Centra launches a new campaign celebrating choice called ‘choices define us’

Today, Wednesday 27th April, Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retail group is launching a new campaign that celebrates Choices called ‘Choices Define Us’. Centra is at the heart of communities all throughout Ireland with 481 locally owned and operated stores nationwide and is committed to offering choice that meets the evolving needs of shoppers today and into the future.

Speaking about the launch of the new Centra campaign, Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Centra said “This is a defining time in our lives where people are making more considered choices than ever. At Centra we take great care to understand what choices people are making and the impact that those choices will have on how people live, work, and eat so we can continue to adapt and evolve our retail offers and experiences to meet the needs of communities across Ireland.”

To mark the launch of this campaign, Centra commissioned an in-depth study to provide a deeper understanding of the choices people are making in Ireland in this period of revaluation, forced by the pandemic which revealed that 1 in 2 Irish people (46%) feel their daily choices have the power to impact positively on society. Through this campaign Centra is encouraging consumers to think about choice, and to choose wisely every day.

Speaking about this research, Professor Maureen Gaffney, leading psychologist, and author said “This research shows that people are pondering on the value of what they are doing: Am I making the right choices about how I live and how I work? It is important to better understand the nature and importance of choice”

Professor Gaffney continued “Although people value choice, they are aware that too much choice makes the process of decision making too difficult. The finding that making a good choice is made more difficult in certain conditions is consistent with psychological research findings that the act of making a choice, even a choice we like making, is cognitively taxing and uses up resources that we need for other kinds of thinking.”

The research also revealed that over half of people in Ireland reported that they worry that having made a choice, whether it is the right choice.

In contrast, older adults, although they like to have more choice options than younger adults do, they are more assured about their decisions – most likely because they are more settled in their choices and buying patterns, and at a deeper level, are less inclined to fuss about what they see as less important in the great scheme of things. But they also are more inclined to believe that society is more positively shaped by government initiatives rather than their own choices.

When asked to look at areas where people are currently making positive choices and indeed feel that others in the community should be encouraged to do so as well, shopping locally (95%) is something chosen by the vast majority of people.

Ray Kelly continued “There is a clear recognition from this research that the local shop serves as a hub for the community. We feel great pride and responsibility knowing that so many people choose to walk through our doors every day and we know that with the future of hybrid work that Centra will play an even greater role in many people’s lives as they choose to opt for more local amenities closer to home. We are committed to giving our customers the best choice every day.”

Other key findings from the report:

  • SOCIETY: While 1 in 2 Irish people (46%) feel their daily choices have the power to impact positively on society, 1 in 3 (33%) feel that society is more positively shaped by Government initiatives and policy changes. Older adults tend towards a view of Government being more important, whereas younger adults emerge as more idealistic – believing in their personal influence.
  • SUSTAINABILITY: The research also points to an increase in awareness of the environment and sustainability and people are already making very conscious choices to minimise buying products with excessive packaging. 87% claim to be much more mindful about what they buy, to compost and reduce food waste (79%).
  • COMMUNITY: While 66% say they are contributing positively to their community just 29% say that they are contributing time to volunteer work. Interestingly, in respect of contributing time to volunteer or community work it was strongly linked to the arrival of children in many instances. Expanding family size tends to prompt parents to engage with others in the community and sports groups.
  • AFFECTS OF THE PANDEMIC: The survey provides valuable data on particularly adverse effects of the pandemic on younger people. Many are feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of setting up their life, securing a job and affordable accommodation. Difficulty accessing psychological help and support is now an issue for those in more urgent need. Those with jobs and employers are also facing difficult choices about the more long-term implications of managing remote or hybrid working arrangements.
  • WFH: Problems that preceded the pandemic are now firmly back in focus – the lack of reliable public transport, increasing rents. There is uncertainty about the future of cities and city-centre businesses if large numbers of people opt to work from home.
  • NATIONAL DISCOMFORT: The research also surfaced a national discomfort with the idea that we have to prioritise or choose one marginalised group over another. Although there are different weightings of causes or issues in society this is purely in the context of having to make a choice and most people do not want to choose between issues that matter.

