new entrants and new awards and it is getting stronger every year.

SuperValu continue to show fantastic support for the competition through their financial sponsorship, their commitment to improving and growing the competition and through the dedicated support at a local level provided to TidyTowns groups by their network of local retailers.”

Mr. Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu commented after the awards:

“On behalf of SuperValu I would like to congratulate Ennis for being named Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021. It is a fantastic achievement and is the result of incredible work and dedication by the committee.

The outstanding efforts and achievements of the category winners, and indeed all of our committees across the country deserves significant praise and recognition. 2021 was another landmark year for SuperValu TidyTowns. We now have a record 1,022 groups engaging in the competition, with a record 847 entries this year. I’d particularly like to mention the new committees and encourage their participation into the future. The level and quality of the projects that you all delivered across all categories is astounding.

 At its heart, the SuperValu TidyTowns competition is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to build community spirit and make their local area a better place in which to live and work. The incredible committee members, in collaboration with our network of independent retailers, share our desire to build thriving, sustainable communities.

Mr. Allen went on to say,

“As long-term supporters of TidyTowns, we at SuperValu have seen first-hand the competition grow and evolve over time. This year, perhaps more than ever, we have seen an increasing number of wonderful initiatives that focus on biodiversity, conservation and other important issues that are critical to creating sustainable communities. This is something I welcome and encourage.”

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu who have sponsored the competition since 1991.

Full details of all this year’s winners are available at www.tidytowns.ie and at www.supervalu.ie

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Musgrave doubles down on UAE market following strong customer demand

  • 250 SuperValu products now available on noon Grocery, the UAE’s largest online grocery marketplace
  • Announcement made as part of three-day trade Enterprise Ireland visit to the region led by Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Minister Robert Troy T.D.

Musgrave announced today that it is doubling its SuperValu product range sold on noon Grocery, the Middle East’s largest online grocery marketplace and noon.com’s dedicated fresh grocery platform.The announcement will now see 250 SuperValu products available across the UAE on noon, soon to include items from SuperValu’s fresh food range.

The partnership between SuperValu’s parent company, Musgrave and noon, first commenced in June, making the Irish food retailer the first direct distribution partner with Saudi e-tailer noon. As the partnership continues, Musgrave aims for up to 500 products available by the end of 2022 on noon Grocery.

The announcement was made at a trade meeting held at noon’s office in  Downtown Dubai, attended by Ireland’s Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Minister Robert Troy T.D., Ali Kafil-Hussain, Chief of Staff at noon.com, and Liam Hyland, Director of Export and International Trade at Musgrave.

Leading Enterprise Ireland’s trade visit to the Middle East, Robert Troy T.D., Ireland’s Minister for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation, said, “This is a very welcome announcement today. I want to congratulate Noon and Musgrave International in what is a significant step forward in their partnership and will help introduce people across the UAE to a significant range of quality Irish food products that are widely enjoyed back in Ireland.

“This Government, through its agency Enterprise Ireland, is committed to supporting Irish businesses expand and diversify into new markets as well as to reinforce established presence in existing markets. Announcements such as the one today are a strong endorsement of Enterprise Ireland’s work in the region. I wish both Noon and Musgrave the very best and that they continue to strengthen their partnership into the future. Through such close collaborations, consumers really benefit from more choice, high quality products, combined with the convenience of home delivery.”

Dubai remains a hub for e-commerce growth in the MENA region. With the pandemic changing consumer habits during the pandemic, the growth of digital shopping has accelerated, resulting in many companies investing in online sales activity and omni-channel methods.

Ali Kafil-Hussain, Chief of Staff, noon, said: “Grocery is increasingly moving online, especially as e-commerce penetration has surged significantly in this region. noon Grocery, our next-day fresh grocery delivery service, currently stocks more than 60,000 products. Focusing on grocery as a priority area, we have invested heavily in cold-chain capabilities, including a state-of-the-art dedicated grocery warehouse, to ensure the best produce arrives at our customers’ doorsteps in the freshest way possible.

“When we launched the SuperValu range by Musgrave earlier this year,” Kafil continued, “we received an overwhelming response from our customers in Dubai, particularly those in the expat community, who were delighted to now be able to get a part of home delivered to their second home here in the UAE. Through this important partnership, Musgrave is providing a significant and growing range of their products to the market.”

