Nurturing talent will drive future innovation in retail and foodservice

With our award-winning Graduate Programme now open for applications, our Director for Talent, Learning and Development Anne Rigney talks about how important our early careers programmes are for the business.

Graduate programmes are widely acknowledged to be an excellent opportunity for talented young people to get a step on the career ladder, and gain the skills needed for high-level job roles – and of course they are. At Musgrave we support a talented pool of graduates every year to grow, develop and thrive in careers they are passionate about. They are given significant responsibility from day one, coupled with support from the best managers and mentors in their field, and many of our graduates go on to become managers themselves or even directors at Musgrave.

Nurturing emerging talent is also an extremely important part of what we do at Musgrave, it has huge benefits for our business, and ensures that we remain innovative and nimble in the future.

Retail, wholesale and foodservice are all evolving at pace, and digital technology has completely changed the landscape over the last decade. Early careers talent, like our interns and graduates, are at the very heart of this transformation. They are the generation demanding change – food-to-go, next day delivery, contactless shopping and personalised experiences. They also want food to be sustainable and ethical, healthy and delicious.

When consumers look at our business and brands, they perhaps associate it with traditional aspects like groceries, supermarkets and the food and drink on the shelves. But our business is just as much about innovation and technology today as it is about apples and bread. Everything we do is driven by digital, data and analytics, and our work in innovation is critical to the customer experience.

As Ireland’s largest private sector employer, and a company that turns over more than €4 billion each year, if you join Musgrave you can expect some of the best commercial teams in Ireland to work with, the brightest financial minds to learn from and the biggest IT infrastructure projects to work on. To put it simply, if you think food retail is only about shops and products, then you’d be wrong.

Our early career pathways provide our business not just with talent, but fresh eyes, new ideas and plenty of passion and enthusiasm. So, if you are a 3rd level student with an interest in innovation, digital technology or consumer experience, and a passion for food and drink or sustainability, then you should consider Musgrave as a career option – because we want to hear from you. For further information, visit our Graduate Programme website.

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SuperValu’s Vegetables Reach New Heights with Launch of Ireland’s First Hydroponically Grown Microgreen Mixes

SuperValu is on a mission to help shoppers shop more sustainably

SuperValu has announced today the launch of two new hydroponically grown products grown right here in Ireland. SuperValu is the first retailer to bring vertically farmed hydroponic micro greens to market and the new products, available now on shelves around Ireland, are Signature Tastes Italian Style Microgreen Mix and Signature Tastes Microgreen SuperMix. Hydroponic vertical farming is an innovative farming method that allows greens to be grown in Ireland all year round whatever the weather, significantly reducing food miles and time between farm to shelves.

Hydroponics is the process of growing plants without using soil. In traditional growing, soil is a major source of nutrients for plants but with hydroponics, alternatives to those nutrients are directly fed to plants instead and so the use of soil can be removed completely and growing moved indoors.

In addition to the Microgreens the Signature Tastes Growing Pea shoots are also launching in SuperValu stores, these are also grown using innovative soil-free methods but are grown on a bed of compostable paper. The zero waste Growing Pea Shoots are a living product so customers can cut as much as they want and the plant keeps growing. SuperValu’s Signature Tastes Microgreens and Growing Pea shoots are sustainably grown and herbicide and pesticide free. As they have been grown in a soil-free environment which reduces strain on land-based resources, customers get great-tasting, nutrient rich greens with fewer negative impacts on the environment. The new products are already award-winning with the Signature Tastes Pea Shoots taking home the Chefs Larder Award and the Signature Tastes Italian Style Microgreen Mix winning a PLMA Salute to Excellence Award.

