Centra reveals sales of €1.98 billion in 2021

The retailer announces a €25m investment in-store expansion programme with plans to open 18 new stores in 2022 creating 430 new jobs

16 May 2022: Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retailer, has reported strong sales of €1.98 billion and 2.5% annual growth for 2021. This robust performance was driven by growth in Centra’s convenience offering, including its award-winning own-brand ranges and Inspired By Centra, and Freshly Prepared meals as well as Frank and Honest coffee. The performance was also underpinned by increasing consumer demand for wide-ranging product offerings and Centra’s position as a local top-up grocery shopping destination.

The retailer has also announced a €25 million investment in an ambitious expansion programme. The expansion will see 18 new Centra stores open in 2022, creating over 430 new jobs in local communities around the country. The expansion programme is in addition to the 11 new Centra stores opened in 2021 and the €17 million deployed last year to revamp and refresh 64 existing stores. Centra supports over 38,000 jobs and directly employs 11,716 people across the 483 stores operating in Ireland.

Throughout the pandemic, shoppers sought convenient meal solutions and tasty treats, driving demand for Centra’s cook at home prepared ranges. Moo’d Ice Cream, Centra’s high-quality Irish Ice Cream concept, recorded sales of €10m last year, up over 52% on 2020. The Inspired By Centra range saw strong growth with a 40% increase in sales, while the Freshly Prepared range of meals also saw a 40% jump in sales, demonstrating growing consumer demand for convenient, own-brand products and meals.

Speaking about the announcement, Centra Managing Director Ian Allen said: “This robust sales performance underscores our position as Ireland’s leading convenience retailer. We have seen significant growth driven by increasing consumer demand for healthy and high-quality own-brand products at reasonable prices. We are continuously redefining convenience retail to ensure we satisfy the evolving needs of our shoppers by offering market-leading ranges. We are acutely aware of the rising cost of living challenges and we are working hard with our suppliers and retail partners to continue delivering the best value and quality to our customers.”

The announcement follows the publication of an economic impact report by leading economist Jim Power. The report highlights the financial contribution of Centra stores is valued at an estimated €646.7 million. Direct employment by Centra creates approximately €38 million in employment taxes and generates a total net wage of €160.4 million, which is injected into local economies.

Speaking about the report, Centra Managing Director Ian Allen added: “The economic impact report highlights the hugely positive role Centra continues to play in providing support and employment to localities nationwide. Local Centra stores play a very active role in their communities and make a significant financial contribution through employment but also the various sponsorships and support for numerous charities. In 2021, Centra stores spent €2.1 million on local sponsorships and payments to a wide array of local and national charities. We are immensely proud of Centra’s position at the heart of communities around Ireland, and we look forward to bringing our high-quality convenience offering and unrivalled customer service to new communities across the country while continuing to support local Irish producers and suppliers.”

Centra is renowned for high-quality standards, as demonstrated by the awards that the stores win for product standards and people awards.

Pictured: Ciaran Mangan, Centra Council Chair; Ian Allen, Managing Director Retail; Cormac Dawson, Centra Sales Director

SuperValu partners with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to bring Save The Bees Campaign to schools around Ireland

SuperValu is helping to create over 3,000 refuelling spots for busy bees in schools across the country

SuperValu and Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD have today launched the Save The Bees Campaign in partnership with the All-Ireland Pollinator plan and SuperValu TidyTowns. All 3,241 primary schools in Ireland will be sent a SuperValu Save the Bees Pollinator Pack so they can create their own bee-friendly garden.

This SuperValu Save the Bees Pollinator Pack was co-created with Dr Una Fitzpatrick, Head of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and is endorsed by SuperValu TidyTowns. It contains guidebooks, posters and bookmarks in addition to a pollinator-friendly garden kit with flower seeds and a garden sign. All elements of the Save the Bees Pollinator pack have been sustainably sourced and are recyclable.

To further promote awareness and action, families will receive their own Save the Bees cards in SuperValu with every spend over €30. These cards are added to each school’s Save the Bees poster, which, once completed, can be entered into a draw to win a share of €50,000 for the school.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said “Protecting our pollinators helps in turn to protect our planet which is why I am thrilled to launch the SuperValu Save the Bees campaign. Educating our children and communities about the importance of pollinators is vitally important and I look forward to seeing bee-friendly school gardens pop up across the country in the coming weeks and months.” 

Through the Save the Bees campaign, SuperValu will work with schools and communities across Ireland to help educate people on the very real and current threat facing Ireland’s bees. As it stands, nearly one-third of Irish bees are in danger of becoming extinct. The loss of such a large portion of our bee population would be catastrophic. More than 75 per cent of our plant species are animal pollinated. Bees are important pollinators of Irish produce like strawberries and apples and they ensure diverse wild plant communities across the countryside that help regulate climate, provide healthy spaces for recreation, and support other wildlife.

