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Grocer N O . 1 M A G A Z I N E F O R T H E L O C A L G R O C E RY S E C T O R


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email: Volume 51, Number 7 August 2016 Editor: Alyson Magee E: Contributors: Michele Shirlow, Jason Winstanley Sales Manager: Mark Beckett E: Senior Accounts Manager: Michelle Kearney E:



36 24-33

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16-23 MEATY MATTERS: August is Love NI Meat month and our feature highlights cover star Kettyle Irish Foods, Chook Chook and Cookstown, as well as Livestock & Meat Commission of Northern Ireland and Henderson Wholesale activity in the category.

24-33 FRANCHISE & FASCIA: Who offers the best deal as a retail partner? UG’s annual Franchise & Fascia feature looks at the latest developments and services offered by Musgrave NI, Nisa, Savage & Whitten and Costcutter. 34-35 STATE-OF-THE-ART: Take a look at the latest pieces of kit supplied by Crossgar-based Henderson Food Machinery, a global supplier of new and used processing and packaging equipment from a range of quality brands.

Independent News & Media Ltd © 2016. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of Independent News & Media Ltd.

36 MINISTER McILVEEN: Alongside other agri-food news, new DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen outlines her priorities for her role including assisting the industry to be dynamic and flexible in coping with the demands and opportunities of the modern marketplace.

42 YEAR OF FOOD & DRINK: In her monthly column for UG, Food NI’s Michele Shirlow looks at the August theme of Love NI Meat, celebrating one of Northern Ireland’s most successful export-focused sectors, while events planned this month are also listed.

8 • Ulster Grocer | JANUARY 2011



4-6 STARS LOST, STARS GAINED: A busy news month has seen the UK set to lose the stars of the EU flag following the Brexit vote but, on a happier note, Northern Ireland pulling in an impressive haul of gold stars in the Great Taste 2016 awards.


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Editor’s comment: Another Great Taste triumph for NI


ittingly in our Year of Food & Drink, Northern Ireland producers are revelling in another fantastic Great Taste haul totalling 303 stars with Peter Hannan achieving a record-breaking 59 stars and Punjana pulling off two three-star awards among 23 stars in total. Our Great Taste success stories will be covered in more detail in the next edition. Otherwise, it has of course been a summer of monumental upheaval following the Brexit vote and the resultant political turmoil.

Producers, processors and retailers will be bracing themselves for a potential recession and further squeeze on prices and margins and, while a weakened sterling may make exports more favourable, market access and the cost of importing any raw materials are of concern.

Alyson Magee Editor

Mash Direct welcomes Prime Minister Theresa May Theresa May is pictured (centre) with Martin and Tracy Hamilton.


ash Direct was thrilled to welcome Theresa May to its farm, along with Ulster Unionist Party Leader Mike Nesbitt and MLA Philip Smith, back in June when the current Prime Minister was Home Secretary. May was on a one-day tour of local businesses in Co Down, and owners Martin and Tracy Hamilton showed her around their farm, demonstrating how they produce and market their wide range of glutenfree products. “We were delighted to welcome the Home Secretary Theresa May, Mike Nesbitt and Philip Smith to our farm,” said Martin Hamilton, founder and managing director, Mash Direct. “We have had a number of recent successes at Mash Direct including being named as one of the top Small and Medium Enterprises of the Year by The Grocer, Winning Best Chilled Food Manufacturer in the Food Awards NI and achieving a number of key UK listings for our products.”

Retail industry responds to Brexit What to expect from the UK leaving the EU?


here is deep concern amongst business owners about the possible impact of Brexit on both the Irish and British economies. It is important that during the Brexit phase the Northern Ireland Executive, British and Irish governments must demonstrate strong leadership and remain focused on the many jobs which depend on functioning and open market economies. It would be a significantly regressive step if there was any hardening of the border and any introduction of tariffs and quotas. Brexit should not be to the detriment of the largest industry in both economies – retail. We would urge governments in Dublin, London and Belfast to clearly set-out the roadmap for exit and begin immediate cross border talks to address the concerns of business during the exit process.” Joint statement Glyn Roberts, CEO, NIIRTA & David Fitzsimons, CEO, Retail Excellence Ireland “We don’t want farmers to panic. CAP support is guaranteed to 2019. We will immediately enter into discussions on future support arrangements, funded


by the UK Treasury, and also on the continuation of trade with Europe. We also have a UK farm union’s team in Brussels that will work closely with the European Commission and UK government as the UK makes the transition to exit the EU.” Barclay Bell, president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union “The outlook for the current year remains challenging with Brexit adding to market volatility and uncertainty.” Dr David Dobbin, Group chief executive, United Dairy Farmers “Northern Ireland has enjoyed arrangements with its neighbour for almost 100 years for free movement, commercial, legal and social matters. The UK is Ireland’s largest mutual trading partner and this relationship must be maintained through the Brexit negotiations.” Seamus Leheny, FTA policy & membership manager for Northern Ireland “While questions about further potential changes within the UK itself will inevitably dominate the headlines, there are more

immediate matters for small firms – from clarity over access to the single market to the free movement of people. Clarifying the issues around Northern Ireland’s unique position, as the only part of the UK to share a land border with another EU state, now move from theoretical to reality and we need to remove the uncertainty that this unresolved question has now brought.” Wilfred Mitchell, FSB policy chair for Northern Ireland “If, as a result of Brexit, shoppers start pulling in their purse strings, it’s going to be even more important for brands and retailers to work hard at fixture to persuade people to spend – using POS to support proactive selling.” Danielle Pinnington, MD at Shoppercentric “It is far too early to tell if the Brexit vote has had an impact on consumer spending. Yes, there have been falls in spending in the grocery sector, for example, but that is far more likely to be due to the constant price squeezes in the supermarkets.” Phil Mullis, partner and head of Retail and Wholesale at Wilkins Kennedy LLP


Moy Park celebrates Love NI Meat with Jenny Bristow M

oy Park has teamed up with top chef Jenny Bristow to raise awareness of Northern Ireland Year of Food & Drink’s Love NI Meat theme for August.

Briege Finnegan, Moy Park brand marketing manager, is pictured with top chef Jenny Bristow.

Bristow will travel in Moy Park’s little yellow van to Titanic Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway and Ebrington Square in Derry to film a series of videos with Moy Park to encourage consumers to make the most of local meat products. The videos will be revealed on Moy Park’s social media during August and will show consumers step-by-step how to create delicious dishes using Moy Park chicken. The videos use key products from the Moy Park range, including the Moy Park Roast in the bag chicken, Moy Park Chicken Sensations, chicken mini-fillets and whole bird. “To celebrate the NI Year of Food and Drink’s Love NI Meat month, we wanted to create something really unique and engaging for consumers,” said Briege Finnegan, brand marketing manager at Moy Park. “Jenny is a much-loved chef; with her experience, creativity and knowledge of local produce she was the perfect partner for Moy Park. “Chicken continues to be a popular meal-time staple, and the videos with Jenny were a great opportunity to show consumers how to prepare delicious meals using key products from our primary, added value primary and breaded ranges. The recipes were designed to showcase the versatility of our chicken, from an exotic Thai Green Chicken Curry to a ‘Finn McCool’ sandwich.”

Gold star haul reaches 303 at Great Taste 2016 E

ight-four Northern Ireland food and drink producers secured a total of 303 gold stars, with 13 products from eight companies receiving the coveted three-star award, in Great Taste 2016. The Meat Merchant, owned by Peter Hannan, achieved 36 product awards totalling 59 stars, a record number of awards for a single food manufacturer in UK and Ireland. “We have a dynamic and progressive food and drink industry and the results of the 2016 UK Great Taste Awards will help to consolidate Northern Ireland’s growing reputation for excellence in food and drink production and hospitality,” said Economy Minister Simon Hamilton. “Major international retailers and food service organisations watch such high profile competitions for new products and different taste experiences on behalf of their customers. My department through Invest Northern Ireland will continue to support our export-focused food producers position themselves for growth particularly in markets outside Northern Ireland. “I would like to congratulate all of those who have been recognised for their hard work and dedication. In particular the eight three gold star award winners, Clandeboye Estate, Suki Teahouse, Dale Farm, Rooney Fish, Kearney Cheese Company, Hannan Meats, Thompson Family Teas and Abernethy Butter.” Michele Shirlow, CEO of Food NI, said: “Year on year, we are seeing more and more of our members winning 1, 2 and 3 stars

Punjana staff celebrating 23 Great Taste stars included, from left, Chloe Brooker, quality supervisor; Greg Earl, operations manager; and Christine McCluney, factory supervisor. Thompson’s Family Teas’ hero brand Punjana and Thompson’s Irish Breakfast tea bags were both awarded the maximum three-star award.

at these awards. Judging took place in Belfast for the second time this year. Northern Ireland is seen as one the strongest artisan food regions in the British Isles.” Great Taste 2016 award winners will be showcased in the September Ulster Grocer – contact Mark Beckett or Alyson Magee to feature your award-winning products.



Strong year of growth reported by Dale Farm U

nited Dairy Farmers, parent company of Northern Ireland’s biggest dairy business Dale Farm, has reported turnover from consumer products up 2.8% to £220m and pre-tax profits up from £1.3m to £6.8m year-on-year in the year ending March 2016. Year-on-year operating profits, meanwhile, rose from £3.5m to £9m, with the improved profitability and a reduction in working capital of £10.4m, largely due to the fall in dairy market returns, helping to generate a strong cash flow with net debt decreasing from £82.5m to £66.6m. Dale Farm continued to deliver strong growth in consumer products despite the general fall in market returns and weakness in international dairy markets. “The volatility and weakness in dairy commodity markets has validated our strategy to United Dairy Farmers Group grow in added value consumer and nutritional Chief Executive Dr David Dobbin products and thus deliver a more competitive price to our farmers with Dale Farm topping the rolling 12-month Northern Ireland milk price league for the reporting year,” said Dr David Dobbin, Group chief executive. “Dale Farm has delivered another year of strong volume growth, especially in consumer cheese and butter products and whey protein products; however overall turnover was down due to depressed market returns.”


