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GROCER ULSTER

SUMMER 2017

N O. 1 M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E LO C A L G R O C E R Y S E C TO R

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Over 45 years at the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry

F E AT U R I N G T H E TO P 2 5 LO C A L F O O D & D R I N K S C O M PA N I E S


N O. 1 M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E LO C A L G R O C E R Y S E C TO R

GROCER TM

SUMMER 2017

ULSTER

Over 45 years at the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry

AGRI-FOOD INDUSTRY HIGHLIGHTS PRIORITIES AS DUP GAINS UNIQUE BARGAINING POSITION DUP leader Arlene Foster at 10 Downing Street.

STORE PROFILE

BALLYLAGAN FARM SHOP, STRAID

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rexit-related issues including the border, tariffs, labour and agricultural policy are priorities for the Northern Ireland retail and agri-food sectors, as the DUP finds itself in a prime bargaining position with the British government following the June 8 General Election. Urging restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive - suspended since January following the ‘cash-for-ash’ scandal - as soon as possible, industry representatives are also keen for the DUP to use its unique position to secure funding for much-needed infrastructure projects and push for a cut in business rates. As this edition of UG goes to print, a date of June 21 has been set for the Queen’s Speech at which the Conservative Party is expected to set out its plan as a minority government with the support of the DUP’s 10 seats to make up its majority shortfall. “It is imperative that the local agri-food industry gains access to a trade deal that facilitates a soft border with the Republic of Ireland, which results in the movement

BALMORAL SHOW

PICTURES AND AWARDS ROUNDUP

of people and goods, free from tariffs and border control delays,” said Michael Bell, executive director of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association. Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said: “As the only part of the UK that has a land border with the eurozone, we need the Westminster government to secure a fair Brexit for consumers in Northern Ireland by ensuring that ordinary shoppers aren’t hit with the cost of unwanted new tariffs. But we also need our Executive back up and running to deal with issues in their purview. There must be some bold decisions taken on the future of the outdated and inequitable business rates system.” Barclay Bell, president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union, said: “Brexit remains the biggest challenge facing the agriculture industry. It is vital that politicians get it right and deliver on key issues such as the border, trade, a domestic agricultural policy, regulation, and access to labour.” See p3 for comments in full.

UG MARKETING AWARDS

TOP 25 LOCAL F&D COMPANIES

CELEBRATING THIS YEAR’S WINNERS NI’S TOP COMPANIES BY TURNOVER

Strong packaging enhances super food

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Proud Spo

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COMMENT

MEAT AND DAIRY LEAD TOP 25

Volume 52, Number 6 Summer 2017 Editor: Alyson Magee E: a.magee@independentmagazinesni.co.uk Tel: 028 9026 4175 Contributors: Michele Shirlow, Jason Winstanley Sales Manager: Mark Beckett E: m.beckett@independentmagazinesni.co.uk Tel: 028 9026 4267 Art Editor: Helen Wright

t’s great to be back at Ulster Grocer, and many thanks to Emma Deighan who did such a great job with the magazine while I was in Indiana for four months. My observations on the grocery sector over there: something for everyone with a vibrant trade in small-scale local produce and farmers’ markets but of course dominance by monolithic superstores such as Walmart and Meijer. Interestingly,

products occupying a premium niche include grass-fed, hormone-free beef (a more natural alternative to the cheaper, feedlot-produced beef ) and Irish butter; products we do particularly well as our annual Top 25 attests to. Hope you enjoy our double summer issue, congratulations to our UG Marketing Awards winners featured inside, and many thanks to our sponsors.

Alyson Magee

BREXIT ISSUES TAKE CENTRE STAGE

Production Manager: Irene Fitzsimmons Ulster Grocer c/o Independent News & Media Ltd, Belfast Telegraph House 33 Clarendon Road Clarendon Dock Belfast BT1 3BG www.ulstergrocer.com @ulstergrocer www.facebook.com/ulstergrocer Subscriptions: £27.50 per month £37.50 outside UK Designed & Produced by: Independent News & Media Ltd Tel: 028 9026 4000 Printed by: W&G Baird, Antrim Tel: 028 9446 3911

LATEST CIRCULATION FIGURES 6,198 COPIES Independent News & Media Ltd ©2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or stransmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of Independent News & Media Ltd.

#LIVETODAYNI

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ith the DUP expected to have a unique bargaining role in the formation of the new British government, and progress made towards a possible restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive later this month, concerns over the impact of Brexit remain high priority for the grocery and agri-food sectors. UG asked industry what their priorities are post-General Election:

for Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland’s infrastructure needs massive investment if we are to achieve our full economic potential.”

Michael Bell, executive director of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA), said: “The agri-food sector is a crucial part of the Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland local economy, and we are committed to Retail Consortium, getting the best deal for the industry as we strive to meet ambitious growth targets set said: “As the only part of the UK that has a out in the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s Going land border with the for Growth report. It is imperative that the Eurozone, we need the local agri-food industry gains access to a Westminster government to secure a fair Brexit trade deal that facilitates a soft border with for consumers in Northern Ireland by ensuring the Republic of Ireland, which results in the that ordinary shoppers aren’t hit with the movement of people and goods, free from cost of unwanted new tariffs. There must be tariffs and border control delays. We will some bold decisions taken on the future of the continue to actively lobby key politicians outdated and inequitable business rates system. and government departments on these issues It simply is not tenable for retail to be 12% in the weeks and months ahead.” of the economy yet pay over 22% of business Barclay Bell, president rates. Retailers have also been paying into the Apprenticeship Levy for months now without of UFU, said: “We are committed to any certainty how it will be spent or how to access the monies which we continue to pay in.” working with the new Government and our Glyn Roberts, chief focus is on ensuring they understand executive of Retail the importance of NI, said: “With the food and farming in Northern Ireland. General Election out of the way, all the local Agriculture is a cornerstone of our economy parties now need to go and we need clarity and certainty about how the extra mile to secure the Government will support profitable, productive and progressive agriculture going a return to devolution by the end of the forward. Also, Brexit remains the biggest month. Having no Budget, no Programme challenge facing the agriculture industry. It for Government and indeed no government is vital that politicians get it right and deliver creates political instability which is bad for business confidence and the economy as a on key issues such as the border, trade, a whole. If Northern Ireland MPs are in a serious domestic agricultural policy, regulation, and position of influence with the incoming UK access to labour. We will be working closely government, the top policy priority must be a a with MPs to ensure the voice of Northern Ireland’s farmers is heard.” substantial new economic investment package

TODAY I’M IRRESISTIBLE


NEWS

ANOTHER GREAT FUNDRAISING YEAR FOR GROCERYAID AT THE ULSTER GROCERS’ BALL

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ver £44,000 was raised for GroceryAid at last month’s Ulster Grocers’ Ball, which represents the biggest event of the year for the local branch of the charity. GroceryAid is a charity helping anyone who is working, or has worked, in the grocery industry for at least 10 years, and the GroceryAid NI Fundraising Committee is comprised of company representatives from the trade including Ulster Grocer Manager Mark Beckett. Further events planned by the NI committee this year include a Golf Day on August 3, the Candy Ball on October 6 and the John Barrett lunch later in the autumn. Speaking at the Ball, Musgrave Wholesale Director Trevor Magill, chairman of the GroceryAid NI Fundraising Committee, offering his thanks to those donating to the charity while updating guests on the charity’s latest work. Guests at the Ball enjoyed a lavish dinner, prize ballot and auction, the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards, entertainment throughout the evening and, of course, the famous hamper packed by staff members from the PRM Group, Musgrave, Coca Cola, Kerry Foods, SHS, White’s Oats and Ulster Grocer/ Independent News & Media. (See ps 19-29 for coverage of the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards)

Pictured at this year’s Ulster Grocers’ Ball is the GroceryAid NI Fundraising Committee: back row from left - Alan McKeown (Doherty & Gray), Mark Gowdy (White’s Oats), Paddy Murney (Coca Cola), Jim McAlea (Kerry Foods), Colin Orr (Unilever) and Brian Sterling (Holywood Partnership). Front row from left, Johnathan Verner (Nisa), Mark Beckett (Ulster Grocer), Trevor Magill (Musgrave NI), Dawn Cann (Avondale Foods) and Des McCullough (SHS).

‘BUSINESS AS USUAL’ AS COOKSTOWN SAUSAGES FIRM CHANGES HANDS

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POTENTIAL INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY FOR A NEW SERVICE STATION

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he management team behind Cookstown sausages - one of Northern Ireland’s best-known food brands - has vowed to grow their business after a change of ownership. Karro Food Group, which employs 880 people in Cookstown, has been sold to CapVest Partners in London by former private equity owner Endless, based in the north of England. The deal completed last month after receiving the green light from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in Ireland. The sale of Karro by Endless is the latest change in ownership to affect Cookstown’s best-known product, which has been owned by a number of English and international companies. Dutch food conglomerate Vion acquired Cookstown when it bought over Grampian Food Group in 2008 - seven years after Grampian bought over its former owner, Malton Foods. Then Karro, with the backing of Endless, took over Cookstown and the rest of Vion’s UK pork division in a management buy-out in 2013. While Endless has sold Karro to CapVest, the existing management team of Karro, including Chief Executive Seamus Carr from Warrenpoint will remain in place.

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unnes has closed another branch, a store in the Flagship Centre in Bangor, as the chain reduces its footprint in Northern Ireland. The family-run retailer shut its store in Connswater Shopping Centre in east Belfast in March 2015, and later the same year axed 50 jobs with the closure of its food hall in Park Centre, west Belfast. Stores in Ballymoney, Antrim and Portadown also closed. However, Dunnes has also recently revamped its Forestside store in south Belfast and is extending its store at the Abbeycentre in Newtownabbey.

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ALL ENQUIRIES

nmrental@outlook.com 07/06/2017 10:29

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NEWS

RETAILER ‘HITS THE RETAILERS CONTINUE TO DIFF’ WITH £150,000 BACK LOCAL PRODUCERS REPOSITIONING T STRATEGY BY MICHELE SHIRLOW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FOOD NI

Viral country star Marty Mone joins Bronagh Henderson and Paddy Doody from the Henderson Group to launch EUROSPAR’s new Your Community Supermarket campaign.

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enderson Group, owner of the EUROSPAR supermarket brand in Northern Ireland, has invested £150,000 in year one of a new strategic direction for the brand, launching a Your Community Supermarket campaign alongside a new TV advertisement. The retail outlet will now be known as Your Community Supermarket, casting more of a focus on the communities, families, schools and charities that will benefit from having a EUROSPAR locally. The Group has collaborated with Irish viral country star, Marty Mone, who has written a catchy, bespoke tune for the ad, which is set to reach screens in early June. The commercial was filmed at EUROSPAR Maghaberry, produced by awardwinning Belfast agency, Genesis Advertising and directed by Micky O’Neill from Spot On. The ad sees Marty sing an original version of his viral verse, Hit the Diff, boasting all the fantastic features of the community supermarket, including fresh local produce, the amenities and services available, its community roots and charitable giving. “We now have 57 EUROSPAR supermarkets across the country and shoppers are demanding more from their local outlets; they want more variety, better value, higher quality, local products, and they need convenience,” said Bronagh Henderson, acting head of Brand Marketing at Henderson Group. “Our ambition for this year is to open at least 10 more EUROSPARs in local communities, provide concessions that communities need, invest even further in the brand, communicating that messaging to shoppers, and continuing to raise money for EUROSPAR’s charity, Cancer Fund for Children, which benefitted from a staggering £36,000 donation from the Your Community Coffee Morning in March.” The ad will run alongside a digital marketing and PR campaign and in store POS, as well as social media competitions to win Marty Mone merchandise and tickets to the Farmer’s Bash at SSE Arena. 6

his year’s Ulster Grocers’ Ball was another spectacular occasion, which also recognised the tremendous achievements of what is now a very vibrant industry helping to ensure the growth of local food and drink suppliers; many of them Food NI members. And I congratulate all the evening’s winners and those highly commended in the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. It’s a great competition. The gala event, in addition, helps fund GroceryAid, a very worthwhile charity. The evening certainly demonstrated the strength of the commitment of retailers to the local supply base; a base they are also helping to expand by their willingness to place business with existing suppliers and by working with those smaller companies, including start-ups, keen to sell to them. I know of many smaller companies who have benefited enormously from expert advice from buyers, especially in key areas such as merchandising, packaging and essential nutritional information. Retailers, I am delighted to report, have carried forward their engagement with local suppliers from Year of Food & Drink 2016 in new investments and in additional contracts with local suppliers. For instance, Musgrave Group recently announced plans to invest a further £100m in local food and £10m in developing stores in Northern Ireland. This is an immensely encouraging development for the local industry. And SuperValu has just launched a major and hugely important Let’s Cook campaign, focusing on what can be grown and produced here and also to encourage more people to cook their own food. This should help to raise the profile of seasonal produce that is readily available across Northern Ireland and contribute to sustainability initiatives. It’s better for the environment and our biggest manufacturing industry to focus on food that is grown here and cooked here – and not flown here! Tesco, of course, continues to invest extensively in local produce and has also helped dozens of our companies win business in Britain through listings in stores there. At the Balmoral Show, the Henderson/SPAR group also signalled its huge support for local producers during an event held to recognise the quality and innovation of its network of suppliers; a great way to reward local food businesses for their tremendous professionalism. Such public recognition helps to motivate companies, especially smaller enterprises, to invest in their business. It was also good to see Marks and Spencer listing several local beer and cider producers and Shortcross Gin to its network of stores here, helping to increase awareness of the quality of our beer and cider. ASDA, another retailer with a strong commitment to local food, also added Belfast’s Jawbox Gin to its shelves across the UK. ASDA also worked with UMI Foods in Armagh, previously known as Unimush Ireland, on the creation of an innovative chicken dish which recently won two top awards in the UK Grocer magazine’s coveted Own Label Awards. The strengthening engagement between retailers and the food and drink industry here is one of the most significant legacies of the successful Year of Food & Drink. It’s proving to be immensely important for smaller businesses as they seek to develop relationships with retailers here which could pave the way for sales in Britain and further afield.


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STORE FOCUS Tom Gilbert

BALLYLAGAN ORGANIC FARM SHOP, STRAID

ONE OF THE FEW TRULY INDEPENDENT GROCERY STORES IN NORTHERN IRELAND, BALLYLAGAN ORGANIC FARM SHOP, HAS JUST EXPANDED ITS SUCCESSFUL MULTI-FACETED BUSINESS FURTHER BY BRINGING IN A TALENTED IN-HOUSE BUTCHER, AS BRIAN MCCALDEN REPORTS.

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lse van Staden, famed as part of the Ireland Women’s Squad for the 2017 Six Nations, at first seems an unlikely candidate for a job as a professional butcher, but that’s far from the case. The Ulster and Cooke Rugby Club player is a fully-qualified butcher whose day job is to run the in-house butchery facility at Ballylagan Organic Farm. “Prime organic beef, lamb and pork products are now prepared on site in a brand new facility, where quality meat is aged three to four weeks for fullest flavour and texture,” says Tom Gilbert, farmer, guest house proprietor and tea room owner alongside his wife Patricia. “Ballylagan was the first farm in Co Antrim to achieve organic certification from the Soil Association in the early 1990s. Shortly after, we became the first in Northern Ireland to open an organic shop outlet which, over the years, has grown from farm-gate sales to a thriving marketplace selling everything from fruit and vegetables to household cleaners.” 8

Tom and Patricia even have ‘Royal’ backing with the original shop – now much expanded – being officially opened by HRH the Prince of Wales in May 1999. Ilse at work in the butchery

“That was a tremendous fillip,” says Tom, “and we hope to have the future King back again sometime in the future. Since then, we have moved across the farm yard into bigger, purpose-built premises where our shop is open from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday. “True to our founding ethos, the shop remains the sole outlet for all our homegrown produce, such as beef, pork, bacon, eggs, seasonal fruit and vegetables.” Looking around the shelves, Tom reveals that he carries well over 1,000 lines - with customers routinely expressing astonishment at the availability of so many varieties of organic food in one place. “Not surprisingly home grown and butchered meats tend to be our best-selling products but, alongside of this, larder essentials such as tinned chopped tomatoes and baked beans are perennial best sellers,” he says. “Interesting new rivals for the top spot in weekly sales are ‘trending’ products such as


