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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Centra sees increased demand for Moo’d Ice Cream as consumers scream for ice cream during pandemic

Covid has led to +22% increase in ice cream sales in 2020

Ice cream cone remains firm favourite while demand for premium products and toppings continues to grow

Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, has revealed a significant increase in demand for Moo’d Ice Cream products, with the brand generating €1.6m as of week 16 in 2021.

Retail sales for products in Centra’s Ice Cream offering have rebounded significantly in 2021 after COVID-19 lockdowns forced the closure of Moo’d counters for a number of weeks during 2020 with sales now up 120% year-to-date in 2021.

Figures for 2020 show the humble ice cream cone remained Ireland’s favourite form of ice cream with the range accounting for 47% of Moo’d take-home ice cream offering, amounting to €2.8m in sales. This was closely followed by sales of Moo’d Whirlies which accounted for 34% of overall sales last year. Separately, sweet treats like milkshakes, gelato and slushies brought it €1.9m in sales in 2020.

“Centra has been a massive part of our business. When we started out with Moo’d, we had three members of staff and we now have ten full time members,” said Lisa Clarke, Business Development Manager of Moo’d Ice Cream Treats commentated,Our factory is based in rural Ireland where there were limited job opportunities and prospects. Partnering with Musgrave has enabled us to grow our business and employ local people supporting over 10 families in the local area. Centra has played a massive role in growing our business and without them, we would not have been able to do this. We are delighted to be in partnership with Centra across all of Ireland and be able to deliver fantastic products to customers and make their day.”

Gerry Sheridan, Owner of Ice Cream Treats added: “While Covid had a huge impact on the Moo’d counters, Ice Cream Treats were able to continue operating as a business due to the demand for Moo’d take home tubs range. As our factory is small and we have limited staff on the production line, we were able to operate safely with social distancing. We used the time to develop new Moo’d flavours, creations and engage with our Centra retailers.”

Ice Cream Treats is a member of the Bord Bia Origin Green programme and are working towards reducing their emissions and waste in manufacturing. The company have reduced their energy consumptions by 70% over the last 4 years and are proud to say their Moo’d whirlie cups, gelato cups, milkshake cups, straws and spoons are all compostable.

Ice cream trends

The latest sales data from Centra also shows that caramel is Ireland’s favourite ice cream topping with most consumers including it in the custom swirl cups closely followed by the Bueno Whirl.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to +22% increase in total ice cream sales in 2020 with demand for multipacks growing by 50% as people look to treat themselves at home during lockdowns.

Centra has also reported a 50% increase in sales of premium ice cream products with people indulging themselves as the pandemic continues with chocolate-based products growing in popularity.

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Centra Reaches Landmark 100th Store in Northern Ireland

Centra 100

Musgrave NI announces £12 million investment for 2021  

Set against an ambitious growth strategy, local convenience retail brand, Centra continues its expansion across Northern Ireland with the opening of its 100th store.

The landmark achievement comes as Musgrave Northern Ireland, which operates the SuperValu, Centra and MACE brands, announced further investment plans of £12 million for 2021. This includes the opening of over 20 new stores, creating up to 500 jobs and follows on the back of an investment heavy year in 2020, despite the pandemic.

As part of this significant investment, an additional 17 existing stores across the network will also benefit from a revamp.
Centra Dunman Cookstown is the 100th store in the convenience brand’s portfolio in Northern Ireland and is located just outside Cookstown on the Moneymore Road. In addition, Lusty’s Centra in Larne Harbour recently opened its doors and the next few weeks will see openings in Knockbreda and Toome.

Significant refreshes are planned for SuperValu Portstewart, McGleenan’s Centra Keady and McCool’s Centra Ballymena, providing more inspiration and ideas for shoppers with a focus on quality across fresh produce, meat, and food-to-go.

Musgrave has invested heavily in its convenience offering in recent years, including its artisan on-the-go coffee brand, Frank and Honest, which is available in over 150 SuperValu, Centra and MACE stores across Northern Ireland. With over 800 Frank and Honest locations across the island of Ireland, Frank and Honest is now the largest on-the-go coffee brand on the island. Moo’d ice-cream, now available in over 20 stores, provides shoppers with a range of sweet treat options while Green Kitchen, the Centra salad bar offering, expanded its food-to-go menu.

Speaking today, Trevor Magill, Managing Director for Musgrave in Northern Ireland said –

“We have ambitious plans for our network with the focus clearly on our vision to ‘redefine convenience’ in Northern Ireland. The development of new stores alongside the refurbishment of existing stores and continuing to innovate when it comes to product lines, ensures we are always focused on what matters to our shoppers.