NIRC calls for retail roadmap to support £8bn investment in Northern Ireland


orthern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC) marked its five-year anniversary with a reception attended by 90 industry leaders and stakeholders at the Parliament Buildings at Stormont in June. While celebrating the success of retail, NIRC also issued a challenge to government to work with industry to ensure it can grow its contribution to the economy and the communities it serves by supporting its Retail Roadmap proposal. “Over the past five years our industry has bought over £7bn of Northern Ireland agri-food and paid around £1bn in business rates and large retailer levy as well as employing around 70,000 across the region,” said Aodhán Connolly, director NIRC. “There is currently a great chance for retail, for the agri-food industry, the service industry and our economy to grow together but we must work hand in hand to seize this opportunity. That is why we want to work with government and other stakeholders to produce a Retail Road Map for 2025.”


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My Life in the Grocery Trade Tom Kinnier, wholesale sales manager for Musgrave NI WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ROLE? I am the wholesale sales manager for Musgrave NI and am responsible for our Mace, Day Today and independent retail business in Northern Ireland. My role is to work closely with our retail customers, providing insight and business development support to ensure they are best placed to succeed in this ever-changing world. BRIEFLY OUTLINE YOUR EMPLOYMENT HISTORY TO DATE? I have been with Musgrave NI since November 2015, and the past seven months have gone by very quickly. Previously I worked in retail management before joining Hollywood & Donnelly working in the wine business and independent off licence trade. This was a really exciting time when the new world wines were just emerging and consumers were prepared to experiment a little. More recently I worked for Aryzta/Cuisine de France as commercial sales manager, having worked across the business in a number of foodservice and retail roles over the years. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE? In simple terms, my role is all about driving more sales for our retailers and making more profit for them along the way. I spend a lot of my time in trade working with the Mace and wholesale sales teams, listening to customers, providing support and implementing our new initiatives. 2016 is a very exciting year for us as we have a major refresh programme for our Mace estate. This includes the roll out of our


I try to get in as early as I can to beat the Belfast traffic. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY? I love working in the retail trade in Northern Ireland and it has so many great personalities that I have been in contact with over the years. I have worked with so many great people and have learned a lot along the way. The local business is very fast paced and going through a lot of change which makes this area of work so interesting. We also have fantastic food here in Northern Ireland; many great suppliers are bringing new and innovative products to the market. new in-store bakery, coffee and food-togo concepts which have been really well received by our retailers and consumers. WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB? I love the job I do and it’s always great getting positive feedback from our customers; it makes everything worthwhile when a good plan comes together. I try not to think too much about the down sides of my job - some days there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY To be honest, a typical day probably doesn’t exist and that is one of the great things about this business. I spend much of my time in trade with our customers, developing sales and new business opportunities. If I am coming to the office for meetings

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK? I would be a big football fan and love watching most sports on TV now that my playing days are more or less over. When I’m at home at the weekends I love to cook and, although I can be a bit slow working through recipes, my culinary efforts usually turn out quite well in the end; all the more with a glass of wine in my hand. I also love to travel with my wife Gillian and son Jack. ELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW A few years ago I completed the Four Peaks Challenge where we climbed the four tallest mountains in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales non-stop over 48hrs. It was really tough and I said never again… but I am planning to do something this year in support of our charity partner - Chest, Heart and Stroke.


First Minister gives support to Independents’ Day

Pictured are NIIRTA Chair Nigel Maxwell, NIIRTA CEO Glyn Roberts and Terry McCudden, Bank of Ireland, with First Minister Arlene Foster.


irst Minister Arlene Foster extended her support to the Independents’ Day campaign on July 4, a national initiative supported locally by NIIRTA and Bank of Ireland. The Independents’ Day campaign celebrates

the huge contribution independent traders make to local communities and the local economy, with consumers urged to make a special effort to support invaluable local businesses. To support Independents’ Day, Translink

provided shoppers with a fantastic offer of a £2 return ticket after 9.30am for all Ulsterbus town services and Metro services in Belfast. “We are absolutely delighted at the levels of support for Independents’ Day from councils, chambers of commerce, political parties and independent retailers from all parts of Northern Ireland,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive of NIIRTA. “We are particularly pleased to have secured the support of the First Minister. “Independents’ Day is all about celebrating the jobs, investment and services our local traders provide for us all and is also a beacon to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs, which is so vital to the future of our local economy. “70p in every pound spent with a local independent retailer is recycled around the local economy, supporting farmers, local producers and town centres. “The theme of Independents’ Day is Choice, Quality and Community-three words that define our fantastic local retailers.”

Irish passport demand spikes at Emerson’s


rmagh city’s Post Office, based in Emerson’s Supermarket, has reported an influx of requests from customers seeking Irish passports since Brexit was announced. The Post Office staff, who would normally hand out about 30 Irish Passport forms, handed out approximately 400 on the day after the EU referendum. “Almost as soon as Brexit was announced, we had an influx of

people asking about Irish passports,” said Gavin Emerson, owner of Emerson’s Supermarket. “We have never handed out more forms, in such a space of time, ever before. We handed out approximately 400 forms which is unheard of here at our Post Office. And because our Photo Lab is right beside the Post Office, people were getting their passport pictures taken at the same time.”

New farm shop launched at Blackberry Hill Farm T

he opening of a new farm shop took centre stage at the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend at Blackberry Hill Farm in Gilford. Farm owner Harry McGaffin said he was absolutely delighted with the turn-out over the two days and was especially pleased with the interest shown in the new Blackberry Hill Farm Shop. “I had been thinking about opening a shop on the farm for quite a while now and with having signed up for this year’s Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend, I decided there would be no better time for the launch,” he said. “And of course it also ties in with the year of Food & Drink here in Northern Ireland.” While, as a European Angus breeder and secretary of the EA Cattle Society, the emphasis in the new farm shop is on Aberdeen Angus produce, lamb, bacon, eggs, potatoes and vegetables will also be stocked and plans are underway to introduce Wagyu beef in the future. 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Pictured are Harry McGaffin and Sam Hughes from Blackberry Hill Farm with Collette Kelly and Colette Mulholland from Bank of Ireland, Lurgan.


retail news – SYMBOLS

Centra invests £500k in Cathedral Quarter

Minister Simon Hamilton is pictured at the official opening of the Centra Cathedral Quarter store with owners Donagh and Orla McGoveran and Michael McCormack, Musgrave NI managing director.


state-of-the-art convenience store opened in June in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, creating 25 jobs as part of a £500,000 investment by a local businessman in partnership with Musgrave NI. Donagh McGoveran’s Centra Cathedral Quarter, located on Donegall Street, is redefining the convenience market in Northern Ireland with a reinvigorated coffee

Nisa launches campaign to celebrate great community retailers


isa celebrated its independent retailers in June with a competition to find the nation’s best community stores, inviting consumers to nominate their local Nisa store for the chance to win £1,000 for donation to local causes. The competition was launched on June 20 and ran until July 4, encouraging consumers to nominate their favourite local Nisa store at a dedicated website,, for their positive impact on the community. Five winning stores will receive £1,000 into their Making a Difference Locally fund to donate to local causes and make even more of a difference to their community.


offer, a full new range of fresh and healthy foods and a sit down area, making it easier for consumers to eat and live well. “The creation of 25 new jobs with the expansion of the Centra brand is a welcome addition to the Cathedral Quarter area and I wish all the Centra staff every success with the new venture,” said Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, officially opening the store.

Musgrave NI conducted extensive research into the changing needs of the consumer which lead to the development of market leading ranges including Super Bowl salads, Mex a Go Burrito bar, a Carvery sandwich range, a Ribs & Wings bar and Hot Boxes. With the explosion of café culture in Belfast, Centra has created its own brand cutting-edge barista-style Frank and Honest Coffee, with a seated area in-store for customers to enjoy, alongside a new premium patisserie range. Michael McCormack, Musgrave NI managing director, said: “We chose to invest in the Cathedral Quarter as it is a prime business location. The new Belfast Campus will also bring 15,000 students and the staff of the Ulster University to our doorstep. “Our ambition is to create a destination for great coffee with a fresh and healthy food offer plus a sit down area to appeal to students, professional and health-conscious shoppers. We will soon be rolling out this new concept across all 78 of our stores in Northern Ireland.”

Centra partners with local nutritionist for Summer Adventures campaign


onvenience Local nutritionist Jane McClenaghan and Centra retailer Centra Marketing Assistant Rachael Dalzell are pictured with Ruby Weir and Grayson Todd. has teamed up with local nutritionist Jane McClenaghan to launch its Summer Adventures campaign across Northern Ireland. The campaign will see a mini roadshow visiting a number of Centra stores across Northern Ireland during July and August, where there will be a fun merchandising pack available for customers along with family adventure prizes. As part of the campaign, people will be invited to share their summer adventures with Centra by writing a short rhyme to win over £1,000 worth of family adventure prizes. “We’re delighted to partner with local nutritionist Jane, who shares the philosophy at the heart of the Centra brand of promoting healthy lifestyles and living well,” said Desi Derby, head of Marketing at Centra Northern Ireland.”


Tesco listing for local premium egg producer N

orthern Irish premium egg producer Cavanagh Free Range Eggs has gained its second supermarket listing in less than a month. Following on from news in the summer UG of a listing for Cavangh with Asda, the Newtownbutler-based business has now secured a listing with Tesco for an initial 15 supermarkets across Northern Ireland. Run by husband and wife team John and Eileen Hall, the business has won a UK Great Taste Award and Irish Quality Food and Drink Award for its free-range eggs. The Tesco contract is a further boost for the company which has been supplying high-end restaurants, including five-star hospitality businesses such as Lough Erne Resort complex in Enniskillen and Belfast’s Merchant Hotel as well as upmarket delis

across Northern Ireland and parts of the border region of the Republic of Ireland. Cavanagh produces 12 million free-range eggs a year and currently employs seven people. “This is another tremendous boost for our business and a marvellous endorsement of the quality of our eggs from the biggest supermarket chain in Northern Ireland,” said Eileen Hall. “While we have good business with delis and independent retailers, we believe the supermarket contracts provide greater market penetration and will enable us to drive the company forward over the next few years. We’d be keen to expand existing business especially outside Northern Ireland in neighbouring markets such as the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.”