STORE FOCUS Shop Interior

Happy pigs make great bacon…

coconut oil (of which Ballylagan stocks several varieties) and raw cider vinegar ‘with mother’. “These are products that scarcely existed five years ago, but are now must-have items,” says Tom. Using several wholesalers based in Great Britain, Ballylagan sources product from around the world but, where possible, always chooses the nearest to home. “We have a range of customers from across the socio-economic range and welcome shoppers who are ‘well off’ and many less so – the connection is that they are all concerned with the environment and keen to ditch the pesticides and e numbers associated with mass market food manufacturing. “We also sell a selection of homemade jams and chutneys as well as a range of biscuits, bread and cakes – all made in our Tea Room kitchen. Ultimately we would hope to be able to home produce honey to sell alongside the several imported organic honeys we already stock. “To augment our own home-grown produce, we buy in a range of fruit and vegetables every week from Phoenix Organics, an organic fruit and vegetable wholesaler in England.” Ballylagan has a small but targeted range of goods: “We stock almost everything you could possibly need to live an organic and sustainable lifestyle. “Our grocery selection is quite large, everything from baking ingredients, to premium quality chocolate, pasta and rice to tinned soup. The chilled and frozen section stocks all manner of dairy products including milk, cheese and ice cream. We also have a wide selection of frozen vegetables and ready to cook meals.” The shop also has its own household section with a large array of environmentally-friendly cleaning products, and organically-certified soaps, shower gels, shampoos and lotions. From the beginning when Ballylagan was

a ‘hobby’ farm run by Tom’s mother, the farm outside the quaint village of Straid, near Ballynure has been continually developing. “Late in 2011 we welcomed the first patrons to our new Tea Room,” says Tom. “We do a good range, from a simple scone and a cup of tea or coffee to a light lunch, or a full blown Irish breakfast with all the trimmings. We aim to demonstrate that eating organic is not a ‘bland’ experience but a pleasure. “All the food is prepared on site with organic ingredients, frequently making use of produce grown on farm.” Tom and Patricia’s business is an economic boost to the otherwise rural economy, with The Tea Rooms at Ballylagan

some 10 people employed, full and part time, across the business. Their associated guesthouse is a traditional two-storey farmhouse constructed in the early years of the 19th century. Tom says he is pleased to have been able to retain all the character of this charming building, while at the same time offering an unsurpassed degree of comfort and serenity. Last year Ballylagan improved its offering still further by the introduction of a selfcatering apartment, which is already proving very popular with guests from around the world. The recent addition of the rugbyplaying South African butcher to the shop is also interesting in itself as the couple’s

daughter Jennifer, a practicing small animal veterinarian, met her husband in South Africa. “Jennifer was there during her veterinary training and it was there she met her now husband, Hinrich von Broembsen,” says Tom. “He has since moved home with her and is now full time as our farm stock manager, while Jennifer is carrying on with her veterinary career in a Glengormley practice. “We were then first introduced to Ilse by a mutual acquaintance in the food business and, with the new departure into on-site butchery, another chapter was opened for Ballylagan Farm. Now the future is bright and, while we personally put in many long hours, the rewards are good.” The farm is ideally situated as a base for the many tourists wanting to visit both Belfast and the Antrim Coast. “The majority of our accommodation business is from visitors outside these islands, with the balance made up by those coming from GB and south of the border,” he says. “We’re very proud that our small business is bringing in so much new money into the local economy. “It’s a far cry from when my parents bought the farm in Straid in 1976, having lived in West Belfast, where we had sufficient land for my mother to keep a few birds, a couple of Jersey cows and an improbably large number of Shetland ponies. “Patricia and I moved with our two children, Jennifer and Matthew, to Ballylagan in 1990, when we converted the derelict corn mill adjacent to my parent’s house into our dwelling. “My mother died in 2008 and my father died in 2010 and I saw that a farm shop selling only beef is a very hard sell. Thus we gradually started to rear sheep and then pigs and table birds. And of course vegetables – I’ve grown vegetables since I was about 10 and it remains my favourite part of the job. “I knew we were not going to make it unless we tried for some niche market and although I had always been interested in good food, the decision to convert to organic was more a commercial one than an emotional or scientific one. Hopefully that marketing niche will continue to grow.” 9


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RETAIL NEWS - INDEPENDENTS

IT’S AS EASY AS 1-2-3

26/04/2016 14:01

GROCERYAID LAUNCHES NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN D

ebt. Loneliness. Mental Health. Illness. Stress. It’s time to stop buying it! GroceryAid has launched a new campaign raising awareness of the issues affecting thousands of grocery colleagues on a daily basis. The campaign will be promoted throughout the industry through a series of adverts, a direct mailing campaign and across social media with the hashtag #notbuyingit. There is also a dedicated section on the GroceryAid website for the campaign. “Our research shows that many grocery colleagues need help and do not always realise they can turn to us,” said Steve Barnes, chief executive at GroceryAid. “This bold campaign highlights how GroceryAid is there for grocery people facing serious illness, loneliness or crippling debt.” For more information about the #notbuyingit campaign please contact news@groceryaid.org.uk, call 01252 875925 or visit www.groceryaid.org.uk.

NOISY NOEL: MAN ABOUT TOWN THE IMPORTANCE OF POINT OF SALE

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oint of sale (POS) is a key part of marketing in a retail store. It can work together with other marketing materials to launch new and highlight existing products as well as offering incentives to buy. A successful merchandising strategy will use POS to engage the shopper into purchasing, consequently growing sales, increasing profit while building customer loyalty and attracting new customers. Five tips to ensure you’re making the most out of your point of sale: • Position – This is a key part of any POS display. The positioning of this can make or break your sales. Ensure any

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POS is at or nearby the tills. This gets the customer thinking about the product and can result in an impulse buy. • Variety – Make the most of POS materials available from your store rep to maximise exposure to your customers. • Frequency – Changing the POS display frequently keeps the customer experience fresh and exciting. • Restocking – Remember the displays can help drive sales but if you don’t restock it you will lose out. • Aesthetics – Producing eyecatching displays is valuable to your store. Customers are more inclined to buy items from an aesthetically pleasing display.

SERVICE STATION OPPORTUNITY OFFERED IN MID ULSTER

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n investment opportunity is available to develop a new service station on a busy commuter stretch of the A6 connecting Northern Ireland’s two largest cities. A planning approval application has been given the green light by Mid Ulster District Council’s planning committee for a service station at the Castledawson roundabout, including fuel provision, retail sales, café, ancillary areas and associated parking facilities. The project has received widespread support, and was welcomed by chair of the Planning Committee, Sean Clarke, who described it as a ‘big advantage’ for motorists. “The Castledawson Roundabout is very much the gateway to Mid Ulster, as well as a focal point along the main Derry to Belfast route, and these facilities are to be welcomed,” he said. Plans for the new development include a complex to serve the needs of the changing infrastructure in the surrounding area with the recent opening of the A31 Magherafelt Bypass, commencement of work on the new A6 dual carriageway and current expansion of the Castledawson Roundabout Park & Ride, alongside plans for a Gateway structure at the roundabout. Martin Kearney, Mid Ulster councillor, said: “With the opening of the Magherafelt bypass, the busy A6 and future development of the Castledawson Park and Ride, these plans are very welcome. It will provide comfort breaks and more choice for travellers.” Further plans include expansion of the Business Park to a retail development, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs in the area.


RETAIL NEWS - SYMBOLS

MUSGRAVE NI RETAILERS ARE A KNOCKOUT AT ANNUAL AWARDS

MUSGRAVE MARKETPLACE ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH DIETITIAN

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hree local stores from the SuperValu, Centra and Mace retail brands have claimed the prestigious title of Store of the Year at Musgrave NI’s annual awards event held recently at the Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, Newcastle. Carl Frampton’s coach, Centra Ambassador Shane McGuigan, was on hand to congratulate Barbican Newcastle for winning the SuperValu award, McGoveran’s Cathedral Quarter for Centra and Collingwood’s Aghalee for Mace. The evening, hosted by TV personality Claire McCollum, also saw Boyd’s Centra Junction One pick up a Newcomer of the Year award. SuperValu Portstewart was awarded SuperValu Company Owned Store of the Year, and Centra Portglenone was awarded Centra Company Owned Store of the Year. SuperValu Limavady won Action Cancer Fundraising Store of the Year for a fourth consecutive year while Duffy’s Mace Killough picked up NI Chest, Heart and Stroke Fundraising Store of the Year. Musgrave NI organises the Gala Ball event each year for its 230 independent retailers in Northern Ireland across SuperValu, Centra and Mace. “The recipients of these prestigious accolades are excelling in the independent retailing market and have embraced the future of retailing across our three brands,” said Michael McCormack, managing director of Musgrave NI.

s part of its ongoing commitment to innovation and inspiring healthier choices, Musgrave MarketPlace has announced a new partnership with dietitian Gillian McConnell. A member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, McConnell founded Inside Out Nutrition to help people make better lifetime nutritional Gillian McC decisions. Her onnell extensive experience in providing dietary advice to patients with diabetes, IBS, coeliac disease and other conditions requiring special diets lends a unique, specialised skillset for Musgrave MarketPlace customers. In addition, her keen interest in sports nutrition equips her with expertise to advise both professional and amateur athletes on optimising their performance. McConnell will be working with Musgrave MarketPlace throughout 2017 to help identify current and future trends and provide education on healthier choices and eating. Musgrave MarketPlace is also expanding its ‘free from’ range of products, to build on the 200 ‘free from’ products added to its range over the last three years. “At Musgrave MarketPlace, we carry out extensive research into food trends to ensure our range reflects the needs of our customers,” said Michelle Fennell, director of Marketing for Musgrave MarketPlace. “Just a few years ago, gluten or dairy-free products were solely aimed at those with an allergy, but we have seen these products grow in popularity in the last year.”

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RETAIL NEWS - MULTIPLES

COUNTRY KITCHEN COOKS UP A £750,000 LISTING WITH TESCO NI

Caoimhe Mannion, marketing manager at Tesco Northern Ireland is pictured with Dawn Cann, marketing manager of Country Kitchen.

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ounty Kitchen, the own-brand of Lurgan-based Avondale Foods, has produced a new premium prepared salad range for Tesco Northern Ireland, in a deal representing a 20% increase in its business with the leading retailer. The deal is worth up to £750,000 in its first year, and will introduce locally-produced prepared salads to the Tesco shelves just in time for the busy summer season.

Country Kitchen is celebrating its milestone 25th anniversary by transforming its product range, upgrading old favourites and by launching two innovative new products and a new look, as part of a brand refresh. It has announced a new Mexican-inspired Chipotle Coleslaw, featuring a hint of smoky spices, as well as Pasta, Sundried Tomato & Feta Cheese Salad which are now available in Tesco stores across Northern Ireland. These new, ready-to-eat products will feature Country Kitchen’s new-look packaging. New listings will also be introduced, such as a single-serve twin-pack of Coleslaw and Potato Salad, as part of the rebrand. “Avondale is a fantastic family-owned business and one we’re proud to be in partnership with – not just because of the longevity and strength of our relationship but because of the quality of its products, which are always excellent,” said Sandra Weir, fresh food buyer at Tesco Northern Ireland.

FINNEBROGUE AND JAWBOX SECURE NEW ASDA DEALS

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ocal meat processor Finnebrogue Artisan has been awarded a contract which will see it supply a range of own-label Extra Special Light & Lean sausages to over 350 Asda stores throughout the UK. The new contract has a retail value of £2m and extends Finnebrogue’s existing national partnership with Asda from 2014, when it started supplying the entire Extra Special sausage range to the supermarket’s UK stores. The addition of Light & Lean to the 16-strong Extra Special range coincides with the start of the summer season when sausage sales traditionally spike. Almost seven million packs of Asda’s own-label premium sausages are expected to sell over the summer months alone. “We’re always keen to support Northern Ireland’s agrifood sector and help local food companies grow their 12

TESCO NI REFURBISHES BALLYMONEY STORE Tesco Northern Ireland has invested £2.2m in the refurbishment of its new look store in Ballymoney, to give its customers an unparalleled shopping experience, including the refit of the fresh-food section, with a new deli and bakery counter. The store, which currently employs 175 staff, has seen a complete revamp of the beers, wines and spirits department; a new state-of-the-art bakery offering fresh bread, cakes and pastries to customers; and a new premium deli offering a greater selection of fresh, local produce.

M&S SUPPORTS LOCAL PRODUCERS Marks and Spencer has boosted its range sourced locally, including pork from Karro, a new sausage line from Finnebrogue and drinks from the Armagh Cider Company. The new range from Karro includes loin steaks, pork fillets, crackling leg joints, rib racks, belly strips and a pork minute steak, while a new bacon range features traditional cut back bacon, thick cut and streaky bacon and lean cut bacon medallions. Finnebrogue Artisan is supplying a new range of skinny, gluten-free sausages, while Armagh Cider Company’s Carsons Crisp, Maddens Mellow, Doyles Medium and Doyles Honey are now stocked in all the local M&S stores.

LIDL INVESTS IN LOCAL COMMUNITY businesses through Asda’s national channels,” said Paul Geary, Asda senior buying manager (Meat). Meanwhile, Jawbox Gin has secured a major contract to supply 500 Asda supermarkets across the UK. The Asda deal, the company’s largest with a UK supermarket, follows the launch of the gin early last year and follows an earlier agreement to supply the product to over 150 M&S stores in the UK. Jawbox, created by Belfast publican Gerry White, is also sold by Tesco and Sainsbury’s in Northern Ireland.

Lidl is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to communities across Northern Ireland with the Lidl Community Works initiative. This year, Lidl will be offering £6,000 in funding to local groups and largescale projects through each of its 38 stores across Northern Ireland, investing a total of £228,000 back into the community. Customers across the Province are invited to nominate groups or projects in their local area by June 25 via www.lidl-ni.co.uk or by calling into a local Lidl store to pick up a copy.


Musgrave Matters

SUMMER 2017

www.musgravegroup.com

Musgrave announces multi-million investment into local food and drink industry and store network

PICTURED ARE, FROM LEFT, CIARA MCCLAFFERTY, TRADING DIRECTOR, MUSGRAVE; MICHELE SHIRLOW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FOOD NI; AND MICHAEL MCCORMACK, MANAGING DIRECTOR, MUSGRAVE.

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eading retailer Musgrave has announced a £100m commitment into the local food and drink industry this year, as well as a £10m investment into its store network across Northern Ireland. The multi-million outlay is part of a Province-wide campaign to demonstrate Musgrave’s commitment to the local community and industry across its SuperValu, Centra, Mace and MarketPlace brands. In 2017, Musgrave will buy more than £100m worth of local food and drink,

working in partnership with over 140 local suppliers, selling more than 3,000 local products across its stores and working with over 3,000 local farmers. The company recently celebrated its 20th birthday in Northern Ireland and is a committed local employer of over 5,000 people across its business along with a dedicated partner of almost 130 retail families within the Province. This year saw a £2m investment into health initiatives in the Centra brand with the Live Every Day campaign and SuperValu’s Let’s Cook mission. Musgrave

has also committed £250,000 into staff development in 2017. Musgrave and its independent SuperValu and Centra retailers have invested significantly in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives across the Province, having raised a massive £2.5m for charity partner Action Cancer since 2005; believed to be the biggest single donation by a Northern Ireland company. Mace retailers and the MarketPlace brand have raised more than £60,000 for NI Chest Heart and Stroke since beginning the charity partnership in 2016. “Musgrave recently celebrated 20 years of investment in Northern Ireland and, this year alone, we’re committing £100m to the local food and drink industry and £10m to deliver the best in convenience retailing for consumers across our entire network of SuperValu, Centra and Mace stores,” said Michael McCormack, managing director of Musgrave. “We pride ourselves on bringing great value and fresh food to the heart of local communities. Supporting retailers, local suppliers and communities remains a top priority for our business. “Our consumers know that when they shop with us, their money is invested back into their local community through wages, local sourcing, professional services and charitable contributions.” Michele Shirlow, chief executive of Food NI, said: “This significant commitment from Musgrave represents a huge vote of confidence in Northern Ireland’s innovative food and drink industry. We welcome this investment, which provides support and opportunity for the local producers who are growing our reputation as a great food region.” Musgrave in Northern Ireland comprises the retail and wholesale segments of Musgrave Group and supports independent retailers through the SuperValu, Centra, Mace and DayToday brands and wholesale customers through the MarketPlace brand across the Province.


BALMORAL SHOW

VISITOR NUMBERS EXCEED 100,000 AT BALMORAL SHOW 2017 RECORD VISITORS ATTENDED THIS YEAR’S BALMORAL SHOW, HELD OVER MAY 10-13, AFTER ORGANISER THE ROYAL ULSTER AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY ADDED SATURDAY AS A FOURTH DAY FOR THE FIRST TIME TO ATTRACT MORE FAMILIES TO THE EVENT SEE PS 56-57 FOR MORE NEWS FROM BALMORAL

Bronagh Henderson, Paddy Doody and Bronagh Luke (Henderson Group).

SPAR scored a guerrilla marketing hit at the Show with its cowboy hats.

Liz McKee introduces the new GoGo’s range at Kerry Foods.

Moy Park’s Rule the Roost competition proved a hit.

Julie Bell, Debra Henderson and a few furry friends welcomed visitors to the Henderson Food Machinery stand.

Michele Shirlow of Food NI, organiser of the Food Pavilion.

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Softer Butter New

from NI’s favourite

Nielsen MAT to 31st Dec 2016; Volume & Value Share


BALMORAL SHOW

Judging gets underway at this year’s show.

Claire McCann at Naturo/Mackle Petfoods.

Jowita Abramowicz, John Campbell and Patricia Getty at The Heatherlea Bakery.

Trudy Hodkinson, Jacqui Gormley and Paula Latuska at Hollah Preserving.

Once the famous Cookstown sizzle got underway with sampling, visitors swarmed around its stand.

Sam Hamilton embraced his role as the Mash Direct mascot.

Barbara Logan, Marlene Stewart, Brian Conway, Simon Fisher and Shelia Palmer at Asda.

The show’s iconic Ferris wheel dominated the skyline again at Balmoral Park.

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NEWS

SALES PLACEMENT AND CONTRACT PEOPLE BECOME PRL

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aunching a new brand onto the market is a rare if not unique event in the history of most companies and it is always a momentous occasion for staff and customers alike. The reasons for ‘rebranding’ are typically to deliver competitive advantage, to reflect that a new position is being taken in the marketplace or to communicate more clearly and effectively what the company is about, or is about to become. For PRL, the new brand is set to achieve all of these commercial priorities. It will do this by unifying the strengths, expertise and competences of our newly acquired businesses and teams. Today, our people have unrivalled experience of adding customer value to Irish, UK and international clients through the provision of Logistic Solutions, In-Market Solutions and Integrated Services. We recognized a few years ago where the Market was moving in terms of outsourcing and the growing preference for a One-Stop-Shop solution

for Brands, particularly in FMCG. Luckily for us, PRL had recognized the same opportunity and approached us to discuss an acquisition. Once both parties got to understand each other’s business propositions, culture and vision it was a smooth process to gaining agreement. PRL also acquired Moran Freight Services around the same time so were bringing together businesses with similar customer profiles, business cultures, mindsets and shared values. We’ve been working hard over the past year to deliver one unified brand, one organizational culture and one business framework. The most recent stage has been the rebranding which we launched at Croke Park a few weeks ago. The brand is now fresh, instantly recognizable and already well embedded with our team and customers. We’re focusing on being the Market Place Partner of choice, where we connect customer brands to consumers through a continuous brand experience. We offer services encompassing multi temperature Logistics & Freight Solutions, In-Market Solutions, incorporating in-field sales/audit, technical service provision, financial services, and Integrated Services including data driven insights and Recruitment Services that maximise performance. We’ve also just announced the acquisition of another complementary business in Custodian, a 18

Dublin based Marketing Design, Digital, Print and Procurement Company. Effectively we can now sell your products to your customers with a Sales Team dedicated to your brands. We can bring the stock in from Europe or GB, distribute them directly to your customers, invoice and handle finance, and finally put them in danger of being sold in store through bespoke Marketing Campaigns, product merchandising and placing POS designed and developed by our own teams! We offer all the above as stand-alone services as well as Recruitment, Research and Insight services for your market, brand and customers and data analytics. We are confident we have made a smart move with the integration of the companies, through creating what we believe to be a unique ‘sweet spot’ in the Irish Market, allowing us to directly connect Brands to their Consumers with one Partnership.

