N O. 1 M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E LO C A L G R O C E R Y S E C TO R
Over 45 years at the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry
GROWING GOOD BUSINESSES IN NORTHERN IRELAND FOR 35 YEARS
Fanta Halloween Skull 220x307mm Liquid News Advert.pdf
N O. 1 M AG A Z I N E F O R T H E LO C A L G R O C E R Y S E C TO R
Over 45 years at the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry
RETAIL & FARMING SECTORS WELCOME PM’S ASSURANCES OVER BORDER
Peter McBride, president of Retail NI, with Prime Minister Theresa May in Belleek.
etail NI President Peter McBride has welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s commitment to avoiding a hard border, stated during her visit to Northern Ireland last month. McBride, a Fermanagh-based independent retailer, represented Retail NI at a round-table meeting with the Prime Minister and the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley in
Belleek on July 19. “This was a very welcome opportunity to meet the Prime Minister to highlight the concerns of Retail NI members as we approach Brexit,” he said. “She was very that clear that no hard border infrastructure will be established by the UK government and, equally, no borders between Northern Ireland and rest of the UK.” Commenting on the Prime Minister speech at Belfast Waterfront Hall, at which she presented the Government’s Brexit White Paper, McBride said: “We welcome the commitment to a free trade area for goods which we hope will protect the integrated supply chain which is important for the retail sector. “While this White Paper is progress, we have still a very long way to go in the negotiations. This may require further changes to give stronger protection to its commitments.
“Any prospect of the UK crashing out of the EU with no agreement would be a disaster and needs to be avoided at all costs.” Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), meanwhile, has voiced a level of reassurance for farmers following both publication of the White Paper and the Prime Minister’s visit to Northern Ireland. “March 2019 is fast approaching and many farmers are feeling uncertain about the future,” said Ivor Ferguson, president of UFU. “The White Paper provides more detail about the UK government’s vision for a future relationship between the UK and EU. “The suggestions such as a common rulebook for standards and arrangements for collecting tariffs, if agreed, would help to prevent a hard border. It is crucial for food and farming here that free and frictionless trade continues across the border.”
FRANCHISE & FASCIA:
NIAMH WALLACE FINDS OUT WHAT’S ON OFFER AT GREENMOUNT FARM SHOP IN RICHHILL, ARMAGH
LOOKING AT SPOOKY SPECIALS TARGETING THE LUCRATIVE SEASONAL MARKET THIS YEAR.
SHOWCASING THE OFFER FROM EACH OF NORTHERN IRELAND’S MAIN SYMBOL GROUPS.
FROM A TOUGH SUMMER FOR VEGETABLE GROWERS TO IMPRESSIVE FINANCIAL RESULTS AT DALE FARM.
EDITORIAL COMMENT Volume 53, Number 7 August 2018 Editor: Alyson Magee E: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 028 9026 4175 Contributors: Michele Shirlow, Jason Winstanley Sales Manager: Chris Keenan E: email@example.com Tel: 028 9026 4266 Art Editor: Helen Wright Production Manager: Irene Fitzsimmons Ulster Grocer c/o Independent News & Media Ltd, Belfast Telegraph House 33 Clarendon Road Clarendon Dock Belfast BT1 3BG www.ulstergrocer.com @ulstergrocer www.facebook.com/ulstergrocer Subscriptions: £27.50 per annum £37.50 per annum (outside UK) Designed & Produced by: Independent News & Media Ltd Tel: 028 9026 4000 Printed by: W&G Baird, Antrim Tel: 028 9446 3911
ABC CIRCULATION: 4,420 YEAR TO JUNE 2017 (6,100-PLUS SINCE JUNE 2017) Independent News & Media Ltd ©2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or stransmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of Independent News & Media Ltd.
FROM DONUTS TO DAERA DATA A nd here we are at the midpoint of one of the hottest summers on record, causing consternation for many farmers but boosting sales of beer and barbecue products (alongside the World Cup). Ulster Grocer scooped both winner and runner up in the World Cup fourth floor sweepstake at INM, and invested its winnings wisely at Belfast’s Oh Donuts, run by Tim Graham of Graham’s Bakery. If you haven’t tried their maple & bacon donut, you haven’t really lived… Our biggest feature this month is Franchise & Fascia and you’ll find a handy bar chart highlighting the breakdown of the main symbol groups operating in Northern Ireland by shop number on p20, followed by a showcase of each retail group’s exclusive offer on the pages to follow. A second table on p20, supplied by Kantar Worldpanel, indicates a slight decline in the market share of symbol groups overall. However, a number of the retail groups behind the symbols are posting solid year-on-year growth in turnover, profits and shop numbers and obviously performing very well in spite of the growing dominance of the multiples. This month’s retail news pages also attest to the high level of investment and new openings among symbol retailers. And the sector has really upped its game in recent years, from supply efficiencies, green features and a more expansive and high-quality produce offer to the latest EPoS systems, stylish store design and staff training. Beyond the symbols, the Kantar Worldpanel data indicates rising market share for Tesco and Sainsbury’s, currently progressing towards a merger which would create significant market dominance in Northern Ireland at 52.6%, exceeding the two retailers’ share of the GB market. Lidl is growing at the strongest rate
to an estimated 5.6% of the Northern Ireland market and, while no specific data is available, other discounters such as B&M are also gaining in popularity for grocery shopping. The local grocery market is certainly an evolving picture and likely to continue to be so over the next few years, with consolidation not limited to the multiples. The Co-op is also increasing its presence in the symbol sector as both a wholesale supplier and a retailer following deals with Costcutter and Nisa. Other news this month includes Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to Northern Ireland, coinciding with the launch of the Government’s Brexit White Paper, and continued reassurance a hard border will be avoided between NI and both the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain. As DAERA’s latest report on the food and drink processing sector shows, half of Northern Ireland produce is exported to GB, so any Irish Sea trade border would be a real issue for the industry. And 15% of produce is exported to the Republic of Ireland. As the Ulster Grocer Top 30 Local Food & Drinks Companies published in the Summer 2018 edition also reinforces, red meat and dairy are the leading sectors and heavily reliant on trade with RoI and GB in particular, as well as wider global export markets. Margins are already tight for many producers and processors, so any additional tariffs or bureaucratic costs of any kind could threaten the sustainability of many businesses. As Grant Thornton highlights in the news story opposite, any hint of a ‘no deal’ Brexit with the potential of World Trade Organisation tariffs applying would be a frightening prospect indeed.
LOCAL FOOD AND DRINKS SALES APPROACH £4.5BN GRANT THORNTON HIGHLIGHTS BREXIT THREAT
ales are expected to grow by £113m to £4,478m in 2017 for Northern Ireland food and drink processors, with growth led by the beef and sheepmeat sector, according to provisional figures from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). DAERA published its annual Charlie Kerlin, Size and Performance of the head of AgriNorthern Ireland Food and Drinks Food at Grant Thornton. Processing Sector report in July, estimating beef and sheepmeat processors would lead the growth, adding £40.9m to the sector’s sales in 2017. DAERA’s confirmed figures for 2016, meanwhile, highlight beef and sheepmeat and milk and milk products as the biggest subsectors, accounting for 48% and 49% of food and drink processing gross turnover in 2015 and 2016 respectively. “The statistics also show an overall growth in employment in the sector, up 4.7% to 23,479 full-time equivalents,” said Charlie Kerlin, head of Agri Food at business advisory firm
NIFDA APPOINTS NEW CHAIRMAN From left, Declan Billington, Brian Irwin and Michael Bell.
rian Irwin has been appointed as chairman of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) Board. Currently chairman of Portadown-based Irwin’s Bakery, Northern Ireland’s largest independent plant bakery, he is taking over from immediate past Chairman Declan Billington, and will hold the position for the next two years. Nick Whelan, Group chief executive of Dale Farm, has been appointed as vice-chairman. In addition to his position on the board of NIFDA, Irwin is current chair of the Northern Ireland Bakery Council and vicechair of the Federation of Bakers. He is a past chair of the Irish Association of Master Bakers. “We find ourselves in one of the most challenging times for the food and drink sector in recent history,” he said. “During my tenure, I will continue to stress the importance of the agri-food industry to Northern Ireland’s economy, and I will work to secure our position in export markets, encourage innovation in the sector and support job creation.”
Grant Thornton Northern Ireland. “This is a reminder of the importance of the sector for local employment. “The report also includes a useful snapshot of the relative size of Northern Ireland’s export markets, ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU. “Finalised figures for 2016 show that around 75% of sales are in the domestic market, with GB continuing to be our primary market, however exports to the Republic of Ireland amounted to £623.5m or just under 15% of overall turnover. “It illustrates how much of the sector is likely to be most impacted should a ‘no deal’ Brexit occur and the possible imposition of World Trade Organisation tariffs, dramatically increasing the costs of selling to markets outside the UK.”
DALE FARM BECOMES LIDL’S BIGGEST GLOBAL CHEDDAR SUPPLIER
idl has awarded Dale Farm a lead contract to supply cheddar cheese to its stores across the UK, Europe and the United States. The supply deal represents the single biggest contract awarded by Lidl to a Northern Ireland agrifood company and will see Dale Farm’s locallymade block cheddars, as well as grated and sliced varieties, stocked From left, Conor Boyle, director of Lidl Northern Ireland and Stephen Cameron, in some 8,000 stores commercial director of Dale Farm Group. across 22 countries. Produced at Dale Farm’s Dunmanbridge plant near Cookstown, the cheddar range will go on-shelf in Lidl Ireland under the supermarket’s Rathdaragh own-brand, in the UK and Europe as Valley Spire and Milbona, and in the US as Preferred Selection. Dale Farm will be Lidl’s main cheddar supplier on a global basis, while the discount retailer will become Dale Farm’s biggest cheddar customer. “Dale Farm’s excellent track record on product quality, innovation and provenance, as well as its distribution and export expertise, make it a strong and strategic choice for Lidl as we continue our drive to provide shoppers with the best choice, standard and value for money,” said Liam Casey, commercial director of Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland. Stephen Cameron, Group commercial director at Dale Farm, said: “Strengthening our long-term global partnership with Lidl is great news for the 1,300 farmers who own the Dale Farm co-operative. The scale of this contract is testament to the high standard of the milk our farmer owners provide us with to consistently create world-class cheddar cheese. It also demonstrates the continuing strength and sustainability of our farmer owned cooperative business model.” 5
FOOTBALL AND HEAT BOOST SALES A combination of football fever and prolonged hot weather has boosted UK-wide supermarket sales, according to Kantar Worldpanel, with sales up 3.6% over the 12 weeks to July 15. During the week England played Colombia and Sweden in the World Cup, sales of alcohol surged to £287m, a record outside of Christmas and Easter. Meanwhile, sales of firelighters and fresh burgers rocketed by 47% and 30% as customers honed their barbecuing skills, while sales of sun creams jumped by 38%.
TAYTO ACQUIRES REAL PORK CRACKLING COMPANY Tayto Group has purchased The Real Pork Crackling Company from owner Chris Cunliffe for an undisclosed sum. As well as producing pork scratchings, the company has several leading pork crackling brands, such as Golden Pork Crunch and is listed in independents and multiples across the UK and Ireland, including Asda, CoOp, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s. The company currently turns over around £6m and will join Tayto Group’s other pork scratching label, Mr Porky. Cunliffe will continue to lead the business as well as taking on a wider role as chief operating officer – Pork within the Tayto Group.
COCA COLA RUNS CLEAN COAST WEEK Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2018 was held in June, with over 3,900 volunteers participating in clean-ups collecting 3,587 bags totalling 23 tonnes of litter. The annual campaign, supported by Coca-Cola for more than a decade, encouraged the nation to ‘Do Good’ to ‘Feel Good’ in 2018 by getting involved in more than 200 events and clean-ups across the country. The campaign highlighted the personal benefits of volunteering, while reminding the nation of the importance of protecting our coastline for generations to come.