Eileen and John Hall



cCool’s SuperValu, Ballymoney has been crowned winner of the Best Newcomer category (up to 249 employees) at the annual Investors in People Awards 2016, the leading industry event recognising high performance in people management. The Awards, which received over 300 entries from organisations working in a variety of sectors and locations across the globe, celebrate the best people management practices amongst businesses. New to the Investors in People family, finalists in the Best Newcomer category show an incredible passion, dedication and unswerving commitment to investing in their workforce. They have a clear understanding of what they want to achieve and genuinely care about their people and their future. SuperValu Ballymoney was presented with its award at the ceremony in Old Billingsgate, London, hosted by comedian Sally Phillips.

Picking up the award from comedian and host Sally Phillips (far left) are Ian Elliott, store manager; Mandy Mair, employee; Elaine Sinclair, Musgrave NI retail training & development manager; Cathy Elliott; Peter McCool, store owner; and Geoff Johnston, SuperValu customer manager.

Local business launches trolley seats for kids with disabilities


Pictured are, from left, Claire Smyth, Firefly’s community manager, Bethany Watson and Chloe Bartlett, customer equipment operations manager at Tesco.

8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

irefly by Leckey, a Lisburn-based manufacturer known for its Upsee walking harness, is now aiming to transform shopping trips with a trolley seat invention being rolled out by a number of supermarkets in the UK. The company’s GoTo Shop Trolley has been designed to make shopping easier for parents and carers of children with disabilities and more comfortable for the child. The trolley seat comes with a secure five-point harness, padded seat and open front for easy transfer. Over 1,500 trolleys have been ordered by supermarket chains including Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Dunnes, and Firefly by Leckey has created an app showing where the trolleys are located. “As we have seen with the Upsee, it is the simple products that improve everyday life which are the most effective,” said Claire Smyth, community manager at Firefly. “This trolley is much needed and a real game changer.” 11


Consumer insight and market update BY JASON WINSTANLEY, MOY PARK SENIOR INSIGHT AND RESEARCH MANAGER Brexit: The Implications So, in the end, the UK voted for Brexit. You may have heard about it; in fact, I think it may have had one or two mentions on the news. But, all joking aside, the decision has been taken, and the country is now entering a protracted period of uncertainty. So what might the implications of this transition be for our industry? Whilst there are huge decisions to be taken regarding tariffs and free movement of labour, conclusions to these thorny questions remain years away, but, of more immediate impact, is how consumers react to the vote. Early indications have not been encouraging; GfK’s consumer confidence measure for June, taken before the vote, showed confidence steady v May, at -1. However, in a one-off survey taken after the vote, confidence had fallen by a huge eight points, the largest monthly fall since 19941. There is no doubt that this reading contains an element of knee-jerk reaction, but just how much is unclear, and the measure does suggest that, in the coming months, confidence will be, at best, volatile. This means that consumers are likely to be more cautious

in their spending and that we will probably see reining in of discretionary spend in some areas. Indeed, research from MCA Insight2 since the EU Referendum has shown that a net balance of consumers expect to reduce eating out frequency and average spend as a result of Brexit. As well as a voluntary slowdown in spending, consumers may also face inflationary pressures in the coming months, as a weak pound means imported goods will be more expensive, and this is a cost which may well be passed on. So... doom and gloom then? Not necessarily; the relative weakness of the pound will also be good for exports, so potentially good news for Northern Irish businesses which have a large volume of trade with the Republic of Ireland and, on a wider scale, British businesses generally which have large export markets. A weaker pound should also have the twin effects of both attracting more visitors to the country, and making the ‘Staycation’ a more attractive prospect for many Britons than venturing abroad. Both of these factors are likely to drive more foodservice business.

And, even when consumers do find themselves in financially straitened circumstances, opportunities present themselves. Probably the best recent equivalent we have to the imminent economic landscape is the financial crisis of 2008 and subsequent years. The decrease in affluence in those years actually drove some interesting grocery initiatives; one which springs to mind was the advent and popularisation of the ‘dine in’ deal. This type of promotion, offering starters, main courses, desserts and wine saw huge growth in participation as frugal consumers started to recreate the restaurant experience at home for a modest cost, rather than spending a larger amount on out of home eating. So, over the summer at the very least, we should expect confidence, and probably spend, to remain affected, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t continue to be plenty of opportunities for businesses which seize the initiative. Sources: 1 – GfK Consumer Confidence Index, June and July 2016; 2 – MCA Eating Out Report 2016

AG Barr ‘reinvents water’ with new Rubicon Spring S

oft drinks innovator AG Barr is reinventing water with new Rubicon Spring, a range of products which are healthy like water, but big on taste. Backed by a £2m through-the-line marketing campaign including TV advertising, the Rubicon Spring range combines sparkling spring water with fruit juice and has 15 calories or less per bottle. Each of the four full-on flavoured variants – Strawberry Kiwi, Lemon Lime, Orange Mango and Black Cherry Raspberry – has no added sugar, contains vitamins and green tea extract and is made with natural flavours and colours. “We undertook our biggest ever research programme to fully understand the key drivers behind changing attitudes towards health,” says Adrian Troy, AG Barr head of marketing. “The research highlighted an 18% growth in the number of carbonates shoppers who are also buying water and a 19% rise in the number who only buy water*1. Many of these consumers are primarily looking to reduce their sugar and calorie intake. “What makes Rubicon Spring so exciting is that it appeals to consumers across different categories. For those wanting a healthier alternative to a fizzy drink or fruit drink, it has all of the low calorie and healthier benefits of spring water. And for those coming from water or flavoured water where taste can often be bland and disappointing, it has a big hit of Rubicon flavour.” Shoppers confirm that when they are looking for something healthier, they look at the water fixture in the chiller. Therefore AG Barr recommend that Rubicon Spring is stocked in the chiller cabinet, positioned between carbonates and water. Rubicon Spring has performed exceptionally well in consumer research with 74% of all consumers saying they would buy it.*2 12

In addition to the national TV campaign, the £2m media investment comprises a wide-ranging social media campaign, backed by a suite of eye-catching in-store POS. “Our consumer research has helped us to create a new range of drinks that really deliver against what shoppers want – full-on flavour, hydration and 15 calories or less per bottle,” says Troy. “Supported with heavyweight national advertising and underpinned with the credibility of the Rubicon brand, this represents an unmissable sales opportunity for retailers. It’s water… reinvented!” Sources: *1: Kantar Worldpanel, Jan 14 v Jan 16; *2: Toluna, Online Research, March 2016


22/06/2016 16:48


Gilfresh takes back the power with £2.5m investment Pictured are, from left, Richard Stack, corporate banking manager at Danske Bank; William Gilpin, partner at Gilfresh Produce; and Thomas Gilpin, owner of Gilfresh Produce.


egetable processor Gilfresh Produce has invested more than £2.5m in a new system which will address and tackle its rising energy costs, with support from Danske Bank. The company has installed an anaerobic digester which will see 120 tonnes per week of waste vegetables being used to generate enough energy to power the factory. All excess energy will be sold back to the grid. Gilfresh Produce is a family-run company based in Loughgall in Co Armagh, established by the Gilpin Family over 50 years ago. In the beginning, the family grew cabbages and scallions for the Belfast market. Now in its third generation, the business employs 130 staff, manages the growing of over 2,500 acres of field vegetables and salad crops and supplies all major supermarket chains. The anaerobic digester will allow the business to be selfsufficient energy producers at a time when rising costs are putting pressure on companies across Northern Ireland. “Four years ago, we realised that we could utilise our waste products in a more efficient way,” said William Gilpin, partner at Gilfresh Produce. “At that point, we were selling waste vegetables to farmers for feed at a very low margin. The business was facing several pressures including increasing energy costs, poor weather and challenging trading conditions. We travelled to a few sites in Europe to see how anaerobic digesters could work for us and we saw that it would complement and enhance our business operations. “It has taken a lot of planning but we are finally at the stage where the system is up and running and producing electricity. We have one full-time employee who is in charge of the digester, which sits in a three-acre field beside our factory.” At this year’s Balmoral Show, William Gilpin was named M&S Young Producer of the Year award, while Gilfresh also picked up the Tomorrow Matters Award at the Henderson Wholesale Local Supplier of the Year awards.

8 • •Ulster 3614 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Boost champions

new protein drink offer T

his July saw the launch of Protein Boost, signifying the champion of the independent brand’s diversification into an exciting new category that is growing at 26% year on year* as part of its business growth strategy. The initiative comes in response to increasing consumer demand for health and wellbeing products and provides the independent convenience channel with a protein drink brand focused on them. Protein Boost comes in 310ml individual plastic bottles with great tasting chocolate and strawberry flavours. Each bottle contains 20g of protein, no fat, no added sugar and less than 150 calories. Price-marked at £1.29, the new SKUs offer excellent value to the consumer, a great margin to the independent trade and come in a convenient eight-bottle case. Boost is developing bespoke marketing collateral including a dedicated website, POS material and a busy schedule of sampling to support the launch. Initially, the new line will be available in Northern Ireland and London – with a national roll-out scheduled for 2017. “This is a very exciting piece of new product development for us,” said Kirsty Birks, strategy director for Boost. “While the health and wellbeing agenda has continued to gain consumer momentum, we saw a real gap in the convenience sector for protein drinks. Our new offer provides a simple, convenient and tasty way to take in protein in a format that is not available in the multiples, while offering a great price point and strong profit margins. It is also delicious. “Innovation has always been a priority for us and now seems exactly the right time for us to diversify, build on the brand equity that exists in the Boost name and further demonstrate our commitment to independent retailers.” For further information visit *Euromonitor Sports Nutrition in the UK Nov 2015