One important aspect of the decision to bring the various companies together was the similarity in approach and personality of the business’. We all approach business partnerships in the same way, with honesty, 2 way feedback and a will to find solutions to challenges together with our Clients, a bit like a good marriage!

Sales Placement, while being the first name in FMCG for Sales and Marketing Recruitment has been recruiting all kinds of roles for Clients over the past number of years. June Wilson, Recruitment Director, says “While the Sales Placement Brand was very strong in terms of an excellent track record in placing the right people in the right Sales and Marketing jobs, it did hamper us somewhat in terms of getting the message across to the market that we are experts in Recruitment not just Sales

Recruitment. The rebrand will allow us to continue to develop new and existing Client Partnerships who want us to get to know and understand their business proposition, their values and their culture so that we can truly become Recruitment Partners across every department in their organization from Administration to Sales to the Supply Chain and Finance. We are about understanding people and recognizing their behaviors, aptitude and attitude and fitting them in the right company and role no matter what their area of expertise.”

Contract People has long been the go to Outsourcing and Field Marketing Company in Ireland for Brands and Retailers alike. Russell Johnston, Client Service Director says, “Our range of services have grown through Client demand over the past number of years, from traditional Field Marketing services like Merchandising, Outsourced Sales and Market Research to incorporate technical Services like Installation and Maintenance of Retail and On Trade Equipment. When we sat down to examine what our area of expertise was, we soon came to the conclusion that People, Logistics and Continuous Improvement are where our strengths lie. This meant we knew we could employ expertise in any skill set and drive Return on Investment for Clients in any area of their business. With PRL we are now a formidable Partner for Brands and Retailers allowing us to continue to grow our range of services with current Clients and drive efficiencies throughout their Supply Chain, while offering a One-StopShop to Brands trying to better connect with their customers at the Point of Purchase, which is where we succeed.” To give you an idea of the scope of our services on an Island of Ireland basis we now have over 1000 Employees, a Turnover of over €100 million, over 500 team members working in the field on behalf of our Brand Partners, shipping over 90 million cases per annum in over half a million store visits per year! They’re impressive numbers for anyone operating in FMCG in the Island of Ireland, and now our job is to make potential partners aware of the how the size, scale and level of expertise we can offer right across their Supply Chain can make them leaner, more efficient and ultimately drive Return on Investment. PRL, Unit 2, 1 Edgewater Road, Belfast. BT3 9JQ. 02890 770999


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

G rocer Market ingAwards ULSTER

TM

2017

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ayto’s Taste of Home campaign marking NI Year of Food & Drink 2016, during which the iconic brand celebrated its 60th anniversary, was named Best Marketing Campaign at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards on May 19. Award winners were announced across eight categories during the Grocers’ Ball, an annual gala evening held at the Culloden Hotel to raise funds for grocers’ benevolent fund GroceryAid with this year’s event attracting 370 guests and raising over £40,000 for the charity. “The level of innovation and ambition demonstrated by local food and drink producers, suppliers and retailers competing for this year’s Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards is remarkable and inspiring,” said Alyson Magee, editor of Ulster Grocer. “The Awards spanned the local grocery scene from artisans to larger-scale producers and retailers. In many cases, the contestants had substantially boosted sales or successfully entered new markets on the back of a fairly modest but clever investment in marketing.” Highly Commended in Best Marketing Campaign 2016 (sponsored by Carson McDowell) was Centra for its Let’s Rock Christmas campaign, while Best Brand (sponsored by Henderson Food Machinery) went to Mash Direct with Highly Commended for Irwin’s Bakery. Following on from its success with Centra, Musgrave picked up the most awards on the evening including Best New Product Launch/Relaunch for SuperValu Best Beef Ever (sponsored by mxb Shopper Marketing Agency) with Moy Park Highly Commended, and Best Artisan Food Campaign for SuperValu (sponsored by Food NI) with Cavanagh Eggs Highly Commended. Musgrave also lifted a Highly Commended in Best CSR/Charity Initiative (sponsored by Hunky Dorys) for its Action Cancer partnership, with Lidl winning the category with its A Better Tomorrow programme, while

TAYTO TRIUMPHS AT THE ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS 2017

Best Export Marketing Campaign went to Just Live a Little (sponsored by Invest NI) with Mash Direct Highly Commended. Henderson Wholesale continued to excel, winning the top awards in two categories; Best In-Store Sales Promotion for 12 Deals of Christmas (sponsored by PRL) with FMI for Nespresso Highly Commended, and Green Retailer

(sponsored by the PRM Group) with Lidl Highly Commended. Returning as host for the evening was UTV presenter Paul Clark with Ulster Grocer Advertising Manager Mark Beckett and individual category sponsors presenting the Awards, which were judged by marketing experts Michael Maguire, Emma Cowan and Marian Norwood.

■ BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN ■ WINNER: TAYTO FOR TAYTO TASTE OF HOME SPONSORED BY CARSON MCDOWELL (SEE P20 FOR DETAILS)

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arren Toombs, partner at Carson McDowell, said: “Carson McDowell was proud to sponsor the Best Marketing Campaign award at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. There is no doubt that Tayto’s success with the Taste of Home campaign reached many people in Northern Ireland as well as ex-pats, generating extensive engagement by inviting participants to vote for their favourite crisp flavour during the Year of Food & Drink. This unique campaign generated a significant growth in sales for the company and successfully raised Tayto’s profile in its chosen markets. The high standard of entrants for this award can also be seen by the impressive quality of the Highly Commended in this category, Centra for its Let’s Rock Christmas campaign.”

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: CENTRA FOR LET’S ROCK CHRISTMAS Darren Toombs (Carson McDowell) and Nigel Maxwell (Centra).

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “CENTRA HAS GROWN LIKE-FOR-LIKE SALES BY 4%, THROUGH A CAMPAIGN WHICH WAS CRYSTAL CLEAR IN WHAT THEY WERE TRYING TO DO.”

SPONSORED BY:

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ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

TAYTO TASTE OF HOME CAMPAIGN TAKES TOP HONOUR AT ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

Pictured at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2017 are Darren Toombs from Best Marketing Campaign sponsor Carson McDowell, Paddy Crilly from Tayto and Mark Beckett from Ulster Grocer.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: ”TAYTO HAS DEMONSTRATED SIGNIFICANT GROWTH IN SALES AND BRAND AWARENESS FOR A REMARKABLY MODEST INVESTMENT. THE CAMPAIGN IS FOCUSED, STRAIGHTFORWARD AND DISTINCT, WITH A LONG-TERM AGENDA TO FIND ANOTHER CORE FLAVOUR TO ADD TO THE PORTFOLIO.”

■ BEST MARKETING CAMPAIGN

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o Armagh-based company Tayto recently took top prize at the prestigious Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards, winning Best Marketing Campaign for its Taste of Home campaign, which marked NI’s Year of Food & Drink 2016 as well as the company’s 60th anniversary. The Awards were presented at the Grocers’ Ball, a gala event which is held annually to raise money for grocers’ benevolent fund, GroceryAid. A total of 370 guests attended this year’s event at the Culloden, with Awards presented across eight categories and Tayto beating off stiff competition to take the top prize. “We are thrilled to have won Best Marketing Campaign at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards,” said Elly Hunter, marketing director for Tayto. “Our primary marketing objective for 2016 was to raise brand awareness across Northern Ireland and to place Tayto at the forefront of consumers’ minds as a much-loved, local brand. “Through our marketing activity in 2016, we launched new products, increased our market share and raised our profile, reaching many new audiences. We are delighted that our comprehensive 2016 marketing campaign, which helped us to achieve these

SPONSORED BY CARSON MCDOWELL

outcomes, has been recognised in the top spot at these prominent Awards. “Throughout 2016, we kept the momentum going with dedicated elements at various stages of our year-long campaign. The first half of the year focused on Tayto’s big birthday celebrations, which included new 60th branding and retro merchandise as well as vintage-themed, limited edition boxes of our iconic flavour, Cheese & Onion. Activity also took place online with 60 days of prizes and engaging posts and tweets, increasing our social media followers significantly. “In the second half of the year, we switched our emphasis to highlighting Tayto as the Taste of Home. This campaign celebrated that Tayto is Northern Ireland’s favourite brand of crisps and synonymous with what home means to people. “We produced eight options of new product flavours, all local favourites, and the public voted for their top three, which we produced as special edition packs. This was run in conjunction with Discover NI and Cool FM and the winning flavours were Ulster Fry, Curry Chip and Vegetable Roll. Curry Chip has been so popular that we have now included this flavour into our

range as a sharing bag as a permanent variety. “Additionally, for all Northern Irelandrelated events, we made sure Mr Tayto was showing his support online. Special flavours were also produced throughout the year to coincide with major occasions, such as ‘Ere oui go! French Onion for the Euros and Golden Rings were created for the Rio Olympics as well as Turkey & Stuffing for Christmas. “This was an iconic year for Northern Ireland in terms of food and drink and for Tayto also and we are delighted to be Northern Ireland’s number one crisp brand. We produce more than one million packets of crisps and snacks at our Tandragee site each and every working day, and one in every five packets of crisps eaten in Northern Ireland is Tayto Cheese & Onion.” Tayto is a part of Tayto Group Ltd, which is the UK’s largest, indigenous crisp and snack manufacturer, producing more than five million bags a day across its six sites. The company remains family-owned, with its headquarters in Co Armagh, and has a portfolio of some of the UK’s most iconic snack brands, including Tayto, Golden Wonder, Real Crisps, Mr Porky, Jonathan Crisp and Portlebay Popcorn.

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EJ0xx T


The Great Taste of Success

WINNER

Best Marketing Campaign 2017 Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards

To find out more about Tayto and our products visit our website at: www.tayto.com

EJ0xx Tayto UG Winners AdA4.indd 1

09/06/2017 09:00


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS Pictured are, from left, SuperValu and Centra Sales Director Nigel Maxwell and Musgrave Head of Marketing Desi Derby, Trading Director Ciara McClafferty and Managing Director Michael McCormack.

MUSGRAVE WINS BIG AT ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS WHOLESALE GROUP RECOGNISED FOR ITS SUPERVALU BEST BEEF EVER AND MEET THE MAKERS AND CENTRA LET’S ROCK CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGNS, AS WELL AS ITS CHARITY PARTNERSHIP WITH ACTION CANCER

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usgrave and its leading independent retailers SuperValu and Centra scooped the top gongs at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. SuperValu picked up two awards after the Musgrave brand was recognised for its investment in the local agri-food sector, winning Best New Product Launch for its Best Beef Ever campaign and Best Artisan Food Campaign for the Meet the Makers regional showcase across over 30 stores. Top convenience retailer Centra received a highly commended accolade in the Best Marketing Campaign category for its Let’s Rock Christmas campaign, and Musgrave was runner-up in Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership for its long-standing relationship with local charity Action Cancer. “We’re delighted to be awarded for our work across both our SuperValu and Centra 22

brands at the leading grocery marketing awards in Northern Ireland,” said Desi Derby, head of Marketing at Musgrave. “SuperValu’s Best Beef Ever and Meet the Makers campaigns were an integral part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink with our Lead Chef Ambassador, Noel McMeel. “Our Best Beef Ever was recognised as top for taste and quality and this is the second award we’ve received as it won the Agri-Food innovation award at the UTV/ Business Eye awards last year. “Our customers appreciate the work we do to bring them, best quality, local produce, whether that be 21 days matured beef, ‘our best beef ever’ or showcasing our local artisan suppliers in-store as part of Meet the Makers sampling road-show. It’s extra special though when the industry

recognises that work too,” he said. “We are very proud to have been highly commended for Musgrave and its independent SuperValu and Centra retailers’ long-term credible and impactful charity partnership, which has been developed over 15 years. “It’s also fantastic to be recognised for Centra’s Christmas marketing campaign, which was focused on connecting with as many customers as possible and making Christmas relevant to them,” Desi added. Musgrave in Northern Ireland comprises the retail and wholesale segments of Musgrave Group and supports independent retailers through the SuperValu, Centra, Mace and DayToday brands and wholesale customers through the MarketPlace brand across the Province.


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

MASH DIRECT IS NAMED BEST BRAND ■ BEST BRAND

SPONSORED BY HENDERSON FOOD MACHINERY

David Henderson (Henderson Food Machinery), Clare Foster and Lance Hamilton (Mash Direct) and Mark Beckett.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “AS A FORMERLY SMALL, PRIVATELY-OWNED FARM BUSINESS, MASH DIRECT HAS RISEN TO BECOME A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE LOCAL FOOD BUSINESS WITH ITS BRAND DOMINATING THE RETAIL GROCERY SECTOR. THEY’RE A VERY WORTHY WINNER OF THIS YEAR’S BEST BRAND AWARD, WITH THEIR GUERRILLA MARKETING GIVING THE BRAND A PERSONALITY.”

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ash Direct was crowned Best Brand at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards last month for using innovative marketing techniques to boost sales of their range across Northern Ireland.

Their social media channels had over 12.2 million views in the last month which helped their new products, including a sweet potato range, to fly off the shelves. Mash Direct now sells over one pack per second.

The marketing campaign included converting a bus shelter in Donegall Square into a makeshift field, convincing Sky News that mashed potato was the next big thing in face masks and investing in a drone to show off the beautiful countryside in Co Down where the Mash Direct range is grown. All of this led to a combined marketing reach of over 17.43 million people (including social, PR and out-of-home marketing) with over 160,000 engagements on social. In areas where Mash Direct worked directly with retailers, sales were able to more than double during the marketing campaigns. This has led to Mash Direct becoming the #1 brand in the category for both sales and marketing reach. The key to the success was to bring weekly videos from the farm to computer screens and phones around Northern Ireland. By showing customers where their vegetables came from, they were able to show off their award-winning range from the fields to the table.

Winner - Best Brand Delivering innovation in NPD and Marketing for profits in your chiller Over 12.2 million people reached through our social media channels in the last 12 months alone* Over 1.4 million video views in the last 12 months*

Get in touch with our Marketing Department today to find out how we can boost your sales: enquiries@mashdirect.com * Total figure of Reach from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and SnapChat

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ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

■ BEST BRAND

SPONSORED BY HENDERSON FOOD MACHINERY

D

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: IRWIN’S BAKERY FOR THE IRWIN’S BRAND

avid Henderson, owner of Henderson Food Machinery, said: “Henderson Food Machinery was thrilled to be sponsor of the Best Brand for the second year running at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2017. Our congratulations go to all the nominees in this category and especially to Mash Direct for their win on the night, with Irwin’s Bakery highly commended. Henderson Food Machinery provides solutions suited to customer requirements and, as our expertise lies in supplying food manufacturers, we felt that Best Brand was an ideal category to sponsor at such a prestigious event.”

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “IRWIN’S HAS A VERY CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF ITS MARKET POSITIONING AND BRAND VIRTUES, AND HAS MANAGED ITS MARKETING VERY EFFECTIVELY IN A CHALLENGING MARKET.”

David Henderson, Brendan Lappin (Irwin’s Bakery) and Debra Henderson.

■ BEST NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH/RELAUNCH

SPONSORED BY MXB

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aren Carmichael, managing director at mxb, said: “mxb Shopper Marketing Agency is extremely proud to have sponsored the Best New Product Launch award, and we extend our congratulations once again to Supervalu NI on their fantastic win. Thank you to the team at Ulster Grocer for all the hard work that went into ensuring the event was a great recognition of the outstanding brand achievements coming out of NI. We look forward to supporting the awards into the future and celebrating local excellence.”

■ WINNER: SUPERVALU FOR BEST BEEF EVER

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: MOY PARK FOR THE BREADED PRODUCT CATEGORY RELAUNCH Karen Carmichael with Aisling Graham and Paul Burch (Moy Park).

Nigel Maxwell (SuperValu), Karen Carmichael (mxb) and Mark Beckett.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “QUITE A SOPHISTICATED CAMPAIGN, AND THE WAY IT WAS PRESENTED WAS VERY CREDIBLE. A LOT OF THOUGHT WENT INTO THE WHOLE PROGRAMME WITH A CLEAR STRATEGY AND FOLLOW UP.” WINNERS’ COMMENTS: NIGEL MAXWELL, SUPERVALU & CENTRA SALES DIRECTOR, SAID: “SUPERVALU’S BEST BEEF EVER CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS FOR THE SUPERVALU BRAND, EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATING THE QUALITY CREDENTIALS OF OUR BEEF PRODUCT RANGE, INCLUDING OUR 21 DAYS MATURED BEEF. THE LAUNCH STRUCK A CHORD WITH OUR CONSUMERS AND WE’RE PROUD THAT THIS CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN HIGHLIGHTED FOR ITS MARKETING EXCELLENCE IN A COMPETITIVE CATEGORY.” SPONSORED BY:

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JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “MOY PARK’S PRODUCT RELAUNCH HAS SUCCESSFULLY REVERSED OVERALL DECLINE IN THE CATEGORY AND TRANSFORMED THEIR PRODUCT INTO A GROWTH POSITION. THAT’S GOT TO BE A SUCCESS FOR THEM.“


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

■ BEST ARTISAN FOOD CAMPAIGN

SPONSORED BY FOOD NI

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ichele Shirlow, chief executive of Food NI, said: “Sponsoring the Best Artisan Marketing Campaign in the hugely popular Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2017 gave Food NI an ideal opportunity to recognise the substantial contribution to the local economy being made by smaller enterprises, including artisans and the retailers which source food and drink from them on a regular basis. SuperValu NI, the winner of this year’s award, has played a key role in creating awareness of the outstanding quality of local producers and has helped many on their journey to business success. Cavanagh Free Range Eggs is an impressive and quality conscious smaller enterprise.”