The Centra Choices campaign which goes live today encompasses TV, audio, OOH, cinema, podcasts, PR and social media.

Minister Humphreys announces Ennis Co. Clare as winner of Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021

  • €1.5 Million announced in grant aid for over 1,000 TidyTowns groups nationwide.
  • Glaslough TidyTowns, Co. Monaghan named as the inaugural winner of the Young Persons in TidyTowns Award.
  • Minister Humphreys praises role played by TidyTowns volunteers during unprecedented period

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, today (12th November) announced Ennis, Co. Clare as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021.

The announcement was made at a scaled-back event held in the RDS today with a small number of representatives present from this year’s entries to the Competition.

The event was streamed live to thousands of TidyTowns volunteers around the country who were eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winners.

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition has been in existence since 1958 and Ennis, was judged to be the best from a number of 847 entries to the competition this year.

The announcement was greeted with much celebration and excitement at today’s awards ceremony at The RDS in Dublin.

On hand to announce the results of the 2021 competition with Minister Humphreys, T.D., was Mr. Ray Kelly, Marketing Director of SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor for the 30th year.

Some of the other big winners on the day included:

  • Geashill, Co. Offaly awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Village.
  • Abbeyleix, Co. Laois awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town.
  • Cobh, Cork South awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town.
  • Ennis, Co. Clare awarded Ireland’s Tidiest Large Urban Centre.

Speaking after the awards ceremony, Minister Humphreys said:

“This is a fantastic achievement for Ennis who are very deserving winners.  Ennis first entered the SuperValu TidyTowns competition in 1959 and continue to showcase all that is good about community and volunteerism. They have been consistently achieving high standards in the competition at local, regional, national and European level and won the competition previously in 2005. Given the tremendous interest in the competition and the increasing efforts made by all entrants, it is a wonderful achievement to take the national title for a second time; this really demonstrates that resilience and determination do reap rewards.

“I want to congratulate Ennis and all of the other deserving prize-winners announced today.  It has not been easy for TidyTowns groups during what has been an unprecedented period.

“Like all sections of society, the pandemic has prohibited us from participating in the things we enjoy within our own communities.

“I want to commend the hundreds of groups and thousands of volunteers who, in the face of adversity, put their community first and continued to make their areas better places to live and work and to visit, all the while, adhering to social distancing and public health guidelines.

“For that, on my own behalf and that of the Government, I want to say Thank You.”

Minister Humphreys also announced a special allocation of €1.5 million in funding to support the work of individual TidyTowns Committees around the country to assist them in their continued efforts to enhance their towns and villages.

This is the fifth consecutive year that funding has been provided to support these Committees and brings the total allocated since 2017 to €6.7 Million.

The Minister said:

“The sense of belonging and pride of place that is achieved by being part of a TidyTowns group creates a wonderful welcoming atmosphere for both residents and visitors alike.

“Given the challenges faced by TidyTowns groups during the pandemic and the way in which they moved to an online entry process, I am delighted to be able to announce that I have secured funding of €1.5 million to directly support the TidyTowns committees who, through their efforts, bring out the best in their towns and villages.

“In total, 1,022 TidyTowns groups across the country will be eligible to benefit from this investment.”

The Minister also thanked SuperValu, the competition’s sponsor, adding:

“Today, I want to congratulate SuperValu who celebrate their 30th anniversary of partnership with TidyTowns and sponsorship of the competition. The competition continues to attract new entrants and new awards and it is getting stronger every year.

SuperValu continue to show fantastic support for the competition through their financial sponsorship, their commitment to improving and growing the competition and through the dedicated support at a local level provided to TidyTowns groups by their network of local retailers.”

Mr. Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu commented after the awards:

“On behalf of SuperValu I would like to congratulate Ennis for being named Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021. It is a fantastic achievement and is the result of incredible work and dedication by the committee.

The outstanding efforts and achievements of the category winners, and indeed all of our committees across the country deserves significant praise and recognition. 2021 was another landmark year for SuperValu TidyTowns. We now have a record 1,022 groups engaging in the competition, with a record 847 entries this year. I’d particularly like to mention the new committees and encourage their participation into the future. The level and quality of the projects that you all delivered across all categories is astounding.