Commenting on the campaign, Ian Allen, SuperValu Managing Director said

“At SuperValu, we are huge supporters of Irish producers and suppliers. We source 75 per cent of our goods in Ireland, and we want to keep buying and supporting Irish and local, which is why we are so committed to protecting pollinators. We are delighted to work with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan to make change through our Save the Bees campaign. There are simple steps we can all take to make Ireland a habitable ecosystem for bees and our SuperValu Save The Bees packs will provide support awareness, education and action for children across the country. This initiative will also give children the fantastic opportunity to win a share of €50,000 for their primary school.”

SuperValu want to help local communities, schools and families lead the way in creating an Ireland where pollinators can thrive. It is vital that bees and pollinators have enough to forage and safe places to use for nesting, among vegetation, the soil and hedges. The SuperValu Save the Bees campaign will not only help schools understand pollinators and how to protect them but also help them make Ireland more pollinator friendly.

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition also recognises the value and importance of biodiversity. Nearly half (46 per cent) of all TidyTowns committees say that biodiversity is their main priority area. More than 200 SuperValu TidyTowns committees have engaged with the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan and made their local areas significantly pollinator friendly. In 2021, Buncrana, Co. Donegal won the SuperValu TidyTowns’ All Ireland Pollinator Plan Local Authority Pollinator Award.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD continued “The Save the Bees campaign is a great addition to the SuperValu Tidy Towns competition which continues to bring biodiversity and sustainability to the fore. Committees around the country have been rewilding spaces and creating new green areas in our communities, not only helping our pollinators but improving our shared spaces for the whole community.”  

Dr. Una Fitzpatrick, Head of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan included,

“The All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is our opportunity to step forward and take action to save Ireland’s bee population from the threat of serious decline. This is why we’re delighted to partner with SuperValu for the ‘Save the Bees’ campaign, which is about educating ourselves and playing an effective role in saving our garden allies. We look forward to seeing the great impact that children across Ireland’s primary schools will have in helping to create a better future for bees.”

Professor Jane Stout, Deputy Chair of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan said

“While bees are busy collecting nectar and pollen from flowers to feed themselves and their families, they disperse pollen that enables plants to produce fruits and seeds. These are essential to maintain plant communities and beautiful landscapes, as well as supporting other wildlife, including birds, mammals and other insects. In addition, fruits and seeds contribute to a huge amount of the world’s food supply, with more than 75 per cent of leading food crops benefitting from animal pollination. We can help reverse the decline in bees by doing something as simple as returning the favour and making sure their habitats are rich with flowers to forage on and free of harmful threats, which is why this SuperValu Save the Bees campaign is so important.”

SuperValu is one of Ireland’s leading food retailers with 223 stores nationwide serving over 2.6 million customers every week. SuperValu has served the people of Ireland for over 30 years and has become a well-established landmark across Irish communities.

Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 15,900 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private-sector employers. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible, which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

For more information on the SuperValu Save the Bees campaign visit https://supervalu.ie/real-people/save-the-bees

Donnybrook Fair announces 120 jobs as part of €8m investment and expansion strategy

  • 70 jobs at new flagship Dundrum store following €4.5m investment
  • €3.5m investment in gourmet food production division creates 50 new roles

Donnybrook Fair, the leading Irish gourmet food retailer, has announced the creation of 120 jobs as part of a €8m investment and expansion strategy for the business.

The announcement comes as Donnybrook Fair plans to launch its new flagship store at Dundrum Town Centre, which will employ approximately 70 people following a €4.5m investment in the new location.

Meanwhile, an additional €3.5m investment in Donnybrook Fair’s gourmet food production facility – Donnybrook Fair Central Kitchen – will lead to the creation of a further 50 jobs at the company. The production facility, which is located in Clondalkin, Co. Dublin, produces high quality artisan readymade food products for Donnybrook Fair’s retail estate and a selection of businesses.

“As part of the continued expansion of Donnybrook Fair, we are very pleased to announce the creation of 120 new jobs following a significant investment in the business,” commented Donnybrook Fair Managing Director, Des O’Mahony. “Since acquisition by Musgrave, the company has continued to grow and after much hard work by the team, we are delighted to be able to share these exciting and positive developments,” he said.

“As a leading gourmet food retailer, providing exceptional food experiences to consumers and businesses throughout Ireland, this announcement is another important milestone in the Donnybrook Fair growth journey,” Mr O’Mahony continued. “These developments for our business are an example of our strategy in action. As we continue to scale, we will focus on expanding our retail footprint, extending our offer across the Musgrave retail estate, and enhancing our online service offering,” he concluded.

The Dundrum store will join Donnybrook Fair’s five premium food stores – Donnybrook, Stillorgan, Malahide, Greystones, and Baggot Street – situated in Dublin and Wicklow as well as a gourmet food production facility.