QUORN INVESTING £7M IN INNOVATION CENTRE AFTER SALES BOOST
An artist’s impression of the proposed £7m innovation centre.
uorn Foods is investing £7m in a new Global Innovation Centre at its headquarters in North Yorkshire, on the back of strong growth for the meat-free brand. Like-for-like sales totalled £112m for the first six months of 2018, up 12% on the same period in 2017 and building on record growth in 2017. Ground will be broken for the new high-tech facility at the end of the summer, with the site set to enhance capability in both core protein fermentation and innovation capability to develop new and better products. Quorn has already created over 100 jobs in the last year and its job expansion is expected to continue, with a focus on the STEM side of operations. “With category momentum we are confident we can become a $1bn
business in under 10 years,” said Kevin Brennan, chief executive of Quorn Foods. “With our renewed investment in R&D, we expect to lead the way for decades to come. We hope to demonstrate that there are great British businesses in the North that can win on a global stage. “We are already seeing amazing growth internationally: Australian sales are up 50% and US sales are up 23%. In the US supermarket giant Kroger, we now have the fastest selling product in the category. With continued investment we believe we can continue this level of performance.” Quorn is also, meanwhile, eliminating 297 tonnes of non-recyclable plastic from its supply chain with an aim of achieving 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
LATEST CHIPMONGER ROLLOUT REACHES BALLYMENA
to be bringing something usgrave has opened different to the area that its third successful people won’t have seen Chipmongers franchise or tasted before,” said in Northern Ireland, Montgomery. “We on the Ballymoney were immediately Road in Ballymena, struck by the logo creating 12 jobs and and the colours used investing £90,000 in in the branding and, the local area. when we chatted the The owners opportunity over with are couple, Gareth the Chipmongers team, we Montgomery from realised the potential. But it Ballymena and Katrina was when we tasted the Fox, originally from Katrina Fox and Gareth Montgomery own the new Chipmongers Ballymena. food that our minds were Birmingham, but a made up. The food is incredible quality resident of Northern Ireland for six years. and the variety is so good that everyone “Ballymena is a place known for its can get something they like.” fish and chip shops, so I’m really excited
SPAR ANNOUNCES TITLE SPONSORSHIP OF BELFAST MELA N orthern Ireland’s favourite family get together and largest celebration of cultural diversity, the Belfast Mela, has welcomed SPAR on board as a title sponsor. More than 25,000 people visit the Belfast Mela each August, with this year’s festival to be held on Sunday, August 26. “SPAR is proud to become the first title sponsor of the Belfast Mela,” said Bronagh Luke, head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group. “It is a perfect partnership as both brands are committed to celebrating the best of our communities in Northern Ireland. “We have exciting plans to get involved with this year’s festival in Botanic Gardens and look forward to being part of this extraordinary celebration of cultural diversity through music, dance, food and fun for all the family which has captured the hearts of the Northern Ireland people. “SPAR is a global brand with a local heart in Northern Ireland; we don’t just serve the community, we’re part of it. With Belfast Mela’s commitment to global cultures through the local community,
Bollywood dancer Kousalyaa Somasundram is pictured outside SPAR, Malone Road.
we have found a perfect partnership and look forward to integrating SPAR’s retailers and fresh food into this year’s festival programme. “SPAR will be sampling a range of fresh foods including tonight’s tea offerings, scratch cooking ideas, as well as a fresh Mediterranean mezze selection of dishes.” For more information and tickets, visit www.belfastmela.org.uk.
EUROSPAR ANCHORS NEW WALLACE VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT IN LISBURN
From left, Andrew Agnew, customer experience manager at Henderson Group; James Porter and Bill Porter from Porter & Co; and Mark McCammond, retail director at the Henderson Group.
orter & Co has completed the first phase of its £10m development, Wallace Village, a new 8,000-squarefoot EUROSPAR and adjoining eightpump petrol station. “This leading EUROSPAR with highend Quails butchery, Mauds ice-cream and barista bar offering, is a fantastic example of how the right retail element in a mixed-use scheme like this can help
build a budding community,” said Bill Porter, founder and owner of Porter & Co. Located adjacent to Thaxton roundabout at the intersection of Boomer’s Way and Prince William Road in Lisburn, the Wallace Village EUROSPAR occupies the ground floor of a 22,000-square-foot, three-story building, finished in Porter & Co’s
POUNDWORLD ENTERS ADMINISTRATION Retail NI has expressed its concern for employees of the 14 Poundland stores in Northern Ireland, after the discount retailer entered administration. “The discount retail market has become increasingly crowded and competitive in recent years which is clearly a central reason as to why Poundworld has struggled,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI. “It is wrong to say we are facing the death of the high street; it is going through huge change and restructuring which is clearly resulting in a number of business failures. “Those retailers that are adapting to an ever-changing market are ultimately those that will survive.”
M&S TO CLOSE NORTHERN IRELAND STORE M&S has confirmed one of its Northern Ireland outlets, at Lisburn’s Bow Street Mall, is set to close its doors with 40 staff moving to nearby stores. M&S has another store at Sprucefield Shopping Complex in Lisburn and is opening a new outlet in Craigavon in the autumn. “The decision not to renew our lease and therefore close our small food store in Bow Street Mall, Lisburn was a difficult one to make,” said Simon Layton, head of Region for M&S in Northern Ireland. “I understand many of our loyal customers will be disappointed and we hope to see them in our nearby Lisburn store at Sprucefield Shopping Complex.” signature rumble brick, natural slate and period-style detailing. The remaining space within this building will encompass office space, a penthouse apartment and a fully spec’d Porter & Co show home. Phase two will include seven townhouses, 12 apartments and five smaller retail units. Mark McCammond, retail director at Henderson Group, said: “With a wide range of fresh, local produce and great prices as well as additional services and promotions, EUROSPAR is a one-stop shop that has everything customers need – right on their doorstep.” 7
GREENMOUNT FARM SHOP, RICHHILL EXPERTISE IN FARMING, SUPPORTING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENT AND ONGOING DIVERSIFICATION – INCLUDING A NEW RESTAURANT VENTURE – ARE AT THE HEART OF THE ARMAGH-BASED BUSINESS, OWNER DEAN IRWIN TELLS NIAMH WALLACE
reenmount Farm Shop is a carnivore’s haven. The familyrun business holds a legacy in the farming trade of over 300 years, making Dean Irwin and his family well experienced and passionate in the farming and butchery trades. Its products are diverse, with the shop best known locally for its grass-fed beef and lamb. As a long-established pillar of the rural community in Co Armagh, Greenmount continues to adapt and 8
grow with the changing market, making it as strong a business in 2018 as it was in 1995 after opening. Despite the rural location, proximity to Armagh City and Portadown, and presence at St George’s Market in Belfast, allows it to attract a wide variety of customers. It appeals to, not only members of the rural community, but tourists flocking to St George’s Market at the weekends to sample the finest produce our country has to offer.
Since opening, the shop has undergone many physical changes, such as renovations to the building’s interior and the installation of a coffee shop, a salt chamber to mature meats and the exciting new addition of a restaurant, Darby’s Bridge. The diverse product range is ever growing, ranging from farm-produced traditional and seasonal meats to slimming meats, pies, and locallyproduced condiments such as jam, relish, honey and wheaten bread. Greenmount Farm Shop prides itself on providing welfare-friendly meat to young families who want to feed their children with the most wholesome and tasty food, providing them with local, wholesome nutrition from a young age. As a farming family, food is very important to them, with Dean’s son Stephen entering the local food industry in his own way through Darby’s Bridge Restaurant. FARMING EXPERTISE The livestock family at Greenmount is a diverse bunch. With livestock ranging from various breeds of cattle, pigs, farmborn lamb, and seasonal livestock such as turkeys, ducks, geese and deer, the Greenmount staff really have their hands full.
STORE FOCUS The farm has developed over the years to more traditional breeds of cattle using mostly Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Short Horn, which are slower growing and produce meat with a better texture and flavour. Greenmount is passionate about its livestock and allow the animals as much freedom as possible in their lifetimes to make them as enjoyable as possible. They slaughter their cattle under 36 months, which ensure that the taste and tenderness of the meat is at an optimum level. Greenmount Farm is part of the NI Farm Quality Assurance Scheme, and prides itself in having high welfare standards for its livestock, and the installation of a wind turbine on site creating its own electricity, shows how it continues to evolve as an independent and self-sufficient business reducing its carbon footprint. It is fair to say that Greenmount Farm Shop is an award-winning enterprise. The array of awards won over the years demonstrates a versatility that not many can boast, as it takes home awards won not only for its steaks, burgers and sausages but for pies, tarts and other unconventional products too. It is a favourite of the Great Taste awards, winning in 2012 for its grass-fed sirloin steak, twice in 2014 for its chicken and ham and game pies, and in 2016 with two gold stars apiece for grass-fed lamb and fillet steak. They also won first place at the Bramley Apple Festival in 2013 for apple tart. “It’s nice to win awards for doing something you love,” says Dean. USING SOCIAL MEDIA To immerse itself in the local community, Greenmount makes use of social media in order to keep its customers up to date with its seasonal deals, changing stock
and changes to opening times. In the winter, it used Facebook to notify its customers of deals on reasonably priced lighter sticks, coal and logs, while in the spring it alerted customers to a freezer clearance sale of up to 75% off. The shop has also been uploading mouth-watering photos on its Facebook and Instagram page of its BBQ range, and photos promoting the delicious food at Darby’s Bridge. In order to support the community by hiring local, the business also advertises when it is hiring on Facebook, supporting the community by providing employment in its shop, farm and with restaurant staff. The hard work is rewarded on social media with many customers giving fivestar reviews and visiting regularly due to great food and excellent service. After a gleaming review in the Irish News, Darby’s Bridge is a new and exciting venture for the family. Dean spoke about how food was always important in his family and how it has passed naturally down to his son Stephen, who thought of the idea for the restaurant. “I always wanted him to choose his own path in life and he did by going to university to study engineering, but it is nice he has come back to his roots. He has taken an interest in the family business but has made it his own through Darby’s Bridge,” says Dean. FUTURE PLANS In an ever-changing market and
uncertainty regarding how Brexit will affect the farming trade, Dean explains how important it is to keep up with changing trends and how they never stop learning and developing their business. Greenmount has widened its product range to include gas-flushed tray packed meat, which it supplies to other shops and, with the installation of the Himalayan Salt Chamber, can supply restaurants with salt-aged steaks. They strive to draw people away from supermarkets in favour of home grown produce through affordable deals and excellent personal customer satisfaction that can only be found in local produce. Greenmount has big plans for the future. By the end of this year, they plan to revamp their online shop so that they can provide a delivery service to customers, promote their events room on site to cater for birthday parties and other events, and provide a fully-fledged Christmas dinner service for businesses to provide to their staff. They have also planted approximately 10,000 trees in order to promote local biodiversity, with the hope of providing scenic walking paths for locals as an extension to their farm. Greenmount Farm Shop plans to take its excellent reputation and grow on it by extending its catchment area across Northern Ireland, continuing to adapt and change while also providing reliable excellent customer service. The business is a proven trailblazer in its field, and remains a strong contender on the local produce scene. It’s definitely one to watch in the future of the industry.
NATIONAL SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR HIGH STREET RETAILERS
ndependent retailers in Northern Ireland are optimistic about the future of high street shopping, and consumers would overwhelmingly miss their high street if it was gone, according to a new survey* commissioned to launch the governmentbacked Great British High Street Awards 2018. The survey, sponsored by Visa, found 60% of Northern Irish retailers to be optimistic about the future of their local high street, with over 90% of local shoppers stating they would miss their high street if it disappeared, while 89% of consumers believe the high street is ‘about people’. For local retailers, 40% expect to see more bars, restaurants and coffee shops appearing on their high street over the next five years, and 50% believe their high street is improving. Building relationships with customers is what 80% of Northern Irish retailers enjoy most about running their business. Not all responses to the survey are positive, however, with over 66% of local shoppers describing their high street as ‘staying the same’ or ‘getting worse’, and 22% claiming it doesn’t feature enough shops or services on it to meet their needs. Over 66%, meanwhile, feel ‘neutral’ or ‘not very optimistic’ about the future of their high street, even though almost 76% visit it at least once a week and 9% every day.
Asked what would encourage Northern Irish shoppers to visit their high street more, 61% said more shops, 48% said better parking or public transport facilities and 33% said extended opening hours. UK-wide, the research found 49% of independent retailers consider the presence of national chains as a positive factor, compared to 26% who claim they lose business to larger retailers offering cheaper products and services. “The results of this survey very much mirror a recent survey commissioned by Retail NI as part of our Independents’ Day campaign which showed that the biggest deciding factor for visiting an independent store was to support local businesses (62%) as well as better customer service (32%) and the convenience of local shops (36%),” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI. “Our members are showing a new sense of confidence, but not complacency, that retail trends are moving in the right direction. “This survey also shows that, while local shoppers value local independent retailers, much more work needs to be done to improve and enhance town centres and high streets. The iron rule of retail is that change is the only constant.” Launching the Awards, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said: “The Great British High Street Awards acknowledge, in a very important way,
how high streets are so vital to our nation. High streets are crucial in creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and driving local and regional economies. We want to celebrate the best examples of high streets, as well as those individual businessmen and women playing a leading role. “The Government is doing everything in our power to ensure high streets continue to thrive.” Suzan Kereere, head of Merchant Services, Europe, Visa, added: “Visa is very proud to be supporting the Great British High Street Awards at a time when the nation’s high streets are transforming as both technology and consumer behaviour evolve, with consumers looking for a range of different experiences on their high streets. Businesses and communities have shown themselves to be highly adaptable, resilient and creative in meeting these demands. “Visa is committed to finding innovative ways to support merchants and consumers and helping communities and economies to thrive. High street merchants help to establish and preserve bonds within communities that are as valuable as the economic benefits they generate.” *The research was conducted by 3Gem between April 26 and May 8, 2018 and surveyed 2,000 consumers and 750 independent high street retailers across the UK.
ENTRY FOR THE GREAT BRITISH HIGH STREET AWARDS CLOSES ON AUGUST 22
pen to Northern Ireland high streets for the first time this year, the Great British High Street Awards were created to showcase successful initiatives overcoming the challenges of a rapidly changing environment as an example for councils, businesses, community groups and volunteers. High streets are eligible to win up to £10,000 for their local community, plus the opportunity for their local businesses and consumers to participate in a Visa GBHS Spend & Win Competition, which rewards the people that make our high streets so special.