Gibson Auctions: Ireland’s leading food processing and packaging auction G

ibson Auctions’ recent move into the food processing and packaging machinery market has proved highly successful, as the demand for food machinery soars. As Ireland is a leading player in food production, there is a high demand for new, and used machinery, with factories regularly upgrading machines, changing products and product lines. Additionally, a huge increase in automation in many larger factories has meant more manually-operated machines are now being upgraded for self-automated machines, allowing smaller producers to purchase at great value with the machines now coming to market at auction. Gibson Auctions Ltd are the only auction house in Ireland running a specialised sale, specifically for the food production industry, and unlike other auctioneers, they do not charge their vendors to sell, and do not charge hefty lift out fees, meaning that the machinery will meet its maximum potential on the open market, and buyers will not have huge hidden charges to take into consideration when buying machinery. Tyrone Gibson from Gibson Auctions has stated: “Online auctions have proven very successful within this industry. With such a huge market place at the touch of a button, we are seeing bidders register interest in our sales from all over the world, including inter alia, the Middle East, Australia, Asia, Portugal, Spain and of course the UK and Ireland. It is very encouraging to see such positive activity in a thriving industry, and with the exchange rate currently as it is, we have seen a lot of machinery dealers and end users from abroad pushing to buy





stock and equipment they need to ensure the factories remain operational and at maximum output.” Gibson Auctions are now inviting entries for their next sale of food production and packaging equipment, In addition to single lots they can deal with full factory clearances, and market your machinery globally, to ensure you get the best possible return on your surplus or redundant machinery. Vehicle and commercial machinery sales are conducted at the extensive premises in Bangor, Co Down. Gibson Auctions also have a specialised Land and Property division, which has been operating for a number of years, with eight auctions held each year, and making it one of the leading land and property auction houses in Northern Ireland, with offices in Holywood, and Dublin.




7-9 Greenway, Green Road, Bangor BT23 7SU Tel: 028 9124 5015 • email:

YEAR OF FOOD & DRINK – love ni meat

Putting the Chook Chook in chicken By Alyson Magee


e have rebranded as Chook Chook, and are going on a journey,” says Wesley Dickey, director of H K Dickey, the Cullybackey-based poultry processing business formerly known as Dickeys Poultry. “We are planning to grow the business, not massively but in a controlled and modest way over the next two to three years, targeting the whole market locally and further afield as well.” The new name aims to showcase the company’s playful character, as well as creating a retail brand of resonance in the trade reflecting its expanding ambitions and product range. “We set out wanting to create something different in a fiercely competitive environment,” he says. “The new brand gives us a personality and a way to talk to consumers that we haven’t tried before. I hope the new brand presents something for everyone – families and professional people alike.” Chook Chook is a truly local business, employing around 50 staff members on site, processing chickens sourced from farms within a 15-mile radius. Turkeys are also a very important part of the business and H K Dickey is renowned for the quality of bird it produces for the Christmas market. As a guarantee of provenance, quality and consistency, Chook Chook supplies its farmers with day-old chicks and feed, “and the farmers raise them for us,” says Wesley. Started nearly 60 years ago by Wesley’s parents, the processing operation’s current factory was built around 35 years ago and has been expanded and updated over time as the business grew. Very much still a family operation, Wesley’s wife Carole works alongside him in the business.   16

“Many years ago, we changed from a traditional processing factory producing whole chickens and a few portions and started to develop the product range with breaded and cooked products, as well as cuts for stir fries and kebabs,” says Wesley. “We recently added a new range of value added products including gourmet breasts, stuffed meatballs, Thai and Bombay flavoured burgers and breaded melts with cheese, ham and basil.” A local Belfast restaurateur has helped to develop the new range along with Chook Chook, aiming to create restaurant

Wesley and Carole Dickey

quality food under the retail brand. Further innovative new products are, meanwhile, in the pipeline. While the factory features “a certain amount of automation and machinery for slaughtering and processing, a lot of products are created and finished by hand,” says Wesley. Retail packing is also conducted on site. To date, “sales have mainly been in the local market,” says Wesley, supplying many local butchers and independent retail shops, as well as Supervalu, SPAR and Nisa with a small volume going into foodservice. Around 10% of sales carry the new retail Chook Chook brand and the business also supplies a number of important customers under their own label. Following the rebrand and ongoing expansion of the product range, Wesley has his sights set on expanding his client base. “We’re hoping to do more elsewhere,” he says. “If there’s a customer who wants a good quality chicken, we’re happy to talk to them. We offer quality – not a mass produced product. “Chook Chook is small and flexible, and can produce niche products too. We can respond to customers’ requirements more easily than the bigger processors. “We are really excited about the future of Chook Chook – we are passionate about supporting local farmers, raising local chickens and appreciating the superb food we can produce here in Northern Ireland. “From our strong foundation and roots going back over 60 years, this is just the start of a really important future development for our business. Through research and talking to our customers we aim to bring many more new ideas and products to market.”

CC_Meat Feature_A4 ad_AW.pdf












The chef’s are preparing. The ovens are warming. The Dickey family is tasting, trying and testing new, local chicken ideas that are so fresh, they’ll fly off your shelves.

Call us on (028) 2588 0820


You can’t get more local than Cookstown... C

ontinuing our support and commitment to the Northern Ireland Year of Food & Drink, we wanted to celebrate this month’s theme of Love NI Meat and you can’t get more local than Cookstown! We are also delighted to launch our new Cookstown Pie range. At Cookstown, we are proud to be local; based in mid Ulster, we employ 880 people. In the last year, we have invested up to £10m in a number of major site improvements to support our plans to better meet retailer demand, provide consumer choice and bring innovation. With Cookstown, you can be ensured that all meat is sourced from 150 of our Northern Irish and Irish farms. We recognise our farmers as an integral part of our business and are proud of our strong working relationship with each and every one of them. In some cases, we have worked with individual farmers for generations. This ensures the best animal welfare standards, production chain traceability and supply of the highest quality products to the local market. At Cookstown, we’re not just great at making Northern Ireland’s number one bestselling sizzling sausages and mouth watering bacon, we are now launching our very own savoury pie range which will be launching in Tesco in October and across the marketplace in the following weeks. “Following on from the significant growth


across the Cookstown sausage roll range, we are delighted to be extending the Cookstown brand through to the savoury pie category,” said Alastair McQuillian, sales director at Cookstown. “We have invested time and money in developing our very own Cookstown recipe for the traditional Chicken & Ham and Mince & Gravy pies, ensuring they are both deliciously rich and convenient and just what consumers are demanding.”

In our dedicated state-of-the-art cooking facility, only the finest cuts of lean pork makes it into the Cookstown brand.” The launch of our new pie range will be supported by a keen marketing campaign with in store sampling, PR and media support to entice consumers to try our new range. Cookstown sliced cooked meats are another favourite of the Northern Irish customer, with

the brand currently second in the market. In our dedicated state-of-the-art cooking facility, only the finest cuts of lean pork makes it into the Cookstown brand. This is why we can guarantee the high quality local meat across our range while still providing the consumer with value for money. What makes Cookstown unique is we are 100% local. We have a wide range of products to suit everyone – from your standard traditional ham for the kids’ lunches to our deli and premium range to treat yourself to any tasty ham sandwich or salad. In recent years, we launched our Bacon Delights; these are fully-cooked slightly smoked medallions of bacon, that can be eaten straight from the pack or re-heat in two minutes – perfect for that rushed breakfast or lunch. In fact, they are so convenient that you need to start boiling the kettle and toasting your bread well before you pop the delights in the microwave. Bacon Delights are ideal for those rushed mornings, a quick and handy after school snack or equally delicious in a packed lunch. These little Delights have proven popular with the low fat high protein diet conscience consumer, as they are virtually 100% lean and ready in seconds; what’s not to love! Contact a member of the sales team for more information on listing the Cookstown brand on 028 8676 3321.

love a bigger bite

To stock our new range contact a member of our sales team on: Tel +44 (0) 2886 763321 Email

YEAR OF FOOD & DRINK – LOVE NI MEAT raw material sourcing and the supply chain reflecting Kettyle’s mode of operation, says Maurice.

Maurice Kettyle with First Minister Arlene Foster.

Branding the red meat market

By Alyson Magee


isnaskea-based Kettyle Irish Foods has certainly shown its love for local meat, establishing an international reputation for quality through its focus on selection, maturation and craft butchery. Established by Managing Director Maurice Kettyle in 2004, with co-operative Fane Valley coming on board as a shareholder in 2008, the business is among the few in its industry to have successfully created a red meat brand. Dry aged beef is the mainstay, and has starred in such illustrious surroundings as the state banquet hosted by Irish President Mary Mc Aleese in Dublin Castle for the Queen’s first official visit to the Republic of Ireland, and the G8 Summit held in the Lough Erne Resort. Kettyle also supplies Lough Erne lamb, Kettyle New York Dressed free range chicken, Fermanagh dry cured bacon and Yearling Beef to mainly the high end foodservice sector but also retailers including M&S UK-wide, Asda and Tesco stores in Northern Ireland and a few independent outlets. TARGETING HIGH-END RESTAURANTS Maurice had a clear niche target market in mind from the start, with “very much a focus on restaurants, and trying to build a brand of recognition,” he says. 20

Supplying prestigious restaurants such as Roscoff and Deanes in Northern Ireland, Rules and The Lanesborough in London and Chapter One in Dublin from the get-go, Maurice then set about steadily building his client base and was trading with 700-800 restaurants per week by 2011. As the business developed, Kettyle involved distribution partners to cover all Ireland with Pallas Foods coming on board. Throughout Europe, Kettyle Irish Foods’ meats are available through direct HoReCa deliveries and within the wider cash and carry trade. Further, exports are an increasingly important market for the business, with its reputation for quality resulting in trade with 19 countries including high-end restaurants in Dubai, Qatar, Singapore and Hong Kong. Continental Europe is an important market, raising concerns over the impact of Brexit on access and currency. “Are we no longer going to be a neighbourhood partner to Europe, and why should Europe buy from us?” says Maurice. “This needs addressed sooner rather than later and hopefully Kettyle, as a premium brand, can continue to sustain its position and the growth it has gained.” On the retail side, M&S has been a customer since 2005, with its ethos about