■ WINNER: SUPERVALU FOR MEET THE MAKERS CAMPAIGN Nigel Maxwell, Michele Shirlow (Food NI) and Mark Beckett.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “WHAT SUPERVALU HAS PRESENTED IS THAT THEY AREN’T AN ARTISAN PRODUCER BUT THEY ARE A MEDIUM AND THEY HAVE A STORY. SUPERVALU HAS PROVIDED EVIDENCE OF A NETWORK OF ARTISAN PRODUCERS THAT ‘BROUGHT LOCAL TO LIFE’, CREATING A PLATFORM FOR LOCAL ARTISAN PRODUCERS THROUGH IN STORE EXPOSURE AND CHEF ENDORSEMENT.” WINNERS’ COMMENTS: NIGEL MAXWELL, SUPERVALU & CENTRA SALES DIRECTOR, SAID: “LOCAL PRODUCE IS AT THE HEART OF THE SUPERVALU BRAND ETHOS AND WE WERE PROUD TO SHINE THE SPOTLIGHT ON AN INCREDIBLE ARRAY OF ARTISAN SUPPLIERS IN OUR STORES RIGHT ACROSS NORTHERN IRELAND THROUGH OUR MEET THE MAKERS CAMPAIGN. ACHIEVING STAND OUT FOR SUPERVALU DURING NORTHERN IRELAND’S YEAR OF FOOD & DRINK WAS A KEY FOCUS FROM A MARKETING PERSPECTIVE, SO WE ARE THRILLED TO WIN THIS HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER AWARD.”

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: CAVANAGH FREE RANGE EGGS Mark Beckett with Eileen and John Hall (Cavanagh Free Range Eggs).

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “CAVANAGH HAS SHOWN GREAT SPIRIT IN MAXIMISING THEIR RESOURCES AND MARKETING CAPACITY IN THE LAST YEAR, WHICH MAKES THEM A WORTHY CONTENDER IN THIS CATEGORY.”

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ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

■ BEST IN-STORE SALES PROMOTION

SPONSORED BY PRL

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artin Rice, senior account manager NI at PRL In-Market Solutions, said: “On behalf of PRL, I’m delighted to congratulate the Henderson Group, and in particular Paddy Doody and Catherine McAlynn, on winning the Best In-Store Consumer Sales Promotion at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2017. As a company, we focus on delivering brand success across all our clients and, with our expertise being centred around the FMCG industry, we felt this was an ideal category to sponsor at one of the year’s flagship events.”

■ WINNER: SPAR/HENDERSON WHOLESALE ■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: FMI FOR FOR 12 DEALS OF CHRISTMAS NESPRESSO AUTUMN PROMOTION Paddy Doody and Catherine McAlynn (Henderson Group), Martin Rice (PRL) and Mark Beckett.

Val Cross (FMI) and Martin Rice.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “A WELL-PLANNED AND BRILLIANTLYEXECUTED SALES PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN WITH IMPRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENTS IN TERMS OF SALES AND PROFITS.” WINNERS’ COMMENTS: CATHERINE MCALYNN, BRAND MANAGER, HENDERSON GROUP, SAID: “WE’RE ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTED TO HAVE WON THIS AWARD FOR OUR 12 DEALS OF CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN. IT IS TESTAMENT TO THE INVESTMENT MADE BY HENDERSONS AND OUR RETAIL PARTNERS, WHICH IN TURN ALLOWED THEM TO OFFER THEIR SHOPPERS WEEKLY MONEY-SAVING DEALS ON FESTIVE FOOD ESSENTIALS. IT’S GREAT TO RECEIVE INDEPENDENT RECOGNITION OF SUCH A FANTASTIC, WELL-EXECUTED MARKETING INITIATIVE.”

■ GREEN RETAILER OF THE YEAR

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “FMI AND NESPRESSO BREAK SOME NEW GROUND IN THE PROMOTIONAL OF QUALITY FOOD PRODUCTS, AND THE OPINION OF THE JUDGES WAS IT WAS EXTREMELY WELL EXECUTED.”

SPONSORED BY PRM GROUP

P

atrick Black, business support & marketing manager at PRM Group, said: “PRM Group were delighted to sponsor the Green Retailer of the Year Award and acknowledge the hard work of local retailers who strive to conduct their business in a sustainable manner. As a local supplier, we too recognise the collective responsibility we have in reducing the environmental impact of our industry. Our congratulations go to all the nominees and in particular Henderson Wholesale on winning the award and Lidl who were Highly Commended.”

■ WINNER: HENDERSON WHOLESALE JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “HENDERSON WHOLESALE PRESENTS THE MOST CREDIBLE CASE OVERALL. CUTTING FOOD WASTE BY 26% IS AN AMAZING ACHIEVEMENT, AND HENDERSON HAS IMPLEMENTED A WELL-BALANCED, THOUGHT THROUGH PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED WITH ELIMINATING WASTE, RECYCLING AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT.” WINNERS’ COMMENTS: MARIAN MCGREEVY, LOGISTICS COMPLIANCE MANAGER, HENDERSON GROUP, SAID: “WE’RE DELIGHTED TO WIN THE GREEN RETAILER OF THE YEAR AWARD. WE HAVE INVESTED HEAVILY IN ENSURING THE HENDERSON GROUP CONDUCTS ITS BUSINESS EFFICIENTLY WHILE HONOURING ITS COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES.”

26

Philip Morrow (PRM Group), Paddy Doody and Mark Beckett.


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

■ GREEN RETAILER OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY PRM GROUP

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: LIDL

Angela Connan, Patrick Black and Deirdre Ryan (Lidl).

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “THEY HAVE QUITE A WIDE PROGRAMME. LIDL’S EFFORTS IN CREATING ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL MAKES THEM A WORTHY HIGHLY COMMENDED.”

■ BEST FOOD EXPORT MARKETING CAMPAIGN

SPONSORED BY INVEST NORTHERN IRELAND

N

igel Hardy, head of Global Food at Invest NI, said: “Invest NI is focused on growing exports from Northern Ireland through the sustained engagement between international buying organisations and local companies willing to foster long-term commercial relationships. This year’s well deserved winner of the Export Marketing category, Just Live a Little, is active in at least eight international markets and has demonstrated the commitment and customer focus necessary to secure and develop new customers in premium markets. Just Live a Little is a strong advocate of the Pure:Natural:Quality message promoted by our industry to the global market.”

■ WINNER: JUST LIVE A LITTLE Nigel Hardy (Invest Northern Ireland), Jill Crawford (Just Live a Little) and Mark Beckett.

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “THIS MODEST START-UP HAS MADE GREAT STRIDES IN ITS HOME AND EXPORT DEVELOPMENT, ADOPTING A COHERENT THREE-YEAR STRATEGY AND ACHIEVING A HELL OF A LOT WITH A LIMITED BUDGET.” WINNERS’ COMMENTS: “JILL CRAWFORD, CO-FOUNDER OF JUST LIVE A LITTLE, SAID: “BEING SUCH A SMALL TEAM, IT IS A TREMENDOUS BOOST FOR US PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY TO WIN THE EXPORT MARKETING AWARD AT SUCH A PRESTIGIOUS EVENT. IT GIVES US A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE WHAT WE ARE DOING TO A WIDER AUDIENCE AND TO CONTINUE OUR EXPORT GROWTH STRATEGY.”

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: MASH DIRECT JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “MASH DIRECT HAS BECOME A CONSISTENT GROWTH-ORIENTED BUSINESS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AND IS RECOGNISED FOR THE PROFESSIONALISM WITH WHICH IT HAS TARGETED ITS MARKETS.” Clare Foster and Lance Hamilton (Mash Direct).

27


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

■ BEST CSR/CHARITY INITIATIVE

SPONSORED BY HUNKY DORYS

M

artin McClinton, sales manager at Northern Snack Foods, said: “The Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2017 marks a fifth year of sponsoring the worthy category of Best CSR Initiative/Charity Partnership for Northern Snack Foods brand Hunky Dorys. Congratulations to this year’s winner Lidl, and highly commended Musgrave, with both retailers setting an example to follow in charity partnerships and ethical initiatives.”

■ WINNER: LIDL - A BETTER TOMORROW

JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “IT WAS A COMPREHENSIVE PROGRAMME OF CSR WHICH WAS CLEARLY PRIORITISED WITHIN THE ORGANISATION. WITH ITS FIVE-PILLAR STRATEGY, LIDL HAS DEMONSTRATED IT UNDERSTANDS AND IS COMMITTED TO CSR AS ETHICS RATHER THAN AN OBLIGATION.” WINNERS’ COMMENTS: DEIRDRE RYAN, HEAD OF CSR FOR LIDL IRELAND AND NORTHERN IRELAND, SAID: “WE ARE HONOURED TO RECEIVE THE BEST CSR INITIATIVE/CHARITY PARTNERSHIP AT THE ULSTER GROCER AWARDS. IT IS A GREAT TESTAMENT TO THE ENGAGEMENT OF OUR EMPLOYEES IN OUR CSR PROGRAMME. SUPPORTING AND INVESTING IN LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND WORKING WITH OUR CHARITY PARTNERSHIPS IS SOMETHING THAT LIDL ARE COMMITTED TO AND WE ARE DELIGHTED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS IN TOWNS AND VILLAGES ACROSS NORTHERN IRELAND.”

Martin McClinton (Hunky Dorys), Angela Connan (Lidl) and Mark Beckett.

Martin McClinton and Nigel Maxwell.

■ HIGHLY COMMENDED: MUSGRAVE /ACTION CANCER PARTNERSHIP JUDGES’ COMMENTS: “MUSGRAVE’S PRESENTATION WAS VERY WELL BALANCED AND FIRST CLASS. IT HAS FOSTERED A LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH ACTION CANCER, AND GIVEN IT A MOMENTUM OF ITS OWN WITH THIS STRATEGY OF REINVIGORATING THE PARTNERSHIP.”

■ ALLIED BAKERIES DONATES STAR PRIZE SENDING LUCKY WINNER TO THE BIG APPLE

A

Peter Henry, general manager of Allied Bakeries presents the star prize to Julie Maxwell.

28

llied Bakeries again donated the star prize at the Grocers’ Ball, with Kingsmill sponsoring a trip to New York including return flights from Dublin, private return limo transfers to Manhattan, three nights’ luxury accommodation and a helicopter trip over Manhattan. The lucky winner was Julie Maxwell, wife of Nigel Maxwell, sales director for SuperValu and Centra, with an element of good karma perhaps involved. Some years ago, Julie had travelled to New York to compete in an ice skating event but suffered a horrific accident in which she shattered her leg, was hospitalised for a month and had to undergo 16 months of physio and rehabilitation. “It’s particularly poignant for me after my awful accident in NYC,” said Julie. “I left there under such dreadful and difficult circumstances so, of all the places in the world I could win a prize to, it’s unbelievable it was NYC. I never win anything so I am truly grateful. “I would like to add that my friend that was with me when I had the accident in NYC, is the same friend that is accompanying me on the prize trip and we are already booked for over the Christmas holidays this year. I’m beyond excited, and my sincere thanks to Kingsmill/Allied Bakeries.” Peter Henry, general manager, Allied Bakeries Ireland, said: “GroceryAid is a fantastic charity, and Allied Bakeries Ireland was delighted to continue supporting the star prize at the Ulster Grocers’ Ball. We hope Julie has a great time in New York.”


ULSTER GROCER MARKETING AWARDS

Darren Stewart, Claire Kelly, Nadia Stewart and Neal Kelly (Henderson Wholesale).

Robert Brown, Clare Forster (Mash Direct), Alyson Magee (Ulster Grocer) and Lance Hamilton (Mash Direct).

David and Julie Bell (Sauce Works) with David and Debra Henderson (Henderson Food Machinery).

David Pollock, Jen Hampton, Stephen and Dawn Cameron, and Jason Hempton (Dale Farm).

The team from White’s Oats.

Kingsley and Golda Burrows, and Trevor and Alison Mounstephen (Karro Food Group).

29


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TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

MIGHT OF MOY PARK CONTINUES IN THE TOP 25 • DAIRY SECTOR CONSOLIDATION CLEARS WAY FOR NEW ENTRANTS • HENDERSON WHOLESALE MOVES UP TO NUMBER THREE

P

oultry, meat, dairy and alcohol are the standout categories in this year’s Ulster Grocer Top 25 Local Food & Drinks Companies, while the Henderson Group continues to ascend the ranks as the leading local grocery supplier and retailer. This latest edition marks the fifth year of the Ulster Grocer Top 25 compiled by Dun & Bradstreet, ranked by turnover with additional data also provided for pre-tax profits, net

worth and employee numbers. Only companies filing their annual accounts in Northern Ireland are included in the listing, which offers a unique picture of the diverse local agri-food, drinks and grocery sector. The 2017 listing has seen a greater degree of jostling for position than in previous years, with only five companies retaining the same position as the 2016 listing; among them of course Moy Park in the top

position. Consolidation has, meanwhile, resulted in a number of dairy companies dropping off, due to new financial reporting practices, allowing Northway Mushrooms and Avondale Foods to gain listings. Jonathan Cushley returns again this year, to explain the in and outs, and ups and downs, of the Ulster Grocer Top 25 on p33.

A WELL PLACED AGRI-FOOD AND DRINK PROCESSING INDUSTRY 2

BY JOHN HOOD, DIRECTOR FOOD & DRINK, INVEST NORTHERN IRELAND

017 continues to build on the very successful Year of Food & Drink, and our industry remains focused on promoting local companies and their products at home and abroad. Moy Park’s listing as Northern Ireland’s largest food business highlights the contribution the poultry industry makes to the overall performance of Northern Ireland’s food and drink industry and, together with Dunbia, Foyle and Linden, shows the importance of meat processing to Northern Ireland. Indeed, with the entrance of Cranswick as a new name in processing to Northern Ireland, the future of our meat industry looks bright. Likewise, Dale Farm, Lacpatrick (formerly TMC Diaries), Lakeland Dairies and Greenfields all contribute to a valuable dairy industry trading globally; a fact recognised by the decision of the World Dairy Summit to bring their global event to Belfast in 2017. Northern Ireland’s reputation as a country that takes taste, quality and food provenance seriously has continued to build momentum in 2017, with its food and drink businesses becoming ever more visible and ambitious in taking their products to growing world markets. From Hong Kong and Singapore to Dubai and the United States, Northern Irish food businesses are seeking to secure their home markets whilst looking to new and growing overseas

“Northern Ireland’s reputation as a country that takes taste, quality and food provenance seriously has continued to build momentum in 2017.”

markets. Among the developing products is Irish whiskey, which is now widely recognised as one of the fastest-growing food and drink sectors in the world. The performance of Bushmills and Diageo reinforces the growth of this industry. Combined with the many small distilleries, beer and ale brewers, and cider operations starting up and expanding across Northern Ireland, this sector promises much for the future. Invest NI, Northern Ireland’s business development agency, has an expanding global network designed to support Northern Irish businesses which are keen to explore new opportunities. That, coupled with the provision of in-market expertise and resources should help drive the Northern Irish food and drink industry towards further growth in international premium markets. Northern Ireland produce is desired and much sought after in the UK and Europe, and the priority must be to find markets to sell our food and drink, where we can secure the best value and balance the range of products we have. Both challenge and opportunity remain and I am confident that, through working together, our agri-food and drink processing industry remains well placed and firmly committed to meet the challenges and avail of the opportunities head-on.

