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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Minister Humphreys announces return of Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition

  • Iconic competition makes comeback following Covid-19 disruption
  • TidyTowns groups to showcase their communities via electronic entry
  • New prize category to recognise role played by volunteers throughout pandemic
  • Special award for young people as per commitment under ‘Our Rural Future’
  • Over 800 Tidy Towns groups across the country have been awarded special €1,000 grant to support their efforts

 The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (21st May, 2021) announced the return of the Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition.

The iconic competition was cancelled in 2020 – for the first time in over 60 years – due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

But special arrangements have now been put in place to ensure the return of the competition this year, with the overall winners due to be announced before the end of the year.

The 2021 Supervalu Tidy Towns competition will take place in the same format as previous years, albeit with a specific emphasis on electronic entry and remote adjudication of each town’s entry.

Groups should continue to adhere to public health guidelines as they have done so remarkably well since the onset of the Pandemic.

The health and safety of volunteers continues to be paramount.

It is acknowledged that volunteers have not been able to deliver on all of the plans that they may have had for their towns, and the competition adjudicators will be mindful of this fact when assessing entries.

At the same time, many groups have still been very active and the standard of competition is expected to be high again this year amongst the almost 1,000 TidyTowns groups around the country.

Above all, staging the competition this year is a recognition of the extraordinary contribution volunteers continued to make to their communities, even during the Pandemic itself.

For this reason, Minister Humphreys has introduced a new award category aimed at groups that have continued to serve and look after their communities despite the difficulties posed by Covid-19.

The Minister has also introduced a special prize for young people, which was committed to under Our Rural Future – ­the Government’s ambitious new strategy for Rural Ireland.

Minister Humphreys announced a €1 million fund in December to further support the Tidy Towns Groups across the country.

Today, the Minister confirmed that over 800 Tidy Town Groups have now been awarded grants of up to €1,000 under this Fund

Minister Humphreys today formally launched the 2021 Supervalu Tidy Towns Competition in Glaslough, County Monaghan – the 2019 winners of the competition.

Speaking in Glaslough, Minister Humphreys said:

“Missing out on the competition last year was very disappointing for everyone associated with TidyTowns. That’s why I am delighted to announce that this iconic competition is back.

“I am sure the thousands of volunteers around the country are relieved that we have finally reached the point where we can launch the 2021 Supervalu Tidy Towns competition and are excited for the months ahead.

“While the last year has been so challenging for everyone, I know that so many Tidy Towns volunteers the length and breadth of the country have continued to look after their communities.

“Many groups have been unable to deliver on the projects they had planned due to Covid-19.

“That will not impact in any shape or form on this year’s competition and I am encouraging each and every one of the 987 registered groups across the country to enter once again.”

Also speaking about the launch today, Ian Allen, Managing Director of SuperValu:

“This year marks 30 years of SuperValu’s continuous support for and sponsorship of the national TidyTowns competition.

“As one of the longest-running community and sustainability initiatives in Ireland, TidyTowns is an incredibly important programme that all of us at SuperValu are immensely proud to be a part of.

“At its heart, TidyTowns is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to make our communities better places in which to work and live.

“Following a year like no other, this year’s competition is about recognising work of volunteers who have continued in every way possible and collectively help to lift the mood of the nation.”

The Minister continued:

“TidyTowns is not just a competition. It demonstrates everything good about our people – volunteerism, positivity, working together, community spirit, protecting our environment, that sense of pride in looking after the place you call home. 

“This is a really special day. I want to pay tribute to the huge role played by TidyTowns groups in inspiring vibrant communities and generating a spirit of volunteerism in towns and villages across the country – qualities that are at the core of “Our Rural Future”.

“I am also pleased to include a special award this year for young people involved in TidyTowns which is a specific recommendation contained in the Government’s strategy for Rural Ireland. I would also encourage local groups to continue their great efforts at promoting and enhancing biodiversity in our local towns.

