Musgrave Northern Ireland named JAM Card partner of the year

SuperValu and Centra stores across NI become JAM Card friendly

Musgrave NI, which operates the SuperValu and Centra brands, has been named JAM Card Partner of the Year by NOW Group, at a ceremony in Belfast City Hall to celebrate the graduation of 200 NOW Group participants. Musgrave has been rolling out JAM Card training across its stores in Northern Ireland to make the shopping experience more inclusive and accessible for all.

Developed in 2012 by multi-award-winning social enterprise, NOW Group, the JAM Card is a discreet way for those with learning difficulties, autism, or any communication barrier to ask for ‘Just A Minute’ of patience in any social situation in a non-verbal way.

Shoppers who are JAM Card holders, can simply show their physical card or app, and store staff will be able to assist in ensuring the customer receives the support they need in store.

Caroline Rowan, Head of Retail Operations at Musgrave, said: “We are committed to providing an open, inclusive, and accessible shopping experience for all our customers. The JAM Card initiative has improved accessibility for customers, and ensures our colleagues are all equipped to provide great customer service to everyone.

“We are thrilled to have been named JAM Card Partner of the Year. More than 80 of our stores have already pledged their support by completing training and we are working with the NOW Group as we continue to get more on board.”

Nicola Tipping, JAM Card Business Development Manager, said: “We have 145,000 JAM Card users across the island of Ireland and more than 2,500 organisations across Northern Ireland participating in training to become JAM Card friendly.

“We are delighted to recognise Musgrave as our JAM Card Partner of the Year. The addition of SuperValu and Centra stores across Northern Ireland is fantastic and will help to make a significant step towards improving inclusivity and accessibility across the retail sector.”

Last year the retail and wholesale group also launched a Skills to Employment Programme (STEP) with NOW Group, committing to employ 25 people across its estate over the next five years.

All JAM card friendly SuperValu and Centra stores are featured on the JAM app and on the SuperValu and Centra websites via store locators.

www.supervalu.co.uk
www.centra.co.uk

To find out more about the NOW Group’s services, visit: www.nowgroup.org

SuperValu expands high quality meals offering following acquisition of Clean Cut Meals

SuperValu has today announced an expansion of its market-leading convenience meal offering following the acquisition of Clean Cut Meals by Musgrave.

This high quality, meal range will further enhance the healthy meals offering available to SuperValu customers, in what is a rapidly growing category of the market.

Established in 2015, Clean Cut Meals is a leading healthy ready meal production company based in Galway. The firm is renowned for its commitment to nutritious and convenient high-quality meals and snacks, specialising in a range of products that cater to for consumers that seek out healthier choices.

The business offers a range of meal plans including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options. Its monthly menu changes to keep the range as fresh as possible, strengthening their ability to adapt to changing customer tastes and demands.

Luke Hanlon, Interim Managing Director, SuperValu and Centra, said: “Customers are increasingly seeking healthy, tasty and convenient meal offerings, and we have invested heavily in developing our market-leading offering in this category. The acquisition of Clean Cut Meals will build further on this investment as SuperValu and Centra continually seeks to innovate and enhance its offering in order to meet the needs of our customers in communities all across Ireland.

Conor McCallion and Michéal Dyer, co-founders of Clean Cut Meals, added: “Clean Cut Meals, the brainchild of dedication and passion, has been acquired by Musgraves marking a significant milestone in its journey. As we reflect on the humble beginnings of our brand, from late nights in the kitchen to navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship, we are filled with pride and nostalgia. This acquisition opens doors to new possibilities, allowing Clean Cut Meals to reach a broader audience through the 700 strong SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide. Our products, once crafted with love in a modest kitchen, will now grace tables across the country, promoting a healthier lifestyle for all. We are excited to bring our healthy and nutritious range of meals and products to SuperValu and Centra customers across the country.”

Clean Cut Meals currently operates from a production kitchen facility in Galway and employs 20 staff. The company currently prepares thousands of meal solutions each week which is expected to grow significantly with access to SuperValu & Centra’s nationwide retail network.

SuperValu and Centra on track to plant 50,000 tress by 2032

SuperValu and Centra, part of Musgrave NI, have been laying down roots in 19 communities across Northern Ireland in the next stage of their native tree planting initiative, bringing them a step closer to their pledge of planting 50,000 native trees by 2032.