31


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

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TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

TOP NORTHERN IRELAND GROCERY COMPANIES SEE PROFITS RISE

BY JONATHAN CUSHLEY

T

he 2017 edition of the Ulster Grocer Top 25 Local Food & Drinks Companies (now in its fifth year) shows a challenging set of financial sales results for the Province’s largest trade companies. Turnover year on year has shown a decrease of 5.2% whilst, positively, profit within the Top 25 companies has risen by an impressive 7.4%. The Ulster Grocer Top 25 utilises the latest results filed for Northern Irelandregistered or headquarter domiciled companies - all businesses have filed accounts relating to either 2015 or 2016. TURNOVER Since the inception of the Top 25 listing, turnover has been used as the key identifier of performance – turnover/sales, in conjunction with profitability and shareholder value are imperative to companies when measuring ongoing performance. This year’s Ulster Grocer Top 25 listing saw turnover decrease from £6,296m to £5,969m; a decrease of some 5.2%. Interestingly, whilst a couple of Top 25 companies had significant decreases in turnover, the majority (14) actually saw a decrease in sales. This figure has increased from 10 in the 2016 listing and reconfirms that economic challenges still prevail in the sector. Moy Park continues to retain its number one position, having posted sales of over £1.4bn. From 2015 to 2016, Diageo Northern Ireland showed a significant decrease in turnover from £122.4m to £63.5m – the decline in sales is mainly due to the disposal of certain brands and a reduction in spirit volumes. PROFITABILITY The success of a business cannot be considered solely on top-line sales growth; the generation of profit is key to enabling businesses to invest in their future. This year’s Top 25 saw profitability increase by a very impressive 7.4% from £135m to £145m; interestingly the combination of the

companies equates to profit/net worth as a percentage – 15.3%. Inventory turnover defined as turnover/tangible net worth: this volume ration indicates how many sales pounds are generated with each pound of investment for the latest financial year and is 6.28.

reduction in turnover and the increase in profitability actually generated a 2.4% profit margin – up from 2.1% in the prior year. This result is extremely encouraging; in the 2016 listing, profits were flat year on year and, with the drop in turnover already commented upon, the profitability of the companies shows strong leadership acumen and cost management. Five of the companies within the Top 25 listing showed losses for their latest financial year, up one on the previous year. The largest profits reported came from Moy Park ltd (£35.7m), Old Bushmills Distillery Company Limited (£30m) and SHS Group (£21.1m). Special note should be made of Old Bushmills, showing a profit margin of 43.5%. Within the Top 25, profit per employee currently sits at £6,739 (with sales per employee sitting at £277,421). Interestingly both these figures show the Ulster Grocer listing to be slightly more productive than the Ulster Business Top 100 listing published in August 2016. NET WORTH (SHAREHOLDER VALUE) The third measure of a company’s performance is its value to its shareholders; in its simplest form this is measured by its shareholders’ funds (issued capital) + retained earnings – intangibles. The value of the Ulster Grocer Top 25 companies to their shareholders is £950.5m. Only one company within the listing shows a negative net worth. The shareholders return for the 25

READER NOTES • Comparisons have been made using the Top 25 2015 and 2016 final results. • A date of 10/6/17 has been used as a cut off for the inclusion of financial results within the Top 25. • Financial Information has been gathered using Dun &Bradstreet’s Credit Reporting tool and UK Companies Registry Office. 1. Fane Valley Co-Operative Society Ltd results exclude their share of turnover and profits from a joint venture. 2. Dale Farm Co-Operative Ltd was formerly known as United Dairy Farmers Ltd. 3. Musgrave Retail Partners Ltd (9) and Musgrave Distribution Ltd (15), both file individual Northern Ireland accounts. 4. Philip Russell Ltd (17) and James E McCabe Ltd (14) are both subsidiaries of Golf Holdings Ltd; they have been included as Golf Holding Ltd do not file consolidated accounts. 5. Diageo Global Supply (IBC) Ltd (19) and Diageo Northern Ireland Ltd (20) also both file individual Northern Ireland accounts. About Jonathan Cushley Jonathan Cushley, formerly senior manager with D&B (UK & Ireland), has compiled the Ulster Business Top 100 listing and provided commentary for 26 years, and the Ulster Grocer Top 25 for five years. About Dun & Bradstreet Dun & Bradstreet is e the world’s largest provider of business-to-business information. More than 90% of the Global 1000 rely on Dun & Bradstreet as a trusted partner to enable confident business decisions. For more information, please visit www.dnb.com. 33


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES RANK

COMPANY NAME

ACCOUNT DATE LATEST (AS REPORTED)

TURNOVER (000’S)

TURNOVER (PREVIOUS YEAR)

1

MOY PARK LIMITED

31/12/2015

1,407,399

1,388,273

2

DUNBIA LTD

27/03/2016

787,512

826,523

3

HENDERSON WHOLESALE LIMITED

31/12/2015

420,559

412,941

4

SHS GROUP LIMITED

01/01/2016

379,408

374,007

5

DALE FARM CO-OPERATIVE LIMITED

31/03/2015

370,180

421,490

6

FANE VALLEY CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD

30/09/2015

357,345

429,628

7

FOYLE FOOD GROUP LIMITED

31/12/2015

297,214

289,340

8

HENDERSON RETAIL LIMITED

31/12/2015

294,151

300,599

9

MUSGRAVE RETAIL PARTNERS NI LIMITED

02/01/2016

257,445

281,417

10

COCA-COLA HBC (NI) LTD

31/12/2015

172,315

189,576

11

GREENFIELDS IRELAND LIMITED

31/12/2015

137,184

196,959

12

LAMEX FOODS EUROPE NI LIMITED

31/03/2016

136,652

153,054

13

TMC DAIRIES (N.I.) LIMITED

31/12/2015

99,653

126,081

14

JAMES E. MCCABE LIMITED

31/12/2015

95,252

93,717

15

MUSGRAVE DISTRIBUTION LIMITED

02/01/2016

93,176

99,174

16

LAKELAND DAIRIES (N.I.) LIMITED

02/01/2016

83,693

110,276

17

PHILIP RUSSELL LIMITED

31/12/2015

77,722

80,560

18

THE OLD BUSHMILLS DISTILLERY COMPANY LIMITED

31/12/2015

75,635

69,050

19

DIAGEO GLOBAL SUPPLY IBC LTD

30/06/2016

74,522

66,527

20

DIAGEO NORTHERN IRELAND LIMITED

30/06/2016

63,499

122,440

21

SAVAGE & WHITTEN WHOLESALE LTD

31/12/2015

62,976

63,569

22

SKEA EGG FARMS LIMITED

31/12/2015

61,678

61,029

23

DRINKS INC

31/03/2016

57,161

51,166

24

NORTHWAY MUSHROOMS LIMITED

31/12/2015

55,879

39,539

25

AVONDALE FOODS (CRAIGAVON) LTD

31/03/2016

51,110

48,924

GROWING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH DATA 34


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES PRE-TAX PROFIT (000’S)

PRE-TAX PROFIT (PREVIOUS YEAR)

NET WORTH LATEST (000’S)

NO. OF EMPLOYEES LATEST (AS REPORTED)

35,721

46,109

223,948

9,230

7,156

6,565

63,505

3,778

9,896

10,576

83,975

442

21,114

17,108

60,412

764

6,824

-714

39,748

1,087

1,536

6,765

74,754

N/A

3,028

-5,368

13,706

1,007

6,398

5,717

27,476

1,885

-2,574

-1,250

14,595

432

9,681

10,528

56,052

522

486

447

5,073

31

2855

2,911

7,245

6

-6143

-1,560

-7,979

52

2,383

2,034

44,160

549

-817

-286

561

186

240

308

-3,029

49

1,752

1,124

14,788

248

30,052

22,052

145,523

105

3,086

2,685

16,412

137

2,747

3,016

20,393

121

569

950

4,764

190

3,915

2,762

13,968

118

-115

1,159

9,354

112

-61

5

732

40

5,316

1,366

20,354

425

GROWING RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH DATA 35


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR MOY PARK CHIEF

J

Richard McClean, managing director of the Belfast Telegraph, and Ulster Bank’s Richard Donnan present Janet McCollum of Moy Park with her award.

anet McCollum, chief executive of poultry processor Moy Park – number one in the Ulster Grocer Top 25 - received a Lifetime Achievement Award at a recent major business event in Northern Ireland. She was recognised in the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards, an annual event to celebrate Northern Ireland’s business achievements. The awards are sponsored by Ulster Bank. McCollum has been managing director of the company since 2014, and first joined as European accountant back in 1993. The poultry processor is Northern Ireland’s only £1bn-plus business and among the region’s the biggest employers. Moy Park is now one of the UK’s top 15 food companies, and part of the Brazilianbased JBS Group. The company exports poultry products worldwide. Headquartered in Craigavon, Co Armagh, the company employs 6,300 people in Northern Ireland and a total of 12,000, including its operations in Europe. It recorded pre-tax profits of £35.7m in 2015.

MOY PARK BBQ & ROAST RANGE CREATES A SIZZLE IN NI!

I

reland’s number one poultry brand, Moy Park, has secured listings across the NI convenience sector for its branded BBQ & Roast range. The three-strong range, which includes Sweet Chilli Chicken Thighs, Smoky Barbecue Chicken Drumsticks and Hot and Spicy Chicken Wings will be available in selected Costcutter and Nisa stores through Neil McMullan Ltd. Moy Park Interim Brand Marketing Manager, Aisling Graham commented: “With the summer and BBQ season approaching, we’re delighted to secure these listings. The range was developed against a backdrop of strong growth in the BBQ chicken category – as well as a shift in consumer eating habits - with a tendency for shoppers to purchase BBQ chicken all year

round for oven cooking. In terms of flavour combinations, we went with key trends smoked and BBQ are still topping the polls and an element of spiciness never goes amiss!” Aisling continued: “As well as securing additional listings, the Moy Park brand team has been recognised for its commitment to new product development and marketing communications - winning a Henderson Local Supplier Award for Brand Innovation and Highly Commended at the

Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards for Best Product Launch. It is fantastic to win these awards and is testament to our continuing emphasis on industry leading NPD and success in bringing products to market.” Moy Park’s BBQ & Roast range is available now in selected Costcutter and Nisa stores, RRP is £2.99. For more information on products and distribution, please contact Moy Park on 028 38 352 233.

36

208271 U


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208271 Ulster Grocer Ad_Full Page_AW.indd 1

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TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

HENDERSON GROUP: SETTING GOALS AND SMASHING TARGETS

Paddy Doody, director of Sales and Marketing is pictured with Ron Whitten, chief financial officer at the Henderson Group.

T

he Henderson Group, owner of the SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO brands in Northern Ireland, has ranked third in the Ulster Grocer Top 25 Food & Drink Companies, which is not surprising after their latest performance results. The company, which invested over £34m throughout its retail network, infrastructure and employment in 2016 posted a turnover of £699m, an increase of 6% on 2015. Alongside this, fresh food sales climbed by 8% on the previous year, a reflection of the multi-million pound investments made to local farmers, growers and food producers which has helped the Group to satisfy increased consumer demand for convenient, fresh and local foods. Paddy Doody, sales & marketing director at Henderson Wholesale, which supplies over 400 stores and supermarkets across Northern Ireland, says that local is at the heart of everything they do here: “We are not only working with local food producers to supply their products to our retailers, but our fresh team engages with them and creates better offerings for our retailers and their shoppers. “With this in mind, we invested £200,000 to rebrand Meals Made Delicious to The Kitchen last year, and with four local companies, Daily Bake from Armagh, Willowbrook Foods in Killinchy, Big Pot Co. in Cookstown and Quinfresh from 38

Dungannon, we created a new line of convenience meals and ready meals that are perfect for tonight’s tea.” The Kitchen is made up of 39 products with a strong focus on provenance and convenience: “We are keeping in mind the person travelling home from work who is thinking about tonight’s tea, the parents doing the school run who need to pick up something quickly and all those who have had a long day and just want to put something in the oven and have it ready to serve.” The range, which includes bakes, sides, desserts and ready meals, has already experienced sales of over £2m in the past year. The wholesaler’s own brand line enjoy local is still performing well in the fresh food category, and the continued investment into the local agri-food industry ensures continued innovation of the brand, helped by consistently high-quality products from local producers. Paddy adds: “enjoy local is a constant in our stores – it is that one brand across all our fresh ranges, from fruit and vegetables, to deli sides and chicken, meat and fish. The fresh food team partners with the likes of K&G McAtamney butchers to develop meat options, Fred C Robinson for sausages, and LacPatrick for milk, ensuring high quality and great value products for our retailers. “Partnerships like this allow us to continue

to innovate, give back to our local agri-food business and create more for our retailers and shoppers.” Henderson Group set ambitions for 2017, which not only have been realised, but have been extended further. EUROSPAR now has 57 supermarkets in local communities, and has recently re-launched with a Your Community Supermarket tag line; one that encompasses the provenance, charity and school support, and sense of community that every supermarket has within its local area. The Heart of our Community campaign, which aims to install 300 external defibrillator devices outside SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO and VIVOXTRA stores across Northern Ireland has reached the 200-milestone mark, already saving lives in local communities. The £12.5m, state-of-the-art warehouse in Mallusk, acquired by the Group in 2015 will open this month, providing even better ordering and logistics for retailers and more employment opportunities locally. The Group now employs a total of 3,099 local workers across its wholesale, retail, property and foodservice companies. Paddy added: “During the remainder of 2017 and in to 2018, Henderson Group will continue to smash its targets and set new goals to keep our performance strong, and provide the best service for our suppliers, retailers and their shoppers.”


Henderson Wholesale Ltd Rated No.

3

in the Top 25 Local Food and Drink Companies

www.henderson-group.com


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

MUSGRAVE – INVESTING IN LOCAL IS KEY TO SUCCESS MUSGRAVE MANAGING DIRECTOR, MICHAEL McCORMACK EXPLAINS WHY MUSGRAVE IS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR LOCAL RETAILERS… Minister Simon Hamilton is pictured at the official opening of Centra Cathedral Quarter with owners Donagh and Orla McGoveran, along with Michael McCormack, MD, Musgrave.

M

usgrave is a 140-year-old family business with a rich heritage in Ireland. As a leading retail, wholesale and export group with a strong portfolio of marketleading brands, our scale, reach, expertise and influence is significant. In Ireland, we’re the largest private sector 42

employer, with a store network of over 1,500 across the island and we feed one in three people. In Northern Ireland, Musgrave recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Over the last two decades, we have made our mark on communities right across the Province as a committed local employer of over 5,000 people and a dedicated partner of almost 130 retail families. Locally, Musgrave comprises the retail and wholesale divisions of Musgrave Group, supporting independent retailers through the SuperValu, Centra, Mace and Day-Today

brands and wholesale customers through the Marketplace brand. Our commitment to investing in local people, local produce and local communities is at the heart of our business ethos and permeates everything we do. Our support for the independent retailer is truly unrivalled; our people are experts in retail and are committed to working with our retail partners to ensure long-term success and profitability for their stores. It is our intention to run market-leading brands that are responsive to the needs of the Northern Ireland consumer, and which deliver a sustainable profitable business for our retail partners. Following extensive consumer research and having engaged with our retailers, we


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

MUSGRAVE IN NUMBERS

Owners Michael and David Downey with Terry Bradley, SuperValu regional manager, pictured outside the new SuperValu Newry store.

are continuing to upgrade a number of stores across our SuperValu, Centra and MACE brands with a revised offer that includes new product ranges, a new environment, refreshed communications and an updated training package. In 2017, Musgrave will invest £10m in refreshing its store network as part of a significant investment in our people, brands and business. The performance of these refreshed stores has been well above expectations, with fantastic customer feedback and consumers responding by shopping more often and buying more each time they shop. Our revamped stores have experienced strong sales growth, with many reporting double digit growth. We are focused on building long-term relationships right across our business and this also applies to our suppliers – including the 140 local suppliers and over 3,000 local farmers, from whom we will buy more than £100m worth of local food and drink in 2017.

• Musgrave will buy more than £100M worth of local food and drink in 2017, partnering with more than 140 local suppers. • We sell more than 3,000 local products, working with over 3,000 local farmers • We provide employment for over 5,000 people and are a dedicated partner of almost 130 retail families in Northern Ireland • We will invest £10M into our Northern Ireland store Network this year, as part of our store upgrade programme • We have made a £2M investment in our Centra Live Every Day and SuperValu Let’s Cook campaigns, helping our customers to make healthier choices • We have raised a massive £2.5M for charity partner Action Cancer since 2005, believed to be the biggest single donation by a Northern Ireland company • Mace retailers and the MarketPlace brand have raised more than £60,000 for NI Chest Heart and Stroke, since beginning the charity partnership in 2016.

We are proud to work with a large variety of local suppliers and we aim to increase this every year with double-digit growth. We’re proud to be working alongside our local retailers and suppliers in their communities to roll out a number of exciting initiatives across our SuperValu and Centra brands. This year, Musgrave is investing £2m into health initiatives through the Centra Live Every Day campaign and SuperValu’s Let’s Cook mission, empowering and educating our customers to make better choices. As leaders in local, quality food, we are committed to helping our customers to lead healthier lifestyles, providing them with the support and tools they need to make small, positive changes.

Each of these initiatives demonstrate Musgrave’s commitment and investment in Northern Ireland through its SuperValu and Centra stores. Musgrave has also committed £250,000 into staff development in 2017 and, through its independent SuperValu and Centra retailers, has invested significantly in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives across Northern Ireland, raising a massive £2.5m for charity partner Action Cancer since 2005. Mace retailers and the MarketPlace brand have raised more than £60,000 for NI Chest Heart and Stroke, since beginning the charity partnership in 2016. Working in partnership with and investing in local people, produce and retailers is key to driving our ambition to become Northern Ireland’s number one consumer choice in convenience shopping. 43


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

CRANSWICK TO DUNBIA FORGES AHEAD WITH STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP INVEST £4M IN CULLYBACKEY PLANT Jim Dobson OBE

Niall Browne

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K pork processor Cranswick is investing £4m in the Northern Ireland plant it acquired from Dunbia last year, with the aim of boosting productivity. The company plans to spend an additional £2m to a similar investment made shortly after the acquisition, with Chief Executive Adam Crouch saying the new investment would be used to hit Cranswick’s long-term target of boosting pig processing numbers from 8,000 to 14,000 a week.

“We have a good strong workforce; we have increased automation.” “We acquired it in November last year, and we have already spent over £2m in flows, production, butchery and the packing hall,” said Crouch. “In the next 18 months, it will be another £2m. “We have a good strong workforce; we have increased automation. We are looking to see how far we can grow the pig numbers.” Since Cranswick acquired the Co Antrim site in November, it has increased pig processing numbers to 10,000 a week. The Northern Ireland purpose-built facility employed 360 people at the time. The Dunbia acquisition was Cranswick’s fifth takeover in five years. Cranswick was established in the 1970s, and entered the stock market in 1985. In 1991, it began processing pork and cooked meats. By last year, the business included chicken rearing, premium cooked poultry processing, pig breeding and rearing, pasties production and bacon processing.

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busy past few years has demonstrated the business acumen that propelled Dunbia to number two in the Top 25. Fresh from the sale of its Cullybackey pig processing site to Cranswick Country Foods in late 2016, Dunbia announced last month it had agreed a strategic partnership with Dawn Meats to establish a majority-owned joint venture (JV) comprising the UK operations of both organisations. Dawn will separately acquire Dunbia’s operations in the Republic of Ireland, with the overall partnership subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities. In Ireland, Dawn Meats will have nine facilities including five abattoirs, acquiring Dunbia’s abattoir in Slane and boning hall in Kilbeggan. The combined UK businesses will trade as Dunbia, with the aim of delivering enhanced scale and market presence to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations across the retail, manufacturing, wholesale and foodservice sectors. The partnership will offer customers regionally-sourced solutions for beef and lamb from 15 facilities across Scotland, England,

Wales and Northern Ireland. Dunbia CEO Jim Dobson, OBE will be CEO of the new Dunbia JV, and Dawn Meats’ CEO Niall Browne, will be executive chairman. The JV will be run from Dunbia’s existing headquarters in Dungannon. “This is the right strategic partnership for Dunbia’s staff and customers, and sees us joining with a company with a shared heritage of excellence in the production of premium beef and lamb products,” said Jim Dobson, CEO of Dunbia. “The new UK joint venture confirms our future as a leading supplier in the UK market. In a consolidating industry, this deal makes strategic sense for both companies, our customers and our farmer suppliers.” Across Dawn Meats and Dunbia, the businesses process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6 million sheep annually. Dawn Meats is a processor and supplier of premium Irish and British red meat to supermarkets and foodservice in Ireland and the UK, and exports to 48 countries around the world. Dunbia is a leading processor of beef and lamb, with nine sites across the UK and Ireland, employing around 4,000 people.


TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES

KEY ROLE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND IN GROWTH OF LAKELAND DAIRIES

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akeland Dairies ( number 16 in the Top 25), a major dairy processor which has operations in Northern Ireland including its global logistics centre in Newtownards, has reported increased profits for the year ended December 31, 2016*. In spite of difficult dairy market conditions, Lakeland turned in a very robust performance with revenues up by 2% to £514.6m, yielding an operating profit of £6.2m before exceptional costs. Lakeland Dairies operates across 15 counties on a cross-border basis, processing milk into a wide range of value-added dairy foodservice products and food ingredients. The co-operative has a portfolio of 240 different dairy products which it exports to 80 countries worldwide; much of it through its logistics centre in Northern Ireland. As a farmer owned co-operative, Lakeland strongly supported the milk price that it pays to dairy farmers throughout the year, while ensuring an appropriate level of re-investment to drive the future long-term growth and development of the business. All developments have been achieved without any requirement for levies or sharing up by milk producers. Lakeland Dairies acquired Northern Ireland’s Fane Valley Dairies in May 2016, increasing milk intake by 22% to 1.1 billion litres. The continuing benefit of this additional milk flow, together with generally increasing milk supplies, will take full effect in the current year as intake rises to 1.2 billion litres of milk - contributing to economies of scale. The Food Ingredients Division performed strongly in a challenging year with revenues increasing by 9% to £302.7m. The acquisition of Fane Valley Dairies contributed substantial extra milk volumes for processing, helping to meet consistent demand for a wide range of dairy food ingredients. With Bailieboro Dryer No. 3 (Milk Powder Plant) in the Republic of Ireland completed and commissioned, it is now able to produce over 160,000 tonnes of milk powders a year and over 50,000 tonnes of butter on a single site. Foodservice revenues of £166.1m include a reduction of 3.8% from the previous year, which is primarily due to pricing sensitivity in an intensely competitive market climate. The overall volume of sales remained positive where Lakeland has a diversified and innovative product mix, adding further value to every litre of milk processed. The co-operative’s major new Global Logistics Centre in Newtownards played an important role, meeting customer demand in key market segments including hospitality, catering and convenience, using highly automated systems with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. “In a challenging and sometimes unpredictable dairy market environment, Lakeland Dairies continued to make very positive progress in 2016,” said Michael Hanley, Group chief executive. “Our developments have further advanced our competitiveness and processing scale. We are especially pleased that, in spite of difficult market conditions, we sold all of our output to really well established customers where we have consistently increasing levels of demand.” *Lakeland Dairies’ accounts to December 31, 2016 have not been filed with Companies House yet; hence inclusion of accounts to 02/01/2016 in the Top 25.

www.skeaeggs.com

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TOP 25 LOCAL FOOD & DRINKS COMPANIES further upgrade and redesign of their website is planned for later this year, which will see added efficiencies for the benefit of their retailers.

CATEGORY DEVELOPMENT DELIVERS

GROWTH FOR S&W

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ith origins dating as far back as 1916, Savage & Whitten’s business has continually evolved over the last number of years to become one of the largest independent wholesalers in Ireland. It is now seen as a major employer in the Newry area, with employment levels increasing over recent years to 167 employees along with jobs created for a further 30 people in company-owned stores. From its Newry headquarters, this has proved a perfect base for trading in both Northern and Southern Ireland. Key developments during the year have included the further development of categories that are important to the consumer including chill, fresh and frozen ranges alongside further improvements in the food-to-go category. S&W is a member of the Today’s Group, which is celebrating 30 years in business and is the largest independent buying group in the UK. 2016 proved a very successful year, delivering significant growth of 15% in what was a relatively flat market, where barriers to business are becoming ever more pertinent. “For the first time ever as a business, we have ventured into the contract market and 46

delivered three successes which is helping us achieve further growth in 2017,” says Mark Windebank (pictured above), managing director of Savage & Whitten. “Throughout the year, we have developed and strengthened our sales structures, venturing into new territories, whilst working ever closer with our IT partners to improve the quality of offering to both our Today’s symbol stores and our independent customers.” Investment in personnel, infrastructure and IT has continued at a most critical time as the sector is experiencing a huge shift in consumer trends toward fresh meal solutions and food to go; in particular, in-store deli counters. Investment in technology has been core to the success of the business, especially the e-commerce website which now equates to almost 75% of all orders received plus this also allows customers more time to focus on the front end of their business instead of being tied up unnecessarily. The online facility allows customers to view 6,500-plus pictorial lines, giving them access to online statements, invoices and order history at a time convenient to them. A

A large part of the phenomenal growth has been attributable to the huge success of the Today’s symbol during the last seven years. Since launching the first Today’s symbol store at the end of 2009, there are currently 104 stores in Northern Ireland operating under the Today’s Local, Extra and Express Fascia plus a further 27 stores in the Republic of Ireland. Michael Skelton, sales director of Savage & Whittem, told Ulster Grocer that 2016 saw a significant expansion of the brand in the south and this will continue in 2017. The success of the Today’s symbol has not only been attributable to the no fees, noncontractual approach but more importantly to the support services given to retailers such as a full-store development package including imagery, EPOS, category management, marketing, and sales support for each store. Increased investment in the marketing plan has been executed this year for the Today’s symbol stores which saw a re-vamp of their symbol leaflets and advertising in local radio with increased competitions. This has created store brand awareness in the community and has been well accepted by local consumers. Savage & Whitten has a strong focus on corporate social responsibility and supports a number of local charities throughout the year. Windebank said: “I am delighted that S&W Wholesale has been recognised again as one of the Top 25 Food & Drinks Companies in NI. We work constantly to expand on our successes year on year and strive to be more innovative in order to drive sales, reduce costs and improve margins for our customers. We continue to respond to the needs of the consumer by sourcing great deals from supporting local suppliers throughout Ireland, alongside the national strength of the Today’s Group with a turnover of £5.7bn.


PARTNERSHIPS FOR SUCCESS AS A TODAY’S GROUP SYMBOL RETAILER, I GET: Branded Store

Membership · Today’s Group – (No membership fee) · No weekly Marketing Fee · Signage & Branding Support

Concept Drawings

Dedicated Delivery

Deliveries · Ambient and Chill/Freeze/ Fresh Central Distribution · Central Billing with all Major Suppliers

Chilled

Merchandising

Sales Support · Dedicated BDM store visit with a Retail Sales Focus · Specialist Food to Go Support · Merchandising Support · Store Design and Facilitation Support

Food to Go

EPOS

IT – Rescan EPOS System · Retail Scan System (no capital cost) · On line Ordering

Marketing

Today’s a Good Day to Rethink Your Profits.

S&W Wholesale, Carnbane Business Park, Newry BT35 6QH

T: F: E:

028302 63521 028302 63143 info@sandwni.com

www.savageandwhitten.com


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My Life in the Grocery Trade DESI DERBY, HEAD OF MARKETING FOR MUSGRAVE connection with shoppers, creating a point of difference and ultimately driving sales for our retailers. WHEN DID YOU TAKE UP THIS POST? May 2016

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE? Head of Marketing for Musgrave. BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY TO DATE. I’ve over 20 years’ experience in marketing, working initially agency-side with a range of clients from local food producers to retailers such as Tesco and from government to recruitment. In 2012, I made the decision to move client side to see what all the fuss was about and can confirm that the grass is indeed greener (no disrespect to my former agency colleagues). The move client-side brought me to Lidl in Dublin with responsibility for strategy north and south. In 2016 I joined Musgrave with responsibility for Marketing in NI. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE? Working with a super team of marketers to deliver marketing campaigns in support of the product offer or leading on brand building or CSR initiatives to provide our brands with a unique point of difference in the market. It’s all about establishing a deeper emotional

WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB? One of the highlights is our Action Cancer Charity partnership – which has existed since 2005, long before my time in the business. Since the partnership began, our SuperValu & Centra independent retailers have raised over £2.5m in support of the Action Cancer Big Bus, providing mammograms right across NI. What could be more rewarding than supporting this. The worst parts are probably the volume of meetings and all that’s associated with that – delegating, time management and lots of juggling! The end justifies the means of course, investing a lot of time working cross-functionally to deliver the best possible output for our retailers and shoppers makes it all worthwhile. If only a week had nine days though. BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY. I’m a caffeine addict, so after atleast three cups of tea, all consumed between 8am to 9am, I’m really ready to go! An average day usually starts with a review of press clippings across the market to get a sense of what’s happening in the world. Feedback from shoppers plays an important part of the daily routine too, using this to inform the marketing output and the wider company plans. The day-to-day output of the Marketing Department is really important, so it’s also providing some guidance and

direction on the leaflet, POS and digital plans to support our overall promotional offer - in fairness though the team have this bit well covered. Most of the day is spent in meetings, working with colleagues to shape and deliver our Commercial Plan and visiting stores to ensure you keep close to the customer. There’s a great sense of team too in Musgrave and I particularly like that. WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? I’m most proud when I see a happy team – reward has a big role to play here and is very much ingrained in the Musgrave culture. I was delighted to see the excitement of the team when we picked up four awards at the recent Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards. One of the accolades was for our Best Beef Ever, an incredible effort by the team across product, store experience and comms which the customer has endorsed 100% – very proud moment. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK? An hour in the gym after work is the best way to unwind (wine is forbidden on a school night). Seriously though, there’s nothing better than a spin or circuit class to create that separation between work and home time. TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW. When I was 10, I got through to the last two for the lead role in a Hollywood film about here. There was a scene where the kid dives off a cliff into the water – I couldn’t swim and the role went to the other guy! If only I’d demanded a stunt extra.


JOIN US NOW FOR A 2017

NISA HAS THE PERFECT RANGE FOR OUR LARGER FORMAT STORE

“ Since

joining Nisa we have seen a

significant sales

uplift”

“I was a Costcutter member for 21 years, but felt Nisa’s flexible model would benefit our 7,000 sq ft family-run supermarket in the village of Portglenone in County Antrim more. Our store is now a fully-fledged Nisa Extra as it underwent a revamp including a new fascia, gondola ends and staff uniforms. The store has undergone several expansions over the years and has a deli, butchers, off licence and a wide range of products. A strong range and promotions are really important to us because our aim is to attract shoppers to do a weekly shop at our store,

rather than travelling nine miles to the nearest multiple. We also pride ourselves on providing a friendly customer service. We joined Nisa because we knew we would benefit from the support and services they provide, especially the fantastic availability and range for our large store, and we look forward to a prosperous future working together. We’re in a new era now and it’s onwards and upwards from here.”

Philip O’Neill

PORTGLENONE, COUNTY ANTRIM

To find out why joining Nisa is as easy as 1-2-3 visit www.join-nisa.co.uk


Charity Golf Day Thursday 3rd August 2017 (Shot Gun start 2.00pm) Our Annual GroceryAid Golf Day will be held once again at Belvoir Park and will be a shot gun start. The event is very relaxed and is a great opportunity to reward your sales team, entertain customers and friends and play this prestigious championship course.

For more information or to book your place contact adrian.moore@courtneyandnelson.co.uk


FOOD & DRINKS NEWS

QUORN DRIVING AWARENESS AND CATEGORY GROWTH with their meal choices and increasingly using healthier option Quorn as a main ingredient across a wide range of meat-free meals and snacking occasions,” said Julian Cooke, head of UK Category Management at Quorn. “And the really good news for retailers is that Quorn is more mainstream than many perceive it to be. “The reality is that 73% of meat-free category shoppers are non-vegetarians, highlighting its broad appeal to people looking to reduce their meat intake for reasons of health or sustainability, or simply because they’re opting for a tasty, versatile alternative to their everyday meals.” Quorn is also well placed to enable retailers to meet fast-growing shopper demand for gluten-free products, with its 21-strong gluten free range including best-selling lines and BBQ favourites, burgers and sausages. “The breadth and versatility of the Quorn range enables retailers to use it as a beacon brand across the store,” said Cooke. “By making healthier and more sustainable options readily available to shoppers, retailers will attract new customers. And the really

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s growing numbers of consumers actively seek to reduce their meat consumption, healthier option Quorn is driving shopper awareness to an all-time high with a £10m UK brand support package running throughout 2017. Firmly established as the UK’s best-selling meat free brand, Quorn’s high profile, sustained marketing activity is playing a leading role in generating category growth of 13%*1 as shoppers increasingly opt for healthy, tasty alternatives to meat. “Consumers are getting more adventurous

good news for convenience stores which stock Quorn is that meat-free shoppers spend four times as much in-store as non-meat free shoppers, making a massive difference to the basket spend*2. *1 IRI 12 w/e 25th March 2017 2 Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e May 22nd, 2016

an unrivalled portfolio of grocery & impulse brands

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irwinsbakery.com 51


FOOD & DRINKS NEWS

CONSUMER INSIGHT AND MARKET UPDATE BY JASON WINSTANLEY, SENIOR INSIGHT AND RESEARCH MANAGER, MOY PARK TWEAKING BEHAVIOUR In the last column, we saw that growth in disposable income in the UK has now ground to a halt, as inflation has finally caught up with relatively weak wage growth1. Fortuitously for consumers (and possibly supermarkets), this has coincided with an advent of price-led, rather than volume-led, grocery promotions. However, although retailers may find themselves handily placed, the same cannot be said of foodservice, where like-for-like menu prices are escalating2 just at the moment that many consumers start to feel a squeeze. In fact, the two sectors are almost mirror images of each other – grocery is starting to find some growth again after months of torpor; in foodservice, on the other hand, there are signs that performance is starting to slow after a couple of halcyon years of growth. As well as cost inflation for ingredients, one of the drivers of increased menu prices in the food service sector is the implementation of the Living Wage. This came into force on 1st April 2016, and, whilst the initial turbulence

of its introduction may have eased, many foodservice operators are finding that their costs have risen substantially and are therefore passing these on as a result. However, although many like-for-like prices on menus are rising, participation (ie the percentage of people eating out during the quarter) is almost on a par with the same period last year, at 92.4%2. One area which does seem to have been impacted by the rising prices, though, is frequency of eating out; this has seen falls across all day parts, both when compared to the previous period, and to the same period in 2016. So, the same number of people are eating out but, because it is costing them more when they do, the evidence suggests that they are being more cautious about how often they eat out of home. Despite this, the market remains relatively strong, although perhaps not quite as buoyant as it was, and it will be interesting to see how it develops over the next few months. And what of consumers in Northern Ireland? How are they likely to be affected by changing economic circumstances? They

certainly seem attuned to the fact that disposable income growth is slowing – in December 2016, 56% of Northern Irish respondents to a YouGov survey said they expected their disposable income to remain the same in the next 12 months, compared to only 38% in March. A quarter of the December respondents expected to see a reduction, compared to 41% in March, so almost all of those who now expect to see a change in circumstances expect it to be for the worse. But this shouldn’t induce panic – the changes are relatively modest, and the vast majority of consumers in Northern Ireland still feel secure in their jobs and expect that, overall, their household financial situation is largely positive3. What this may lead to is something similar to what is happening in food service – some behavioural tweaks which may directionally nudge, but not disrupt, grocery and other consumer markets in the region. Sources: 1 – ONS; 2 – Q1 2017 data, MCA Insight Menu and Food Trends, April 2017; 3 – YouGov HEAT surveys, January 2017 and April 2017

A ‘BETTER YOU’ WITH IRWIN’S NORTHERN IRELAND’S LEADING BAKERY INTRODUCES LOW-CALORIE BREAD RANGE

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ortadown-based bakery Irwin’s has developed a new pan bread range, Better You, which is low in sugar and fat and less than 60 calories per slice. The Better You range, available now in multiples and convenience stores across Northern Ireland, includes both a white and wholemeal loaf. “We know consumers consider bread a staple in the weekly shop,” said Noeline McCooey, head of Technical and NPD, Irwin’s Bakery. “However, we understand today’s shopper is increasingly healthconscious and in search of variety, so we created the Better You range to give shoppers a lower calorie option of our popular pan breads. “Our ethos at Irwin’s Bakery is to promote a healthy lifestyle, with our breads very much a part of this - therefore we keep health as a key focus when investing in new product development and creating new lines. As well as being low in sugar, the white loaf is a source of protein and the wholemeal is high in fibre.” The Irwin’s Better You range, which includes Better You White (600g, RRP: £1.20-£1.29) and Better You Wholemeal (600g, RRP: £1.20-£1.29), is now available across NI in Asda, Centra, Iceland, Mace, Sainsbury’s, Spar, SuperValu and Tesco.

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Cooking up a summer sizzle! Increase your sizzling summer sales with our NEW Limited Edition Giant Sausages

RRP ÂŁ2.50

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HENDERSON FOOD MACHINERY “HENDERSON FOOD MACHINERY is delighted to announce that it has been appointed as the exclusive distributor for Porlanmaz Bakery Equipment in the UK and Ireland. Porlanmaz has been manufacturing bakery equipment in Turkey since 2001 and is renowned internationally for its top quality products, quality control and post production after sales service. Please contact Henderson Food Machinery for more information on the Porlanmaz range of ovens, dough processing and all your bakery machinery requirements”.