The Awards are run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, and will name winners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland across two categories, the Champion and Rising Star awards. An overall winner will also be named. The Champion High Street category will recognise the nation’s best high streets whilst the Rising Star High Street category, sponsored by SumUp, will recognise the nation’s most ambitious high streets, which are taking the lead and working together to revive, adapt and diversify.
In addition, Visa GBHS Street Teams will be visiting randomly selected high streets during the Awards to promote entered high streets and surprise and delight local businesses and consumers with activities and giveaways. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony in London in November celebrating the high streets that are succeeding and influencing change. For more information about the Great British High Street Awards 2018 and to enter, visit http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk.
RETAIL NEWS - INDEPENDENTS
BARCODE FESTIVAL RAISES £250,000 FOR GROCERYAID
ver 1,600 colleagues attended GroceryAid’s first Barcode Festival on June 28, raising £250,000 for the charity and marking a step change in its fundraising initiatives. Baked in sunshine, Barcode Festival took place at Hawker House in London, opening its doors to a wide cross section of industry colleagues from factory and store workers through to CEOs. The very best of food and drink was on display throughout the festival via the innovative Incubator, sizzling Demo Stage and incredible sponsor activations. Guests were entertained by headliners Kaiser Chiefs, who were joined on the Skittles Main Stage by Sigma, Greg James
and Levi Roots. Immersing himself in the festival atmosphere, Levi also took to the Demo Stage, followed by Aldo Zilli. “We always hoped that Barcode was going to be a game-changer for the
charity but the end result has exceeded my expectations bringing colleagues together in a way I have never seen before,” said Steve Barnes, chief executive of GroceryAid. “I could not be prouder of our industry for their amazing support and my team for the flawless execution.” Mark Smith, CEO of Reach, said: “This was a transformational event. It is inclusive at every level, brings retailers and suppliers together, and most importantly brings in fundraising for people less fortunate than ourselves.” Barcode Festival will return in 2019. For further information, see www.barcodefestival.co.uk and @ BarcodeFestival.
NI LOTTERY WINNERS CELEBRATE 5,000 SUNSHINE BOOSTS RETAIL FOOTFALL IN MILLIONAIRES MILESTONE NORTHERN IRELAND ational Lottery winners from Northern 2017 and April 2018, an average of
Ireland recently came together at one of Belfast’s top restaurants to celebrate 5,000 millionaires across the UK since the first draw in November 1994. The winners were also celebrating Northern Ireland’s luckiest lottery year by far, with an amazing 14 new millionaires being created here between April
one millionaire every 26 days bringing the total number of National Lottery millionaires in Northern Ireland to 117. In all, 748 players from Northern Ireland have banked a big prize of £50,000 or more, out of a national UK figure of more than 38,800 big winners across all National Lottery games since 1994.
National Lottery winning binman Stephen Inglis from Bangor raises a toast to fellow lottery winners, from left, Stephanie Harkin (Derry), Catherine Kidd (Draperstown), Claire Marks (Ballyclare) and Mary Hamilton (Belfast).
SUPPORTING CALL FOR MORE LOCAL GOVERNMENT POWERS
etail NI has supported the Northern Ireland Local Government Association’s call for more powers for the 11 local councils. “As a business organisation, we are working with every council on planning, town centre regeneration and economic development on behalf of our members,” said Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI.
“Giving councils more powers over transport, planning, regeneration, the environment, on-street car parking and business development is clearly a sensible approach, particularly in the absence of a working Assembly. “Councils are key partners in developing our economy and they need the additional powers to realise that potential.”
ootfall grew by 3.6% in Northern Ireland in June, the fastest growth since Dec 2016 (4.6%) and making it the fastest growing region in June, according to the latest figures from Springboard. Footfall grew on the High Street (6.2%), the highest rate since June 2014 (11.8%) and Retail Parks (6.2%) the highest rate in this location since Dec 2016 (9.6%), while it fell 4.4% in Shopping Centres. “This month’s figures are a small tonic for retailers as Northern Ireland finished head and shoulders above the other countries and regions of the UK,” said Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium (NIRC). “It is particularly encouraging to see the high street having its best footfall result in four years. Usually we would be somewhat cautious about highlighting the impact of the weather being a factor in our footfall but NI consumers are literally buying as the sun shines.” Meanwhile, NIRC has said the current political stagnation is harming retail provision as well as endangering future investment. The comments came as NI and national representatives from the grocery, fast food, DIY, pharmacy, optical and health & beauty sectors met in Belfast for NIRC’s Policy Day, meeting with politicians, leading government and public authority officials and influencers. 11
RETAIL NEWS - SYMBOLS
NEW CENTRA STORES OPEN IN DERRY & CRAIGAVON
From left, Norman Bennett, customer manager, Centra with Tom Greene, owner of Centra Lake Road Craigavon.
entra, has opened a new store in the City of Derry, creating 30 new jobs and bringing £750,000 investment to Derry~Londonderry, while an additional opening in Craigavon represents a further 30 new jobs and £2.5m investment. The new Derry store, located on Waterloo Place in the City Centre is operated by the Kavanagh Group, and will be the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. “We are incredibly proud of the new Centra store which has some of the latest developments in leading convenience
retailing in Northern Ireland,” said Nigel Maxwell, sales director of Centra. “The high specification the Kavanagh Group have put into the store is truly incredible and we’d like to wish them every success with their fantastic new store.” The store will feature Northern Ireland’s first Green Kitchen salad range, Frank and Honest coffee, a hot wing bar, hot and cold food to go range, seating area, offlicence, scoop ice cream and an in-store bakery. Meanwhile, the Craigavon investment by Musgrave and the Greene family comprises a new Centra store and Go Fuel forecourt, located at Lake Road, close to Rushmere Shopping Centre. The Greene family is well known in the local community, having owned and operated convenience retail stores in Craigavon for 35 years including a site at nearby Legahory shopping centre. “This store has been developed
From left, Sarah Doherty, fresh food manager of Centra Waterloo Place and Nigel Maxwell, Musgrave’s sales director of Centra.
with the ever-busy commuter in mind, providing a range of fresh food and convenience options, alongside an extensive grocery range,” said Tom Greene, owner. “As well as being a onestop shop for food, household necessities and vehicle fuel, the new Centra store offers comfortable, stylish surroundings.” Centra Lake Road also features the latest in energy-saving technology across all electrical appliances, including environmentally friendly fridges, lighting and state-of-the-art kitchen equipment.
NEW CONVENIENCE STORE BRINGS 30 JOBS TO CO ANTRIM
ocal convenience retail brand Mace, which is owned by Musgrave, has opened its latest Mace Store of the Future on Main Street in Toomebridge, creating 30 jobs and bringing significant investment to the area. Store owners, the Boyd family, who now have two stores in Toomebridge, the first of which opened in 1964 on Roguery Road, have invested £200,000 in the new store. “The Boyd family have completely transformed the local convenience market for people in Toomebridge and the surrounding areas,” said Maurice Cusack, marketing manager at Mace. “Outside, customers will notice bold
From left, Mairead McFerran, deli manager with Frank Boyd and Gerard Boyd, store owners.
changes to the look and feel of the store with new branding using the contemporary Mace colour palate, creating a striking, fresh and modern store frontage.” The shop’s offer includes Frank and Honest Coffee, and a new hot and cold
deli, Munch & Co, featuring a selection of sandwiches, wraps, baguettes and speciality focaccia bread options filled with fresh meats, cheeses and salad and sauces, a wide range of salads and salad bowl options and a burrito bar. Its hot food offering, meanwhile, includes breakfast, lunch and dinner options, with the store space also extending to a new café-style seating area. The store has increased in size from 800 to 2,000 square feet, and also features the latest in energysaving technology across all electrical appliances, including environmentally friendly fridges, lighting and state-ofthe-art kitchen equipment.
COSTCUTTER REVAMPS ITS WEST BELFAST STORE
ostcutter in Andersonstown, West Belfast reopened this June, with a new look and offering designed to give its shoppers a better range of convenience products and services. The store, known locally as The Gem, has undergone a major refit and extension as part of a national brand transformation programme for Costcutter in the UK. Using data provided by the Shopper First dashboard, the store has been extended and introduced a number of significant changes including launching a wider range of food-to-go 12
and fresh and chilled products, many of which come from local suppliers to give shoppers a truly local experience. The store, which benefits from the close proximity of both residential estates and local businesses, has used the detailed information and range design recommendations provided through Shopper First to reconstruct the store’s offering and create enticing ranges that will bring people in for quick fixes for breakfast, lunch and evening meal solutions. These changes include trebling the
size of its fresh, chilled and frozen food section and introducing an extensive food-to-go area, complete with a small seating area, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Country Choice hot snacks and Ottis range of buns. “The store has been designed to truly identify the needs of the local community and to offer not just the products they want, but a fantastic shopping experience,” said Larry Drumm, owner. “As one of the first wave of new-look Costcutter stores in Northern Ireland, we’ve been delighted with the results.”
RETAIL NEWS - CHARITY
SPAR NI RAISES £90,000 FOR MARIE CURIE
over the £200,000 mark in total funds raised, which PAR NI has raised over £90,000 for its charity partner Marie Curie, between its hat equates to over 10,350 hours of community campaign at the Balmoral Show in May and nursing services,” said Bronagh Luke, head of its Blooming Great Tea Parties initiative in corporate marketing at the Henderson Group. June. Also at Balmoral, a series of CPR and SPAR’s sea of red cowboy hats returned defibrillator awareness sessions were held in to Balmoral Show this year, raising the enjoy local marquee with the Northern £18,260 as show goers donated what Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) as part they could in return for one of the most of SPAR’s ambition to install over 300 in-demand products at the Show. Automatic External Defibrillators outside Meanwhile, during the Marie Curie stores in Northern Ireland with the Heart of Blooming Great Tea Party morning on June our Community campaign. 16, 220 local stores attracted donations Throughout the four days, 3,000 people totalling £74,876. engaged with NIAS, while over 1,500 took “Marie Curie has been our charity partner the opportunity to practice CPR and use a since March 2017, and this latest influx From left, Eimear McCooey, Marie Curie and Lucy McCormack, Henderson Group. defibrillator on the manikins. in donations has taken us comfortably
SUPERVALU SUPERSTARS SEARCH GETS UNDERWAY
uperValu’s SuperStars initiative is seeking nominees of local heroes who have gone beyond the call of duty to help people and communities in need. “We have introduced new categories this year, which are Young SuperStar, Fundraising SuperStar, Unsung SuperStar, Community Group SuperStar, Social Enterprise SuperStar, SuperValu Action Cancer SuperStar and the Overall SuperValu SuperStar 2018,” said Stephen Bogle, brand manager at SuperValu. “So, as well as identifying kids and adults who have done something remarkable or selfless, we are rewarding the work done by people in the social
enterprise sector, in community groups and we have introduced a special award for SuperValu colleagues who work tirelessly all year raising funds for Action Cancer. “We’re calling on everyone to get involved - if your friend, family member, neighbour, work colleague or someone in your community deserves recognition, this is your chance to give them their moment in the spotlight.” Finalists will attend a prestigious ceremony in Titanic Hotel on November 22, hosted by TV personality Pamela Ballantine, and will each receive SuperValu vouchers with the overall SuperValu SuperStar walking away with a five-star family holiday.
SHOPPERS HELP TEARFUND CAMPAIGN REACH OVER £678,000
ver £678,000 has been raised for African charity Tearfund via in-store and online donations for the Henderson Group’s Change for Life campaign through its SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO brands. Both the Department for International Development, From left, Ruth Koch, director at Tearfund and the retail brands matched Northern Ireland, and Bronagh Luke, head of corporate marketing at the Henderson funds raised by the public Group. during the campaign which ran from November 2017 to January this year. The triple donations mean that vital funds will go towards Tearfund’s work in the Central African Republic to empower those who have been affected by conflict to overcome poverty for good.
From left, Stephen Bogle, brand manager of SuperValu, and awards host Pamela Ballantine.
To nominate a SuperValu SuperStar, visit www.supervalu.co.uk and fill in the nomination form. Entries close on August 31.