According to a study by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the UAE’s retail e-commerce market reached a record $3.9 billion in 2020, a 53% year-over-year increase driven by the Covid-19-led digital shift, while e-commerce accounted for 8% share of the retail market during the same year.

 According to Liam Hyland, Director of Export and International Trade at Musgrave, said: “SuperValu products went live on the noon Grocery grocery on-line platform only four months ago and we have already hit the 250-product milestone. We aim to reach 500 products by the end of 2022 and are very excited to further extend our service later this year to include weekly airfreight deliveries of SuperValu chilled products from our fantastic Irish producer base.”

Accompanying Minister Troy on the trade visit, Kevin Sherry, Executive Director of Enterprise Ireland, said: “The world has its eyes on the Irish market, and the Middle East has increasingly been adopting innovative solutions from Ireland’s companies. The success of this partnership between Musgrave and noon shows us that the UAE presents incredible commercial opportunities for Irish companies. The region is continuing the shift to online shopping, presenting new ecommerce opportunities. Enterprise Ireland are proud to have supported Musgrave with the introduction to noon, and to very positive growth in just four months since market launch.”

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Celebration for SuperValu and Centra suppliers as they claim more than 100 awards at Blas na hÉireann

SuperValu and Centra food producers have claimed 102 accolades at this year’s Blas na hÉireann awards, including many for the Own Brand ranges.  

Celebrating the very best of food and drink, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards is the largest competition on the island of Ireland for quality Irish produce. The Awards, announced on 2nd October, saw 15 Centra suppliers take home 7 Gold, 5 Silver and 7 Bronze awards for their products while SuperValu’s suppliers picked up 83 awards, which brings the total number of awards won by SuperValu suppliers over the last four years up to 432 across SuperValu Own Brand, Signature Tastes and Food Academy.

SuperValu Signature Tastes took home four Golds for Signature Tastes Potato Gratin of Ballymaguire Foods, Signature Tastes Chocolate Yule Log of Couverture Desserts, Signature Tastes White Chocolate and Cranberry Bites of Carleton Cakes and Signature Tastes Whole Grain Mustard by Follain. Other Gold award winners included Carton Bros.’ SuperValu 48 Hour Marinated Irish Rotisserie Chicken, Manor Farm’s SuperValu Irish Free Range Whole Chicken and SuperValu Ham and Cheese Vol au Vent by Prestige Foods. It was also a great year for SuperValu’s Food Academy producers who picked up 51 awards – 15 Gold, 17 Silver and 19 Bronze.

The expertly created Inspired by Centra range came away with 11 products receiving awards, 6 of which were Gold, including Inspired by Centra Irish Rotisserie Chicken supplied by Carton Bros., Inspired by Centra Irish Angus Sirloin Steak with Pink Peppercorn Butter produced by Kepak, Inspired by Centra Potato Gratin produced by Ballymaguire and Inspired by Centra Overnight oats produced by Fresh Cut Foods.

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu and Centra, said, “2021 has been yet another outstanding year for SuperValu and Centra at the Blas na hÉireann Awards. It’s been another great win for our local suppliers and producers at a time when it’s more important than ever to support local and Irish businesses. We are immensely proud of our award-winning brands and it’s wonderful to see the suppliers and producers receive the recognition they richly deserve.”

Now in its 14th year, Blas na hÉireann, The Irish Food Awards sees competition from a range of top-quality Irish producers across 32 counties.

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SuperValu Partners with Kepak to Launch Lamb Producer Guidelines

28 June 2021: SuperValu has become the first Irish retailer to introduce guidance to support farmers in producing best-in-class lamb to deliver consistently on quality and sustain lamb production to the highest animal welfare and environmental standards.

The Lamb Producer Guidelines were developed by SuperValu in association with Kepak, which supplies SuperValu stores across the country with the highest quality meat from independent Irish farmers.

The publication of the guidelines underscores the commitment of both SuperValu and Kepak to sourcing the highest quality produce from Irish farms that adhere to strict animal welfare guidelines and that are dedicated to enhancing sustainability practices. These factors contribute to high animal and food safety, as well as sustaining and enhancing the quality of Irish lamb for consumers, while protecting the natural environment and biodiversity for years to come.

