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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SuperValu offering customers greener choices as they trial Ireland’s LARGEST Supermarket Eco-Range

SuperValu launches a trial range of 65 Eco Friendly products in 12 SuperValu stores

SuperValu today announced plans to bring the largest Eco-Range to 12 SuperValu stores around Ireland. The full range includes products from four environmentally friendly brands with household ranges that will help customers shop and live more sustainably. The range of 65 products offers customers a sustainable alternative to kitchen and household essentials and supports them in thinking green with their shopping choices.

The full product range is now on trial in 12 SuperValu stores. The launch comes just in time for back to school, so parents and children alike can start the school year right with reusable and environmentally friendly lunch storage options, party ranges and eco household items. Many of the products in the range will help reduce and reuse packaging.

The new range of eco products aims to offer customers choice as they move away from a disposable lifestyle, with the Bee’s Wrap Sandwich wrap a perfect solution for school lunches, reusable Bamboo Towels to replace kitchen towel and reusable organic cotton Terry cleansing pads that can be used for removing make-up and then used again and again. Not only will the range help customers save money in the long run as products are reusable but customers will be helping the environment along the way.

Where reusing isn’t an option SuperValu want to help customers buy products that are still environmentally friendly. If you’re throwing a party or eating out of home the eco-friendly party range has everything you need from pure sugarcane bowls to compostable straws made from renewable energy sources. In the kitchen the Ecover range will have those on kitchen duties covered with washing-up liquid, dishwasher tablets and multi-surface spray.

This announcement follows the introduction of SuperValu’s 100% compostable reusable shopping bags last week and the introduction of fully compostable fruit and vegetable bags for customers in 2018, to date resulting in 2.7 million single-use plastic bags being removed from stores.

Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of SuperValu, said of the launch, “I am delighted to announce that we are now trialing a new Eco-Range in a number of SuperValu stores. We are committed to providing our customers with more sustainable choices. We recognise that this is important to our customers and for the environment. We will continue working to reduce and eliminate plastic where possible giving our customers more and more sustainable choices.”

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Irish festival goers go green as demand for sustainable packaging rises

Half of Irish festival attendees more likely to purchase from a vendor who does not use single use plastic

Key findings

  • Almost half of Irish festival goers are more likely to purchase from a vendor who doesn’t use single use plastic
  • 80% say purchasing from eco-friendly vendors is important to them
  • Over 3 in 4 struggle to stick to a healthy eating regime at a festival
  • 3 in 4 spend up to €30 per day on festival food

With festival season about to kick off, Irish festival goers are becoming a lot more eco-conscious. That’s according to new research* carried out by Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading foodservice supplier.

The research into Irish festival habits reveals that 80% of people polled say it’s important for food vendors to offer compostable cups and cutlery, and half say they are more likely to purchase food and drink from vendors who don’t use single use plastic. So important is this, that 62% say they will seek out food and drink sellers who have a reputation for environmentalism at the next festival they attend.

Eco-friendly products sales surge

The move towards less plastic is also reflected in the growing demand for compostable products at Musgrave MarketPlace. Earlier this year, Musgrave MarketPlace reported that sales of eco-friendly products were up 198% in the first nine weeks of the year, with that figure rising to 228% by June 2019.

The biggest areas of product growth within the Musgrave MarketPlace eco-friendly range are sales in coffee cups and lids (up 210% in 2019) and takeaway containers (up 227% in 2019). Sales have also been on the rise for compostable straws with almost 3.3 million of these sold at Musgrave MarketPlace in the first half of 2019. Other eco-friendly products supplied by Musgrave MarketPlace include cutlery, bowls, plates, cutlery, and trays.

The healthy option?

Over 3 in 4 (78%) say they find it hard to stick to a healthy eating regime when attending a festival, so it’s no surprise that 81% say they would like to see healthier options available on-site.

Food is a huge part of what makes a festival according to 59% and 62% say that they often try a food for the first time when they are there.

Almost half (48%) say they purchase all their food from vendors at a festival while a more frugal 51% say they buy some items but also bring food along with them. Three quarters of those polled spend up to €30 per day on festival food while 1 in 4 spend more than €30 a day.

Commenting on the findings, Desi Derby, Marketing Director, Musgrave MarketPlace said:

“Our research shows that Irish consumers are becoming a lot more conscious of their plastic usage and are actively seeking out brands and companies who are trying to reduce single use plastic. This is not only good for the environment, but also good for businesses who opt for eco-friendly options, with festival goers more likely to purchase from these vendors.