SELECTION, MATURATION AND CRAFT BUTCHERY Kettyle’s meat is sourced locally, including through sister business Linden Foods which was a pioneer of the NI Farm Quality Assurance Scheme and operates its own Select Herd Scheme with a focus on animal welfare, environmental care and product safety. Linden Livestock was established in early 2008, with the aim of ensuring an adequate supply of livestock for the future. Sustainability of supply is one of the biggest issues for Maurice, and another Brexit concern with the future of agricultural subsidies unclear. “Our future is dependent on our primary producers and suckler herds,” he says. “We can’t underestimate that our raw material is second to none. We need to bring this message the whole way through the supply chain. We need to have a future of young farmers coming through.” The meat is aged on site at Lisnaskea, and Kettyle was among the first processors to adopt a dry aging approach to produce more consistent, tender and flavoursome meat which suffers less shrinkage in cooking. The business has since introduced a patented Salt Moss Aging Cave, using salt moss bricks of virgin sea salt and seaweed sourced from the Irish Sea. Irishness is at the core of Kettyle and the reason it decided to use sustainable resources while creating their salt caves. Meat can be aged up to 50-60 days to bespoke customer specification, and Kettyle produces around 32 tonnes of dry aged meats per week, of which beef accounts for 6570% of their throughput. Plans are in place to invest a further £500,000 in the coming weeks for new chambers as the business continues to grow. Between 50 and 60 staff members are employed at Lisnaskea, including its master butchers. Kettyle’s Meatcraft brand was created to offer consistent quality and innovation, including the creation and resurrection of unique and lesser known cuts, pushing boundaries and offering a point of difference to customers. “We’re always trying to think of new products and new cuts, and create new trends,” says Maurice, from harvesting bone marrow to creating a seaweed-cured bacon as a healthier alternative to high-salt bacon. Maurice is an advocate of the nose-totail approach to butchery, using and finding markets for the complete animal. “Our burgers are doing really well,” he says. “Burgers are one of the hardest products to get right, and we’re able to use salt aged trimmings from our craft butchery to enhance and premiumise the sector. What we offer is consistency at all levels, which a brand always demands.”


LMC campaign delivers greater purchase of beef and lamb


he Livestock & Meat Commission (LMC) for Northern Ireland, which supports the marketing and development of the Northern Ireland beef and sheep meat industry, is delighted to report that more housekeepers in Northern Ireland are purchasing lamb and beef. For the past three years, LMC has been delivering a wide-reaching advertising campaign and the latest phase of the campaign was officially launched in June 2016. The campaign includes TV, print and online advertising and will run until the end of 2016. The advertising strategy has delivered not only greater awareness of the Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assured logo, but also a significant increase in the numbers of people purchasing beef and, in particular, lamb. An independent report produced in May 2016 has shown that 65% of housekeepers are now purchasing lamb at some stage, up 48% from the previous year and that beef purchasing has increased from 88% to 95%. The campaign forms part of LMC’s contribution to the Northern Ireland Year of Food & Drink 2016 with a plethora of activity planned for August 2016, which is Love NI Meat month. The organisation’s activities for NI Year of Food & Drink include consumer demonstrations in major supermarkets throughout, sponsorship of the inaugural Grow Make Eat Drink Awards and a special steak cooking competition that will see finalists compete at St George’s market in August. School cookery demonstrations, which form an important element of the LMC’s education programme, will begin again in September with some 330 secondary schools participating. In this Year of Food & Drink, there are opportunities to work together to continually improve the offering of local FQAS produce available on retail shelves. As the supply of local lamb increases to a

8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

DEARA Minister Michelle McIlween is pictured at the launch of the new NIFQA Beef and Lamb campaign with LMC Chief Executive Ian Stevenson and Chairman Gerard McGivern.

peak at the end of August, there is an opportunity to work together to promote the quality lamb that we produce here. LMC has shown that advertising can deliver change in consumer purchasing habits and looks forward to continuing this work going forward. A strategic approach to advertising the benefits of purchasing beef and lamb produced to the high standards of the Northern Ireland beef and Lamb Farm Quality Assurance Scheme (FQAS) is delivering benefits across the supply chain. However, whilst the figures above demonstrating increased purchasing of local Farm Quality Assured beef and lamb are very encouraging, LMC would like to continue to work closely with all supply chain partners to continue to deliver for the beef and sheep industry.


YEAR OF FOOD & DRINK – LOVE NI MEAT Dr Amy Burns, FACTS director at Ulster University, Coleraine is pictured with Steven Kennedy, Henderson Wholesale trading manager.

Ulster University endorses the new SPAR enjoy local meat range H

enderson Wholesale, run by SPAR owners Henderson Group, has a proven record of supporting local suppliers, working with over 200 farmers, growers and distributors for over 50 years. SPAR continues to strive in delivering in its commitment to source over 75% of its fresh foods from local suppliers across Northern Ireland, and recently launched a new line for their own-brand range in collaboration with one of Northern Ireland’s longest established butchers. The enjoy local range, which was launched in April 2015 with a £25m investment into the local agri-food industry here, was further developed to produce a high-end convenience solution of gourmet sausages, burgers and chicken breasts from Ballymena’s K&G McAtamney butchers. The Group has invested approximately £200,000 to develop the new product range. SPAR joined forces with Ulster University’s Business Schools’ Food and Consumer Testing Suite (FACTS) to help test, develop and refine their new range of own label locally-sourced meats launched this May under the enjoy local brand. The state-of-the-art facilities at the University included a development kitchen, sensory booths, a consumer research facility 8 • •Ulster 3622 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

and an analysis laboratory. Working with FACTS Director, Dr Amy Burns, a selection of products from the SPAR enjoy local meat range were put under the spotlight in blind taste tests. Seventy consumers were asked to score the products on their appearance, aroma, flavour and texture. The results were impressive, with each product tested achieving between 7 and 8 on a 9 point Likert scale. Commenting on the blind taste test results, Dr Burns stated that the results were extremely positive. “Sensory evaluation is now widely recognised within the food and drink industry,” she said. “We can discover what consumers think about a product and uncover their preferences. In the case of the SPAR enjoy local meat products that were tested, the results are above average acceptance levels and an indicator that this range was very much liked by the consumer sample.” To complement the quantitative research, a focus group was conducted on the range. The feedback was very positive, with one respondent, Laura Jane Wallace, from Omagh, commenting on the SPAR enjoy local beef and cracked black pepper sausages: “They are lovely; they are really good quality

with a really good flavour from the cracked black pepper. They are something I would definitely buy.” Steven Kennedy, trading manager at Henderson Wholesale - owner of the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland - said: “At SPAR, we put the consumer at the heart of everything we do. We knew that the new range of SPAR enjoy local meat, sourced from local suppliers, was of the highest quality and flavour, but wanted to hear it from our customers. The positive feedback has overwhelmed us and we can go to market with the range, confident that it will not disappoint.” Neal Kelly, fresh food director at Henderson Group, said: “The enjoy local range has come on leaps and bounds over the past year. It has already expanded from 126 products to 144, from a total of 25 local suppliers and now we’re delighted to launch the meat and poultry range with the stamp of approval from Ulster University. “The enjoy local range will continue to grow and diversify as consumer trends and demands change, while we endeavour to meet these trends and enable them to break through into the convenience sector.” The SPAR enjoy local range is now available in SPAR and EUROSPAR stores throughout Northern Ireland.

Eating local food is better for you, for the environment, for your taste buds and most importantly it offers better value. Sourcing local food also means we continue our support for local suppliers – and that’s good news for our economy. That’s why SPAR have partnered with Northern Ireland’s finest local farmers and producers to offer a range that you’ll just love. You can be confident that SPAR’s enjoy local range will provide you with tasty food that’s home grown and at a price you can afford. The enjoy local range, which was launched in April 2015 with a £25m investment into the local agri-food industry here, has been developed to produce a high-end convenience solution from potatoes to pancakes, mash to mushrooms, steak to shortbread, SPAR’s enjoy local range includes 165 delicious fresh and chilled products.

So, remember... shop local... support local... enjoy local.


Playing an important role in the local community Musgrave NI Wholesale Director Trevor Magill tells UG about his role and the development of the Mace brand in Northern Ireland. know what services and range individual communities want and offer excellent customer service as well as a wide range of top brands and local products. They also contribute significantly to the Northern Ireland economy, employing a large number of local people. Mace retailers value the communities in which they operate stores and regularly offer sponsorship to local sports teams, raffle prizes for fundraising events and support school sports days. This year, Mace has announced a new three year partnership with Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke which will see over £160,000 raised for charity.

WHAT DOES YOUR CURRENT ROLE INVOLVE? I have responsibility for the development of Musgrave’s wholesale business in Northern Ireland. This includes Mace, DayToday and independent retail trade along with our three MarketPlace sites and the foodservice business. I set the strategy for the entire wholesale business along with developing new business opportunities and managing our retailer relationships. I am also responsible for colleague engagement and development within Wholesale. WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? Being appointed to my current role as wholesale director was personally a very proud moment. On a corporate level, being part of the management team overseeing a successful consolidation of Musgrave’s wholesale and retail operations to form a single business of Musgrave NI was a significant achievement. Following from this, a particularly exciting time has been the launch of our Mace Stake in the Ground stores. These stores showcase the best of what Mace now offers and provide a good platform to further develop the brand in the years to come. Retailer reaction from existing customers, as well as a significant number of retailers trading with other wholesalers, has been tremendous and there’s never been a better time to join Mace. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE MACE BRAND IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY? Being independently owned, our retailers 8 • •Ulster 3624 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

WHAT DO CONSUMERS WANT FROM A CONVENIENCE STORE? Consumers want the products they want, when they want them and Mace is well known for being truly switched onto local needs. Consumers are also looking for a bright and welcoming environment, an appropriate range of chilled and fresh foods and a strong food to go, coffee and bakery offering. Last but by no means least, they are looking for a friendly, but fast shopping experience. Last year, Musgrave undertook extensive consumer research and redeveloped our offer across our SuperValu, Centra and Mace brands in line with consumers convenience needs. With Mace, we developed all the categories that are important to our shoppers –food to go, coffee, bakery – and each of these categories have delivered excellent sales and margin growth.