“Our teams, across the SuperValu, Centra and MACE brands, are dedicated to providing great quality and choice in terms of our offer, with value for money and exceptional levels of customer service at the heart of what we do.”

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Toy Show Hero Adam King teams up with SuperValu and Centra to share his Hug cards

Cards go on sale on 5th February with all proceeds going to CHI Temple Street and Cork University Hospital Charity

#AdamsVirtualHug

He stole the nations hearts when he appeared on The Late Late Toy Show last year. Now six-year-old Adam King from Co. Cork will be helping you steal the hearts of others with his very special ‘Hug For You’ card that will be on sale exclusively at SuperValu and selected Centra stores from Friday 5th February. Adam has teamed up with the retailers this Valentine’s to help the nation give their very own special hug to those who really need it at this time. All proceeds from the cards will go to CHI Temple Street and Cork University Hospital Charity.

The card, decorated with Adam’s very own virtual hug (©Adam King, 2020) artwork that he debuted on the Toy Show, is the perfect hug in an envelope when so many will have been apart for so long. Whether it’s simply a hug for your other half, the grandparent you can’t wait to be reunited with or even just to reach out to someone that you care about or miss, it will be sure to bring a smile to the recipient’s face, all while raising money for two great causes.

In his efforts to support people’s mental health in these challenging times Adam encourages senders of his card to write personal messages on the hug inside the card. Recipients are encouraged to cut out the hug after Valentines and display somewhere that brings them hope and joy.

The limited-edition cards are retailing at €3.99 and are on sale from Friday 5th February at SuperValu and selected Centra stores.

Speaking about the initiative, David King, father of Adam, said; “Adam has been a patient of these hospitals since the day he was born, so we have experienced first-hand the amazing work they are doing. We are delighted to partner with SuperValu and Centra to support their work in this way. The values of these companies, supporting community and accessibility align greatly with our own. Additionally, we hope the card will bring some much need joy to people’s lives in these challenging times of disconnect.”

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director at SuperValu and Centra, added; “We couldn’t be happier to be teaming up with Adam King – an incredible boy that was a real inspiration on The Late Late Toy Show last year bringing happiness and joy into the homes of the nation with his infectious positive attitude and personality. Through his Hug Card initiative, we hope that we will help bring some of this happiness and positivity into people’s lives, something we could all do with a little more of at this very difficult time, all while raising much needed funds for two very worth charities”

To get your ‘Hug For You’ card make sure to drop into your local SuperValu or selected Centra stores from 5th February. For more information see www.SuperValu.ie or www.Centra.ie. Cards have been created with the assistance of Garlanna Cards, an Irish card producer in Co. Wicklow.

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Donncha O’Callaghan joins forces with Centra to help Ireland Live Well

Rugby legend Donncha O’Callaghan was announced yesterday as the new ambassador for Centra’s healthy living initiative, Live Well.  The Live Well plan encourages people to make simple changes to their lifestyle, aiming to make healthy living as easy as possible. Centra are encouraging people to live well, while still making the most of every day.

Live Well is a complete wellbeing plan for a happier healthier you; it’s not about calorie counting, weigh-ins or a restrictive regime.  It’s a simple to follow plan that can fit into any lifestyle, it can be done anywhere with no equipment needed, all ages and abilities are catered for and best of all, it’s free. There are a variety of plans depending on ability, all of which include weekly tips and goals, exercise plans, healthy recipes and daily step challenges. Each 12 week plan was devised by fitness expert Pat Divilly with the help of Donncha O’Callaghan, and is free to sign-up to on www.centra.ie/live-well.

Rugby legend and Centra's Live Well Ambassador Donncha O'Callaghan launches Centra's health living initiative.
Pictured: Rugby legend and Centra’s Live Well Ambassador Donncha O’Callaghan launches Centra’s health living initiative, which encourages people to make simple changes to their lifestyle to make healthy living as easy as possible. Sign up on Centra.ie/livewell

Speaking at the launch, Centra’s new Live Well ambassador Donncha O’ Callaghan said “We all lead hectic lives! The beauty of the Live Well plan is that it’s tailored to help you make simple changes to your everyday routines to help you get the most out of life; it’s nothing too complex or preachy. The plans include everything you need for a healthy lifestyle so living well couldn’t be easier; sign up now on www.centra.ie/live-well.”

The Live Well plan is about making small changes that improve your overall wellbeing and leave you feeling happier and healthier.  For more information, go to www.centra.ie/live-well.

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