 At Musgrave MarketPlace we supply many of the largest music festivals in Ireland and we understand this shift in demand from consumers. That is why we have expanded our packaging ranges which will in turn help significantly reduce single use plastics at festivals in Ireland. This is a trend that’s not going away, and we look forward to working with food vendors around Ireland to help them become more sustainable.”

*Survey carried out among 201 festival attendees aged 18+

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

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s only 100% Irish owned national wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail and SME businesses across Ireland, is proud to announce this morning that since 2016 it has donated over 550,000 meals to charities in Ireland through its partnership with FoodCloud. This donation equates to 250 tonnes of food and a saving of €750,000 to Irish charities

Through its food donations, that would otherwise have been diverted to landfill, Musgrave Marketplace has prevented over 800,000 kilos of CO2 emissions from entering the earth’s atmosphere and damaging the environment. As food waste is a huge contributor to climate change, Musgrave Marketplace is committed to doing everything possible to build a more sustainable future and its partnership with FoodCloud is a key focus for the business.

FoodCloud is a social enterprise that connects businesses with surplus food to charities in their local communities via a software platform, allowing them to donate food easily, directly to charities that need it. Since Musgrave MarketPlace established its partnership with FoodCloud in 2016, a variety of Irish charities have been able to reduce weekly food costs by an average of 30%.

Musgrave MarketPlace now donates from their Central Distribution Centre in Blanchardstown as well as their seven branches nationwide. It also contributes to achieving one of the many commitments set out in the Taking Care of Our World, the Musgrave 2020 sustainability strategy which commits to alleviating food poverty by supporting food re-distribution charities.

Musgrave MarketPlace donates surplus food from their 7 branches directly to Irish charities through the FoodCloud app. Donation details are entered in to the app before 9am each morning and the charity will then respond to this notification. Each branch will get an update via the app by 10am, and donations are collected between 11am-12pm.

Catherine Lambe, Human Resources Director at Musgrave Marketplace, commented on the initiative: “Musgrave MarketPlace is proud to announce that it has donated over 550,000 meals to charity through its partnership with FoodCloud, saving charities nationwide over €750,000. Through our partnership with FoodCloud we have helped provide quality, fresh produce to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  Rediverting our food surplus to FoodCloud has not only helped local charities but it has also reduced our C02 landfill by 800,000 kilos. We look forward to continuing our partnership with FoodCloud.”

Aoibheann O’Brien, co-founder at FoodCloud commented “Musgrave MarketPlace has been a key contributor in FoodCloud’s efforts in reaching many organisational goals since the partnership began. To surpass the 550,000th meal donation mark in such a short period of time is testament to the effort put in and the work carried out by the dedicated staff at Musgrave MarketPlace. Musgrave MarketPlace is an excellent example of an organisation that has expanded its operation with us over the years, rolling out FoodCloud to its branches outside Dublin and as a result, FoodCloud has now donated over half a million meals to local charities. We look forward to working in partnership with Musgrave MarketPlace for many years to come.”

FoodCloud was established in 2013 with one store in Dublin city and has grown to enable businesses across the UK and Ireland to donate their fresh, surplus food to people in need and make a meaningful contribution within the communities they operate.”

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Musgrave MarketPlace reports growth of 198% for eco-friendly packaging and disposable products in the first 9 weeks of 2019

Sales of eco-friendly products, packaging and disposables grew by 131% in 2018

“The dramatic rise in demand for eco-friendly products across our customer base is a sign that a new era of environmentally conscious business activity is upon us”. Sheena Forde, Trading Director Musgrave MarketPlace

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to food service, retail and SME businesses, announced this morning that sales of its eco-friendly packaging and disposables range saw a dramatic increase in sales of 131% in 2018. The support for eco-friendly products has continued into 2019, as sales for the first 9 weeks of 2019 are up 198% compared to the same time last year. The eco-friendly packaging and disposables products are available at all Musgrave MarketPlace branches nationwide.

Eco-friendly packaging currently accounts for 4.6% of total packaging products sold at Musgrave MarketPlace and is the fastest growing product group within the organisation. It is predicted that eco-friendly packaging will account for 6.9% of total packaging sold by the end of 2019.