Commenting on the launch of the Lamb Producer Guidelines, Ray Bowe, Head of Food Safety & Quality, Musgrave, said:“SuperValu has a long-standing commitment to Irish farmers and is an active promoter of sustainable agriculture. Our independently owned stores are committed to providing the highest quality, locally sourced produce to our customers. We are very pleased that this guide will provide the support and advice that Irish lamb producers need to access our supply chain. The guidelines also secure access for SuperValu to a consistent supply of our sustainably produced high-quality, locally sourced lamb.”

Also commenting, Simon Walker, CEO of Kepak said: “We are delighted to partner with SuperValu to publish these innovative Lamb Producer Guidelines, which promote best-in-class lamb production and provide key guidance, advice and recommendations to Irish sheep farmers. Animal welfare and environmental sustainability are a major focus of the guidelines highlighting how we need to consistently meet consumers’ evolving needs and expectations. The guide underlines our dedicated and continued efforts to supply local, high quality lamb to Irish consumers.”

The innovative guidelines act as a link between producers and consumers, providing best in practice advice and guidance to farmers on enhancing the quality of their lamb under a diverse range of key criteria, including breeding and genetics, animal nutrition, health at lambing and transportation. Separately, animal welfare is a key focus of the guidelines, which outline how good animal health and nutrition is imperative in helping to meet evolving high industry and consumer expectations around welfare, food safety and sustainable farming practices linked to enhancing the environment and biodiversity.

SuperValu’s Lamb Producer Guidelines follow the publication of its Beef Producer Guidelines in 2018 which provide best practice production guidance and support to Irish beef farmers in terms of animal welfare, health, breeding and genetics and transportation.

Producers are encouraged to discuss topics raised in the guidance document with their local procurement and agricultural team for further advice for their specific production system.

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Drinks Inc. Celebrates 20 Years in Business

Ambitious plans for expansion as part of Musgrave Group

Drinks Inc. is celebrating a landmark 20 years in business. The company is now an integral part of the Musgrave Group in Northern Ireland, following its acquisition in 2019, and has set out ambitious growth plans to further expand its footprint in the beverage sector.

Musgrave Wholesale Director Richard Mayne, who leads the team at Drinks Inc., commented on the business milestone –

“Twenty years in business is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the strong team in place at Drinks Inc. This industry knowledge, combined with Musgrave’s longstanding track record in foodservice and retail, is a perfect pairing as we continue to expand our position in the alcohol market.”

Established in 2001, Belfast based Drinks Inc. is one of the largest and fastest growing drinks distributors on the island of Ireland. With a portfolio of over 1,000 products covering spirit, wine, beer and soft drink categories, their range and offer has been key to this growth. In addition, the company is also the exclusive agent for a large number of premium brands and wineries, including Teeling Whiskey, Mionetto Prosecco and market leading wine brands such as Isla Negra and Trivento Reserve.

Drinks Inc’s customer-focused sales team supported by a dedicated in-house logistics team allows them to offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all alcohol needs. This, in conjunction with no delivery charges and no minimum order size, has helped facilitate unrivalled customer service over the years.

While the pandemic brought many challenges for the business, Richard is quick to praise the team for their support to the industry –   

“While the 2020 lockdowns were extremely challenging for the on-trade, we made a commitment to keep our sales teams on the road. This ensured they could stay engaged and assist our customers throughout the uncertainty.’’

“Furthermore, with the hospitality sector now opened again, we have been able to hit the ground running with our plans, working as a trusted partner with our customers and collectively coming back stronger.”

“At the same time within the off-trade, we have clearly seen significant increases in volume over the last 14 months and again, by maintaining our presence in the market we have been able to tailor our offer to meet the needs of new and existing customers.’’

The Drinks Inc. anniversary month coincides with the reopening of local hospitality in Northern Ireland following the easing of lockdown restrictions. With many exciting developments in the pipeline, the team will be able to further engage with customers and help them navigate the demands of the post-Covid environment.

Looking to the future, Richard continues:

“We’re now confident that building on the 20 years of industry experience and with the recent additions to the team and portfolio, we’re in a fantastic position to take Drinks Inc. to the next level.”