EUROSPAR RECOGNISES LOCAL SUPER DADS
wo local men have been recognised in a Super Dad campaign launched by EUROSPAR and VIVOXTRA supermarkets in Northern Ireland, which saw the winners presented with cheques Catherine McAlynn (far right) and Daniel Comiskey (far left) from EUROSPAR totalling £1,500 on Father’s Day. present Terry Moore with a cheque for Dundonald man Terry Moore £1,000 with his daughter Ashleigh, wife Heather and grandson Ezra. was nominated by his daughters Ashleigh and Leanne and, despite overcoming major health issues this year, works with the Belfast Trust’s Disabilities New Beginners Project as a mentor, as well as volunteering with an organisation called Street Soccer NI. Richard Orme from Ballynahinch was also presented a cheque for £500 from his local VIVOXTRA store after being nominated by his son, Jamie. 13
RETAIL NEWS - SYMBOLS
MORAN’S RETAIL INVESTS £2.4M IN STORE REVAMPS
oran’s Retail is investing £2.4m as part of a regeneration drive across its three Northern Ireland stores, creating 25 new jobs across its DerryLondonderry, Ballykelly and Coleraine operations. The developments will coincide with the introduction of an innovative online system to fast-track food-to-go ordering. In Derry-Londonderry, Moran’s is demolishing its Strand Road service station and Centra store to make way for an improved customer experience, including increased forecourt capacity and car parking, and enhanced retail space with a particular focus on the fresh food-to-go offer. The £1.6m redevelopment will double the current retail space, and create an additional 15 full- and part-time posts. The revamp of Moran’s SuperValu store in Ballykelly will see the firm invest £350,000 before the end of this year. Five full and part-time posts will be created as a result of the refurbishment project,
a little extra,” said John Moran, managing director of Moran’s. “Servicing our customers well is what we’ve built our family business on since it started in 1983 and that foundation won’t be changing any time soon. “We’ve undertaken this regeneration project with a particular focus on improving quality and speeding up the way John Moran, managing our customers access our ‘fooddirector of Moran’s Retail. to-go’ and freshly prepared deli items. We’ve invested heavily which includes enlarging the in-house in new digital systems which will vastly food production facility, expanding the improve customer experience when butchery and deli areas, and upgrading ordering fast and fresh breakfast, lunch, the forecourt. dinner and more. A further five new jobs will result from “Moran’s Retail employs 120 a similar £400,000 regeneration of the people across the North West and this company’s Coleraine service station and redevelopment project will help us create Centra store, which includes enlarging even more local jobs in Derry, Coleraine the in-house food production facility, and and Ballykelly. The investment will also deli areas, upgrading the forecourt and ensure a bright future for our existing carwash facilities. employees, many of whom have been “We asked our customers what they with us for a very long time and are the wanted from our stores and now we’re backbone of our business.” simply doing what they’ve asked, plus
RETAIL NEWS - MULTIPLES
LIDL NI LAUNCHES NEW MANAGEMENT DEGREE PROGRAMME
idl Northern Ireland has created a new Feed Your Mind management degree programme, offering 40 places to retail and logistics managers who will undertake an Ulster University degree while receiving on-the-job experience and a full salary. Candidates should have a minimum of two years’ experience, and positions will be offered across Lidl’s 190-plus stores and warehouses across the island of Ireland, with the new programme representing an annual investment of £2m. Commencing in October 2018, the programme will offer a two-year fixedterm contract across the roles of deputy store manager or deputy logistics manager, and is open to both external applicants and existing Lidl managers. Delivered in conjunction with Ulster University and Irish Times Training, candidates will undertake a University Accredited Foundation Degree in Management Practice with Specialism in Retail. “The degree programme is an exceptional opportunity for those in the
TESCO EXPANDS ITS CLANDEBOYE RANGE early stages of retail management who want to fast track their career with one of the world’s most ambitious global retailers,” said Maeve McCleane, director of Human Resources at Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland. “Lidl has a very clear vision for success within the global retail industry and we want the most skilled and talented team possible on our journey.” For further information and to apply for the programme, visit jobs.lidl-ni.co.uk.
TS FOODS SECURES £600,000 LISTING WITH B&M RETAIL
ocal chilled and frozen food producer TS Foods has secured a £600,000 deal with discount retail group B&M Retail. The new contract will see two of the company’s Tony’s Chippy branded frozen products - Pork Sausages in Batter and Beef Burgers in Batter - listed in over 260 B&M Retail-owned Heron Foods stores across England. In addition, the Tony’s Chippy Battered Sausages will be listed in over 80 B&M stores. Tony’s Chippy products are already listed in a number of retailers in Northern Ireland and Scotland including Tesco, SPAR, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Iceland. “We have been making products that enable Northern Irish customers to enjoy an authentic chip-shop taste straight from the oven for 40 years,” said Joanne Molloy, managing director of TS Foods. “However, as a business we have recently been making it a priority to focus our efforts not just here in NI, but throughout the rest of the UK.” Sophie Peters, frozen buyer at B&M Retail, said: “Our business has been built on helping our customers buy big
From left, Sophie Peter, frozen buyer at B&M Retail and Nigel WIlliams, business development manager at TS Foods.
Tesco is exclusively stocking three new Clandeboye Estate Greek Style Yoghurt variants, Mandarin & Lime, White Chocolate & Raspberry and Mango & Nectarine, in 12 of its stores. “Flavoured yoghurts are the top performing dairy category among NI consumers ahead of products such as plain yoghurts, fromage frais, and layered yoghurts,” said Jonathan McWhinney, buyer at Tesco Northern Ireland. “The Clandeboye brand is synonymous with quality and we are excited to stock these exciting new flavours and give Tesco customers what they’re looking for this summer.” Bryan Boggs of Clandeboye Estate said the new listing would increase its sales volumes by between 5-10%.
AVONDALE SECURES EXTRA SPECIAL DEAL
name brands for less. We only work with trusted suppliers that are just as dedicated to providing high quality, great tasting food at affordable prices as we are.”
Lurgan-based Avondale Foods has secured a deal to supply Asda’s range of own brand Extra Special coleslaws, potato salads, side salads and salad meals to the supermarket’s UK wide store network. The national contract will see Avondale Foods produce 20 lines of Asda own brand salads – which includes vegan products. It builds on the company’s existing partnership with Asda, which already stocks its market-leading range of Country Kitchen coleslaws and traditional vegetable broth. Asda also expanded its range of vegetables sourced from Gilfresh this summer, adding scallions to carrots, cabbages, swede and broccoli already supplied by the Loughgall business.
MY LIFE IN THE GROCERY TRADE SIMON LAYTON, HEAD OF REGION FOR M&S NORTHERN IRELAND
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? I started in retail at 16, working for Boots, and loved the interaction with real people – especially as I worked on the photo counter, processing customers’ memories. I joined M&S through the Business Placement Programme in 2003, as part of my university studies, and found that my early retail experience was invaluable, transferrable and gave me the opportunity to realise my dream of leading a team of people to deliver great things every day. WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE? I work with 21 amazing store teams in Northern Ireland and am ultimately responsible for leading all the store managers to inspire their teams to make every moment special for their customers. I love my job – when I started as a business development trainee, I always wanted to run a region in M&S and I’m very excited to be working alongside such an enthusiastic team in Northern Ireland. WHEN DID YOU TAKE UP THIS POST? I am pretty new to the role, having only started in May, but I’ve already spent time in all of our 21 stores and am getting to know everyone very quickly.
WHAT ARE THE BEST /WORST PARTS OF YOUR JOB? I love the diversity of my job. There’s no other business where, under one roof, you are responsible for a phenomenal food operation, cafés, delis, bakeries and the wide age range of our clothing offer. There isn’t a worst part of the job – when things go wrong, it’s actually quite exciting to find ways to put the customer first and fix them without anyone noticing. We have a lot of things that are out of my control such as the weather affecting sailings and deliveries because our food is so fresh, but I have a great team that keep things moving as much as possible and we work hard to minimise any disruption to our Northern Ireland customers. BRIEFLY OUTLINE A TYPICAL DAY The great thing about working for M&S is that every day is different. I’m usually talking to people, which is what I love doing the most – and that could be visiting a store, talking about how we can enhance the customer experience or visiting a local community project to see how our teams are making a difference. I spend most of my time on our sales floors, hearing from customers and our great colleagues. About once a month, I travel across to our Head Office in London, to hear about our plans for new initiatives and projects or to other regions so that we can share ideas together to be better for our customers. WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? There have been so many. I have been
so proud to lead many amazing teams but the standout moment for me was opening my own store. The buzz on opening day, after so much hard work is hard to match. WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING INVOLVED WITH THE LOCAL RETAIL INDUSTRY? I love the buzz of retail – it’s an exciting, diverse and dynamic industry, continuously adapting as a result of consumers’ changing shopping habits, competition, new technology and rising costs. I’m fairly new to the local retail industry but I’m very clear that we have an important role to play in supporting our local farmers, producers, town centres and the communities in which we work. Having celebrated 50 years of trading in Northern Ireland last year, it is evident how connected our customer is with the M&S brand and our local supply base here. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AWAY FROM WORK? I have a passion for cars and anything mechanical. I also love to travel when I can and have just returned from exploring western Canada. TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE MAY KNOW I’ve been to Walt Disney World 16 times! I find the organisation of the parks fascinating which is something I have integrated into my work to provide M&S customers with an enhanced shopping experience.
FANTA IS READY FOR ANOTHER SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN SEASON GHOULISH ON-PACK CHARACTERS AND HALLOWEEN THEMED SNAPCHAT FILTERS AND LENSES SET TO FRIGHT AND DELIGHT CONSUMERS
he Halloween occasion is worth an estimated €24m to retailers and, in 2018, Fanta will excite and delight young adults across Ireland once again with another Spooktacular campaign. Last year, Fanta’s campaign delivered 9.7% growth of household penetration for the brand during the Halloween season, with approximately 20,000 new households purchasing the brand. This autumn, Fanta will own the occasion once again, bringing its fun and irreverent brand personality from in-store to social with another exclusive snapchat promotion. Celebrating all things supernatural, the fun will begin with ghoulish characters including a new cyclops
graphic, featuring across packs including Fanta Orange, Fanta Orange Zero, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Exotic Zero, and the popular new Fanta Pink Grapefruit Zero. The new packs are expected to create stir with shoppers as the ‘frightful’ faces stare out from shelves. Running from September 3 to November 11, the campaign will then be brought to life for consumers virtually with spooky Snapchat filters and lenses available to download from every promotional pack featuring the creepy creatures. By entering a unique code available on promotional packs, consumers can unlock exclusive Halloween-themed Snapchat content.
Fanta understands that Snapchat is a preferred platform for teens and young adults, and will leverage it to drive engagement and excitement. With 97% of the target audience consuming online media via their phones, and 74% using social media each evening, the Snapchat campaign will bring some Fanta fun straight into the hands of consumers. In Fanta’s unique way, it will also bring Halloween to life for consumers in-store with disruptive point-of-sale, and WOW displays to help connect with both young adults and mums who are seeking exciting Halloween party solutions. Kylie Magee, shopper marketing manager, said: “Halloween offers a significant opportunity to drive incremental revenue for retailers and, with our fun and engaging campaign to drive excitement in the season, we are confident that we will capture this growth for our partners with Fanta. “Halloween has now become a key season for Fanta. The occasion contributed 5.7% to Fanta’s incremental growth in 2017 and we are confident that we will build on that success with this year’s campaign. “Leveraging the popularity of Snapchat among our key audience will bring the ghoulish excitement directly into the sights of our consumers once again.” The Snapchat campaign will also have 360-degree support, including out-ofhome advertising, experiential activity, and additional social and influencer engagement. 17
FOREST FEAST GOES (MONKEY) NUTS FOR HALLOWEEN WITH WACKIEST-EVER CAMPAIGN
orest Feast, the premium dried fruit, nut and seed company, has gone all out for Halloween this year, with the most ‘nutty’ marketing campaign in the brand’s history. The unique promotion will see one lucky person immortalised as a miniature piece of art using the country’s most popular Halloween snack - the humble monkey nut. The monkey nut madness will see the public challenged to nominate a family member, friend or even a colleague who they think would look great as a monkey nut art piece, by simply tagging them on Instagram or Facebook and using the campaign hashtag #makemeamonkeynut. As well as the chance to select someone to be recreated in nut-form by American-based peanut artist, Steve Casino, all those nominating a nutty individual, will be entered into a prize draw to win a five-star weekend for two worth £500 at the luxury Lough Erne Resort. The promotion will be supported by in-store PoS, and a comprehensive PR and advertising programme, and all marketing activity will be underpinned by a social media campaign using the hashtag #makemeamonkeynut Launching on September 18, to coincide with products being available in store,
One lucky individual will be immortalised in monkey nut form by American nut artist, Steve Casino, who also created the Forest Feast Zombie Monkey Nut as part of the company’s frightfully fun campaign.
the frightfully fun campaign promises to have some ‘n’utterly creative surprises along the way. Andrea Cahill from Forest Feast explained the inspiration behind the wacky campaign: “Monkey nuts are synonymous with Halloween, an event which seems to grow in popularity every year. At Forest Feast we love the fun to be had with Fright Night, and wanted to create a seasonal campaign that consumers could really get involved in – one that would also make them smile and generate online conversations – an important platform for us.
“Steve Casino’s attention to detail in the art he creates is absolutely amazing. He spends at least 20 hours on each model he crafts, with truly lifelike resemblance. We think people will love them just as much as we do and we’re really excited to see Steve’s latest creation when the competition closes – our very own #makemeamonkeynut winner.” The seasonal Halloween range includes a 500g novelty bucket of peanuts in shell, 170g and 300g peanuts in shell packs as well as roasted peanuts in shell. Other in shell favourites in the range include 150g walnuts, 150g hazelnuts and 180g mixed nuts. Completing the spooky series, shoppers can also choose from share packs of chocolate peanuts, chocolate and yogurt raisins, super natural mixed nuts and frightfully good fruit and nut. The Forest Feast Halloween range RRPs from £1-£3.99. Retailers keen to stock the seasonal product range with the campaign’s FSDU should get in touch with Forest Feast’s sales team on 028 3835 0934.