The environmental benefits of hydroponic vertical farming include:

  1. Less water is used– 70% less water is used than soil-based farming as water is recycled through the system repeatedly.
  2. No soil degradation– Soil degradation is an issue across the globe, as hydroponic vertical farming does not use soil there is no negative impact on soil
  3. Elimination of Pesticides and Herbicides– With the absence of soil there is no need for fertilisers as nutrient solutions are used instead. Herbicides are not needed either as there is no weed growth and as they are grown inside there is also no need for pesticides. This means a massively reduced run-off, benefitting both the water and soil in the local area.
  4. Grown locally = less food miles– As hydroponic farming takes place indoors it doesn’t matter what the weather or climate is like outdoors, so products which usually could not be grown in Ireland can now be grown locally. As vertical farming takes up less space than traditional methods the size of land available is now less of an issue as well. SuperValu’s new products are grown in Co. Meath by McCormack Family farms and can make it to shelves in less than 48 hours, meaning less fuel waste in transit and minimal loss of freshness.

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu, said, “We are delighted to be the first retailer in Ireland to introduce these new products to our customers around the country. Given the environmental benefits of vertical hydroponic farming we’re delighted to be able to offer customers locally grown options, where previously products would have to be transported from countries in warmer climates when they’re out of season. This is just one of our steps to becoming more sustainable and making positive environmental impacts in every community we operate in around Ireland.”

SuperValu will reduce its carbon footprint in Ireland by 70 per cent by 2025 and in addition to moving to sustainable packaging SuperValu is committed to operating all facilities with 100 percent green electricity and to sending no recoverable waste to landfill. Any food surplus in stores is sent to re-distribution charities so food waste is minimised as well as helping to alleviate food poverty.

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Why local food and drink is more important than ever

Local and Irish produce combines two things we are passionate about – quality food and drink, and independent family-run businesses. Local producers often start as small family businesses, growing sustainably and generating employment for local people. At the same time, Irish produce is renowned for being high quality, safe and delicious.

That’s why, through our 11 market-leading retail and wholesale brands, we support thousands of Irish suppliers of all sizes. Championing local producers goes to the heart of our values and our purpose of Growing Good Business, which inspires us to grow a sustainable business that benefits the wider economy and local communities.

The interesting thing about the past 18 months, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, is that we have seen a significant increase in consumer interest in local and sustainable produce. Staying at home and focusing more on our immediate communities seems to have accelerated the emphasis on localism – and this extends to the food and drink people want to buy.

Stark images like the pollution lifting in cities like Deli when lockdowns around the world were imposed really brought front and centre the damage being done to the planet, as well as optimism that this damage could be reversed. Today’s shoppers are much more savvy, they want to know where their food comes from, how it was produced and what it is packaged in. They want to know that they are making choices that are good for the planet, as well as for local communities, and for their families.

By working with local producers, we can give shoppers the reassurance they want – that the food they are buying will be safe, sustainable, ethical and, of course, delicious.

A study that SuperValu conducted earlier this year to gain feedback on our flagship Food Academy programme, found that consumer demand for Irish products (41%) is the number one driver of growth in Food Academy products.

Food Academy, which is now in its eighth year, is a unique food development programme run in conjunction with SuperValu, Board Bia and the Local Enterprise Office. It gives small producers a big chance, giving them that all important first supermarket listing in their local SuperValu store. Food Academy currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers, making their products available 52 weeks of the year in their local SuperValu stores.

In 2020, there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales, with participants delivering €28m in retail sales. This again supports the view that consumers want local produce, and they enjoy the unique, artisan products that Food Academy suppliers provide. Shoppers can also feel they are playing a part in supporting small businesses from their area, positively impacting the local economy. This is where you can see the whole concept brought to life and how it benefits everyone – from the retailer to the producer to the consumer – to support local.

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Musgrave appoints Myles O’ Grady to the role of Chief Financial Officer

Monday 27th September 2021 – Musgrave Group, Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company is delighted to announce the appointment of Myles O’Grady as Chief Financial Officer with effect from 4th April 2022.

Myles joins Musgrave from Bank of Ireland where he is Group Chief Financial Officer since 2019. In joining Musgrave, Myles brings with him a wealth of experience in delivering sustainable growth and in driving a culture that is customer focused and increasingly digital.