As part of the ambitious growth plans, the Drinks Inc. team is expanding with the announcement of Tom Kinnier as Sales Manager and Peter McBride as Wine Specialist.  Collectively Tom and Peter bring a breadth of industry experience and product knowledge.

In conclusion Richard summarised:   

“We are hopefully coming through the far side of the pandemic and on behalf of all the team, I would like to praise the resilience of our customers and thank them for their ongoing support during this extraordinary period of trading.’’

 

Photos: (Top) Celebrating 20 years in business are the sales team at Drinks Inc with Musgrave wholesale director, Richard Mayne (front centre). (Bottom L-R) Tom Kinnier, sales manager; Peter McBride, wine specialist and Richard Mayne, wholesale director of Drinks Inc.

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SuperValu encourages Irish shoppers to Buy Irish & Support Local this June for Guaranteed Irish Food Month

For every €1 spent on Irish goods €5 comes back to the Irish economy*

80% of survey respondents underestimate the positive impact of shopping local

31st May 2021 – To mark Guaranteed Irish Food Month SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer is partnering with Guaranteed Irish to encourage shoppers to buy Irish and support local this June. The call comes as a staggering 93% of respondents to a survey said they try to buy Irish foods when they shop.

The research also shows that when it comes to buying Irish, the top four reasons included: to support jobs (76%), support local producers (72%), the quality of local food is better (51%) and because shopping local has less of an environmental impact (47%).

However, the research showed that respondents underestimate the positive return of shopping local and the positive impact it can have on economic recovery following Covid-19. Eurostats research shows that for every €1 spent on Irish goods, €5 comes back to the Irish economy, a boost which could be hugely beneficial to local producers as they look to rebound following the pandemic.

80% of the survey respondents underestimated this return: 47% of consumers believe that for every €1 spent it delivers €1 to the Irish economy, 33% believe it delivers twice the return, €2 for every €1 spent, and only 20% of respondents recognise that for every €1 spent on Irish goods, €5 comes back to the Irish economy. With Ibec stating that 250,000 jobs are linked to the agri-food sector, imagine if everyone understood how simple it was to support the Irish economy.

Consumers also think they are spending more on Irish products since Covid, with 20% of respondents stating they are spending close to an additional €10 weekly on Irish products. In line with previous research, consumers said when it comes to buying Irish 72% try to buy staple products, such as bread, dairy and meats, while 40% prefer to select Irish artisan food products such as jams, sauces and cheeses.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners said: “We have always believed in supporting local and this has taken on added importance during Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic we have been doing what we can to support local producers and to generate awareness of Irish brands through our work with Food Academy, our Monday Market initiative and Sustainability Sundays. This June as the country reopens to hospitality, we want to go a step further and call on the Irish public to buy Irish and support local whether it’s your local food producer, shop or café for Guaranteed Irish Food Month.”

“At SuperValu 75% of all our goods are sourced in Ireland, supporting a massive 1,800 Irish suppliers so we know first-hand the importance of supporting local Irish producers. Today’s research shows that a massive 80% of consumers underestimate the positive return of shopping local, this June if consumers purchased one additional Irish product weekly, imagine the positive impact we could have on jobs throughout Ireland.”

According to the new research 30% of consumers recognise SuperValu as the leading retailer when it comes to stocking the best Irish food products. A further 79% of respondents said they keep an eye out for the Guaranteed Irish logo when they are doing their food shopping.

Speaking about the launch, Bríd O’Connell, CEO Guaranteed Irish said: “We already know that through the multiplier effect every €100 that is spent in the local economy is actually worth €500 to that same local economy (Eurostats). This effect works in such a way that when money is spent locally it circulates and is retained within that local economy, re-injected through further expenditure on local goods, services, and wages – as opposed to ‘disappearing’.  The manufacture of food and drink products is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most 9.7% of total employment in the four economically weakest important indigenous industry and accounts for regions – proving to be a strong driver of regional development. In supporting Guaranteed Irish Food Month this June and through initiatives such as Monday Market, SuperValu are encouraging their customers to stand up for Irish producers and support local. Research by Guaranteed Irish showed that 70% of consumers look for an Irish quality mark of “trust” and 77% want to know if the ingredients are truly Irish, so the desire to support local is there and we hope to see Irish consumers support local this food month.”