In partnership with Trees on the Land, a charity and not-for-profit project from the Green Economy Foundation, the project launched in 2022 and saw 10,000 trees planted across 30 locations in Northern Ireland over two years, while this year a further 5,000 have been planted in 19 locations including Tullygally Primary School in Craigavon, St Catherine’s College in Armagh, the Faughan Valley Community Interest Company in the North West, St Mary’s College in Irvinestown and Lisburn BMX Club.*

Colleagues from SuperValu and Centra stores across Northern Ireland supported the initiative by pulling on their wellies and visiting many of the tree planting locations.

Desi Derby, Director of Marketing for SuperValu and Centra, said:

“At SuperValu and Centra we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and become a more sustainable business. We believe it is our responsibility to leave a positive legacy for future generations and this project is an important aspect of that goal.  We are delighted to continue our partnership with Trees on the Land by planting a further 5,000 trees to help create a greener future for our local communities.”

Imogen Rabone, Project Co-ordinator and Founder of Trees on the Land, added: “It’s fantastic to be in the third year of a partnership with SuperValu and Centra and see a total of 15,000 trees planted in almost 50 locations across Northern Ireland so far. These trees will bring lasting benefits including, absorbing carbon, improving air quality, supporting biodiversity, and protecting soil.

“Our vision at Trees on the Land is to establish tree cover and woodland in rural and urban areas that will grow for many years and provide valuable resources for future generations. It is thanks to partnerships like this with SuperValu and Centra through Musgrave NI that makes this possible.”

A commitment to planting 50,000 trees is one in a list of steps being taken by SuperValu and Centra to make their stores and communities more sustainable.

Musgrave MarketPlace unveils €2.5m upgrade of Ballymun Food Emporium

Musgrave MarketPlace, the only 100% Irish-owned national Foodservice, retail, and SME wholesaler and part of the wider Musgrave Group, today launches its new ‘Next Generation Food Emporium’ in Ballymun, Dublin, following a €2.5m investment. The upgrade is part of an ongoing Musgrave MarketPlace commitment to redefine Irish food & beverage wholesaling and to deliver a best-in-class experience for customers.

Committed to making business easy for foodservice and wholesale customers, the Musgrave MarketPlace Ballymun Food Emporium now boasts over 1,000 additional products, upgraded food and beverage zones, alongside an enhanced Food Theatre, led by Head Development Chef Clément Pavie, which enables product demonstrations, menu planning and training services for customers, as well as facilitating leading industry events.

Speaking at the launch of the new Food Emporium, Thomas Morrison, Head of Musgrave MarketPlace, said: “Today marks an exciting milestone for Musgrave MarketPlace as we launch our new Next Generation Food Emporium at our Ballymun location following a significant investment.

 “We are passionate about food and are committed to creating world-class shopping experiences for our customers, staying at the cutting edge of food trends to deliver the tastes and flavours that our customers expect. We are focused on providing the most extensive food and beverage range at the best value possible with a market leading service proposition. Our Ballymun Food Emporium embodies all of these commitments,” he concluded.

Upgrades at the Ballymun site, which serves over 3,000 food outlets and retail customers every week, include a revamped and extended Butchery offering. The butchery counter and walk-in chill room expands on previous service levels, now ready to hand pick and custom-cut meat to specifications. Over 60 Irish Beef, Pork and Lamb cuts have been added to the range including an exclusive range of over 30 Butcher Prime Certified Irish Angus Beef cuts and Irish Hampshire Pork.

Customers can enjoy an enhanced beverage zone with 1,400 products on offer across premium spirits, wines, champagne, soft drinks and more, as well as the Foods of the World Zone which sources the best of Irish and authentic foods, but also including dedicated areas for authentic Italian food range, Italicatessen, and an extensive range of Asian lines.

Meanwhile, Click & Collect has been improved alongside a prioritisation on digital transformation and sustainability across the branch. As part of these upgrades, and in line with our “Growing Sustainably Every Day” strategy, Musgrave MarketPlace is reusing all existing equipment including the chill freeze structure. In addition, LED lighting has been incorporated throughout the branch, as well as introducing a recycle station and upgrading electric vehicle chargers on site.

Furthermore, the Ballymun site has also enrolled in the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, run by the National Biodiversity Centre, which will see the site facilitate changes to enhance biodiversity on site supporting the local environment and wildlife.