HOW DO YOU SEE CONSUMERS’ TASTES CHANGING? Consumers’ tastes have changed dramatically over the past 10 years and they are much savvier in knowing what they want and when they want it. We are now part of ‘Generation Eat’, where people are looking for an experience from their food, rather

than just a meal. There is particular demand for fresh and chilled foods and of course health is big on the agenda and ensuring consumers have healthy options to choose from. The convenience market is much more important, with increasing interest in food provenance and eating local produce. HOW DOES MACE DIFFERENTIATE ITSELF FOR PROSPECTIVE RETAILERS? Mace is the ‘lighter touch’ convenience store brand, for retailers who prefer a bit more independence and want a more flexible relationship with their wholesale partner, while still being part of the wider Musgrave group and benefitting from the scale and buying power that provides. It has a strong brand heritage in Northern Ireland, having been established over 50 years ago and completely revamped under Musgrave’s ownership. It now offers a modern look and feel, an enhanced product range, a stronger value proposition and more comprehensive supply chain, enabling retailers to serve their local communities even better than ever. The commercial offer, wholesale pricing and rebate structures has also been fully reworked and Mace is now the lowest cost symbol in the market in terms of charges and fees, as well as the fastest growing. WHAT ARE THE FUTURE PLANS FOR MACE? We will continue with the successful roll out of the brand refresh across the entire Mace estate while enhancing our range of fresh and chilled products. We have a strong digital strategy in place for the brand which will build our brand presence and consumer engagement. Local partnerships are key to our plans as we continue to play an important role in the local community. Our partnership with leading local charity Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke will see our retailers, staff and customers involved in a number of fundraising events for a very worthwhile cause.

‘Switched-on to your local needs...’ For me one of the main advantages of MACE is that you get access to the knowledge and support of the Musgrave group. My Sales Advisor is in my store every week and adding real value, whether that’s recommending new products or advising me on how I can grow sales and margin. It’s been a big help to my bottom line. Alan Collingwood, MACE Aghalee

For more Information about MACE contact us on 028 90 787100

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Member-owned Nisa combines brand strength with local flexibility


isa Retail is unique in the convenience sector as it is a mutual style company which means it is owned by its independent retail members. Retailers have the option to operate under four symbol fascias: Nisa Local, Nisa Extra, Loco and Dual Branded whereby a member can maintain their true local identity whilst also benefiting from the strength of the Nisa brand. Alternatively, a retailer can also choose to trade under their own fascia. Nisa provides a complete retail support package which comprises a strong retailfocused team, an enhanced category management system, a bespoke staff training facility under the Retail Academy banner, and a comprehensive marketing package incorporating bespoke leaflets, point-of-sale material and national advertising. 26

All of this is in addition to the awardwinning supply chain, a strong own label range and over 13,000 SKUs. Nisa’s key focus for the year has been on customer relationships and driving brand standards to be synonymous with customer service and consumer offering. Customer relationships doesn’t just refer to the service standards provided, which of course are extremely important, but is also about delivering a proposition the customer can relate to. Nisa knows that community involvement is key, and our members are able to support their local area through Nisa’s Making a Difference Locally charity, which in 2015 donated over £1m to charities and good causes throughout the UK. Within the last year, Nisa has developed its

Store of the Future 2 store format, which has seen retailers on average achieve double-digit uplift in sales following conversion. This looks at different store formats, customer demographics and shopping missions to ensure the right one is implemented in each location. The analysis behind the development of the new store formats was based on careful consumer research examining shopper missions by location and demographics. Nisa’s flexible model provides its retailers with an unbeatable breadth of range, with a 98% availability rate, to ensure they can provide a single destination shop for all their customers’ needs. This is supported by Nisa’s award-winning own label range, Heritage, which provides retailers with over 800 SKUs which have been reformulated and repackaged to ensure they offer great quality products at affordable prices. Through Nisa membership, retailers can also source local products and have them invoiced centrally, creating a simpler and more time efficient process. All orders are placed directly with the individual suppliers, deliveries are made direct to store, but the invoicing and administration is managed centrally taking the hassle and complexity away from the retailer. This is all delivered by Nisa’s industryleading supply chain which retailers can trust with an impressive 99.91% of deliveries made on the day and 95% successfully made on time. In addition to this, Nisa provides retailers with a comprehensive marketing package incorporating industry first bespoke leaflets, allowing members to personalise the leaflets to include local offers, local events and community news, as well as a personalised Nisa FM which provides retailers with a strong radio network for their store. Perhaps most importantly, Nisa has a mutual model, which is unique to the sector. Nisa is owned by its members and as such, in addition to all of the elements mentioned above, retailers also earn rebates and can enjoy surplus profit share and dividend payments which further add to Nisa’s competitiveness and strengthens its position as the partner of choice.




Since joining Nisa we have seen a

significant sales


“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 it 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


To find out why joining Nisa is as easy as 1-2-3 visit 10932_NISAtradePress_Oneil_2016_A4_AW02.indd 1

14/03/2016 17:34

For a profitable future, start thinking Today’s...

...with a package that includes: • Extra, Local and Express fascia options • Full store development package • 3 weekly consumer promotions • Full store category management

• Imagery • Drop shipments • Store support • EPOS

T : 028302 63521 F DPS ADVERT 3MM BLEED.indd 1

New Chilled, Frozen & Fresh Range Now available

S&W Wholesale, Carnbane Business Park, Newry BT35 6QH 63521 F : 028302 63143 E : 03/08/2016 13:02:34


Lynn Ashe, manager of Today’s Local, Dublin Road, Antrim.

“The confidence to invest in the future of my business has been strengthened by my recent move to Today’s Local...” Lynn Ashe, owner of the newly converted Today’s Local, Dublin Road, Antrim tells Ulster Grocer about her future plans for the store.


hen Lynn Ashe decided to move away from her current symbol, a move to Savage and Whitten Wholesale to become a Today’s Local retailer was a wise choice for her business. Lynn explains that, with the help and support of Savage and Whitten and her new Today’s Business Development Manager Mark Nesbitt, she has worked to implement new growth plans for her business. “On analysing my business mix, it soon became clear that a change of category focus and store layout was needed to ensure the future success and profitability of the business,” she says. “Customer shopping trends combined with higher expectations from local convenience stores are changing so we need to change accordingly. 30

“We will be focusing heavily in store on fresh and chilled foods, bread and cakes, and fruit and veg to grow the sales in these categories to meet those higher customer expectations. “As part of this, an investment in a store refit is an essential part of the plan to make all these changes happen. “The store development team gave me the confidence to invest in the refit and have been

busy planning the project for completion in late August. “From the initial discussions, ideas and concepts through to the final agreed drawings, the whole process of planning and agreeing the project has been smooth and the initial conversion has been fully support by the Today’s team. “With some of the work already started, I don’t think I will recognise the inside of my

STORE FOCUS shop when it’s all finished. “We will be introducing new energy efficient closed door remote refrigeration, a new checkout counter, fruit and veg units and additional shelving which will see the store interior fully redesigned and refitted. “The store has been fully rebranded outside with the new Today’s imagery and, with the introduction of the new Today’s interior brand package after the refit, this will complete the transformation in store. “Also new to the store is a Robert Roberts coffee machine, which is proving very popular with the locals as, with every four cups they buy, the fifth cup is on us. “Our ATM, Paypoint, Lottery and scratchcards are also good customer footfall drivers within the store. “The service and support provided to retailers by Savage and Whitten is second to none. We now get two grocery deliveries a week along with Chilled, Fresh and Frozen deliveries also now twice a week. “As the chilled fresh and frozen is locally sourced, we now have a greater range of all the local brands from what was available from my previous wholesaler. “As a result we have seen our chilled food sales lift based on the range of products available and the great new promotional offers available in our chilled cabinet. “One example of these chilled offers is ‘Muller Corners 3 for £1’; we just can’t keep them on the shelves. “One major addition to this range in the chilled cabinet is The Meat Market range of fresh meats locally sourced by S&W from K&G McAtamneys in Ballymena. “We never sold fresh meat before so it is now proving very popular with our customers and sales are just brilliant on this range. We have also just introduced the new range of chicken products from G.B. Poultry in store so we will keep an eye on how it’s selling. “Savage and Whitten have just launched Luv Local which highlights the support for

Lynn Ashe is pictured with Kathy McCrory and Jennifer McCartan.

all their local suppliers and producers, which supply the Today’s stores either through the chilled warehouse or direct to store. “Another major plus for the business, which is growing sales since its introduction, is the promotional leaflet that we deliver through the doors of the local area so my customers can benefit from the new offers in store. “My customers are always on the look out for the new offers that change every three weeks. These are provided as part of the Today’s retail package to help retailers grow their business and promote the brand offering. “Savage and Whitten have also just launched the Big DL App for all its Today’s stores. This allows my customers to get text alerts with special offers every time they pass or enter my shop. “This is also proving very successful from its launch, with customers redeeming coupons on their phones for money off deals and promotions. “We also do a lot of advertising on our Today’s Facebook page with all our features and promotional offers updated on a daily basis.

“We also support a lot of events in the local area which are also highlighted on the Facebook page.” Previously, Lynn had worked in the shop for 20 years, learning her trade from the late Matt Walker who passed away over three years ago. It was then that Lynn decided to carry on the business serving the local community which had supported Matt so well in the past.