*Eurostats – Research conducted between May 17th – May 20th 2021, representative sample of 521.

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Musgrave MarketPlace invests €650,000 to support the reopening of hospitality

#SupportIrishHospitality campaign aims to help reboot hospitality businesses across the country

31 May 2021 – Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail, and SME businesses, today announced it is investing €650,000 to support the reopening of Irish hospitality at the beginning of June. As part of this investment, Musgrave MarketPlace has launched a range of new initiatives to support the industry and assist the reboot and recovery of the sector.

From today (31st May 2021), Musgrave MarketPlace will roll out a nationwide campaign to encourage consumers to support their local hospitality businesses. #SupportIrishHospitality will include press ads in seven national dailies and nationwide radio, digital and social media advertising campaigns calling on consumers to help the industry get back on its feet by dining out responsibly.

Musgrave MarketPlace will also be using its social channels to spotlight local hospitality businesses around the country throughout the campaign as well as giving consumers a chance to win vouchers for their favourite local eateries.

It is estimated that the foodservice industry was worth €6.3bn pre-COVID employing between 150,000 and 250,000 people making it vital to the recovery of the economy.

In addition to rallying consumer support, Musgrave MarketPlace has also created a series of new measures to help hospitality businesses get back up and running. These include:

  1. Extended opening hours: Musgrave MarketPlace branches across the country will now be open for longer with some branches open 7 days a week (from June 6th) to allow customers more access to products as and when they need them.
  2. Time saving products: Based on feedback from the industry earlier this year, Musgrave MarketPlace has new labour-saving products such as pre-prepared vegetables, desserts, and sauces to save time in the kitchen and help ease the impact of reduced staff numbers.
  3. Increased network support: To help manage the surge in demand over the coming days, Musgrave MarketPlace has increased its driver pool by 33% to accommodate more deliveries as well as increasing the number of customer service representatives available in branches nationwide to help facilitate customers’ needs during the recovery period.
  4. Food service promotions: The cost of 200 products, including food and equipment, has been reduced to support customers as they restock their business.
  5. Irish suppliers: 680 Irish suppliers have been re-engaged by Musgrave MarketPlace to rebuild stock levels and over 3,500 Irish products are available from Musgrave MarketPlace.
  6. Dedicated online hub: Creation of a dedicated online Foodservice support hub featuring reopening advice, menu inspiration and great value offers to help customers reboot their business.
  7. Musgrave MarketPlace Plus: An affinity scheme, in partnership with Wrkit, has been created to help customers cut costs with a range of offers and discounts on everything from insurance to fuel to recruitment and much more. There is also the opportunity for customers to promote their business to over 100,000 users on the Wrkit platform.

Commenting on today’s announcement Michael McCormack, Managing Director of Musgrave Wholesale Partners said:

The reopening of hospitality marks an important milestone for our customers, suppliers and indeed Ireland’s economic recovery. As an Irish family-owned business with 145 years supporting hospitality here, local is in our DNA. Our #SupportIrishHospitality campaign is about giving our customers and indeed the hospitality sector as much support as we possibly can as they reopen, whether that be through our reboot resource designed in collaboration with our customers or an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging the consumer to support hospitality. Luck alone will not be enough – the sector needs all our support.”

Welcoming the campaign, Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said:

This is a critical time for our industry and businesses across the country need our support now more than ever. The measures introduced by Musgrave MarketPlace are hugely welcome and will go a long way to helping the industry recover. Key to the success of the reopening of the industry will be customers supporting their local hospitality businesses so we would urge consumers to get behind the campaign and show their support.”

Lorraine Heskin, Musgrave MarketPlace customer and CEO of The Gourmet Food Parlour said:

We’re really looking forward to welcoming customers back into our restaurants from June. It has been an extremely difficult time for the industry, but we are hopeful that we can bounce back over the coming months. We are a longstanding customer of Musgrave MarketPlace and we hugely value the help and supports they have put in place to aid the reboot of the sector. The #SupportIrishHospitality campaign is a fantastic initiative, and I would urge consumers to support their local eateries when they reopen in June.”