FRANCHISE & FASCIA
STRONGEST SYMBOL GROUPS CONTINUE TO THRIVE
53 35 19
5 HENDERSON GROUP ■ ■ ■ ■
SPAR VIVO/VIVO ESSENTIALS EUROSPAR VIVOEXTRA
MUSGRAVE ■ MACE ■ CENTRA ■ SUPERVALU
SAVAGE & WHITTEN ■ TODAY’S LOCAL ■ TODAY’S EXPRESS ■ TODAYS’S EXTRA
NISA ■ INDEPENDENT ■ LOCAL & EXTRA
COSTCUTTER SUPERMARKETS GROUP ■ COSTCUTTER ■ SUPERSHOP
GROCERY FRANCHISE & FASCIA OPERATORS IN NORTHERN IRELAND BY STORE NUMBER SOURCE: ALL FIGURES WITH THE EXCEPTION OF COSTCUTTER SUPPLIED TO ULSTER GROCER BY RETAIL GROUPS *2017 ESTIMATE FROM BELFAST TELEGRAPH
ranchise and fascia retailers represent a solid and, for the best operators, profitable sector of the Northern Ireland grocery market. While the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel in the table below highlights a decline in market share for symbols overall, many of the individual retail groups operating local franchises are posting year-on-year growth in both shop
numbers and turnover. The table above features July 2018 shop numbers provided by each of the main symbol groups with the exception of Costcutter, for which an estimate has been used based on 2017 figures quoted in the Belfast Telegraph. Costcutter is said to be in takeover talks with the Co-op, which has already taken over as the symbol group’s wholesale
supplier following the collapse of Palmer & Harvey last year. The Co-op also completed its acquisition of Nisa in May. The table below also illustrates the ongoing and growing dominance of the multiples with Tesco in continued growth, while its proposed merger with Sainsbury’s would create major market dominance. Lidl’s market share is also creeping up.
ESTIMATED RETAIL GROCERY MARKET SHARE IN NORTHERN IRELAND (%) – SOURCE: KANTAR WORLDPANEL 20
We listened to what our customers want and designed a completely new shopping experience. This is about surprising and delighting shoppers with a fresher, healthier, more innovative offer. Itâ€™s also about bringing independent retailers a dynamic, cost effective retail offer, that delivers above average returns.
A differentiating offer under the Munch & Co deli brand, with delicious signature menu items for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
To find out more contact our Sales & Development managers: Caroline Rowan 07890 636961 Barry Holland 07795965204
MACE_Press Ad_220x307mm.indd 1
FRANCHISE & FASCIA
HENDERSON GROUP – ACHIEVING GROWTH THROUGHOUT NORTHERN IRELAND HENDERSON GROUP, OWNER OF THE SPAR, EUROSPAR, VIVO, VIVOXTRA AND VIVO ESSENTIALS FRANCHISES IN NORTHERN IRELAND, HAS MADE THEIR NETWORK ONE OF THE MOST COMPETITIVE IN THE LOCAL MARKET. HERE, PADDY DOODY, SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR AT HENDERSON GROUP, EXPLAINS THE INVESTMENTS AND EXPANSIONS LEADING TO GROWTH AND GREATER BRAND ENGAGEMENT OVER THE PAST YEAR
017 was a year where all of our brands experienced healthy growth, in particular SPAR and EUROSPAR, opening 36 new outlets. We have just opened our 61st EUROSPAR within the £10m Wallace Village in Lisburn, and it is a perfect example of how our supermarket offering can compete with the multiples in quality, value and accessibility. “Locality is key with everything we do. We have a network of over 450 stores across every town in Northern Ireland, both company and independently owned and, with that, comes a knowledge of, not just what the local consumer wants, but a hyper local knowledge – we know what different towns demand throughout the country. “We’re able to supply to that need with our ever-growing range of own-brand products, as well as our range of locally sourced fresh and ambient products from local farmers, growers and suppliers. For example, while all SPAR stores will carry the enjoy local range of meat, poultry, fish, fruit and veg, a store in Bangor will carry fresh bread from their local bakery, which makes all the difference to what a consumer comes to appreciate as local sourcing. “This locality extends from our shelves into communities. EUROSPAR staff and shoppers have raised £896,000 for Cancer Fund for Children, while SPAR NI’s two-year partnership with Marie Curie NI has raised over £200,000. We are constantly championing those in the local community and taking care of them too; our Heart of the Community campaign has now installed over 200 automated external defibrillators outside our stores, available to the public 24/7. “Last year, we developed Meal Inspirations, which utilised our already popular own-brand ranges, enjoy local and The Kitchen, and inspired shoppers with creative combination cooking – more accessible than scratch cooking – for tonight’s tea. In store, all those products were merchandised and shelved 22
together to create a one-stop-shop for a delicious meal that didn’t cost the earth or require all evening to cook. “This allows our retailers to cater to speciality tastes and demand for certain products and meals within their local area. They know what sells and what their customers want, so they take advantage of the Meal Inspirations initiative, and our other sales and footfall drivers, and make it work for them. “That community knowledge is what draws shoppers to our outlets, but it’s what we provide that keeps them coming back. Not only have we developed new ways of shopping and more accessible ways to cook a meal, but a range of services in store that have become a go-to everyday essential for many of our shoppers. “Barista Bar is our retail coffee offering which is now available in almost 400 of our stores, most of which have two machines thanks to its popularity. It complements our Daily Deli offering, which offers hot foodto-go, or stay, throughout the day. We invested £1m in the development of Daily Deli in 2017, providing breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, from loaded
fries to global specialities, and many stores are now offering seating areas for shoppers to enjoy a re-fuel in store. “Barista Bar’s new loyalty card and app was launched this year and is going from strength to strength, giving greater reasons for return visits. “We have recently launched our Occasions range, which brings together our flowers, cards and cake ranges, as well as seasonal products and specialities. Again, these can be locally sourced for different areas, but will also come from our warehouses in Mallusk where our teams are continuing to form great relationships and product development with local companies and suppliers. “SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO are more than just brands, they’re a name above the door that can be trusted for fresh, quality and value products as well as a commitment to the local community in which they trade. We will continue to invest and create more opportunities for our retail network to boost their own growth, sales and footfall while also building state-ofthe-art stores and supermarkets to further service communities across Northern Ireland.”
EST. 1897 with 120 years of experience and five award winning brands, we know the key to success!
In 2017, Henderson Group
£47m throughout its retail network, infrastructure and employment to drive retail sales, increase margin and support store growth
Henderson Retail was crowned
Independent Retailer of the Year at the Retail Industry Awards 2017.
opened in 2017
SPAR, EUROSPAR and VIVO stores in Northern Ireland
We are Passionate about Local fresh food, sourcing
£4m in local marketing
to ensure footfall driving promotions for retailers
of all fresh products from local farmers, growers and suppliers
rise in employment in 2017
£30m+ Barista Bar coffee and treats is now in more than 300 outlets.
investment in facilities continues with a new ambient and chilled warehouse planned for 2019/20
stores in Northern Ireland
Call us now to find out more on how to join leading retail experts, Henderson Wholesale. Contact a member of our sales team on: 02890 337866 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FRANCHISE & FASCIA
CHANGING DIRECTION WITH TODAY’S RETAILER DAMIAN LAVERY TELLS ULSTER GROCER WHY SWITCHING TO TODAY’S WAS THE BEST DECISION HE COULD HAVE MADE
018 has been the year of change for Mallusk retailer Damian Lavery, parting company with his previous symbol group in April in favour of the Today’s brand, which is supported by Savage and Whitten (S&W) Wholesale, based in Newry. Trading in the site for the last 14 years, Damian has seen some major changes in the retail landscape over that time. With his trade evolving to a more convenience based offering, he felt the time was right to have a change of direction to keep up with the competition and prepare his business for any future challenges that lay ahead. After some in-depth discussions, Damian recognised that a partnership with S&W would be the ideal way forward for his business. Once the decision was made, a detailed conversion 24
plan was put in place by the Today’s store development team to convert the store to its current offering. As part of this conversion process, the store has been refitted and remerchandised to accommodate the new Today’s Express format. Since the store has been rebranded to the new Today’s Express format, Damian remarked that the customer response has been overwhelmingly positive with many customers commenting on the new look. “They are also very impressed with the new vibrant look and the layout of the store,” he says. While the site already had many amenities including coffee, food to go and a main Post Office, the implementation of the new store layout by Today’s has been a great success. The shop has now been set up to maximise
the footfall in the local area. Despite the shop being transformed inside and out, at no point did Damian have to cease trading during the renovations. “There was a wee bit of upheaval, but we kept everything open and Today’s were very good at working around us,” says Damian. With a background in IT, Damian was keen to get to working with Savage and Whitten’s enhanced online website and the Rescan EPOS system, which is now in 85 of the Today’s stores locally. Damien commented that having a fully integrated in-house EPOS system gives him access to the latest promotions and pricing info which is downloaded daily to the back-office. With the system being managed from Savage and Whitten’s head office in Newry, someone is always on hand to provide advice and guidance on the workings of the new system if required. Damien also commented: “In addition to EPOS support, the Today’s business development manager for my store calls on a weekly basis with an agenda which is all about driving sales and margin. Working together with the BDM, we now have a long-term plan in place for the site and we are keen to achieve all the goals and targets that we are working towards. “I would recommend Today’s to any retailer. They have supported us through the whole conversion process from start to finish, and we have been very happy with their service and support. The recent change to Today’s Express has already seen great benefits for our business and now working in partnership with Savage and Whitten, it can only get better.”
FRANCHISE & FASCIA
BUSINESS IS BOOMING AT MUSGRAVE MUSGRAVE RECENTLY CELEBRATED 35 YEARS OF BUSINESS IN NORTHERN IRELAND. OVER THE LAST FOUR DECADES, WE HAVE MADE OUR MARK ON COMMUNITIES RIGHT ACROSS THE PROVINCE AS A COMMITTED LOCAL EMPLOYER, SUPPORTING OVER 5,000 JOBS, AND A DEDICATED PARTNER OF OVER 130 RETAIL FAMILIES
n Northern Ireland, Musgrave comprises the retail and wholesale divisions of Musgrave Group, supporting independent retailers through the SuperValu, Centra, Mace and DayToday brands and wholesale and foodservice customers through Musgrave Marketplace, La Rousse Foods and Chipmongers. During the first half of 2018, Musgrave has lived out its commitment to loving local – the strapline that featured on our recent TV campaign - by rolling out a significant programme of continued investment, alongside the launch of a range of new initiatives that are having a positive impact in communities across Northern Ireland. STORE REFRESH PROGRAMME This year, Musgrave will invest over £10m in refreshing its store network. In the first six months alone, we have invested £4.5m in the development of several exciting new stores on greenfield sites across the Province, alongside a growing network of refreshed stores. The performance of these stores has been well above expectations, with fantastic customer feedback and consumers responding by shopping more often and buying more each time they shop. Our revamped stores continue to experience strong sales with many reporting double-digit growth. In February, SuperValu Limavady reopened after a significant £600,000 revamp. The store, complete with a Post Office, off licence and fresh fish counter, also has an instore butchers. In advance of this redevelopment, Musgrave conducted extensive research into the changing needs of the consumer, which led to the development of new marketleading ranges including a gourmet and hot carvery sandwich range and a Mex-aGo burrito bar. Over the last three months, Centra has continued an ambitious investment programme. In May, the Greene family worked alongside Musgrave to develop a new £2.5m Centra store and GO Fuel forecourt at Lake Road, Craigavon, close to Rushmere Shopping Centre, creating 30 new jobs. Significant investments 26
in store refresh programmes have also been completed at Centra Greencastle in Omagh within the last few months. The latest MACE ‘Store of the Future’ opened on Main Street in Toomebridge in June, following a £200,000 investment by local retailers, the Boyd family, creating 30 new jobs. The MACE Store of the Future concept is re-defining the local convenience market, with a contemporary look and feel, bolstered by exciting new fresh and hot food-togo offerings that meet the demands of increasingly busy consumers. Our Frank and Honest artisan coffee brand is now brewing in more than 80 SuperValu, Centra and Mace stores across Northern Ireland, with further rollouts planned for the latter part of 2018. The feedback from shoppers and our retailers alike has been fantastic, with the vast majority saying it’s the best on-the-go coffee in the market. This is reflected in the sales, with significant growth in hot beverages in stores with a Frank and Honest concession. There are now 630 Frank and Honest outlets across the island of Ireland, making it the biggest coffee brand on the island. The scale of this geographic spread is perhaps best illustrated on the Frank and Honest website, where you can now ‘find your nearest cup’ with an online store locator at frankandhonest.ie listing locations in every county across Ireland.
In recent months, Musgrave also launched three new Chipmongers outlets in Belfast, Ballymena and Limavady bringing the total in Northern Ireland to four and 14 across the island of Ireland. This represents a total investment of £360,000, creating 36 new jobs in NI. The concept, which puts a modern twist on the traditional chippy, complete with an app delivery service, is growing in popularity across the island of Ireland and Musgrave has ambitious plans to expand the roll out further across NI this year. GOING GREEN In May, Musgrave was named Green Retailer of the Year at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards and we continue to put focus on developing our green credentials, as we roll out an ambitious and robust three-year sustainability strategy. Earlier this year Frank and Honest became the first national coffee brand to announce a move to 100% compostable coffee cups. From September, all Frank and Honest nonrecyclable single-use coffee cups will be replaced with a new compostable cup and lid. The new compostable cups and lids can be organically recycled in the brown food waste bin and commercially composted locally, typically in a matter of weeks.