Musgrave MarketPlace, with nine outlets across the island of Ireland, offers a nationwide distribution and delivery solution and works with over 800 Irish suppliers, stocking over 3,500 quality Irish products across its 18,000 strong core and extended product range.

This latest investment comes following the acquisition of a number of specialist and premium foodservice brands to broaden and strengthen tour food and beverage leadership credentials for the benefit of both wholesale and retail customers such as La Rousse Foods and Italicatessen.

Musgrave MarketPlace surpasses 1.5 million mark for meals donated to Irish charities through FoodCloud

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail and SME businesses, is proud to announce that since 2016 it has donated over 1.5 million meals to 200 local charities and community groups in Ireland through its partnership with FoodCloud. This donation equates to over 630 tonnes of food and a saving of €1.89 million to Irish charities.

FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to charities in their local communities, allowing them to donate food easily and directly to those that need it.

Through its food donations, which may have otherwise been wasted, Musgrave MarketPlace has prevented over 2000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions from entering the earth’s atmosphere and damaging the environment.

Desi Derby, Marketing Director at Musgrave MarketPlace said:

“At Musgrave MarketPlace, we are committed to doing everything possible to build a more sustainable future and our partnership with FoodCloud is a key focus for the business.  We are extremely proud that our donations have benefitted over 200 amazing charities all over Ireland and provide support to those most vulnerable in our communities.”

75,000 tonnes of food are wasted in Retail and Distribution in Ireland every year, which equates to 10% of Ireland’s total food waste. FoodCloud helps rescue food surplus and redistribute it among charities and community groups across Ireland.

Sami Seretan, Manager, Feed Dublin said:

“Feed Dublin helps bridge the gap for individuals and families that struggle between meeting pressing financial needs and providing nutritious food for themselves and their families. The support we receive from Musgrave MarketPlace and FoodCloud helps us to achieve this goal. We look forward to a continued partnership with Musgrave MarketPlace and FoodCloud for many years to come.”

Adrian Young, Head of Irish Partnerships, FoodCloud added:

“FoodCloud is extremely grateful for the ongoing support and dedication from all in Musgrave MarketPlace to reduce food waste and to ensure that perfectly good food makes its way to those who need it. Reaching the milestone of 1.5 million meals equivalent donated to community organisations across Ireland since 2016, Musgrave MarketPlace can be assured they are making a very real difference to the lives of many people at a time when they need it most. FoodCloud is delighted to work with Musgrave MarketPlace and we look forward to continuing and developing our relationship long into the future.”

Food is redistributed from across the seven Musgrave MarketPlace branches nationwide who donate food directly to charity partners in their local communities via FoodCloud’s Foodiverse app. In addition, the business’ Central Distribution Centre in Blanchardstown donates directly to FoodCloud’s Hub in Tallaght.

New Centra store for Annaclone following £750,000 investment

Following a major £750,000 investment, the Mace store, petrol forecourt and Post Office in Annaclone has converted to the Centra brand.

The store, owned by the McPolin family, supports 16 jobs in the local community and is a much-valued amenity for the area. Significant changes have been made to the store including an extension to create a more seamless and modern shopping environment for customers.

Centra Annaclone store owner, Sharon McPolin, said:

“We are delighted to officially relaunch our store under the Centra brand. The refurbishment combined with our new offering for customers is a welcome addition to the local area and will provide a more modern shopping experience. Feedback from our shoppers has been extremely positive and we look forward to continuing to serve the local community with the best in modern convenience retailing for many years to come.”

The store offers a wide range of options and meal solutions for breakfast, lunch and dinner including an improved hot and cold deli counter, plus a full carvery lunch every Sunday.

Coffee lovers can enjoy a hot drink to-go at the Frank and Honest Coffee dock which features 100% compostable coffee cups, plastic free coffee capsules and Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans. The gourmet coffee brand also offers a digital loyalty app enabling customers to get a free coffee after earning ten digital stamps.

To mark the launch of the new look store, Sharon and her brother and co-owner Eoin McPolin were joined by Paddy Murney, Retail Sales Director for Musgrave NI, owner of the Centra brand.

Paddy commented:

“We have worked with the McPolin family under the Mace brand for several years, and we are delighted to continue our partnership with them as they move to the Centra brand.