Commenting on his appointment, Noel Keeley, Musgrave CEO said: “I am pleased to welcome Myles to Musgrave as CFO following a comprehensive recruitment process. As one of Europe’s leading family-owned businesses we are committed to delivering long-term sustainable growth. Given Myles’ experience in senior financial and business leadership roles he will be a fantastic asset in helping us achieve our ambitions. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Alan Cunningham for his significant and ongoing contribution as Acting CFO.”

Myles has been Group CFO at Bank of Ireland Group since October 2019. Prior to that he held senior roles at Citibank, Bord Gais and AIB Group. Myles is also a Non-Executive Director of New Ireland Assurance Company and is a Fellow of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants.

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Musgrave launches 2022 Graduate Programme

23 September 2021: Musgrave, Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company has announced that it is accepting applications for the latest intake of its award-winning Graduate Programme.

The programme is accepting applications for 14 roles in areas including Buying, Finance, Insight & Innovation, Marketing, Supply Chain Operations and IT.

The application window for the 2022 Programme opens on the 23rd September 2021, running until the 22nd October. This year’s programme will include a new role focusing on Commercial Food Leadership, a position designed to provide graduates from culinary, food focused disciplines with an immersive experience in Musgrave’s market leading food brands while developing their commercial acumen.

Commenting on the launch of the 2022 Graduate Programme, Anne Rigney, Director for Talent, Learning and Development with Musgrave said: “We are delighted to open enrolment to our Graduate Programme for 2022. The programme is a great opportunity for graduates to get valuable, hands-on experience working with Ireland’s leading food retail, wholesale and foodservice company. Participants can expect to learn a wide range of business skills alongside the very best experts our industry has to offer. We look forward to welcoming the latest graduates to our teams.”

The Musgrave Graduate Programme offers graduates a structured transition programme from college to the workplace. It provides personal and professional development through a bespoke programme run in partnership with the Irish Management Institute (IMI), in addition to ongoing support and coaching from Musgrave’s senior management team.

This development focus complements the programme’s ambition to grow each graduates’ potential and skills in functional roles, aligned with meeting Musgrave’s Talent requirements. As part of the Programme, participants are set a strategic business challenge and present their recommendations to the CEO and Executive team at the annual Graduate Summit.

The Musgrave Graduate Programme has provided an early career Talent pipeline for over 25 years and is a proven launchpad for successful and rewarding careers with the company. Former graduates currently hold senior leadership roles in the Finance; Innovation and Consumer Insight; Business Services, Marketing and Trading functions including two directors the business.

The Programme has won awards for its development offer every year since 2016, including the gradireland Graduate Employer of the Year twice since 2019. Two Musgrave graduates have been awarded the accolade of gradireland Graduate of the Year in recent years and continue their careers with Musgrave post-Programme.

Representatives from Musgrave will be at career fairs across the island of Ireland from the 28th September onwards, including the gradireland Graduate Careers Fair on the 1st October. To apply for the 2022 Programme, visit www.musgravegraduates.com.

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SuperValu and Centra scoop over 140 accolades at 2021 Great Taste Awards

The winners of the prestigious 2021 Great Taste Awards were announced yesterday with SuperValu and Centra retaining their number one titles as top performing supermarket and convenience retailer.

SuperValu took home a massive 100 award wins making them, once again, the top performing Irish supermarket at the world’s largest and most trusted food and drink awards. SuperValu’s wins included 49 products from the Signature Tastes Range solidifying its position as the No. 1 Premium Range for taste and quality in an Irish Supermarket. SuperValu took home three 3 star awards this year and an additional 26 awards on their 2020 wins, making them Ireland’s most successful supermarket at the Awards once again.

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said, “We are delighted to see SuperValu come out as the best performing Irish supermarket at the Great Taste Awards for a second year in a row with a remarkable 100 awards. SuperValu works with over 1,800 Irish suppliers and we are proud that so many of our products and local producers have received the recognition they deserve at these prestigious awards which are the world’s largest blind-tasted food awards. These 100 award wins are a real endorsement of the quality and value of our range as the Great Taste Awards are the globally approved benchmark for fine food and drink.’’

Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, Centra, claimed 47 accolades, making them the number one award winning convenience retailer in Ireland.

With quality and convenience top of mind, the ‘Inspired By Centra’ range took home 17 wins after being tried and tested by a panel of over 500 experts. Launched in 2018, the ‘Inspired by Centra’ range uses the highest quality home grown ingredients from trusted suppliers.

Awards included the Inspired by Centra Angus Striploin Steaks, which won 2 stars, the Inspired by Centra Rotisserie Chicken available hot from the deli, which won 1 star and the Inspired by Centra Tomato and Mozzarella Sourdough Pizza, which won 1 star.

The Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the world’s largest blind tasting awards and the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink.

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SuperValu teams up with Irish Dancing group Cairde to Launch ‘Tap to Donate’ Fundraising Campaign to raise funds for AsIAm

Customers can tap to donate €2 at the till from 23rd -25th September to support autism inclusion

With the help of TikTok famous Irish Dancing Group Cairde, SuperValu and AsIAm are hoping to spread the word and encourage the nation to ‘Tap To Donate with SuperValu for AsIAm’. As part of SuperValu’s ongoing partnership with AsIAm, Ireland’s National Autism Charity, a fundraising drive will take place in all SuperValu stores from the 23rd -25th September. SuperValu is encouraging customers to simply tap to donate €2 at tills when making any purchase across the 23rd,24th; 25th September to help raise much needed funds for AsIAm. Money raised by customers over the three-day fundraising drive will support autism inclusion through the work of the organisation and a new SuperValu- AsIAm Community Support Fund.

Cairde have created a video for the campaign to encourage people of all ages across to get in-store and tap their cards, phones and wearables to donate €2 at the till. You can watch the video on Cairde’s TikTok channel here or click here to watch on their Instagram.

Funds raised will support the work of the AsIAm Community Support Team, which works directly with autistic people and their families through a range of information, advocacy and support programmes. Additionally, the Community Support Team will establish a AsIAm-SuperValu Community Support Fund which will allow local community groups around Ireland to apply for small grants empowering them to run projects such as social groups, subsidised therapies, group therapies and activity camps. To donate online follow this link: asiam.ie/donate

Commenting on the campaign CEO of AsIAm Adam Harris said, “SuperValu continues to support the autism community and make it their mission to support autism inclusion. We are delighted they are hosting this Fundraiser across all stores as money generously donated by customers will be used to support our advice, guidance and support programmes for the autism community and will also enable us to establish a new fund to support local projects supporting autistic people across Ireland.”

Autistic people are as diverse as the society we live in and are already making contributions to communities across Ireland. SuperValu continues to support the autism community and help create more inclusive communities across a range of initiatives including learning resources, awareness campaigns, community support seminars and autism friendly shopping in-stores. Together with AsIAm, SuperValu are on a journey to build more inclusive communities around Ireland.

Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu said “Our partnership with AsIAm is hugely important and we are so proud to be able to continue to build on the impactful work done with AsIAm in stores and communities around Ireland. To continue our mission to support autism inclusion, because community includes everyone we are looking forward to our fundraising event taking place in all stores between the 23rd and 25th September. We encourage customers to support the campaign and tap to donate €2 at the tills when they’re making a purchase. All money raised will go directly to AsIAm to support local communities around Ireland and will help empower autistic people and relieve the pressures faced by many people and families around Ireland. Every single euro raised will enable us to deliver better support through AsIAm.

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Five Food Academy producers to be showcased in SuperValu stores nationwide

13 September 2021: Five local Irish food producers have been chosen from 290 Food Academy suppliers and will be showcased in SuperValu stores nationwide over a three-week period. The producers are part of SuperValu’s Food Academy programme that is run in conjunction with Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise office.