FRANCHISE & FASCIA Mace Store of the Future opens in Toomebridge.
SuperValu invests £600k in Comber refresh. Frank and Honest launch compostable coffee cups.
MUSGRAVE MARKETPLACE Building on the completion of a £1.1m investment in the upgrade of our Duncrue branch late last year, Musgrave MarketPlace continues to go from strength to strength. At 52,000 square feet, this is one of the largest facilities of its kind in Northern Ireland. The new and improved MarketPlace includes a range of new speciality areas and state-of-the-art technology, offering customers a best-inclass shopping experience. The addition of La Rousse Foods – one of the leading operators in the foodservice sector, specialising in the supply of fine foods to premium food establishments for over 25 years - has also greatly expanded Musgrave’s offering for foodservice customers. With La Rousse now part of the Musgrave family, customers will find a full-service offering from everyday catering products right through to premium five-star dining all under the Musgrave umbrella. CREATING MEANINGFUL PARTNERSHIPS Playing a positive role in the communities in which we operate and inspiring our customers to make healthier choices continues to be a core focus for Musgrave and its independent retailers. We are focused on creating strategic partnerships with other organisations to maximise our engagement with communities across Northern Ireland. Kicking off just in time for summer, SuperValu and Centra joined forces with public transport provider, Translink to launch a novel new Healthy Lunch Off competition, challenging the whole of
Supporting Action Cancer with the Bra Walk.
Centra invests £2.5m in a new store in Craigavon.
Northern Ireland to get creative and come up with a unique, healthy lunch idea. The winner of the Healthy Lunch-Off will take home a cash prize of £500 and have their creation served in SuperValu and Centra delis’ across Northern Ireland. Frank and Honest joined forces with Ulster University to launch a competition asking fashion students to create a wearable garment using only Frank and Honest compostable cups in their design. Centra is also proud to be the title sponsor of the inaugural Northern Ireland Health & Fitness Awards - a celebration of excellence and achievement across the entire health and fitness industry. MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT Musgrave has been raising funds for Action Cancer since 2002 and to date
we have raised a staggering £2.6m. The fundraising work we do supports two distinct Action Cancer projects; the SuperValu Big Bus, which has been a lifesaver for many women across Northern Ireland and the Health Action Programme supported by Centra, which is helping children to take positive strides towards living healthier lifestyles. The charity is currently trialling the introduction of ground-breaking breast screening advanced technology on board the SuperValu Big Bus, which it plans to roll out to SuperValu stores and communities and workplaces this year. The content and delivery of the Health Action Programme continues to evolve, addressing the factors which increase the risk of cancer, and equipping children with the tools and reasons to make choices in their lifestyles that will reduce their risk of cancer in years to come. Although we raise money every day at our stores, one of the main drivers in raising cash for the charity is SuperValu and Centra’s Fundraising Week initiative, which takes place at the end of October, during Halloween. Because of the retailers’ hard work, in October 2017, our top three Fundraising Week stores raised a combined total of £10,826 in one week which went a long way in contributing to the £169,000 raised across Supervalu and Centra stores in 2017. In addition, Mace and Musgrave MarketPlace have built on incredible work with charity partner, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, collectively raising £114,066 since the partnership began in 2016. 27
FRANCHISE & FASCIA
A FRESH FUTURE IN-STORE COSTCUTTER SUPERMARKETS GROUP Tel: 01904 232505 W: www.costcuttersupermarketsgroup.com E: email@example.com
ur mission is to help independent retailers thrive, giving them the support they need to grow their businesses by meeting the changing needs of their local shoppers. Following our new wholesale supply agreement with the Co-op, which launched in spring, our retailers are even better placed to meet the needs of their local shoppers with an improved range, offer and delivery service with over 13,000 lines available. The Co-op own-brand range is due to begin rolling out from summer onwards, eventually offering 2,000 SKUs. And complementing all of this is our direct-to-store facility, which enables the sourcing of local, specialist products. In conjunction with our new supply deal, we’ve also simplified our commercial terms and CSG retailers can now benefit from the most transparent terms in the market, boosted by a rebate scheme that cannot be bettered. We’ve returned to our no-levy, no-surcharge model, backed by competitive bench-marked pricing, so our retailers can clearly understand the costs to their business. And our new rebate scheme rewards their purchasing, offering up to 6% rebate every six weeks. Last year, following the most in-depth study of shoppers in our 30-year history, we launched our Shopper First Programme, a transformation programme bringing together new brand and store design, shopper insights and sales driving range initiatives. Every retailer was provided with detailed shopper profile information for their store, including details of our five core shopper personas. This enables them to better understand their neighbourhood and use this to develop a truly local offer to bring new shoppers into their store. Combined with the new Co-op relationship, our retailers will be better placed to respond to key shopper missions, especially when it comes to the all-important fresh food and food-to-go 28
categories. Our new Costcutter brand and store design has been created to connect with shoppers, stand out from the crowd and transform the in-store experience. The new store design, which is being rolled out to dozens of stores, is a step change in convenience retailing, with a selection of stunning exterior and interior finishes that appeal to today’s shoppers. The fully flexible modular approach allows retailers to invest at a pace that suits their individual needs and focus on the key shopper missions. This new look Costcutter sits alongside the SuperShop brand to allow us to offer retailers the right brand for their store; all underpinned by shopper insights. We place technology innovation at
our retailers’ fingertips, transforming 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, Contactless and SelfService check outs, as well as being the first retailer in the UK to offer finger print payment technology through FingoPay. Our cutting edge Activ Technology systems, including CPoS, ActivOC and retailer portal ActivHUB, have been developed to make the ordering process hassle free and our ActivMOBILE app allows retailers access to all of this information on the go. By putting the needs of shoppers first, we are providing our retailers with the ability to meet changing shopper expectations and buying habits, delivered through fresh, modern store brands that engage with shoppers and help them to continue to grow their business. To find out how we can help you, call the team today on 01904 232505.
Helping you grow your business by putting shoppers first
Are you looking for a partner that will work with you to grow your business to its full potential? Look at what Costcutter can offer you! Fresh, new store brand Right range for your store Support from a team of experts Great promotional package Cutting edge technology solutions Great rebates - earn up to 6%
Our UNIQUE shopper insights drive new footfall AND increase sales with existing shoppers
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01904 232 505 l Come and meet the team l Let us show you our stores www.costcuttersupermarketsgroup.com
O T D E T T I M M CO
S R E L I A T E R R OU SINCE 1977
“We have three forecourt stores with the Nisa Local fascia and have recently updated our Parkgate store to the Store of the Future 2 Evolution format and are really pleased with how it has gone. We joined Nisa in the year 2000 and it’s great. Being with Nisa gives us a lot of freedom to do what we want with our business and the pricing is also better than many groups.
The great thing about Nisa is that nobody tells us what to do but they do know what they are talking about and the advice and guidance we get from the Nisa team really is fantastic. But at the end of the day I am my own boss and I make the final decision as to what we’ll do with our business – that’s not something you get from most other symbol groups.”
The advice and guidance we get from the Nisa team really is fantastic. James Knox, Nisa Local Parkgate, Lurgan - Nisa Retail Partner since the year 2000
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FOOD & DRINKS NEWS
SPECIALITY SHOW A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR INDUSTRY
ood and drink producers will once again have a golden opportunity to meet many of the UK and Ireland’s most influential buyers through the Northern Ireland presentation at the forthcoming Speciality and Fine Food Show at Olympia in London. The show, the biggest event in the UK fine food calendar, offers unrivalled access to the speciality marketplace in Britain including major retailers as well as independents, farm shops, hoteliers and delis. It has a long association with the Guild of Fine Food whose Great Taste awards are held on the evening of the first day of the show. Food NI, assisted by Invest Northern Ireland and in collaboration with the Causeway Coast and Glens and Mid and East Antrim councils, is planning a significant presentation of the best of our food and drink at the three-day event which attracts thousands of buyers and other food influencers including cookery writers and leading journalists. Last year we saw some local producers picking up business from France and further afield. In addition, we will be running tastings in our pavilion which will showcase the versatility and quality of our food and drink. We’d be keen to include as many other councils and individual producers as practicable in the pavilion, which is a substantial investment in both time and other resources for Northern Ireland. We wish to make as big a statement as possible for Northern Ireland food and drink in what is our single most important
marketplace and one, I’ve written before, will grow even more significant in terms of business opportunities and competition for our producers post-Brexit. Other UK regions and European nations will be there in force and determined to grow their market share in Britain. Ireland’s Bord Bia, Scottish Food and Drink and Food and Drink Wales, as well as many English regions, will have substantial stands. There’ll even be significant presentations from other parts of Europe as well as the US and Asia. We really must take every opportunity to shout about the quality and innovation of our food and drink especially in Britain. Events like Speciality Food also help to support retailers, including the major supermarkets, which have already listed or may now be considering stocking products from here. We need to focus on strengthening support for retailers in Britain, especially at this time when a number of supermarkets are culling suppliers. I am confident that we have the range of innovative, wholesome and outstandingly tasty products and skilled producers to make a meaningful impact at Olympia and especially following the Great Taste awards, the winners of which will be announced before the big event at Olympia. Readers will also be well aware of Northern Ireland’s brilliant record in the awards which includes three supreme titles, two for Peter Hannan of Hannan Meats and one for George McCartney
BY MICHELE SHIRLOW, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FOOD NI
of McCartney’s Butchers, both based in Moira. Hannan Meats, moreover, is the most successful ever company in the Great Taste awards. As Peter Hannan, in particular, has found, Speciality and Fine Food is a great occasion at which to leverage success in the Great Taste awards. I believe that it’s essential that we demonstrate a greater willingness to engage with this hugely important marketplace. Britain is, after all, the most accessible marketplace for our companies of all sizes and especially the smaller enterprises which are unlikely to figure – and may not even wish to - in export markets. Food NI will also be supporting the annual World Bread Awards, entries for which close in September. There will be a category again this year for Irish wheaten bread, and I hope bakeries here will grasp the opportunity to raise their profile in Britain by entering this prestigious competition.
HENDERSON FOODSERVICE PICKS UP GROCER GOLD ACCOLADE
enderson Foodservice has picked up the Employer of the Year trophy in the Grocer Gold Awards organised by UK trade magazine The Grocer, and held in London’s historic Guildhall on June 12. Henderson Foodservice was one of 26 winners in what was a record year for entry numbers, with judges praising the company for its ‘clear values and an innovative health and wellbeing plan that’s delivering tangible benefits’. “The annual Grocer Gold awards are renowned and highly respected within the industry and it’s a tribute to our progressive approach, ongoing investment and successful employment
From left, Billy Moore, finance director; Mark StewartMaunder, business development director; Kiera Campbell, sales director; host Rory Bremner; Damien Barrett, managing director; and Peter McMeekin, commercial director.
growth within a competitive market sector,” said Damien Barrett, managing director of Henderson Foodservice. “We’re honoured to win the Employer
of the Year gong and to be the only Northern Ireland company to collect an award – it really is a credit to all the team. Our new employee programme has dramatically cut staff turnover and has significantly improved sales growth. “We continue to push forward with a positive and proactive staff strategy helping to motivate and train our people whilst at the same time enhancing company performance and reputation. We also secured the Investors in People Gold Standard and are immensely proud of that achievement also.” The Mallusk-based food supplier was also a finalist in the Wholesaler of the Year category.