 At its heart, the SuperValu TidyTowns competition is the public expression of the work countless individuals undertake to build community spirit and make their local area a better place in which to live and work. The incredible committee members, in collaboration with our network of independent retailers, share our desire to build thriving, sustainable communities.

Mr. Allen went on to say,

“As long-term supporters of TidyTowns, we at SuperValu have seen first-hand the competition grow and evolve over time. This year, perhaps more than ever, we have seen an increasing number of wonderful initiatives that focus on biodiversity, conservation and other important issues that are critical to creating sustainable communities. This is something I welcome and encourage.”

The SuperValu TidyTowns competition is organised by the Department of Rural and Community Development and sponsored by SuperValu who have sponsored the competition since 1991.

Full details of all this year’s winners are available at www.tidytowns.ie and at www.supervalu.ie

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.

Vanishing Ireland Series 2021, Supported by SuperValu, Profiles Ireland’s Elders to Learn from the Past in helping Shape the Future

Former Broadcaster Anne Doyle calls on the nation to nominate family to share life stories

18th May 2021: Twenty years since the acclaimed Vanishing Ireland project began, author and historian, Turtle Bunbury is creating a new series of profile interviews with Ireland’s elders to share their life stories. Kindly supported by SuperValu, former broadcaster and nations’ favourite Anne Doyle, are putting the call out to the people of Ireland to propose family members or friends over the age of 70, who would like to share their stories.

Vanishing Ireland with Turtle Bunbury is a podcast series of interviews with Ireland’s over 70’s, celebrating their life stories, challenges, courage, kindness and humour. The series seeks to document the, very often, extraordinary lives of our older population in a way that celebrates the past while informing younger generations in shaping the future. This new series aims to highlight the wealth of humour, resilience and wisdom from Ireland’s elders. Created in audio format, Turtle will discuss life and its learnings with people across Ireland, saving and celebrating their voices for future generations.

Speaking about the Vanishing Ireland Series, Bunbury says: “Twenty years ago, I teamed up with the renowned photographer James Fennell to create what became the first Vanishing Ireland book. We knew how important it was to chronicle the experience of our older generations, so many of whose fascinating lives were literally vanishing, unrecorded. Introducing the voices of Vanishing Ireland to the podcast generation is an entirely new departure for our elders but is deeply exciting and very much in keeping with our aims. It is my great hope that listening to these interviews – the wisdom, the humour, the memories – will enhance the way we live our own lives.”

Given the unique position SuperValu has as part of so many communities and its national reach with initiatives such as Tidy Towns, GAA, the Autism Community and others, it is uniquely placed to bring this project nationwide appeal with a solid footprint in community.

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, SuperValu said: “The Vanishing Ireland project has a robust track record in championing local heroes and strengthening the bond between the generations. We are a resilient nation who appreciate our older generations and embrace traditions while also looking to the future for a better Ireland for everyone. SuperValu understand inter-generational communities who are diverse and inclusive as we are lucky to see it every day in our stores around the country and in campaigns such as Tidy Towns, which brings everyone together. We are delighted to support Turtle with this series.”

Taking part in the launch former broadcaster Anne Doyle added, “this is such a special series documenting the stories of the past so that they are captured in history forever. I am delighted to work alongside SuperValu and Turtle Bunbury to ensure these stories are available for many generations to come.

I encourage you to enter family members to be part of this wonderful series. It’s high time we hear from our older generation and revisit our past with its rich history. We can all learn something from the experience.”

The mission of Vanishing Ireland has always been to preserve the stories of the older generations, bringing to life the world that our grandparents knew in a manner that appeals to a 21st century audience. The hope is for Vanishing Ireland supported by SuperValu to inspire children and grandchildren to listen to the stories of their own parents and grandparents, as well as older friends and neighbours, creating a record of memories for future generations.

Those who would like to put forward friends or family over 70’s, are asked to email podcast@vanishingireland.com or visit www.vanishingireland.com. Closing date for entries is Friday, 4th June 2021.

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