The biggest areas of product growth within the Musgrave MarketPlace eco-friendly range are sales in coffee cups and lids (up 465% in 2019), takeaway containers (up 187% in 2019) and cutlery and straws (up 96% in 2019). Other eco-friendly products supplied by Musgrave MarketPlace include bowls, plates, cutlery, and trays. Sales from contract caterers (up 123%), offices and workplace (up 57.1%), and restaurants (up 63%) are the biggest sector growers for the range in 2019.

As part of their commitment to a more sustainable future, Musgrave MarketPlace has launched its eco-friendly range supplying over 100 eco-friendly packaging and disposable products at all branches nationwide. The movement towards eco-friendly products has become a key issue for foodservice, retail and SME businesses in Ireland as consumers become more aware of the effect their consumption habits can have on the environment.

Commenting on the dramatic increase in sales of eco-friendly packaging and disposables products in Musgrave MarketPlace branches throughout the country, Sheena Forde, Trading Director Musgrave MarketPlace said: “At Musgrave MarketPlace, we place a premium on identifying the latest trends within the industry, so that we can consistently supply our customers with the best range of products available in accordance with their needs. The dramatic rise in demand for eco-friendly products across our customer base is a sign that a new era of environmentally conscious business activity is upon us, and Musgrave MarketPlace is proud to be to the fore of this movement.

 “Eco-friendly packaging and disposables are areas of huge growth potential for us and the wider industry. We’re working with our fantastic suppliers to expand our range in order to ensure we are providing our customers with the best sustainable eco-friendly alternatives on the market. At present we have dedicated spaces within all our branches for eco-friendly packaging and disposables, with over 100 different types of eco-friendly product in each section.

“We as an organisation are committed to ensuring we play our part in assisting Ireland reach its 2025 and 2030 plastic recycling targets. Supplying the best in class eco-friendly packaging and disposables to our customers is a massive step forward towards a cleaner environment. We intend to expand our offering this year and predict further growth in this area in the coming months.”

The eco-friendly range available at Musgrave MarketPlace is comprised of biobased products made from natural materials that are mostly certified as being industrially compostable. Compostable products biodegrade under specific conditions into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass in approximately 90 days. All food packaging products are made from either renewable or compostable raw materials.

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Addressing the sustainability challenge

We’re proud of our success in food retail. Together with our retail partners we serve about a third of the Irish population, supplying everything from daily food requirements to regional artisan specialities.

However, this is a business that makes a lot of demands on the environment. Delivering food to shops, keeping it fresh and supplying an appealing shopping environment for over a million customers can, if not managed carefully, use up a lot of energy. But we don’t want to compromise our reputation for efficiency and good service. What can we do?

In fact, we’ve been answering that question for some time. Our retail partner, and Ireland’s leading grocery retailer, SuperValu has a strong track record of introducing energy-efficient equipment to its independent stores. Energy-saving refrigeration cabinet doors and LED lighting are already making a difference to energy usage in a number of major SuperValu stores across the island of Ireland.

Of course, there is always more we can do. Which is why solar panels will be installed in up to 30 of SuperValu’s stores over the next two years – and why SuperValu is committing to the reduction of energy consumption across its estate by 20 per cent over the next two years.

These solar PV panels won’t just supply a portion of the electricity the stores need. Some of the electricity generated by the solar panels will also be used to supply energy to electric car charging points at selected stores.

These are not isolated initiatives. Solar panels and energy-efficient stores help us and our partners to reduce the environmental impact of our businesses, but we are also doing a lot more.

Our ambition is to be the most trusted and most sustainable brand in Ireland. This ambition has inspired a sustainability strategy which we call Taking care of our world. It brings together a number of environmentally friendly initiatives, like using renewable energy, reducing food waste, and cutting down on packaging. In fact it goes much further – for example, supporting local food entrepreneurs, offering healthy food promotions and working with food redistribution charities. And that’s far from all, as a quick look at our sustainability pages of our website will make clear.

This isn’t just an Irish challenge, of course; it’s a global one. In 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were published. They included guidelines on what businesses could do to make their operations more sustainable. Musgrave became one of the first companies globally to embed the UN principles in its sustainability strategy. We have, in fact, placed them at the core of our day-to-day business activities.

So, yes, we are proud of our success in Ireland’s food retail business. But we are equally proud that this success goes hand in hand with a strategy that is clearly addressing the sustainability challenge.

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