FOOD & DRINKS NEWS
CONSUMER INSIGHT AND MARKET UPDATE BY JASON WINSTANLEY, SENIOR INSIGHT AND RESEARCH MANAGER, MOY PARK CONSUMER LANDSCAPE UPDATE: HALF-YEAR REVIEW In June, Consumer Confidence, as measured by the GfK Index, fell two points to a score of -9. This would not be too unusual were it not for the fact that at the halfway point of the year, this latest move has reinforced an unprecedented consistent pattern in the movements of the Index. Starting the year by bouncing from a December score of -13 to -9 in January, confidence has since then see-sawed each month between a gain and a loss, with the result that six months later, the Index still registers -9. There has not been a period of two successive months where the Index has moved in the same direction since November and December last year - and that direction was down1. So, what is driving this effect? The answer lies in the way consumers feel about their own financial situation versus what they see and hear about the wider economic situation around
So, what can we expect for the second half of 2018? Well almost certainly, more of the same, although probably with slightly more negativity than we have seen in the first half. It is likely that inflation will continue its downward trajectory. This may limit the need for an interest rate rise, although most analysts still expect to see one in August. If and when this comes, it is likely to be a relatively small one, but would probably negatively impact on both personal and national economic sentiment. At the same time, we are likely to see even more Brexit coverage in the media and, with 69% of consumers finding the government’s Brexit policy unclear or confusing4, that is likely to play a major part in keeping a lid on confidence increasing.
them. Inflation is on a downward trend as post-Brexit Referendum price rises, resulting from devaluation of the pound, wash out of the data. Wages growth on the other hand, whilst by no means stellar, has at least caught up with inflation2. As a result, 56% of consumers feel that their own financial situation has stayed the same or got better over the last 12 months, with a similar number expecting this to be the case in the coming year. Conversely, 47% expect the country’s economy to worsen in the next 12 months3. So, we generally have optimism about personal finances, but pessimism about national ones. In June, there was a small decrease in the Major Purchase Index, meaning consumers feel less confident than they did about buying an expensive item. At the same time, there was a corresponding rise in the Savings Index, showing that consumers are more inclined to hold onto their cash.1
[Source: 1 – GfK Consumer Confidence, June 2018; 2 – ONS data, May/June 2018; 3 - YouGov/EuroTrack survey of 1,641 UK consumers, June/July 2018; 4 – YouGov/ Times survey of 1,732 UK adults, July 2018]
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Within the EU Waste Framework Directive, The Waste Hierarchy identifies various steps for effective resource management. To help comply with these guidelines and to maintain environmental compliance, many companies engage with the Invest NI Industrial Symbiosis Service as part of a strategic approach to meet these commitments. This can have a positive impact on the business’s bottom line. Actions to take include:
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FOOD & DRINKS NEWS
RUSTLERS TARGETS NEW OCCASION WITH BREAKFAST LAUNCH K
epak Convenience Foods is introducing Rustlers, the number one brand in Europe for proper flame grilled burgers, to a new eating occasion with the launch of the Rustlers All Day Breakfast Sausage Muffin. The new breakfast product features a sausage patty in a muffin bun, topped with cheese and tomato ketchup, with an RRP of £1.50. “Last year we conducted our largest ever shopper study and learned that, despite not having a breakfast product in our range, breakfast was already an important consumption occasion for the brand,” says Adrian Lawlor, Kepak Convenience Foods’ marketing and business development director. “The shopper study highlighted that Rustlers competes with high street foodservice operators for a number of consumption occasions, in particular lunch, helping our retail partners to win footfall from the QSR’s. Breakfast gives us, and our retail partners, the opportunity to build on this, as it’s an occasion that is performing exceptionally well on the high street. “We wanted to launch a product concept that was well established in foodservice and critically that would be competitive, from a value-for-money perspective, with the leading players in the sector – McDonald’s and Greggs.” “The new product will roll out across Ireland from the end of August.
“The breakfast product launch underlines the growing contribution that chilled convenience can make in retail. A key driver of this is the rise in consumer demand for meal and snack solutions that make their lives easier. This is creating opportunities for retailers to grow shopper missions such as food to go, and we have a range of support packages that can enable retailers to exploit these opportunities.” Retailers interested in stocking the new product should contact +353 (0)1 8822400.
VOLVIC RE-LAUNCHES TOUCH OF FRUIT WITH £2.5M INVESTMENT
his summer, Volvic, the UK’s no 1 bottled water brand* will re-launch its entire Touch of Fruit original range, with half the sugar and a new look ‘refreshing’ packaging. Available nationwide from June, the reformulated range took 18 months of careful development to perfect the recipe. Through using extract from the stevia leaf, Volvic has managed to half the sugar content from 4.8g/L to just 2.4g/L whilst maintaining the same taste consumers love. Volvic is one of the first UK soft drinks brands to reduce their sugar levels, despite already sitting below the sugar levy**. “We know more than ever that consumers are aware of their sugar intake and actively trying to reduce it where possible, seeking ‘healthier’ options,” said Jacqueline Lane, brand manager UK & Ireland at Volvic. “People are looking to brands and manufacturers to help them make health conscious choices, and the new reduced sugar Volvic Touch of Fruit original range, does just that.” The Volvic Touch of Fruit relaunch will be supported with the brands biggest ever marketing campaign, Well that’s refreshing rolling out in August. The unmissable 360 activation aims to add a ‘refreshing’ twist on mundane everyday moments of their millennial audience. Running from July 30 until the end of August and backed by an investment of over £2.5m, the campaign will celebrate the unique portfolio of the low sugar original range alongside their sugar free options. *IRI MAT 22/04/2018 **Volvic Touch of Fruit was already below the sugar levy
LONG MEADOW FARM OFFERING ORCHARD TOURS
Pat and Catherine McKeever from Long Meadow Cider are pictured with Mervyn Kennedy from Kennedy Bacon, who supplied a Hog Roast with cider basting on Long Meadow Farm during the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend in June.
rand Circle Corporation’s Overseas Adventure Travel, Boston is collaborating with Co Armagh-based Long Meadow Cider to offer a tour of its orchards and the cider-making process followed by a tasting. “The tours got underway in early May with the help of local Armagh Banbridge Craigavon Borough Council and are scheduled to run through until November,” said Pat McKeever, managing director of Long Meadow Cider. “Lunches are provided by Portadown-based Yellow Door Deli and the whole experience has been going down a treat. “Feedback has been excellent and some of the visitors have even
expressed an interest in helping us to bring our products state-side.” Local company Donna Fox Tours from Armagh has also signed up with the McKeever family to offer orchard tours. The McKeever family produce the Long Meadow brand of locally produced ciders, apple juices and cider vinegar, with its cider named Northern Ireland’s Best Local Food and Drink Product in a George Best Belfast City Airport competition supported by Food NI last year. And in May, Long Meadow’s Medium, Blossom Burst and Rhubarb & Honey ciders were listed by Sainsbury’s stores in NI.
BELFAST WATERFRONT TO HOST THE WHISKEY SOCIAL
orthern Ireland will get its first whiskey festival next month when The Whiskey Social takes over Belfast Waterfront. To be held on Saturday, September 8, the event will showcase drams from Ireland, Scotland and around the world. Organiser Harbro Events already runs similar whisky festivals in Scotland, and was keen to expand into Northern Ireland with the focus on Irish malts and blends. “Irish whiskey is undergoing a revolution, with new bottlings being released all the time and distilleries opening every year,” said Andy Ure, director of Harbro Events. “It’s a massively exciting time in Irish whiskey
and it seems only right that the capital of Northern Ireland have a festival to celebrate it. “Belfast is one of the most exciting places in the UK right now, Irish whiskey is the fastest growing spirit in the world and we can’t wait to bring The Whiskey Social across the water.” The tasting festival will see guests given a Whiskey Social Belfast-branded glass and festival programme, and they can then wander through the space, meeting the brand ambassadors and trying tastes of all their bottles. Masterclasses will also run throughout the day, allowing guests to get a deeper understanding of some of the biggest Irish brands and how their malts are made and matured.
SHS REINTRODUCES MERRYDOWN DRY CIDER SHS Drinks broadened its heritage cider over the summer with the reintroduction of Merrydown Dry, featuring new labelling introduced by the brand in 2017. The relaunch of Merrydown Dry was supported by on-shelf POS, trade mailers, and a social media campaign including giveaways and teaser posts. Support for the overall brand celebrates the ‘Merrydown Moment’ at the end of the day when cider-lovers want to sit down, relax, unwind and share a treat, and uses the strapline Love your Merrydown time. Merrydown ciders are made from hand-picked eating apples, rather than the bitter-sweet cider apples used by most producers.
TEMPTED RECOGNISED AT INTERNATIONAL CIDER CHALLENGE Craft cider brand Tempted Cider picked up the top Trophy in its category at the International Cider Challenge 2018. One of only seven ciders to win a Trophy out of 200 entries, this is the first year Tempted Dry has entered the awards and it triumphed in the New World Style category for ciders with more acidity and fruitiness than other styles. Tempted Cider’s award-winning range is available in all good licensed retailers and select licensed venues across Northern Ireland, and is expanding into the UK, and internationally.
WKD SUMMER CAMPAIGN AIMS TO CREATE SMILES WKD is promising take home consumers an ‘epic summer’ with a multi-faceted campaign comprising: a competition utilising caps from bottles bought in the off-trade; £12,000 of Ticketmaster voucher prizes; interactive festival fun at 11 events nationwide; and a DJ competition open to all offering the opportunity to perform at a major UK festival. WKD invites consumers to ‘bring the party’ this summer and will reward those who do. Under the campaign theme of Be The Face, a £3m programme of activities will engage consumers and drive incremental sales in all trade channels. 35
SNACK BARS INNOVATION: WHAT’S NOW AND WHAT’S NEXT MINTEL ANALYSES THE LATEST NPD, TRENDS & OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BUOYANT CATEGORY, FROM INDULGENCE TO HEALTHY SNACKING
that are both vegan-friendly and clean label. Pea protein is emerging as a hero alternative to soy, with brands now visibly calling out the use of pea protein on packaging.
he snack bar category in recent years has catered for many different eating occasions. These range from indulgent and comforting snacks to functional, portable and healthy nutrition products, with many blurred variants in between. And as consumers develop a more holistic approach to health, natural, vegan and free-from formulations have continued to grow in popularity.
inSpiral Visionary Products Organic Banana Go-Go Protein Clusters with Live Cultures, UK: The plantbased, gluten-free raw product is said to provide one portion of five recommended fruits and vegetables a day. It contains banana rolled in cashew nuts, crunchy buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, almonds, figs, pea and rice protein, and one billion of bacteria each pack.
PaPicante Mediterranean Pea Protein Bar with Tomato, Basil and Pine Nuts, Germany: Presence of ‘pea protein crisps’ given prominence on front of pack in this savoury snack bar from Germany.
VEGAN PEA PROTEIN IN THE SPOTLIGHT As the buzz around plant-based diets grows, protein bar brands need to cater to a wider range of dietary preferences. Consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental and health imperatives that support diets high in plant-based foods. This has particularly impacted the snack bar category, with global launches of vegan snack bars doubling over the past five years, from 11% of all snack bar launches in 2013 to 20% in 2017, according to Mintel’s Global New Products Database. Leading markets for launches of vegan snack bars are predominantly in Europe, notably Germany, where a staggering 43% of snack bars launched in 2017 were vegan. However, soy protein (the leading source of plant protein) is considered a divisive ingredient. Often genetically modified, it’s avoided by as many as 17% of UK consumers. As a result, snack bar brands will increasingly need to review how to formulate products
ANYTHING GOES: NEW LAUNCHES CONTINUE TO REDEFINE THE SNACK BAR Snack bar formats have evolved, and brands are looking beyond bars to provide consumers with portion control, shareability and fun. Demonstrating what an established option this format has become, balls and bites accounted for 7% of all global snack bar launches over 2017, more than doubling over the past three years. Savoury flavours have emerged in traditionally sweet categories over the past few years. Salty versions of sweet flavours, such as salted caramel or ‘sweet and salty’ popcorn, have become mainstream, overshadowing overly sweet flavours and possibly enabling greater consumption. Launches of ‘sweet and salty’ snack bars tripled over the three years to 2017. Moving further along the sweet-savoury continuum, the snack bar category has also seen launches of fruit and vegetable combinations.
Lubs Pepper & Spinach with Chilli Veggie Bar, Germany: An organic vegetable bar with red pepper, spinach and cayenne pepper. This vegan product is free from gluten and added sugar.
MaXsport Raw Juicer Beetroot and Currant Bar, Germany: Mixing vegetables and fruit, this vegan snack is high in fibre and contains no added sugar.
FOOD TRENDS MEAL REPLACEMENT SNACK BARS AREN’T JUST FOR DIETERS Time is a precious commodity and consumers are hungry for products that help them streamline every moment of their lives. Meal replacement products allow consumers to deal with the time-consuming tasks of meal-planning, food shopping and eating more efficiently. While some consumers receive enormous pleasure from their eating experiences, not everyone is a foodie, and some are too busy to be foodies all the time. Snack bars are experimenting with non-traditional ingredients including cheese, meat, eggs and even insects, and this trend shows no sign of abating. Dairy ingredients and yogurt brands have been appearing in the snack bar category as brands look to offer consumers a more convenient way to snack on dairy products.
Clio Strawberry Greek Yogurt Bar Enrobed in Chocolate, USA: A unique new snack bar that offers yogurt consumers true on-the-go snacking convenience. Made from pressed Greek yogurt and enrobed in chocolate, these bars need to be refrigerated, but can be consumed with just one hand and no spoon.
SMOOTH-TEXTURED LAYERS ADD HEALTHY INDULGENCE TO SNACK BARS Snack bar brands are embracing nut butters, the spread-turned-snack food that has experienced growth in popularity over the past year. However, textural variety is not something that has been well explored yet, with only a few brands keeping the nut butter as a separate
Salad Shots Bar Choco Balsamic Snack Bar, USA: This natural product is said to combine the goodness of a salad with the convenience of a bar, and is infused with superfoods and antioxidants. It’s made with dark chocolate, cranberries, goji berries, chia seeds, kale, spinach, brown rice, quinoa, almonds, walnuts and pecans.
You Beef Bar with Apple and Banana, Switzerland: This low fat, high in protein bar is described as a dried beef preparation made from meat pieces with apples, bananas and honey.
Cathedral City Lighter Mature Cheese Snack Bar, UK: This 30g bar targets consumers who enjoy snacking on cheese, but are looking for a convenient format for on-the-go snacking.
textural element, rather than mixing it into the bar itself. By doing so, for instance through sandwiched layers or fillings, they go beyond flavour and use soft, creamy textures to add appetite appeal.
Broderick’s Crunchy Slam Dunk Peanut Chunk Bar, Ireland: This Belgian chocolate and rice crispies bar is covered with a layer of smooth peanut butter bar and chocolate.
