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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Chicken wings sales reach all time high at Musgrave MarketPlace

  • Sales peak at all time high of 100,000 chicken wings per week, and an estimated over 5 million per year
  • Hot and spicy wings with garlic mayo dip is Ireland’s favourite chicken wing combo

Whether it’s buffalo, honey garlic or hot and spicy, Ireland is crazy for chicken wings according to new research from Musgrave MarketPlace.

Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail and SME businesses is reporting that sales of chicken wings have risen to an all-time high of 100,000 per week, or a staggering 5 million per year, which equates to 510 tonnes of chicken wings!

Tell me what’s your flavour?

According to a survey of over 200 Musgrave MarketPlace customers, Ireland’s favourite chicken wing flavour is hot and spicy (44%) followed by barbecue (25%) and buffalo (19%).

When it comes to accompaniments, 60% of Musgrave MarketPlace customers serve their wings with garlic mayo. Other popular flavours which feature on menus across Ireland include blue cheese (44.04%) and ranch (11.93%).

Winging It

There is no sign of the demand for the delicious dish waning as 40% of respondents say that chicken wings are among the top five most popular dishes served in their establishment, with a further 15% stating it is the most popular item on their menu.

Musgrave MarketPlace can also reveal that when it comes to drumstick vs flat piece as the preferred part of the wing, the traditional drumstick is the firm favourite with 60% of the vote.

Despite the fried foods long history in Ireland, the popularity of chicken wings has grown substantially in recent times with over 81% of those surveyed having added wings to their menu in the last ten years.

Commenting on the research findings, Desi Derby, Marketing Director at Musgrave MarketPlace, said: “The chicken wing has come a long way from a butchers off-cut to one of the most popular items on most menus. Chicken wings are a very versatile product, and a great vehicle for flavour. Easily adaptable to fit most food trends from high protein to gluten free, it’s great to see our growth in sales to over 5 million wings per year”.

Musgrave MarketPlace are proud to be chicken wing supplier to Dublin chicken wing institution, Elephant and Castle. Since opening its world-famous Temple Bar restaurant in 1989, Elephant and Castle has become renowned as the home for wing lovers.

Speaking on the event, Ronan Gleeson, long standing team member at Elephant and Castle Templebar said: “We are delighted to celebrate National Chicken Wing Day again this year at Elephant and Castle. We are very proud of our flavoursome original basket of wings, perfected in 1989, which has become one of Dublin’s favourite dishes. We are looking forward to commemorating the day in our original Temple Bar restaurant as well as our new Monkstown and Rathmines branches”.

Musgrave MarketPlace also encouraged their customers to join in on the celebrations for National Chicken Wing Day by visiting their pop-up restaurant in their Ballymun branch. All proceeds from the event went to their charity partner, The Irish Society for Autism.

National Chicken Wing Day took place on the 29th July.

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Musgrave MarketPlace unveils €1.7m upgrade of Galway branch

Pictured are Noel Keeley, Managing Director, Musgrave MarketPlace, Arthur Maguire, Musgrave MarketPlace customer, Síle Seoige, Event MC and Tony Nolan, General Manager, Musgrave MarketPlace.

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail and SMEs has officially unveiled its newly revamped Galway branch to customers. The €1.7 million upgrade of the Galway-based branch forms part of a €12.6m investment to date in the Musgrave MarketPlace brand over the last four years as it continues to redefine wholesale on the island of Ireland.

Síle Seoige was on hand as MC for the launch of the new Galway branch while guests enjoyed a tour of the upgraded Food Emporium as well as food and drink samples from Musgrave MarketPlace’s vast range of suppliers.

The newly revamped branch has been designed with the customer and environment in mind. As well as offering amazing value, great service and a broader product range, the newly revamped branch in Galway includes a new Food Theatre for product demonstrations, a bespoke butchery counter, a new coffee counter, as well as in-branch expert advice.

Speaking on the investment in Musgrave MarketPlace branches in 2019, Noel Keeley, Managing Director of Musgrave MarketPlace, said:

Today marks another significant milestone in our brand journey. Our €1.7m investment in the Galway branch is the next step on this journey and forms part of our €12.6m investment in our branch network.

Upgrading our branches is a response to the changing needs of our customers, needs that were not present 10 years ago. Our Food Emporium format gives our customers a greater range across all products from world foods to bespoke meat cutting in branch and crockery and equipment. Additional services available to our customers include a team of Product Specialists, a Trends Expert, dedicated chef skills masterclasses and retailer workshops. Our brand essence; First for Service, First for Value and First for Choice, is at the core of everything we do, and we are focused on delivering our customers a first-class customer experience.”

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Musgrave MarketPlace invests €2.6 million to upgrade Galway and Derry branches

Investment will transform each branch into a state-of-the-art Food Emporium and reduce their carbon footprint.

Musgrave MarketPlace, Ireland’s leading wholesale supplier to foodservice, retail and SME businesses, announced that €2.6m has been invested in upgrading their Galway (€1.7m) and Derry (€0.9m) branches across the first six months of 2019.

The work to upgrade the Galway and Derry branches is the latest step in a €12.6m plan which Musgrave MarketPlace has undertaken to transform each branch into a state-of-the-art Food Emporium and improve their environmental performance, reducing their carbon footprint.

Investment in the Galway and Derry branches follows branch upgrades in Dublin’s Ballymun and Robinhood, Cork and Duncrue in Belfast.

The newly revamped branches in Galway (opening on 24th July), and Derry (opened on 20th June) have been designed with the customer and environment in mind. As well as offering amazing value, great service and a broader product range, the newly revamped branch in Galway includes a new Food Theatre for product demonstrations, a bespoke butchery counter, a new coffee counter, as well as in-branch expert advice.

All upgraded branches have been designed to save energy and reduce carbon emissions. It is estimated that Musgrave MarketPlace Galway will reduce its CO2 output by 82,000kg per annum, which is equivalent to the annual electricity required to run 50 homes.

As part of the brand’s ongoing commitment to eliminating food waste, Musgrave MarketPlace Galway have joined forces with social enterprise company FoodCloud. The partnership sees surplus food go to charity. So far in 2019, Musgrave MarketPlace Galway have donated over 2,000 meals to local Galway charities.

Speaking on the investment in Musgrave MarketPlace branches in 2019, Noel Keeley, Managing Director of Musgrave MarketPlace, said:

“Today marks another significant milestone in our brand journey. Our €2.6m investment in Galway and Derry is the next step on this journey and forms part of our €12.6m investment in our branch network.

Upgrading our branches is a response to the changing needs of our customers, needs that were not present 10 years ago. Our Food Emporium format gives our customers a greater range across all products from world foods to bespoke meat cutting in branch and crockery and equipment. Additional services available to our customers include a team of Product Specialists, a Trends Expert, dedicated chef skills masterclasses and retailer workshops. Our brand essence; First for Service, First for Value and First for Choice, is at the core of everything we do, and we are focused on delivering our customers a first-class customer experience.”

Other new features at Musgrave MarketPlace Galway and Derry will include:

  • An upgraded ‘Click and Collect’ offering which allows customers to place orders online, hassle-free. Customers can park in the conveniently located Click & Collect parking spots at the store exit and, if they have paid online, have their order brought out to the car when they call the Click & Collect number. Alternatively, they can pick up some extra items in branch while their order is being brought to the till where they can then pay for all of their items.
  • Navigating the store has been made easier than ever thanks to a colour blocking system, which aligns with a map on your trolley.
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