PORLANMAZ DOUGH KNEADER PORLANMAZ ELECTRIC CONVEYOR OVEN PORLANMAZ FULL AUTOMATIC PLANETARY MIXER

PORLANMAZ ROTARY RACK CONVECTION OVEN

PORLANMAZ VOLUMETRIC DOUGH DIVIDER

PORLANMAZ SPIRAL MIXER WITH MOBILE BOWL

Henderson Food Machinery, Irelands’ Largest Supplier of New & Used Food Processing and Packaging Equipment has signed a joint partnership agreement with Moody Process Equipment for them to market the range of equipment HFM offers to customers in Ireland. “This venture represents the final piece of the HFM strategy,” said Managing Director David Henderson. HFM states it wants to tap in to demand in England, Wales & Scotland and Moody Process Equipment are the ideal partner to work with going forward in the future. Based in Retford, Nottinghamshire, Moody Process Equipment have a strong Sales & Marketing team, with excellent after-sales service on the wide range of

Henderson Food Machinery www.hendersonfoodmachinery.com E: sales@hendersonfoodmachinery.com Tel: +4428 9099 4202

equipment on offer. Malcom Wilkinson, Director of Moody Process Equipment will head up the team in the UK, and stated this is exciting times for the food industry, especially with all the quality machinery on offer. Henderson Food Machinery and Moody Process Equipment will be offering an extensive range of new processing and packaging machinery from Slicing, Dicing, Mincing, Sieving, Grinding, Shredding, Cooking & Cooling, Mixing, Depositing, Tumbling, Tray Sealing, Thermoforming, End of Line Hygiene Equipment and many more applications.

Moody Process Equipment www.moodyprocessequipment.co.uk E: malcolm.wilkinson@moodyprocessequipment.co.uk Tel: +44 7970 947155


Are you looking for Tray Sealing then why not give HENDERSON FOOD MACHINERY a call we can offer the Ilpra Range of Tray Sealers with or without gas facility, from Table Top through to Complete Inline Production Machines, we can also offer Thermoforming and Pot Filling Machinery from the Ilpra range of equipment.

HFM & ILPRA offer the complete package in terms of packaging machinery and after sales and service. We also offer very competitively priced service contacts with numerous benefits in terms of preferential call outs, service costs and discounted spare parts. Our company philosophy is to ensure high quality and reliable products with very fast after sales and back up service. HFM & ILPRA offer clients a complete food packaging solution which includes Traysealers, Thermoformers, also along with film to suit and trays moulded from PP, CPet and Apet and PE. Contact Henderson Food Machinery now for a competitive offer for all your packaging needs.

Henderson Food Machinery are exhibiting at 2017 National Ploughing Championships 19th-21st September Tullamore Co.Offaly

Henderson Food Machinery are sponsoring categories at Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards September 2017


AGRI-FOOD NEWS

FREE TRADE MUST BE MAINTAINED IN BREXIT SAY FARMING UNIONS Livestock representatives from the UK farming unions and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) have met in Belfast to discuss Brexit and the trade implications for the livestock sector. The organisations agreed it is essential that free trade is maintained between the United Kingdom and the European Union post-Brexit. This must include securing a soft border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (RoI). “The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has brought into focus many issues for the cattle and sheep sector in the UK and ROI,” said Crosby Cleland, beef and lamb chairman at UFU. “Our countries have strong trade links for both livestock and red meat products and it will be essential we have a free trade agreement in order to secure a healthy future for these vulnerable sectors.”

BAKING BROTHERS RISE TO AWARDS GLORY AT BALMORAL SHOW

Pictured are winners and highly commended companies from the Henderson Wholesale Local Supplier Awards, including Daily Bake, K&G McAtamney, Irwin’s Bakery, Genesis Crafty, Around Noon, Hovis, Milgro and Moy Park, with Sales & Marketing Director Paddy Doody and Fresh Foods Director Neal Kelly from Henderson Wholesale.

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agherafelt bakery Genesis Crafty was named Overall Local Supplier of the Year at the Henderson Wholesale Local Supplier Awards breakfast held during the Balmoral Show. The company also took home the Tomorrow Matters award, the category named after Henderson Group’s own CSR practices, rewarding their sustainable practices as a responsible company in Northern Ireland. Other winners at the awards included Armagh’s Daily Bake for the Own Brand

ORGANIC RAW MILK LIFTS TOP BALMORAL AWARD

Charles Campion of Masterchef and experienced food writers and food stylists Xanthe Clay, Lucas Hollweg and Jeremy Lee with Sharon Machla, Food NI.

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eir’s Organic Raw Milk was named Best Food and Drink Product during awards held as part of the Balmoral Show, the biggest agri-food event on the island of Ireland. The raw milk, produced by husband and wife team Kerrie and Deane Weir, was chosen by a panel of UK food writers led by Charles Campion, the MasterChef judge and food writer for the Evening Standard newspaper in London and a columnist with Speciality Food magazine in Britain. 56

“We chose Weir’s Farm because of the outstanding taste of the milk the couple produce on their small farm,” said Champion. “It was so creamy and rich.” Other award winners included Best Artisan Product Neary Nogs Stoneground Chocolate from Flurrybridge, near Newry and Best Stand Broughgammon Farm Foods of Ballycastle, a family farm specialising in cabrito and rose veal. The awards, organised by Food NI, were presented at the popular show, which features over 100 food and drink producers showcasing their products in the Food NI Pavilion. The judges also commended Krazi Baker of Dromore, Lough Neagh Eels, Toomebridge, Peppup Sauces, Portaferry, and Heatherlea Bakery, Bangor, for the quality of their products, and were impressed by the community focus and engagement of Clearer Water, Larne.

Supplier of the Year Award, Around Noon which took home the Best Direct to Store Supplier award, and Moy Park, which won the Brand Innovation award. Highly Commended awards were taken home by K&G McAtamney for Own Brand Supplier of the Year, Irwin’s Bakery in the Tomorrow Matters and Best Direct to Store Supplier categories, Hovis for Brand Innovation and Milgro for Local Supplier of the Year. “This is the fifth year of the Local Supplier Awards, and the most successful to date,” said Neal Kelly, fresh foods director at Henderson Wholesale. “We received a record amount of over 40 entries from 29 of the local producers, farmers and growers who supply to the company and our stores in Northern Ireland. “We have seen some truly innovative and sustainable practices from our suppliers in the past year, which helps us to continually grow our fresh food offering in store for daily shoppers. The enjoy local range is expanding and reached sales of over £25.5m last year, and we wouldn’t be able to stock such a highquality range without these suppliers.” The winners were decided by David Elliott, editor of Ulster Business magazine, UFU Rural Affairs Committee chairperson Freda Magill, Joy Alexander, head of Food Technology Development at CAFRE and Sam Butler, Irish chair of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists.

UFU CALLS FOR BRAZILIAN MEAT BAN Ulster Farmers’ Union President Barclay Bell says that revelations about corruption and fraud in the Brazilian meat industry are damning and has called for the EU Commission to remove agriculture from the Mercosur negotiations and ban Brazilian meat imports completely. The comments were made following news a major Brazilian meat processor has been fined £2.4bn for its role in the country’s corruption scandals. “The magnitude of this scandal is shocking and I can see no credible way for the EU Commission to continue to include agriculture in the Mercosur trade talks,” said Bell.


AGRI-FOOD NEWS

M&S HOSTS FARMING FOR THE FUTURE AWARDS

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ocal producers supplying Marks & Spencer have been rewarded for their excellence in farming at a M&S Farming for the Future Awards presentation, during the Balmoral Show. Jonathan Ewing from Mulnagore, Co Tyrone scooped the Innovation Award in recognition of his attention to detail in establishing a successful Pictured are, from left, Alexander Lyttle, Chris Moncrief, Jonathan Ewing, John Dobson and David Morrow. and efficient free-range egg enterprise after making the switch from broiler chicken Co Down-based Alexander Lyttle was rearing. His first 16,000 free range hens were named Young Producer for his contribution housed earlier this year, providing eggs to to the family business, which produces a range M&S through Skea Eggs. of seasonal vegetables. John Dobson from Waringston, Co Armagh The retailer was also celebrating 50 years of was named Outstanding Producer, recognising trading in Northern Ireland at the Show. the business aptitude he has shown in running “Northern Ireland has always outplayed an Aberdeen Angus suckler herd, supplying its size and impact on the M&S supply base, beef to M&S through Linden Foods. and we’re delighted to have the ongoing Glens of Antrim Potatoes in Cushendall, relationship across all the different sectors Ballymena scooped the Prince’s Trust of agriculture here,” said Steve McLean, Countryside Fund Contribution to head of Agriculture and Fisheries at M&S. Rural Communities Award, reflecting its “We’re a food business that is in growth, our commitment to environmental policies significance to Northern Ireland suppliers will and community activities in an area of increase over time and we look forward to Outstanding Natural Beauty. that continued growth.”

UU BUSINESS SCHOOL ANNOUNCES NEW AGRI-FOOD CENTRE Professor Mark Durkin is pictured, centre, with Visiting Professor Tracy Hamilton and Mike Johnson at the Balmoral Show.

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lster University Business School is setting up an Agri-food Business Development Centre with the aim of providing sector-specific support through the promotion of agri-food business education, research and innovation. “The agri-food industry is Northern Ireland’s key indigenous industry worth over £4bn per annum and employing over 21,000 people,” said Professor Mark Durkin, executive dean of UU Business School. “In pursuing its aims of achieving sustained business growth, finding new markets and creating a meaningful research agenda, the sector faces a number of strategic challenges such as Brexit, currency volatility, and a reliance on the UK and Republic of Ireland for export. The Agri-Food Business Development Centre will offer specialist teaching on aspects of agri-food business and engage with industry and policy makers to provide businesses with educational offerings and evidence-informed research to help improve

UFU PUSHES FOR RHI AUDIT PROCESS Ulster Farmers’ Union Chief Executive Wesley Aston says the delay to the renewable heat incentive scheme audit process is becoming farcical, and the Union is pressing senior officials in the Department for the Economy (DfE) to confirm when audits will get underway. DfE recently published the details of RHI participants; however, the Union believes that this should not have happened until the audits were carried out. “We were very disappointed by the department’s decision,” said Aston. “The failure of DfE to complete the installation audits in a timely manner but then to publish personal details is totally unacceptable.”

UFU SUPPORTS ‘WALK THE LINE’ Ulster Farmers’ Union beef and lamb chairman Crosby Cleland is encouraging all cattle and sheep farmers to sign up to a ‘Walk the Line’ initiative, which UFU has developed alongside the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) and the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association (NIMEA). “This initiative offers free tours of major livestock processing plants in Northern Ireland. Farmers are aware of the specifications they need to meet when supplying cattle and sheep to local processors. However, rarely has there been an opportunity to follow livestock through the plant to understand the whole process and discuss specification in detail,” said Cleland.

the competitive position of the NI agri-food industry. With regard to skills development, the Centre will deliver bespoke courses targeted to meet industry requirements in areas such as export development, sales and selling, and managing stock market price volatility. Future plans include a Master’s qualification based on industry needs. Research and innovation activity will focus on developing and improving products and processes, and seeking new market opportunities for agri-food business development and commercialisation. 57


EXPORT NEWS

INVEST NI EXPANDS INTERNATIONAL PRESENCE WITH NEW TORONTO OFFICE I

nvest Northern Ireland is increasing its international presence with a new office in Toronto to support Northern Ireland businesses to grow exports in Canada. The announcement came as Invest NI Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton completed a five-day visit to North America, including New York, Boston and Toronto, meeting with potential investors. “As part of the International Trade Plan, Invest NI is expanding its overseas network in up to 10 new locations around the world,” said Alastair Hamilton, Invest NI CEO is pictured with Fern Horine, Hamilton. deputy British consul general and director, Trade Canada, and “Our commitment to appoint a Trevor Novak, director, Investment - Canada (UK Department for International Trade). regional manager in Canada is the next in this series of expansions. The new role will be based in the British Embassy in Toronto and will provide advice to Northern Ireland companies to help them grow exports in Canada. “As well as building a strong network of stakeholders and influencers to benefit trade development, the new role will also work to identify potential investors. The regional manager will support indigenous businesses in key sectors including Advanced Manufacturing, Digital & Creative Technologies and Agri Food, as well as targeting new investment opportunities in areas such as cyber security, precision medicine and Big Data/Internet of Things.” Invest NI has already announced new offices in Chile, Singapore and Doha.

NEW LOOK U.M.I FOODS WINS TOP AWARD

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Ulster Farmers’ Union Deputy President Victor Chestnutt says the granting of official BSE negligible risk status to Northern Ireland will be welcomed by livestock farmers. “This will give Northern Ireland beef a more positive image on the world stage,” said Chestnutt. “It should help us gain access to key target markets, such as China, USA, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. Beef exporters believe securing access to these markets could put an extra £12m a year into the supply chain. In countries we already trade in, it opens up the possibility of amending access agreements. This could boost trade in offals.”

BOATYARD GIN LISTED BY THE SAVOY Boatyard Double Gin has been added to the menu of The Savoy’s internationally-renowned American Bar. Boatyard Double Gin is a unique, award-winning gin produced near Enniskillen. Made with spirit from organically-grown wheat, the gin uses a combination of organic botanicals, including ‘sweet gale’ taken from the owner’s local family farm, to give the gin a distinctive smooth, flavourful and refreshing taste profile.

GOOD LITTLE COMPANY INTRODUCES SKINNY SAUSAGE

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.M.I Foods in Northern Ireland has launched a new corporate identity and branding as an integral part of a major marketing campaign to grow sales faster in Britain, the Republic of Ireland and other markets. The branding features on Harvest & Made, an innovative range of convenience foods just launched by the company. Based near Armagh, and previously known as Unimush Ireland, U.M.I. Foods is a manufacturer of hand-prepared vegetable products and supplier of loose, pre-packed and prepared Irish and British mushrooms. The company has won a series of awards for its quality products and customer service including ‘Best Supplier of the Year’ in the recent Northern Ireland Food Manufacturing Awards, and two Grocer Own Label Awards (category champion for its Asda Grower’s Selection Creamy Chicken &

UFU WELCOMES BSE NEGLIGIBLE RISK STATUS

Mushroom Pies and innovation winner in the same category). The awards follow recent successes for the business, following new product listings, launching into new categories and being endorsed by some of the industry’s most-widely recognised and respected organisations, including being listed amongst the London Stock Exchange 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2016.

Waitrose has listed a new ‘Skinny’ sausage made from prime cuts of British pork, which is low in fat (less than 3%) and calories (79 calories per sausage), produced by Downpatrickbased The Good Little Company. The Good Little Company is a charitable brand which donates 50% of its profits to two main charity partners in Africa – the Samburu Trust and Mulanje Mission Hospital. The proceeds raised through the brand are currently helping to provide immediate food relief to the most vulnerable children and educate future African leaders.


MARKETING NEWS

FULFIL SCORES TITLE OF OFFICIAL SNACK PARTNER FOR THE IFA Pictured are Dr Richard McCann, IFA nutritionist; Michael O’Neill, manager of Northern Ireland; Bridget Barcoe, Fulfil nutrition marketing manager; and Jimmy Nicholl, assistant manager of Northern Ireland.

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itamin and protein bar brand Fulfil has announced a new sponsorship with the Irish Football Association (IFA) to become their official snack partner. The three-year sponsorship deal with the Irish FA men’s and women’s teams will see Fulfil, the number one protein bar brand in Ireland, fuel both the squad and football fans and provide over 60,000 protein bars to the IFA. As part of the sponsorship deal, Fulfil has also invested in a ‘Passing Skills Machine’ which has been used by teams such Barcelona and Liverpool, and will be available for fans

to try out at matches. Match-goers will also be able to sample their favourite flavours at the Fulfil Space at the match Fan zones and the snacks will also be available to buy at Windsor Park Stadium. Fulfil co-founders, Niall McGrath and Tom Gannon are passionate football fans, both play and coach junior teams, and have followed the Northern Ireland team closely over the years. Fulfil’s range of protein bars is available to purchase at a number of large retail outlets across Northern Ireland including SPAR, SuperValu and Centra.

PANI AWARDS TO CELEBRATE EXCELLENCE IN CREATIVITY

PANI Awards Chair Nuala Meenahan and PANI Chair Siobhan Lavery launch the PANI Awards.

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ecognising excellence and celebrating creativity are the key drivers of the 14th Publicity Association of Northern Ireland’s (PANI) Awards to be held on October 19 in the Culloden Hotel. The PANI Awards will feature five core categories including television, radio, outdoor,

press and digital with specialisms identified within each sector. The contribution of media owners will also be recognised across two dedicated categories. New for 2017 is the addition of a social media award with the Digital Advertising category and Magazines. Also new is an award recognising the best mixed media campaign reflecting a creative idea of strategy integrated across a number of media channels. “Our key aim at PANI is to promote excellence across all elements of the publicity, marketing and the wider media industries,” said Siobhan Lavery, chair of PANI. “By doing this collectively, we are continually raising the bar and improving the quality of the creative community.” The PANI Awards website will go live to receive entries from June 5, with a closing date of August 13. For more information on the awards, please visit www.paniawards.com.

SPAR ANNOUNCES MARIE CURIE PARTNERSHIP SPAR Northern Ireland has announced a new charity partnership with terminal illness charity, Marie Curie. To officially launch the UK-wide partnership, Peter McBride, a SPAR retailer with a network of 11 stores throughout Mid Ulster, met with the charity’s fundraising and community teams in store during the spring Great Daffodil Appeal. SPAR stores already have donation boxes at their tills in all stores, and will be launching a series of challenges, events and initiatives to fundraise with shoppers and the local community.

SHS GROUP COMPLETES VOLUNTEERING CHALLENGES The SHS Group has taken part in a national week of volunteering organised by Business in the Community. During Give & Gain Week (May 15-19), each division across the SHS Group got an insight into the power of volunteering. “We want to make a real difference in our local communities,” said Chris Lillie, Group HR director at the SHS Group. “In our business, we recognise that our people are stronger when they work together and the same principle applies in our community. We rely on our local communities and it’s really important that we do our part and support them where we can.”

FOOD FIRMS BACK CANCER INITIATIVE Linwoods, a producer of superfoods in Co Armagh, and Clandeboye Yoghurt of Bangor, Co Down, are supporting Action Cancer’s initiative asking local sporting clubs and societies to do ‘just one thing’ to support the charity. Each company plans to do ‘just one thing’ of their own. Recent international research highlights that 11 different types of cancers are attributed to lifestyle choices; therefore this timely campaign is encouraging local sporting clubs to actively engage their local communities, families and friends to get together, do something active, and raise vital funds for Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity.