From 23 September each of the five producers will see their products on sale across 150 SuperValu stores around Ireland. The five companies chosen for nationwide distribution include Blakes Always Organic from Co Leitrim; Little Thai Kitchen from Co Waterford; Feighery’s Farm from Co Offaly; Hassetts Bakery Co. Cork and The Sweet Potato Pizza Company from Dublin. The products selected demonstrate the quality and range of choice that the food entrepreneurs of today are creating and delivering to shoppers across the country.

The Food Academy programme currently supports 290 Irish food and drink producers, making their products available 52 weeks of the year in their local SuperValu stores. In 2020, there was a 15% growth in SuperValu Food Academy sales, with participants delivering €28m in retail sales.

Carmel Biggane, Food Academy Manager, SuperValu, said: “The Food Academy programme is designed to help small businesses through their journey from start-up, to getting their products on our shelves and growing into thriving businesses. We believe in supporting local Irish Food & Drink producers and are incredibly proud to have helped so many local producers over the last 8 years. This nationwide distribution is a testament to the benefits of the Food Academy programme and the high standard of Irish producers the programme continues to support. We are really looking forward to bringing these fabulous tasting products to our customers in SuperValu’s around the country for a limited time period.”

Ciara McClafferty, Trading Director, SuperValu, said: “At SuperValu, we have always believed in supporting local producers. Great quality and taste is synonymous with this initiative and this is another opportunity to celebrate and elevate the best of Irish food and drink coming out of the Food Academy programme. This distribution deal will give these producers access to stores around the country and provide an opportunity to promote their products to new customers nationwide.”

Now in its eighth year, Food Academy is a unique food business development programme between SuperValu, Bord Bia and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). Participants in the programme receive training in food safety, market research and branding, marketing, finance, sustainability and business development

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Boost For Waterford as Musgrave MarketPlace Opens New Food Emporium

New Food Emporium unveiled at Musgrave MarketPlace Waterford, following a €1 million investment

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail and SME businesses officially unveiled a new Food Emporium at Musgrave MarketPlace, Waterford, Kilbarry Road Junction on 24 August, following a €1 million upgrade.

The transformation of the Waterford branch into a state-of-the-art Food Emporium forms part of a €13.6m total investment in the Musgrave MarketPlace Food Emporium concept to date, as it continues to modernise wholesale on the island of Ireland.

This branch unveiling in Waterford follows branch upgrades in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Dublin’s Ballymun and Robinhood, Duncrue in Belfast and Derry.

The upgrade of the Waterford Food Emporium features a range of new and innovative updates to assist foodservice and retail customers access the information and products they need. These include:

  • A designated meat cutting service alongside expanded areas for fruit and vegetables, chilled and frozen foods.
  • A state-of-the-art food demo area to showcase the Musgrave MarketPlace offerings for customers.
  • The branch is open for trade 7 days a week to support their customers.

Opening the branch’s new Food Emporium were long standing customer Mary Walsh, Managing Director of Musgrave MarketPlace, Michael McCormack, Head of Musgrave MarketPlace Operations, Martin Slattery and General Manager of Musgrave MarketPlace Waterford, Patricia Hattersley.

Commenting on the opening, Michael McCormack, Managing Director, Musgrave Wholesale Partners said: “The opening of our newly revamped Waterford Food Emporium is a hugely exciting for the local community in Waterford and beyond. We have invested €13.6m to date in our branches to create Food Emporiums within Musgrave MarketPlace which not only offer a first-class customer experience but also redefine the traditional cash-and-carry business.”

The reimagined Musgrave MarketPlace Waterford, located in Musgrave Business Park, has been designed with the customers at the forefront, serving local hotels, bars, restaurants, retailers and SME’s in the Waterford region. As well as adding hundreds of new products to their current range of over 9,000 products, the branch now has expanded chilled, frozen and fresh produce aisles.

In line with Musgrave MarketPlace’s sustainability strategy, the new Food Emporium is designed to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. With the introduction of low power eco refrigeration and LED lighting, the Waterford branch is supplied with 100% renewable electricity.

Musgrave MarketPlace Waterford is now open 7 days a week to allow customers access to the products they need as and when they need them.

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