Donnybrook Fair was acquired by Musgrave in 2018 and has recently launched its exclusive ‘DF in SV’ concept at a number of SuperValu stores as part of a significant expansion phase for the business.

Sourcing quality, local and Irish

Donnybrook Fair’s new Dundrum store has been designed to serve the local community by way of weekly shopping and will stock a range of quality Irish food products. The new location will offer a casual eating setting on the upper floor where customers can avail of high-quality breakfast, lunch and evening meal options, all of which can be paired with a wine selection from Donnybrook Fair’s exclusive range of alcohols that are covered by a full alcohol license.

In-store experience

The innovative ground will also offer a unique Chef’s Corner featuring international and traditional recipes which have taken inspiration from some of world’s leading food markets from London’s Borough market to Indore market in India. Whether its lunch on the run or dinner for later, a team of in-house chefs will be serving up these freshly made gourmet delicacies. The venue will also cater for exclusive, private cooking and food appreciation classes for Donnybrook Fair customers and will be available for evening banquets, parties, and meetings.

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.

SuperValu encourages Irish shoppers to Buy Irish & Support Local this June for Guaranteed Irish Food Month

For every €1 spent on Irish goods €5 comes back to the Irish economy*

80% of survey respondents underestimate the positive impact of shopping local

31st May 2021 – To mark Guaranteed Irish Food Month SuperValu, Ireland’s leading food retailer is partnering with Guaranteed Irish to encourage shoppers to buy Irish and support local this June. The call comes as a staggering 93% of respondents to a survey said they try to buy Irish foods when they shop.

The research also shows that when it comes to buying Irish, the top four reasons included: to support jobs (76%), support local producers (72%), the quality of local food is better (51%) and because shopping local has less of an environmental impact (47%).

However, the research showed that respondents underestimate the positive return of shopping local and the positive impact it can have on economic recovery following Covid-19. Eurostats research shows that for every €1 spent on Irish goods, €5 comes back to the Irish economy, a boost which could be hugely beneficial to local producers as they look to rebound following the pandemic.

80% of the survey respondents underestimated this return: 47% of consumers believe that for every €1 spent it delivers €1 to the Irish economy, 33% believe it delivers twice the return, €2 for every €1 spent, and only 20% of respondents recognise that for every €1 spent on Irish goods, €5 comes back to the Irish economy. With Ibec stating that 250,000 jobs are linked to the agri-food sector, imagine if everyone understood how simple it was to support the Irish economy.

Consumers also think they are spending more on Irish products since Covid, with 20% of respondents stating they are spending close to an additional €10 weekly on Irish products. In line with previous research, consumers said when it comes to buying Irish 72% try to buy staple products, such as bread, dairy and meats, while 40% prefer to select Irish artisan food products such as jams, sauces and cheeses.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners said: “We have always believed in supporting local and this has taken on added importance during Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic we have been doing what we can to support local producers and to generate awareness of Irish brands through our work with Food Academy, our Monday Market initiative and Sustainability Sundays. This June as the country reopens to hospitality, we want to go a step further and call on the Irish public to buy Irish and support local whether it’s your local food producer, shop or café for Guaranteed Irish Food Month.”

“At SuperValu 75% of all our goods are sourced in Ireland, supporting a massive 1,800 Irish suppliers so we know first-hand the importance of supporting local Irish producers. Today’s research shows that a massive 80% of consumers underestimate the positive return of shopping local, this June if consumers purchased one additional Irish product weekly, imagine the positive impact we could have on jobs throughout Ireland.”

According to the new research 30% of consumers recognise SuperValu as the leading retailer when it comes to stocking the best Irish food products. A further 79% of respondents said they keep an eye out for the Guaranteed Irish logo when they are doing their food shopping.

Speaking about the launch, Bríd O’Connell, CEO Guaranteed Irish said: “We already know that through the multiplier effect every €100 that is spent in the local economy is actually worth €500 to that same local economy (Eurostats). This effect works in such a way that when money is spent locally it circulates and is retained within that local economy, re-injected through further expenditure on local goods, services, and wages – as opposed to ‘disappearing’.  The manufacture of food and drink products is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most 9.7% of total employment in the four economically weakest important indigenous industry and accounts for regions – proving to be a strong driver of regional development. In supporting Guaranteed Irish Food Month this June and through initiatives such as Monday Market, SuperValu are encouraging their customers to stand up for Irish producers and support local. Research by Guaranteed Irish showed that 70% of consumers look for an Irish quality mark of “trust” and 77% want to know if the ingredients are truly Irish, so the desire to support local is there and we hope to see Irish consumers support local this food month.”

*Eurostats – Research conducted between May 17th – May 20th 2021, representative sample of 521.

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