“The recent renovation will be a real asset to the community, delivering improved convenience along with great value for local shoppers. As part of our commitment to value, shoppers will benefit from over 100 special offer items every week and over 300 own brand products which are up to 40% cheaper than the better-known brands . That’s on top of our Epic Deals on four big brand products every three weeks.

“This store is a fantastic addition to the growing Centra portfolio, and we wish the McPolin family all the best on their new journey.”

Centra is also committed to supporting local suppliers, with Musgrave NI spending more than £166m on local food and drink annually.

Paddy continued:

“We work with more than 3,000 local farmers, partner with over 240 local suppliers and stock over 4,500 local products across our stores providing shoppers with the freshest produce and range of choice.”

Significant investment has been made in sustainability measures, as Musgrave and its brands work to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2024. Features include solar panels, LED lighting and top-grade energy efficient refrigeration and freezers.

For more information on Centra stores in Northern Ireland, visit www.centra.co.uk

Episode 6 – A legacy of innovation

For 147 years Musgrave has been innovating and evolving to meet the changing needs of consumers, looking to the future and anticipating future trends. In this, our final episode of Growing Good Business, we learn more about what consumers and the customers of tomorrow are looking for.

We also learn about Musgrave’s unique business model; it’s relationship with retail partners and local community-based entrepreneurs; and the next generation of retailers.

Featuring:

  • Diarmuid McHugh, MD, McHugh’s Centra, Dublin.
  • Michelle Fennell, Head of Insights and Strategy
  • Ray Bowe, Director of Food Safety and Quality
  • Noel Keely, CEO

Young Enterprise Announces Partnership with Musgrave NI as New ESG Partner

Young Enterprise, Northern Ireland’s leading business education charity, today announced a new partnership with Musgrave NI, part of the Musgrave Group and Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale, and food service company.

Musgrave, whose brands include SuperValu, Centra, Mace, Musgrave MarketPlace and Drinks Inc., will support Young Enterprise’s various programmes and initiatives through their pledge of £10,000, enabling 1,200 young people to experience and learn the world of business.

Committed to sustainability practices throughout its operations, this collaboration highlights Musgrave’s commitment to helping Young Enterprise empower young people to become responsible and sustainable business leaders of the future.

Musgrave NI Managing Director, Trevor Magill said:  “At Musgrave we believe it is our responsibility to leave a positive lasting legacy for future generations. Our sustainability strategy Growing Sustainably Everyday is focused on caring for the planet, creating vibrant communities and sourcing for good, and by working collaboratively, we believe we can drive positive change.

“We are delighted to partner with Young Enterprise and are looking forward to working with their members, many of whom will already be concerned about environmental issues and help them learn about best practice and how to be environmentally responsible in business.”

When asked about this new partnership, Carol Fitzsimons, MBE, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise said, “We are delighted to welcome Musgrave NI as our new ESG partner. Their expertise and commitment to sustainability will be invaluable in helping our young participants develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the world of business.”

Through this partnership with Musgrave NI, Young Enterprise aims to help young people become leaders of the future by equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to build responsible, innovative and ultimately, successful businesses, contributing to a positive impact on society and the environment.

ENDS

PHOTO CAPTION

L-R: Carol Fitzsimons, MBE, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, Trevor Magill, Managing Director of Musgrave with students from Belfast Boys’ Model School.

For more information please contact: 

Jan Donaldson

E:  jan.donaldson@yeni.co.uk

M:  07969 561572

SuperValu & Centra raise a record-breaking £223,000 for Action Cancer

SuperValu and Centra stores across Northern Ireland have pulled out all the stops and raised a staggering £223,444 in 2023 for their long-term charity partner Action Cancer.

This is the largest amount ever raised by the retail brands, which are part of Musgrave NI, in one year, and will help keep the charity’s mobile detection unit the Big Bus on the road – providing breast screening, skin cancer detection assessments, and health checks, as well as supporting the charity’s health action programme.

Fundraising initiatives throughout the year, including the Sponsor a Mammogram and the Frank and Honest coffee Time to Espresso we Care campaign, were ardently supported by SuperValu and Centra retailers and their teams, and by caring customers who gave so generously.

Desi Derby, Director of Marketing for SuperValu and Centra commented on the fundraising total:

“I am absolutely delighted by the amount of money raised by our customers, retail partners, and colleagues for Action Cancer during 2023 and want to thank every single person who contributed, for their support.