The Musgrave MarketPlace #SupportIrishHospitality campaign is live from today. To find out more visit www.musgravemarketplace.ie or visit us on Facebook

 

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Minister Humphreys announces return of SuperValu TidyTowns Competition

  • Iconic competition makes comeback following Covid-19 disruption
  • TidyTowns groups to showcase their communities via electronic entry
  • New prize category to recognise role played by volunteers throughout pandemic
  • Special award for young people as per commitment under ‘Our Rural Future’
  • Over 800 TidyTowns groups across the country have been awarded special €1,000 grant to support their efforts

 The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (21st May, 2021) announced the return of the Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition.

The iconic competition was cancelled in 2020 – for the first time in over 60 years – due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

But special arrangements have now been put in place to ensure the return of the competition this year, with the overall winners due to be announced before the end of the year.

The 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns competition will take place in the same format as previous years, albeit with a specific emphasis on electronic entry and remote adjudication of each town’s entry.

Groups should continue to adhere to public health guidelines as they have done so remarkably well since the onset of the Pandemic.

The health and safety of volunteers continues to be paramount.

It is acknowledged that volunteers have not been able to deliver on all of the plans that they may have had for their towns, and the competition adjudicators will be mindful of this fact when assessing entries.

At the same time, many groups have still been very active and the standard of competition is expected to be high again this year amongst the almost 1,000 TidyTowns groups around the country.

Above all, staging the competition this year is a recognition of the extraordinary contribution volunteers continued to make to their communities, even during the Pandemic itself.

For this reason, Minister Humphreys has introduced a new award category aimed at groups that have continued to serve and look after their communities despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19.

The Minister has also introduced a special prize for young people, which was committed to under Our Rural Future – ­the Government’s ambitious new strategy for Rural Ireland.

Minister Humphreys announced a €1 million fund in December to further support the TidyTowns Groups across the country.

Today, the Minister confirmed that over 800 TidyTown Groups have now been awarded grants of up to €1,000 under this Fund

Minister Humphreys today formally launched the 2021 SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition in Glaslough, County Monaghan – the 2019 winners of the competition.

Speaking in Glaslough, Minister Humphreys said:

“Missing out on the competition last year was very disappointing for everyone associated with TidyTowns. That’s why I am delighted to announce that this iconic competition is back.

“I am sure the thousands of volunteers around the country are relieved that we have finally reached the point where we can launch the 2021 SuperValu TidyTowns competition and are excited for the months ahead.

“While the last year has been so challenging for everyone, I know that so many TidyTowns volunteers the length and breadth of the country have continued to look after their communities.

“Many groups have been unable to deliver on the projects they had planned due to Covid-19.

“That will not impact in any shape or form on this year’s competition and I am encouraging each and every one of the 987 registered groups across the country to enter once again.”

Also speaking about the launch today, Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu:

“This year marks 30 years of SuperValu’s continuous support for and sponsorship of the national TidyTowns competition.

“As one of the longest-running community and sustainability initiatives in Ireland, TidyTowns is an incredibly important programme that all of us at SuperValu are immensely proud to be a part of.

“At its heart, TidyTowns is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to make our communities better places in which to work and live.

“Following a year like no other, this year’s competition is about recognising work of volunteers who have continued in every way possible and collectively help to lift the mood of the nation.”

The Minister continued:

“TidyTowns is not just a competition. It demonstrates everything good about our people – volunteerism, positivity, working together, community spirit, protecting our environment, that sense of pride in looking after the place you call home. 

“This is a really special day. I want to pay tribute to the huge role played by TidyTowns groups in inspiring vibrant communities and generating a spirit of volunteerism in towns and villages across the country – qualities that are at the core of “Our Rural Future”.

“I am also pleased to include a special award this year for young people involved in TidyTowns which is a specific recommendation contained in the Government’s strategy for Rural Ireland. I would also encourage local groups to continue their great efforts at promoting and enhancing biodiversity in our local towns.

“TidyTowns volunteers are rightly proud of their locality – their efforts make towns and villages the length and breadth of the country better places to live and to visit.  For years, TidyTowns volunteers have shown great resilience and determination – even more so over the past year as our communities came together in the face of adversity.