“TidyTowns volunteers are rightly proud of their locality – their efforts make towns and villages the length and breadth of the country better places to live and to visit.  For years, TidyTowns volunteers have shown great resilience and determination – even more so over the past year as our communities came together in the face of adversity.

“In recognition of this, we have also introduced a special award to recognise the contribution that TidyTowns groups have made to their communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as part of the Covid-19 Community call.

“As we look ahead to an outdoor Summer and staycations, we want our local towns and villages right across the country to be attractive, welcoming places. The trojan work carried out by our local Tidy Towns volunteers will be central to achieving that. My message is clear – Tidy Towns is back this year and it is bigger, better and more important than ever.”

Minister Humphreys concluded:

“I value the role my Department plays in this competition. I want to also commend the competition sponsor, SuperValu, for their continuing support and enthusiasm in raising awareness of the competition. Now in their 30th year of sponsorship, through their nationwide network of retailers, SuperValu have helped the competition to become the best known sustainable and environmental initiative in Ireland.

“Finally, I want to encourage all groups to continue to adhere to the public health advice and I wish all the volunteers the very best in this year’s competition.”

Further details on the competition and access to supporting resources are available at www.tidytowns.ie

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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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SuperValu Reaches 25 Year Milestone in Northern Ireland

SuperValu Reaches 25 Year Milestone in Northern Ireland

Local retail brand at the heart of communities supporting almost 2,000 jobs

SuperValu, part of the Musgrave retail and wholesale group, is celebrating 25 years in Northern Ireland. With the first store on Belfast’s Kings Road to the most recent addition, Wilson’s SuperValu on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown, the chain now operates 37 stores across Northern Ireland.

In March 1996, Musgrave acquired four shopping centres and a supermarket – Belfast’s Kings Road, Downpatrick, Carrickfergus and Banbridge. These were to become the first of many SuperValu stores in Northern Ireland and then in June 1997, the group acquired 21 Wellworth stores which significantly expanded the network.

Nigel Maxwell Sales Director for SuperValu in Northern Ireland said –

 “At SuperValu, we are proud to mark our 25th year in Northern Ireland. Our colleagues and retail partners are embedded in the local communities they serve – providing customers with value, choice and convenience.  

“A key component of our strategy is supporting local and it is our collaborative approach with the outstanding local producers and suppliers that have ensured our shelves remained stocked and our customers happy.” 

SuperValu works with over 3,000 local farmers, in partnership with over 140 local suppliers and sell nearly 3,000 local products across their stores.  With impressive state-of-the-art store layouts and a strong emphasis on bringing new and innovative products and ranges to stores, SuperValu is leading the way in shopper experiences.

Nigel Maxwell continues –

 “Over the years, our focus has been on meeting the changing needs of today’s shoppers which has meant reimaging the look and feel of our stores. Despite the challenges of last year, we opened new stores in Ballynahinch and Portadown which followed revamps in Lisburn, Fruitfield and Aughnacloy. In addition, SuperValu Portstewart will be undergoing an extensive refurbishment later this year and I’m sure the local customers will be impressed.”

Local partnerships are at the heart of SuperValu and there is a strong emphasis on helping support local initiatives and charities. SuperValu, along with Centra, has been partnering with Action Cancer since 2001 and to date has raised over £3.1 million.

“At SuperValu, we have a very strong community focus and we wanted to reflect that, not only in the services we offer and food and drink that we sell, but also in the charities with whom we choose to work with. Our partnership with Action Cancer is one we are extremely proud of and to see the relationship grow and flourish over the years is testament to the commitment of our colleagues, stores and customers.”

To celebrate the 25-year milestone, the brand is giving away 25 prizes throughout March across their social media platforms as well as providing customers with some fantastic deals in store.

SuperValu’s 37 stores are located across Northern Ireland, for further information visit www.supervalu.co.uk/store-locator/.

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