Also new to the store is a Robert Roberts coffee machine, which is proving very popular with the locals.” Lynn is supported in the shop by eight full and part time staff who all treat the shop like their own, and it shows as they all know the regular customers by name and what time of the day they usually call in at. This loyal customer base, built up by Matt over the last 20 years has been the main reason for the success of the Dublin Road site to date. A photo of Matt takes pride of place at the checkouts and will still take pride of place when the new refit and renovations takes place. ”We may put the photo in a new frame once the refit is completed,” says Lynn. Brian Ross, business development director at Today’s, says he appreciates the confidence and trust that Lynn has placed in Savage and Whitten by converting her business to a Today’s Local and allowing the company to support her business going forward and to be part of the success in the future. 31


Offering the best of both worlds with brand power, group strength and independence

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The most digitally-enabled group With two-thirds of adults in the UK owning a smartphone and 90% of 16-24 year-olds having one, a strong social media presence is key to reaching shoppers. We have taken the lead on social media and proximity marketing in the convenience sector, helping our retailers to engage with their customers and drive footfall and sales in their store.

The perfect partnership with Costcutter Supermarkets Group There are many reasons why 2016 should be the year you open a store with Costcutter Supermarkets Group.


Leading edge retail technology We place technology innovation at your fingertips and transform modern retail with state-of-the-art systems that make life easier. We offer the latest in-store technologies that shoppers demand like easier payments via Apple Pay and Contactless. Our cutting edge Activ Technology systems, including ActivCPoS, ActivOC and retailer portal ActivHUB, have been developed to make your ordering process hassle free and our ActivMOBILE app allows access to all of this information on the go. Keeping you independent We’ll actively help you to run your store, your way, and protect your independence. Our retailers get the power of our brands and group strength, but run their stores the way they want to, offering the best of both worlds. To find out more reasons why you should join Costcutter Supermarkets Group, call us on 01904 488663 or visit





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02/03/2016 17:02


Local retail support vital for agri-food sector New DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen outlines her priorities


s Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, I lead a new department with a broad outlook and a wide range of responsibilities. It is an economic department guided by a sustainability ethos where our agri-food industry meets our natural environment. I am particularly excited to be taking this role in 2016 – the Year of Food & Drink – which gives the opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland’s high quality food and drink. It is also clear recognition of the significant role this industry plays in growing our economy. I am impressed by the commitment from Northern Ireland’s grocery sector in supporting this initiative. For almost all food and drink companies, including many of those listed in the Ulster Grocer Top 25 Food & Drink Companies, their first step into the marketplace is through their local retail outlets, and the support and commitment to our agri-food sector from local retailers is vital to their success. I want to assist the industry to be dynamic and flexible in coping with the demands and opportunities of the modern marketplace. As Minister, I will work to create the conditions that will allow us to grow our market share,

in a sustainable way. When issues are difficult and challenging – as seen by the fall in milk prices – we need a collective effort. Everyone – including government, stakeholders, supplier, and producers – has a part to play in this. When opportunities emerge, we need to be nimble and decisive. The Going for Growth agri-food strategy and the Year of Food & Drink 2016 showcase our ambition and underline the innovation, creativity and quality of Northern Ireland producers and processors. I intend to work

closely with the Department for the Economy and Invest Northern Ireland to ensure a joined-up approach to opening new export opportunities for Northern Ireland’s quality produce and progress the establishment of a strategic agri-food marketing body. During the future negotiations on leaving the EU, I will be working closely with the Economy Minister to make sure we get the best deal possible for the agri-food industry in Northern Ireland so that our industry continues to flourish and thrive. I will also work to enhance the resilience of the industry so that it can deal better with the challenges it faces while exploiting the opportunities for growth. The creation of DAERA and the new Assembly mandate provide the opportunity to address challenges around the protection and improvement of our natural environment. As Minister, I look forward to working with industry, stakeholders and the wider community, all of whom make a valuable contribution to our local economy. With colleagues in the Executive, I will work to ensure that our agriculture, food and drink sector thrives, our natural environment is protected and our rural communities grow and evolve.

Bottled ‘treasure’ among attractions at Long Meadow Farm O

rchard trails, seed sowing activities and a treasure hunt were amongst the many attractions at the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend at Long Meadow Cider Farm in Portadown. The McKeever family have owned apple orchards in Co Armagh for three generations and, within the last couple of years, have been producing award-winning cider, sparkling apple juice and cider vinegar. Also offered during Open Farm Weekend were apple flavoured sorbets, produced by Braemar Farm Ice Cream from Castlerock using Long Meadow Blossom Burst Cider. “This was our first year participating in the Bank of Ireland Open Farm weekend so we didn’t really know what to expect,” said Pat McKeever. “But it has been absolutely amazing. “We had a terrific turn-out over the two days and there was tremendous interest shown in our cider, our apple juice and our cider vinegar.” Another major attraction, especially for the young visitors was the McKeever’s rather unique looking apple sprayer. “I think the interest there was not so much the role it performs in the orchards but the fact 8 • •Ulster 3636 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Enjoying the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend at Long Meadow Farm are, from left, Jane McNally and Colette McNally from Portadown, Carol Hunt, Kathleen Taylor and Hayley Taylor from Markethill and Helen McKeever from Portadown.

that it looks more like something out of a James Bond movie,” said Pat. “The children were able to sit in the driving seat and let their imaginations run wild.” A barbecue was also on offer, accompanied with Long Meadow cider and Long Meadow apple juice, and featuring burgers and sausages made with Blossom Burst Cider from

Charlie Mallon Butchers in Portadown, spiced apple jelly from Clare Kelly Passion Preserves, Ballinderry, apple crumbles and apple buns from Jeffrey Lee of the Apple Blossom Bakery in Loughgall, homemade baps from the Yellow Door Deli in Portadown and seeds and equipment from Jilly Dougan.


Sales surge encourages expansion at Clandeboye S

urging sales in the Republic of Ireland is encouraging farmbased Clandeboye Estate Luxury Yoghurt to step up production. Having recently invested £70,000 in a new pot filling line, the company is bringing forward plans to develop a new production facility to provide the additional capacity required for its popular artisan natural, Greek-style, flavoured yoghurts and smoothies. Clandeboye secured its biggest contract to date in the Republic of Ireland from Aldi, the German discounter, for its yoghurts made from the Clandeboye Estate farm’s UK award-winning Holstein herd. Aldi recently increased its order with Clandeboye, which will see the yoghurt on sale in more than 120 of its stores. The estate is also planning to build an anaerobic digester to convert waste into energy for its range of operations, including yoghurt production, and thereby increase downward pressure on running costs. “Our yoghurt processing is operating close to full capacity at the moment from the growth in sales of our luxury products that continue to win widespread acclaim because of their outstanding quality and, above all, taste,” said Bryan Boggs, general manager. Bryan Boggs

O’Chatten Smokery wins orders from Fortnum & Mason A

Co Armagh start-up business specialising in gourmet food has secured orders from Fortnum & Mason just two months after opening. Portadown-based O’Chatten Smokery, Northern Ireland’s only commercial smokery, is also developing a range of products with a wellestablished Northern Owner Andrew Chatten (right) and business partner Frances O’Hagan (left) from O’Chatten Smokery. Ireland food processor which will be marketed to leading UK food retailers. The company’s focus is on artisan, bespoke foods such as smoked Lough Neagh Eels, pastrami, pancetta and smoked duck breast fillets. Turnover in its first full year of trading is on target to be in excess of £250,000. “After months of behind-the-scenes development, O’Chatten Smokery has secured its first customers and is planning to have a luxury product range on the shelves of high-end stores this Christmas,” said Andrew Chatten, owner. “Previously, local food producers have had to send their products as far away as Holland to be smoked but, as Northern Ireland’s only commercial smokery, we’ve plugged that gap in the market. “Northern Ireland has a fantastic reputation for great quality food and nowhere more so than our local area where we’ve teamed up with Lough Neagh Eels to offer a product which is already securing regular orders from Fortnum & Mason.”

Greg MacNeice

Italian deal for Mac Ivors Cider M

ac Ivors Cider has signed a new distribution deal in Rome, aimed at expanding its export sales in Europe. “The distribution deal is a very encouraging development for a Co Armagh product securing its place in the international marketplace,” said Greg MacNeice, managing director. “The interest in Mac Ivors Traditional Dry and Medium Ciders is increasing because Europe is fast becoming a market for premium Irish ciders. “Mac Ivors is committed to crafting high quality and great tasting cider and demand is showing a new generation of consumers in Europe and America who want to drink ciders which are of high quality and full of heritage. “All of our ciders, including our latest cider, Plum and Ginger, are produced here at our orchards which date back to 1855. We currently employ six full time staff at our orchards at Ardress and we are hopeful the distributor deal will dramatically increase our sales in Europe which will lead to further job creation here in Co Armagh.” Mac Ivors already supplies cider into the Danish market as well as Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The family owned and managed company has won a series of national and international awards for its products including a gold medal and overall Champion Cider at the 2015 International Brewing Awards.



Tayto signs on as title sponsor Moy Park ‘springs’ into for Northern Ireland Open


ayto has elevated its commitment to the Northern Ireland Open, becoming a title sponsor of the event, which was held in partnership with Ulster Bank at Galgorm Castle over July 28-31. “We are delighted to become the title sponsor of this prestigious event, which showcases the very best of the sport and the country to the world,” said Paul Allen, chief executive Pictured are Elly Hunter, marketing director of Tayto and of Tayto. golfer and tournament ambassador Michael Hoey. “After being involved on a smaller scale for a number of years, we felt that in our 60th anniversary year, it was the perfect time to extend our sponsorship. We appreciate the commitment involved from all parties in organising such an international spectacle and as a local business operating on a global scale, this feels like a natural fit for the Tayto brand as we too bring the very best of Northern Ireland to the rest of the world.”

SportFest sponsorship Pictured is Will Greenwood at 2015 SportFest with Moy Park’s mascot.


oy Park has announced its continuation as official sponsor of SportFest, an annual family sports festival which takes place at the Wormsley Estate, Buckinghamshire in July. Moy Park will celebrate the second year of its sponsorship of the event and will showcase its range of branded products to both families and sporting legends, raising awareness of the brand in Great Britain. “Following the success of our sponsorship of SportFest in 2015 we’re delighted to announce our support again this year,” said Grant Ferrier, director of sales at Moy Park. “SportFest encourages families to come together to get active, create memories and avail of world-class coaching.”