“In recognition of this, we have also introduced a special award to recognise the contribution that TidyTowns groups have made to their communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as part of the Covid-19 Community call.

“As we look ahead to an outdoor Summer and staycations, we want our local towns and villages right across the country to be attractive, welcoming places. The trojan work carried out by our local Tidy Towns volunteers will be central to achieving that. My message is clear – Tidy Towns is back this year and it is bigger, better and more important than ever.”

Minister Humphreys concluded:

“I value the role my Department plays in this competition. I want to also commend the competition sponsor, SuperValu, for their continuing support and enthusiasm in raising awareness of the competition. Now in their 30th year of sponsorship, through their nationwide network of retailers, SuperValu have helped the competition to become the best known sustainable and environmental initiative in Ireland.

“Finally, I want to encourage all groups to continue to adhere to the public health advice and I wish all the volunteers the very best in this year’s competition.”

Further details on the competition and access to supporting resources are available at www.tidytowns.ie

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Vanishing Ireland Series 2021, Supported by SuperValu, Profiles Ireland’s Elders to Learn from the Past in helping Shape the Future

Former Broadcaster Anne Doyle calls on the nation to nominate family to share life stories

18th May 2021: Twenty years since the acclaimed Vanishing Ireland project began, author and historian, Turtle Bunbury is creating a new series of profile interviews with Ireland’s elders to share their life stories. Kindly supported by SuperValu, former broadcaster and nations’ favourite Anne Doyle, are putting the call out to the people of Ireland to propose family members or friends over the age of 70, who would like to share their stories.

Vanishing Ireland with Turtle Bunbury is a podcast series of interviews with Ireland’s over 70’s, celebrating their life stories, challenges, courage, kindness and humour. The series seeks to document the, very often, extraordinary lives of our older population in a way that celebrates the past while informing younger generations in shaping the future. This new series aims to highlight the wealth of humour, resilience and wisdom from Ireland’s elders. Created in audio format, Turtle will discuss life and its learnings with people across Ireland, saving and celebrating their voices for future generations.

Speaking about the Vanishing Ireland Series, Bunbury says: “Twenty years ago, I teamed up with the renowned photographer James Fennell to create what became the first Vanishing Ireland book. We knew how important it was to chronicle the experience of our older generations, so many of whose fascinating lives were literally vanishing, unrecorded. Introducing the voices of Vanishing Ireland to the podcast generation is an entirely new departure for our elders but is deeply exciting and very much in keeping with our aims. It is my great hope that listening to these interviews – the wisdom, the humour, the memories – will enhance the way we live our own lives.”

Given the unique position SuperValu has as part of so many communities and its national reach with initiatives such as Tidy Towns, GAA, the Autism Community and others, it is uniquely placed to bring this project nationwide appeal with a solid footprint in community.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, SuperValu said: “The Vanishing Ireland project has a robust track record in championing local heroes and strengthening the bond between the generations. We are a resilient nation who appreciate our older generations and embrace traditions while also looking to the future for a better Ireland for everyone. SuperValu understand inter-generational communities who are diverse and inclusive as we are lucky to see it every day in our stores around the country and in campaigns such as Tidy Towns, which brings everyone together. We are delighted to support Turtle with this series.”

Taking part in the launch former broadcaster Anne Doyle added, “this is such a special series documenting the stories of the past so that they are captured in history forever. I am delighted to work alongside SuperValu and Turtle Bunbury to ensure these stories are available for many generations to come.

I encourage you to enter family members to be part of this wonderful series. It’s high time we hear from our older generation and revisit our past with its rich history. We can all learn something from the experience.”

The mission of Vanishing Ireland has always been to preserve the stories of the older generations, bringing to life the world that our grandparents knew in a manner that appeals to a 21st century audience. The hope is for Vanishing Ireland supported by SuperValu to inspire children and grandchildren to listen to the stories of their own parents and grandparents, as well as older friends and neighbours, creating a record of memories for future generations.

Those who would like to put forward friends or family over 70’s, are asked to email podcast@vanishingireland.com or visit www.vanishingireland.com. Closing date for entries is Friday, 4th June 2021.

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