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TOBACCO & ALCOHOL NEWS

NI VAPING COMPANY RECEIVES EU ‘SEAL OF APPROVAL’

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Superior E-Liquid was created by Derry entrepreneur Stephen Ryan (centre), pictured celebrating the TPD compliance with Paul McDermott (left) and Niall Ryan.

ith new vaping laws come into effect last month across Europe, a company from Northern Ireland is leading the way in the development and production of vaping products. Derry~Londonderry-based manufacturer Superior E-Liquid has become the only e-juice manufacturer in Northern Ireland to achieve government compliance for the UK market as part of the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). Superior E-Liquid was formed in February 2016 by Derry entrepreneur Stephen Ryan, and is now one of Europe’s fastest growing vaping companies, exporting its products to 15 countries worldwide from its factory on the Buncrana Road. The TPD compliance effectively means

that the company is now registered with government agencies who are responsible for compliance testing, relating to both branded and ‘own label’ products, to ensure that they are fully compliant with new and existing EU regulations. “When setting up Superior E-Liquid, we were very aware that these regulations were coming down the track,” said Ryan, “so from day one, our key focus has been to achieve the all-important TPD compliance that will help us to grow and develop our business throughout the UK, Ireland and beyond.” ECigIntelligence has estimated that the EU e-cigarette sector is worth approximately €2bn, with a vaping population of almost 11 million.

INTRODUCING A LIDL DOLCE VITA LIDL INTRODUCED A NEW ITALIAN WINE RANGE IN ITS NI STORES THIS MONTH, AVAILABLE WHILE STOCKS LAST. IRENE FITZSIMMONS AND ALYSON MAGEE TRIED A FEW: FALANGHINA IGP BENEVENTO CAMPANIA 2015 (13%, £5.99)

ALLINI PINOT GRIGIO BLUSH SPUMANTE 2016 (12%, £5.99)

A great summer option with its fresh, peachy flavours, this Falanghina made a great accompaniment to sole and should pair well with other white fish and salads. This easy drinking wine is a good indication of why the Falanghina grape is growing in popularity. Summer in a bottle…

For those who prefer a sweetness to their sparkle, this wine is a very affordable option. Full of fruity flavours, including distinct cherry and pear notes, it is fun and appealing. While my personal taste would tend towards drier sparkling wines, this Blush Spumante would go well with sweet treats.

VIGNETI DEL SOLE VENETO IGP BIANCO 2016 (13%, £7.99)

VIGNA LA CUPA BRINDISI DOP RISERVA APULIA 2014 (14%, £7.99)

Best enjoyed with food, this is a bold wine with strong and distinct tropical fruit flavours coming through. Initially I found it a little overpowering by itself but, paired with cheese, it came into his own and was very memorable. It has a long finish, and is also recommended as an accompaniment to fish, antipasto and fruity salads.

I loved this one, an excellent wine; from the moment of uncorking the bottle, this full-bodied wine gave off rich aromas. A deep red with a smooth velvet taste; ripe cherry, plum and herb nose, well balanced with a delightful peppery finish. Although I had the wine as an enjoyable glass at the end of the day, it would go well with a good steak. Nicely balanced and very easy to drink.

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MONTEJANU CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA DOP SARDINIA 2015 (14%, £5.99)

This wee number was a delight to taste at the end of the day, with an intense ruby colour and a good leg when swirled around the glass. On the palate, it has smooth and elegant tannins and a great structure and complexity. Fruity undertones with a bold smooth spice, with hints of ripe strawberries, black cherries, plum and a very light ending in spice. A light vanilla was apparent and a lovely freshness. I would pair it with pasta or a delicious strong, mature or blue cheese. CORTE AURELIO AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE DOP BASILICATA 2015 (14%, £5.99)

I paired this wine with homemade pizza, and found it to be a match made in heaven. Lovely dark fruit flavours and a touch of pepperiness came through this wellbodied Aglianico, without any heaviness. At £5.99, I would definitely buy it again.


IT NEWS

BUSINESSES URGED TO INSURE DIGITAL ASSETS AS CYBERCRIME ATTACKS RISE

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ansomware attacks like the one recently affecting the NHS are not a new occurrence in the cyber world, says Lockton Belfast, which recommends businesses take steps to protect themselves. “The huge disruption experienced by the NHS resulted from inadequate computer systems maintenance and human error and has presented some vital lessons for other UK companies when it comes to ensuring that their digital assets are properly insured,” said John Tunnah, vice president, Lockton Belfast. “While this cyber-attack was fairly simple, it caused widespread damage and expense which could be accrued by any company using an email system if left vulnerable.” Lockton Belfast offers five tips for companies with digital assets: • Ensure your operating systems are supported and up to date, and apply patches as soon as they become available. Support for

Microsoft’s Windows XP ended in 2014, so companies using this operating system should upgrade immediately. • Ensure you are using antivirus solutions. • Ensure you have a current back-up which is not on the same network; there are a number of simple cloud-based solutions available. • Ensure staff are trained not to open suspicious emails and be vigilant against different types of cyber-attack/incident. Ensure that any ‘remove access’ capabilities are secure and that team are not sharing files via external hard drive devices (ie pen drives). Computers should be logged off / locked or powered down each evening to ensure that only their designated users have access. • Evaluate your cyber insurance options. A specialist cyber insurance policy should pay the ransom, if deemed appropriate, and the associated costs incurred by you or the insurer’s breach response to remediate the ransomware attack.

LOCAL FOOD BUSINESS IN LINE FOR MAJOR INNOVATION AWARD

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rc-Net, a Belfast-based company at the forefront of technology to tackle food fraud, has been shortlisted for Ireland’s most prestigious award for innovation. The data firm has been shortlisted for its

pioneering development of an industrial-grade blockchain technology platform to provide traceability and authentication services for the food industry. It gives food producers the ability to have independent validation of their food quality, thereby reassuring customers. Arc-Net is the only company from Northern Ireland shortlisted in the prestigious innovation awards organised by the Irish Times. The technology business, founded by data security engineer Kieran Kelly in 2014, is headquartered in Belfast and has technology centres in Scotland and the US. The company’s unique blockchain technology strengthens the traceability and safety of food products ‘from field to fork’.

CONTRACT CATERERS SEEK FOOD WASTE SOLUTION More than half of all of contract caterers want technology to give them more accurate predictions of food and footfall so they can solve their number one problem – food waste, a new survey by Omnico shows. In the survey, covering the attitudes to technology of 153 senior figures in contract catering and food services, 53% said reducing food waste is their biggest challenge, with 52% believing that being able to predict the numbers wanting to eat and the quantities of food required will be a major leap forward in operational efficiency. Well over half (58%) believe using technology to reduce waiting times in queues will improve footfall.

ALLSTATE SUPPORTS YOUNG ENTERPRISE STUDENTS Allstate is marking five years of providing volunteer support for the charity’s business education programmes in the North West. Since 2012, employees from the software development company have given their time to provide hands-on guidance and mentoring to students taking part in Young Enterprise. This academic year, senior managers at Allstate, Aidan O’Kane and Columb Duffy, volunteered as business advisors to the student company at Lumen Christie College in Derry/Londonderry, who were taking part in the company programme. This programme allows students to develop a marketable product and business plan before testing the product on the market at Young Enterprise Trade Fairs. 61


BUSINESS NEWS

PRIORY PRESS PACKAGING ANNOUNCES SPONSORSHIP OF IRISH FOOD AWARDS

Blas producer group

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riory Press Packaging has announced its sponsorship of the 2017 Blas na hÉireann, Irish Food Awards. Having developed strong working relationships over the years with previous winners such as Foods of Athenry, Howth Cuisine and Broighter Gold, the company is proud to be sponsoring the Best Packaging Award, which will be presented jointly with Blas na hÉireann’s academic partners UCC. The blind tasting and judging event uses sensory analysis to identify Gold, Silver and Bronze winners in over 120 different food and drink categories. In addition to the overall

competition, every entry delivered for tasting is also then reviewed by the UCC packaging team, which looks for strong packaging design and innovation when deciding upon the winner for the Best Packaging Award. This is an additional opportunity for Irish and Northern Irish producers to be recognised in a separate judging process. UCC has worked in partner with the awards since they began, and Priory Press Packaging is thrilled to be on board this year to jointly represent and present this award. With the prestigious Blas na hÉireann awards celebrating their 10th year, the competition is open to producers throughout all of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with the accolade being widely recognised throughout the food industry. Priory Press Packaging prints carton board packaging, providing innovative packaging concepts for a variety of industry sectors. Specialising in printed sleeves and retail boxes for the food industry, the Conlig-based company has developed a wide portfolio of clientele throughout the UK and Ireland. With

over 40 years in the printing industry, Priory Press Packaging works closely with businesses of all sizes from small to medium producers to large multiples retailers appreciating its expertise in printing, finishing services such as window patching, foil blocking and UV varnish, and overall quality of packaging. A tailored and personal approach to finding the perfect printed carton board packaging solutions for their customers is what sets Priory Press Packaging apart. Working to tight deadlines, responding to promotional sales, and providing product pitch marketing samples are just some of the reasons the business has maintained long-term working relationships with customers such as Tesco Ireland, Lidl and Aldi, Foods of Athenry and Unimush (U.M.I). At the start of 2017, Priory Press Packaging was awarded Grade AA in BRC accreditation. Located 20 minutes from Belfast, the company has a full production factory with a design studio and photographic kitchen for customers who require full branding and artwork creation.

MENZIES ACQUIRES EM NEWS DISTRIBUTION IN €3.6M BUY-OUT M

enzies Distribution has taken a step towards establishing a diversified logistics business in Ireland following the acquisition of Irish news and magazine wholesaler, EM News Distribution. Under the terms of the €3.6m deal, Menzies Distribution will increase its existing 50% interest in the company to 100%, buying out the remaining 50% share currently held by Irish retailer Eason. Menzies has also strengthened its

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portfolio of retail logistics contracts, which include the three-year national contract for WH Smith’s national network of 1,200 stores, and a UK-wide contract with catering equipment supplier Nisbets. “Taking full control of EM News Distribution gives us the opportunity to bring our full expertise to bear on serving the newstrade sector across Ireland,” said Paul McCourt, finance director of Menzies Distribution. “It also provides us with a

similar platform to explore new logistics services in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, similar to the approach we have been taking across Scotland, England and Wales.” EM News Distribution has depots in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Urlingford, Galway, Limerick and Londonderry, and also operates out of Waterford, Wexford, Kildare, Dundalk Mullingar, Longford and Tralee.


APPOINTMENTS

People on the move... KERRY TASTE & NUTRITION APPOINTS NEW VP AND GM

K Michele Van Der Walt

erry Taste & Nutrition, a global supplier of food and beverage solutions, has announced the appointment of Michele Van Der Walt as vice president and general manager, commercial sales, UK & Ireland. Van Der Walt joined Kerry in 2016, as vice president for strategic marketing taste, dairy & culinary. She is a member of the Kerry Europe

executive team, with responsibility for Kerry’s commercial activities across end-use markets and channels in the two home markets. Van Der Walt has a strong commercial and management background, having led businesses in South Africa and the UAE. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Rhodes University.

GROCERYAID NAMES NEW ELLVENA GRAHAM ELECTED PRESIDENT OF NI CHAMBER PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

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NI Chamber Chief Executive Ann McGregor, President Ellvena Graham and Vice-President John Healy.

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ne of Northern Ireland’s best known business figures, Ellvena Graham, has been elected as president of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber).

Graham is currently chairman of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), one of the major state-owned utilities in Ireland and a former head of Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland. She is also chair of the new Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Board and the Northern Ireland Economy Advisory Group, which provides independent advice to the Minister for the Economy. She succeeds Ulster Carpet’s Managing Director Nick Coburn as president of the business organisation, which supports over 1,200 members from across Northern Ireland.

ndy Higginson, chairman of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, has been appointed as president of GroceryAid, the grocery industry charity, by its Board of Trustees effective from July 1. “I am honoured and humbled to be asked to take on this vital role,” said Higginson. “I am thrilled to be working with the GroceryAid team and the trade to drive the charity forward as we build on the excellent progress made by my predecessors.” GroceryAid has also appointed a vice president with Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, taking up this post.

Andy Higginson

CHEF WORKS INTERNATIONAL APPOINTS COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR

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eil Boston has been appointed by global culinary apparel brand, Chef Works International, as commercial director, an executive role created to develop and manage the company’s international growth plans.

Manufacturing and distributing high-quality, comfortable and stylish hospitality uniforms to more than 70 countries worldwide, Boston will be responsible for developing strategic growth plans for international operations outside the US, focusing on local and regional global contracts.

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SHELFLIFE

To see your product featured in Shelf Life, contact Mark at m.beckett@independentmagazinesni.co.uk or Tel: 028 9026 4267

TIME FOR A MAKE-KEOGHVER

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eogh’s Farm, an Irish producer of home-grown and hand-cooked crisps, has given its crisp range a makeKeoghver with new-look packaging on shelves nationwide from May. The Keogh family enlisted local illustrator Peter Donnelly to give their crisp packaging a fresh new design, while also paying homage to the many Irish suppliers, family members and iconic landmarks shaping the Keogh’s brand over the years. While each crisp flavour remains the same, the new packaging draws on unique elements to tell the Keogh’s Farm story, from crop to crisp.

KETTLE LAUNCHES LATEST LIMITED EDITION

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ETTLE has added a new limited edition, which was voted top in an online consumer poll, to its range of hand cooked, sharing chips just in time for summer. Launched in early May, and replacing the winter seasonal of Baked Camembert & Oak Smoked Garlic, Goats’ Cheese & Balsamic Onion will be available throughout the summer months and makes the perfect crunchy companion to any picnic or BBQ. The new flavour was the brainchild of the KETTLE Chef, Phil Hovey, who was tasked with creating a seasoning which captures the spirit of summer food.

DOHERTY & GRAY LAUNCHES PREMIUM BURGERS

METCALFE’S LAUNCHES SALTED CARAMEL POPCORN AND EXTENDS NEW LOOK

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etcalfe’s skinny has revealed its first new seasoning launch for 2017 as Salted Caramel, available from the end of May. Also, the updated packaging design, which was introduced at the end of last year on Metcalfe’s skinny popcorn, will be rolled out across the extended Metcalfe’s range of popcorn crisps, popcorn thins and ricecakes. The new Salted Caramel flavour is being launched in sharing and impulse packs and capitalises on the popular ‘sweet and savoury’ trend, but with 30% less saturated fat than typical Salted Caramel popcorn available on the market.

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ollowing significant investment, local Ballymena firm Doherty & Gray has introduced a fantastic new premium range of locally-produced gourmet steak burgers into the market. Superior production techniques are used to deliver a rustic open-textured burger for an enhanced eating experience and one that will appeal to consumers with the ‘home style’ burger delivering growth within the category. Initial listings have been secured with Asda, Sainsbury’s, Henderson Group and Musgrave. The three products available are a 6oz steak burger (340g) , 4oz Steak burger (454g) and 4oz Peppered steak burger (454g).

Fresh white pan baked locally. 64


Q&A

IN THE HOT SEAT LYNSEY BEATTY, 50 YEARS PROJECT MANAGER AT M&S

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF Marks & Spencer is celebrating 50 years of trading in Northern Ireland this year, and I am delighted to be the project manager for the celebrations. We have an exciting calendar of events planned throughout the year involving our customers, colleagues and the local community, which will build up to the official 50th anniversary of the M&S Belfast store’s opening on Donegall Place on 7th September 1967. Belfast was the first M&S store to open in Northern Ireland and we now have 20 stores, both full line and Simply Food, across Northern Ireland.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working for M&S for nine years, having joined as a Graduate Trainee, in several commercial and store management roles. It’s very difficult to pick out one highlight, but meeting former chairmen of M&S, Sir Stuart Rose and Sir Richard Greenbury, in the Belfast store has certainly been a standout moment.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE? I tend to base myself in either the M&S Lisburn or Belfast store, and spend my time liaising with store teams, Head Office colleagues and our local supply base in Northern Ireland to co-ordinate the 50 year celebrations. Most recently, I am very proud to have been part of the Making Every Moment Special in the Community campaign. To mark our 50th year of trading in Northern Ireland, we worked in partnership with 50 local charities and community groups, chosen by M&S store teams, to deliver an impressive 50 projects over a two-week period. These projects have made a sustainable difference to community groups and charities close to M&S colleagues’ hearts.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK? Resisting the temptation to turn on my laptop in the evenings to get a head start on the next day! In my current role, I generally have the freedom to manage my own time and it’s certainly been a learning curve – very different to a store-based role.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? 66

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? I love how every day brings new challenges; the ever-changing climate in retail means that no two days in M&S are the same and I feel that I thrive on that.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED? A wise head is a closed mouth; it’s so important to take time to reflect and listen rather than reacting in haste. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE? Disorganisation frustrates me – fortunately I don’t encounter it very often! WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE? I would love to be musically talented; I

attended piano lessons when I was younger but sadly I had neither the natural talent nor the dedication required! WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS? I love working for M&S; my current role will naturally come to an end later this year when we’ve wrapped up the 50-year celebrations, but I hope to continue a diverse career path with M&S in the future. WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE? J.K. Rowling is a great example of someone who did not give up on her ambition and whose determination lead to remarkable success. WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE? I love to travel, and to experience diverse cultures. My favourite holiday destination is Dubai. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT? With the vast range of products available in M&S Food Halls, I’m spoilt for choice. The new Spirit of Summer range across chilled and ambient is particularly exciting, with fantastic BBQ products for the summer and delicious sweet treats – the all butter palmiers are my favourite! HOW DO YOU RELAX? I enjoy spending time with my family on my days off – I have two young children who just love outdoor adventures and special treats at the weekend!


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Profile for Helen Wright

Ulster Grocer Summer 2017  

Ulster Grocer Summer 2017

Ulster Grocer Summer 2017  

Ulster Grocer Summer 2017

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