Provocative marketing approach secures continued growth for Bodyform


odyform, the UK’s fastest growing feminine protection brand in the UK*, is continuing to push the boundaries of FemCare marketing to drive category growth and challenge taboos around the menstrual cycle. The bold new marketing approach, which has now secured acclaim amongst the world’s media for its bold portrayal of blood in its new film, follows consistent double-digit growth for Bodyform which shows no sign of slowing. Bodyform, manufactured by leading global hygiene company SCA, is bucking the trend with strong growth +11.3%, as the category continues to experience a steady decline*. This latest success follows high praise for Bodyform’s new Red.Fit campaign, which launched in June with a provocative new film titled Blood. Directed by acclaimed Jones + Tino through Stink alongside Bodyform’s agency AMV BBDO, the film sees ‘real’ blood placed firmly at the forefront. Featuring women with blood dripping down their arms, bloodied noses and scraped knees, the film demonstrates that ‘no blood should hold women back’. The daring approach has also been recognized at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity where it was awarded gold in the Film Lions FMCG category. A bespoke Red.Fit content platform has provides consumers with exercise, nutrition and motivation advice. * IRI data to 52 w/e 14th May, 16

8 3638 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011 4• •Ulster


People on the move...

in association with

New director announced for CBI Northern Ireland C

BI has announced the appointment of Angela McGowan as its new Northern Ireland director, to succeed the retiring director, Nigel Smyth, after 26 years of service. McGowan will head up CBI’s Northern Ireland office and represent the UK’s largest business organisation’s Northern Ireland members with government, policy makers and other key stakeholders including the social partners and other business bodies – such as Ibec where it has a strategic relationship through the Joint Business Council. She joins the CBI from Danske Bank UK, where she has been the chief economist since 2008, providing analysis, commentary and insights into Northern Ireland, UK and global economic trends, and a range of reports and media commentary on issues impacting on the local economy. McGowan previously worked as the senior economist at the Economic Research Institute NI (2004-7) and the Northern Ireland Economic Council (2001-04), and has a strong background in public policy research and analysis. She will be joining the CBI on October 1. “Her business experience, and wealth of economic knowledge, will help the CBI create the best possible conditions for its members in Northern Ireland,” said Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general. “Following the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, Angela joins us at an important moment for Northern Ireland’s economy, when businesses will be looking for political stability and certainty.” Wilfred Mitchell, FSB’s Northern Ireland Policy Chair, said: “FSB looks forward to working with Ms McGowan when she takes up her role in October, on issues that engage all businesses in Northern Ireland, particularly given her extensive knowledge on regional public policy and the economy.”

Angela McGowan

Ground Expresso Bars appoints new Belfast store manager M

Michael Bradley

ichael Bradley has been appointed as the new store manager of Ground Espresso Bars at Wellington Place, Belfast, overseeing and managing daily operations of the new standalone store. As store manager, he will implement strategic hospitality techniques to support sales development and deliver outstanding customer service. Bradley is also committed to instilling Ground Espresso Bars’ core ethics and quality standards into his team through training and motivation practices. Subsequent to graduating with a BA Hons degree in Hospitality Management, Michael has been an active member of the local hospitality industry for over 20 years, progressing into management at some of Northern Ireland’s leading organisations.

Unit 2, 1 Edgewater Road, Belfast Harbour, Belfast BT3 9JQ Tel: +44 28 9077 0999 Fax: +44 28 9078 1172



To see your product featured in Shelf Life, contact Mark at or Tel: 028 9078 3235

Old El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff tacos now available in Crispy Chicken O

ld El Paso Stand ‘N Stuff tacos are so easy to fill and eat that anyone can do it. And now they’re available in new Crispy Chicken – letting you add more variety to taco night and try something a little more adventurous. Available now – for further information, contact Joanne Beattie, brand manager, Valeo Foods NI on 028 9267 3316.

KETTLE Chips launches new Limited Edition K

ETTLE Chips has introduced a new limited edition to its range of hand cooked, sharing chips, which replaces the winter seasonal of Soy, Ginger, Chilli & Honey. Chorizo, Feta & Olive will be available throughout the key summer sales period. “The Seasonal Editions play a key role in delivering flavour innovation in the category and generating consumer excitement,” said Andrew Slamin, marketing director at Kettle Foods. “Chorizo, Feta & Olive will give a seasonal boost to our strong core range and offers retailers something new for their customers. As a top three sharing brand1, KETTLE can help to capitalise on consumer trends towards better quality snacking options and the continuing popularity of entertaining at home.” Perfect for barbecues, or simply sharing with friends and family this summer, the new edition offers distinct, yet complementary, flavours on an authentic, hand-cooked crisp. It combines the savoury moreishness of spicy chorizo, with the salty tang of feta, and a touch of olive fruitiness in a simple, yet delicious seasoning, which tastes great coupled with a beer or glass of wine. Source: 1 Nielsen data 52 weeks to 21st May 2016.


Linwoods Snackettes are a knock out


inwoods is stepping into the snacks aisles, with a slow cooked, natural and nutrition-packed alternative to crisps, Linwoods Snackettes. “Eating well isn’t just about avoiding the foods which we all know are firmly on the ‘naughty list’,” says Sarah Shimmons, head of marketing, Linwoods. “We also want to help people to make positive choices by offering great natural foods which not only taste good, but which actually do you good with every bite.” “When we fancied a healthy snack in a handy packet we couldn’t find one, so we harnessed our seeds, nuts and berries expertise and invented Linwoods Snackettes. The result is a great-tasting alternative to sugarand salt-filled snacks, perfect to eat on-the-go or post workout; to pop into lunch boxes or simply to enjoy when you feel you need a tasty treat or a pick-me-up. “The handy sized packs pack a powerful nutritional punch with important health benefits. Linwoods Snackettes are a great source of Fibre, Protein and Omega 3, are 100% natural and organic; they have no added sugar or salt; and are gluten-free.” The new Linwoods Snackettes which will be launched in outlets across the UK and Ireland come in three flavour variants: Banana & Coconut; Spicy Tomato and Superseeds.

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Key sector ‘meats’ the needs of quality conscious customers BY MICHELE SHIRLOW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FOOD NI


ear of Food & Drink in August celebrates meat, one of our most successful export-focused sectors. Love NI Meat will mark the innovation, premium and outstanding taste that comes from our grass-fed herds, the superb animal husbandry and excellent welfare standards of our farmers and the world class expertise to be found in processing plants across Northern Ireland. It’s also a sector which features many of our biggest and most successful companies such as Dunbia, Linden Foods, Foyle Food Group and the ABP plants in Newry and Lurgan. They offer the hospitality industry provenance with total traceability. I am sure that retail and hospitality businesses here will be well aware of the variety and excellence of our beef, lamb and venison and that many already feature products from recognised local suppliers in their chillers and on their menus. I must say that we’d like to see much more local meat identified and showcased in shops and restaurants. This would help increase

Year of Food & Drink August EVENTS

continues with Love NI Meat N

orthern Ireland Year of Food & Drink 2016 is a celebration of everything that makes local produce so good including epic landscapes, time-honoured traditions and the people and producers behind its food heritage. The theme for August is Love NI Meat. AUGUST 12 From Burgundy to Bangor (wine and food pairing) 7.30pm, The Salty Dog, Bangor AUGUST 14 Armagh Beer & Cider Festival 3pm, Armagh City Hotel

AUGUST 20 Moira Speciality Food Fair 10am-6pm, Moira Demesne, Lisburn Road AUGUST 26-28 Hilden Beer & Music Festival Hilden House, Lisburn

AUGUST 18 A Tribute to Marco Pierre White 7.30pm, The Wheathill, Grey’s Hill, Bangor

AUGUST 27 Fish ‘N’ Sips (five courses from the Mourne Seafood Bar with five matched wines from Neill Wine) 7.30pm, Coffee Cure at The Museum, The Castle, Bangor

AUGUST 19 The Sundown Market 5:30-10pm, Bangor Seafront, Queens Parade

The theme for September is Bread & Baking. For more information on getting involved in Year of Food & Drink 2016, visiT WWW.DISCOVERIRELAND.COM

8 • •Ulster 3642 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

awareness of the quality of our meat among more people here and especially with visitors to these shores. Sometimes we forget just how good our meat products really are. August gives us a tremendous opportunity to showcase this immensely important sector. And bear in mind that the wider meat sector generates sales annually of over £2bn and ships most of its products to extremely appreciative customers outside Northern Ireland. Indeed, some of the best stores and restaurants in London and other European centres such as Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin now feature our meat products. Hannan Meats in Moira has also created bespoke burgers for new Stock Burger restaurants launched by global hospitality business Intercontinental Hotels in Britain. Smaller companies are also playing their part in developing different products and winning business from restaurants in particular here such as Ballinteer Farm for quail and quail eggs. Carnbrooke Meats in Dromara is supplying its beef and lamb to leading hotels along with others such as Tynedale cabrito in Crumlin and Omagh’s Kennedy Bacon. Our companies have a tremendous track record in areas such as dry-aging techniques including Himalayan salt and salt moss processes; an expertise that has been acknowledged in national awards including the UK Guild of Fine Food’s annual Great Taste Awards. I am confident that there will be further awards for local meat processors when the 2016/17 Great Taste Awards are announced. It’s significant that the two local products which gained the Supreme Champion Award in Great Taste came from the meat sector – George McCartney’s Silverside Corned Beef in 2011 and Peter Hannan’s guanciale pork cheek the following year. Beef, bacon and venison have figured strongly in the top Great Taste Awards over the past five years. I understand that beef from Hannan Meats is also now featured on menus in Fortnum and Mason’s main restaurant at the prestigious London store. We hope that by showcasing Love NI Meat in August more people here will recognise the quality and contribution of our farmers and processors and give even greater support to this innovative, ambitious and customer-focused sector.


Our everyday tea has just done something special

3 STARS at Great Taste 2016

52397 PUNJANA GTA UG FP AW.indd 1

05/08/2016 14:36

Profile for Helen Wright

Ulster grocer august 2016  

Ulster grocer august 2016