“There are very few partnerships that have this type of longevity, and to have raised this incredible total in 2023, which was also Action Cancer’s 50th anniversary year, demonstrates support for the charity is stronger than ever. I am very proud that these funds will help ensure the Big Bus continues to visit communities across Northern Ireland, saving lives, and enable Action Cancer to deliver its health education programme in schools across Northern Ireland.”

Gareth Kirk, Action Cancer CEO, added:

“The partnership between SuperValu and Centra is one of the longest and most enduring charity partnerships across these islands. Without the incredible financial support of SuperValu and Centra, the Action Cancer mobile clinic the Big Bus would simply not exist. The Big Bus is truly a one-off vehicle with no similar vehicle with onboard free breast and skin cancer detection services operating anywhere else in Europe. This life saving service is only made possible through the incredible generosity of the Musgrave Group and its superb customers – thank you, together we have not only made a difference to the lives of local people and communities, but through early detection of cancer, saved lives”.

Action Cancer Ambassador Andrea Rocks had her skin cancer diagnosis made following an appointment on the Big Bus.

Andrea said: “The Big Bus has been a lifesaver for me. I scanned the QR code on a flyer I had picked up and was booked in for a virtual call that week. The nurse specialist assessed the mole on my arm and got me a face-to-face appointment on the Big Bus that Saturday. Once seen I was red flagged immediately – the staff on the Big Bus were excellent, calm, and reassuring. This early detection was so important for me, as once the biopsy was done, I was diagnosed with a stage 2 melanoma. Thank you, Action Cancer, for my early detection.”

Since 2006, the Big Bus has been bringing its onboard unique Breast Screening Service for women aged 40 to 49 and 70 plus and Health Checks, for men and women 18 plus, to local communities across all of N. Ireland. In addition to 2023 being Action’s Cancer’s 50th anniversary year, it was also a very special year for the Big Bus, the year when yet another unique lifesaving service was introduced, a skin cancer detection service.

Throughout 2023, the Big Bus visited 119 communities across N. Ireland. A total of 2,122 mammograms were completed, providing reassurance to women in these locations and detecting early-stage breast cancers in nine women, who had no symptoms. As a result of onboard health checks, 838 people were referred to their GP for further investigation. Nearly 600 men and women were assessed for a potential skin cancer resulting in some 9% being directly “red flagged” into the hospital system for further assessment.

The incredible £223,444 fundraising total was reached through initiatives including the popular International Coffee Day event, when 50p per Frank and Honest coffee sold over three days was pledged to the charity, raising over £21,000.

During Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, stores across the country dressed in pink, held raffles, and called on shoppers to ‘sponsor a mammogram’ and raise £120 per store – the amount it costs Action Cancer to provide a free breast screening appointment to women outside of NHS screening age.

The grounds of Belfast City Hall were also turned into a sea of pink when SuperValu sponsored Breast Foot Forward in June, followed by the most successful Centra Run Together to date when 1,600 runners gathered at Ormeau Park in Belfast to take part in 5k and 10k routes raising a phenomenal £33,000.

SuperValu and Centra’s £40K Big Community Giveaway supports 40 local groups with £1K donations

SuperValu and Centra, part of Musgrave Northern Ireland, have awarded a total of £40K to community groups across the region as part of their Big Community Giveaway.

From disability charities and community playgroups to sports clubs and health and wellbeing organisations, groups from Belleek to Bushmills and Draperstown to Downpatrick received their £1000 donation before Christmas, to help fund a range of good works projects.

Desi Derby, Director of Marketing at SuperValu and Centra said: “At SuperValu and Centra, we’re committed to supporting local and we’ve been absolutely delighted to award a total of £40,000 among groups and charities across Northern Ireland through our Big Community Giveaway.

“We were overwhelmed with nominations for so many deserving groups from sports clubs and youth groups to emergency response charities and counselling services – thanks to all our customers for taking the time to nominate. We hope the donations will make a difference and help these local groups continue their great work in their communities.”

From the end of October until 8 December, shoppers were invited to nominate a group they felt deserved to receive a £1,000 donation.  The initiative was sponsored by Ballygowan, Boyne Valley Group, Hartleys, Lucozade and Walkers and kindly supported by Musgrave’s retail partners.

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