For more information on how Mintel can help your business, contact Ciara Rafferty, director Mintel Ireland on +44 (0)28 9024 1849 or email@example.com.
Kashi GoLean Plant Power Honey Pecan Baklava Plant Powered Bars, USA: Playing with textures, this bar has a smooth honey, cashew and sunflower seed butter layer on top of crunchy nuts, seeds and chewy wholegrains.
CREIGHTONS STIRS UP SALES WITH PREP HOUSE In just over two months, Creightons of Balmoral has stirred up an increase in sales in its sauce category thanks to the listing of seven of Prep House’s best-selling chilled sauces. Creightons is the latest high-profile retailer to report positive sales and feedback to Prep House, following the company’s rebrand from Sauce Works in 2017. Manufactured in a BRC AA Grade facility in Crossgar, Co. Down, Prep House now boasts over 500 retailers in NI and a rapidly expanding customer-base in ROI. The re-positioning of the brand, including a new name and premium packaging, has been well-received by customers in the North and South, and the range’s ‘stand out’ look, combined with superior taste quality, are resulting in increased business for retailers stocking the range. In May, Butchery Manager of Creightons of Balmoral, George Sloan, and his butchery colleagues first tasted and decided to stock the Prep House range. In addition to the quality and taste profile of the Prep House range, the ‘local company’ aspect was important and was aligned to Creightons’ goal of championing local food producers.
“PREP HOUSE HAS BEEN EXTREMELY WELL RECEIVED BY OUR CUSTOMER BASE IN SOUTH BELFAST SINCE IT WAS FIRST LISTED. IT TOOK OFF QUICKLY AND DUE TO ITS POPULARITY, WE COMMITTED TO STOCKING SEVEN LINES IN THE 480G SIZE WHICH ARE POPULAR WITH COUPLES AND FAMILIES. THE RANGE IS NOW ONE OF OUR BEST-SELLING SAUCE BRANDS IN OUR BALMORAL STORE AND WE’RE HOPING TO EXPAND THE RANGE WITH NEW LINES FROM PREP HOUSE IN THE AUTUMN,” adds George Sloan, Butchery Manager at Creightons of Balmoral. Creightons of Balmoral listed seven Prep House flavours, with Creamy Pepper Sauce being the top seller closely followed by Chick’n’Chip gravy and Chinese Curry. Other flavours include Smokin’ BBQ, Black Bean, Roast Beef Gravy and Sweet & Sour Sauce.
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George Sloan continues:
“AFTER JUST ONE MONTH, WE WERE SO IMPRESSED WITH OUR CUSTOMERS’ RESPONSE TO PREP HOUSE THAT WE INVITED THE BRAND TO TAKE PART IN OUR CUSTOMER APPRECIATION WEEK IN-STORE. PREP HOUSE ORGANISED A SAMPLING TEAM AND HUNDREDS OF CUSTOMERS GOT TO TASTE THE FLAVOURS FROM PREP HOUSE, HELPING TO GENERATE CUSTOMER AWARENESS AND SALES.” Employing approximately 200 people across three sites in South Belfast - Balmoral, Finaghy and Black’s Road, Creightons is an award-winning family business. In 2016, it opened the 6,000 sq ft store at Balmoral, which is home to a butchery, delicatessen, hot food bar and barista bar. Creightons’ beef is sourced locally from its family farm in the Clogher Valley in Co. Tyrone, ensuring full traceability from gate to plate.
“WE’VE WORKED HARD TO ESTABLISH THE PREP HOUSE BRAND AND ARE THRILLED THAT PREP HOUSE IS LISTED IN SO MANY FLAGSHIP RETAILERS IN NORTHERN IRELAND. WE’VE ALREADY HAD SOLID AND POSITIVE FEEDBACK FROM MANY ANCHOR SITES, INCLUDING CREIGHTONS IN SOUTH BELFAST AND FIVEWAYS IN NEWRY, ON HOW OUR RANGE IS HELPING TO DRIVE SALES IN THE CHILLED SAUCE CATEGORY, WHICH IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL.”
“IN 2017, WE TOOK THE HUGE STEP OF REBRANDING SAUCE WORKS TO PREP HOUSE, INVESTING OVER £100,000 IN THE NEW BRAND AND FOCUSING PRIMARILY ON THE CHILLED SAUCE CATEGORY. THE INVESTMENT HAS PAID OFF WITH SALES UP BY 30% AND OVER 500 RETAILERS NOW LISTING PREP HOUSE. OUR STRAPLINE IS ‘BRING FLAVOUR HOME’ AND FLAVOUR AND INNOVATION ARE AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING THAT WE DO. WE HAVE JUST COMPLETED THE INSTALL OF A HIGH SPEC INNOVATION KITCHEN, WHICH WILL BE DEDICATED TO CREATING NEW AND EXCITING FLAVOURS FAST!”
This month, Prep House will be adding to its range with three new winter sauces - Whiskey Sauce, White Wine & Mushroom, and a Stroganoff Sauce – and customer demand for the line-extensions is already exceeding expectations. Last Christmas, the food producer manufactured a speciality Prosecco and Cranberry Gravy in a gold tub which was a huge hit with shoppers, and will return for 2018, alongside a Luxury Turkey Gravy. Prep House’s best-sellers include Creamy Black Pepper, Roast Beef Gravy and Chinese Curry Sauce. Over half of the range is gluten-free, and ‘low fat’ and ‘low salt’ is clearly marked on applicable products. A family-owned business with over 25 years’ experience in foodservice, Prep House manufactures all its products on-site, in a BRC AA Grade manufacturing facility. Prep House can be contacted on 028 (048) 44 831 837.
Barry Fitzpatrick, Sales Manager at Prep House
Prephouse, Crossgar Co. Down For more information contact: 028 (048) 44 831 837
GLOBAL MEAT TRADE ISSUES AIRED AT CONGRESS T rade tariffs, animal welfare, environmental issues, technology, genomics, innovation and consumer trends were among topics of discussion at the 22nd World Meat Congress (WMC) in Dallas, Texas. Representing the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) at the biennial event, themed Trusting in Trade and hosted by the International Meat Secretariat, were LMC Chief Executive Ian Stevenson and Chairman Gerard McGivern. “A hugely significant development that took place at the same time as the 2018 WMC was President Trump’s announcement that trade tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico were to be imposed by the US,” said Stevenson. “This created a very interesting backdrop for the most high-profile
speaker, Sonny Perdue, US Secretary of Agriculture. In his address, Mr Perdue reflected on the monumental challenges facing the world and the noble cause of freeing the world of food insecurity. “We heard from international market analysts who said that the outlook for the global beef sector can be positive and confident. However, they warned
that we must be wary of potential disruptors such as Chinese domestic supply, Indian buffalo meat, the rise of alternative meats and a challenging regulatory environment. “We also heard that the global consumption of sheep meat is rising but most demand growth is coming from developing countries and we must be alive to the possible disruptive effects of Brexit uncertainties, China domestic supply and volatile import demand, regulatory burden and trade disruption.” Almost 800 delegates from 48 countries attended the recent event, including producers, processors, exporters, marketing specialists, policy analysts, economists and meat scientists representing the beef, pork, lamb and veal sectors.
GROWTH TREND CONTINUES FOR LOCAL POTATO SALES
From left, Angus Wilson, chief executive, and Stuart Meredith, agronomist at Wilson’s Country, celebrate the Comber Earlies’ harvest finally getting underway at the end of June, a full month behind schedule as a result of this year’s prolonged spell of cold weather.
etail potato sales in Northern Ireland are continuing to stage a recovery, following years of falling sales, climbing 1.6% year on year to £45.5m in the year to May 20. Over the same period, volume sales rose by 4.3%, the price paid per kilo by 3.3%, frequency of potato purchases by 1.8% and volume purchased per shopping trip by 1.9%, with market penetration sitting at 96%. Republic of Ireland figures for the same 12-month period, meanwhile, indicate stable retail sales of €196.7m, with 97% market penetration.
“Our analysis indicates that consumers are continuing to buy smaller potato pack sizes,” said Lewis Cunningham, managing director of Wilson’s Country. “It is also very interesting to note that sales of other carbohydrate sources, including rice and pasta have remained static over the past year.” With demand for part-prepared potatoes, peeled, chips and mash growing over the past 12 months, “this is an amazing platform from which to build a campaign to promote the nutritional value of potatoes,” he said.
UFU SLAMS FALLING BEEF & STAGNANT MILK PRICES
lster Farmers’ Union (UFU) says it is unacceptable that beef prices in Northern Ireland are falling at a time when consumer demand for beef is high. “NI prices are falling and the price differential with GB is getting bigger,” said Sam Chesney, beef and lamb chairman at UFU. “Farmers deserve to be treated fairly. All signals are that the market is strong, there is demand for beef and processors must share the gains with primary producers.
“The sun is shining and consumers are reaching for their barbecue favourites. The good weather looks set to stay for a while so we expect the trend to continue. This is not the time for processors to be pulling prices but instead to show their commitment to primary producers and a wellfunctioning supply chain.” UFU has also, meanwhile, expressed confusion over local dairy processors holding the base milk price at a time when it should be increasing.
“There is no justification for keeping prices where they are when all market signals are pointing towards an increased return for dairy commodities over the last three months,” said Victor Chestnutt, deputy president at UFU. “A fifth of the local milk supplied in Northern Ireland is produced in April and May. Farmers want to be treated fairly. With global and local market signals positive, farmers expect a milk cheque that reflects the strength of the market.”
DALE FARM ANNOUNCES RECORD RETURNS Nick Whelan, Group chief executive.
ale Farm has reported significant increases in profit, return on capital employed (ROCE) and turnover as part of its financial results for the year ending March 2018. Group operating profit is up from £9.8m to £12.1m and profit before tax increased from £7.9m to £10.1m, while overall group turnover grew by a record increase of 24% to £481m. Having invested £19m into its facilities and operations over the last three years, Dale Farm this year reported a 14.4% group ROCE. “Our financial performance is measured by our ability to best support our farmer owners and as such our 2017/18 accounts are hugely positive,” said Nick Whelan, Group chief executive. “Our consistent level of growth and profitability is the result of ongoing reinvestment, combined with teamwork and an ambitious strategy that has strengthened partnerships with major customers across the UK, Ireland and
beyond. “Dale Farm’s focus remains steadfast – to support sustainable farming by paying our members the best possible milk price at all times. I am delighted to be able to report that Dale Farm has moved to the top of the 12-month rolling milk price league in Northern Ireland and, as of this month (June), is paying the leading milk price on the island of Ireland. “A vital ingredient in our success is the strength of our people, so we invest heavily into developing talent that will help us on our growth trajectory. We also continually assess and reinvest into every step of the production process to increase our operating efficiencies and in doing so, have achieved a return on capital well above the industry average. “This lean model allows us to focus on the sustainability not just of Dale Farm’s business, but also the businesses of our growing network of dairy farmers who provide us with world-class milk.”
UFU TAKES FARMING TO PRIMARY SCHOOLS
lster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has joined forces with Agri Aware to help primary school children understand what happens on farms. A new teaching pack gives children from urban as well as rural areas an opportunity to understand life on a farm, the origin of food and the importance of farming and food in Northern Ireland. “We are delivering on this goal with a lesson plan that offers a range of interactive activities and exercises through a number of modules,” said Victor Chestnutt, deputy president of UFU. “The aim is to get a serious message across in a way children enjoy.”
Victor Chestnutt, deputy president of UFU, launches the ‘Dig In’ schools resource with help from P2 pupil Jack McHenry and P7 teacher Mark McHenry from Rowandale Integrated Primary School in Moria.
UFU CALLS ON RETAILERS TO BACK LOCAL VEGETABLE GROWERS
LACPATRICK AND LAKELAND ENTER EXCLUSIVE MERGER TALKS U I rish dairy co-op LacPatrick has confirmed it is now in exclusive merger discussions with rival Lakeland Dairies. The announcement means Dale Farm, the UK’s biggest dairy co-op, has now exited discussions over a tie-up with Monaghan-based LacPatrick. LacPatrick announced in April that it was entering discussions over a joint venture or partnership. It collects milk from around 700 farmers in border counties of Northern Ireland. Lakeland has a similar number of NI suppliers. Irish co-ops Aurivo and Glanbia, and Japanese company Mitsui, had also been linked to the talks. A spokesman for LacPatrick said: ‘The boards of LacPatrick Dairies and Lakeland Dairies have agreed to enter into exclusive
discussions regarding an amalgamation of the two societies. Any agreement reached will be subject to shareholder approval and the relevant regulatory clearance.’ Victor Chestnutt, deputy president of Ulster Farmers’ Union, said: “When we met LacPatrick earlier this year, they assured us they would look after their producers during this process. It is welcome news that they have now entered into exclusive talks with Lakeland Dairies. “While we would like to see talks concluded in a swift manner to help remove any uncertainty, we would strongly urge these two companies to ensure any deal agreed looks after the interests of their primary producers and does not restrain competition in the industry.”
lster Farmers’ Union is calling on supply chain partners, including retailers of all sizes, to support local growers as the dry weather continues. “The extreme weather conditions have made it a very difficult growing year,” said Adrian McGowan, vegetable chairman of UFU. “We have gone from a very wet spring, which delayed and affected the establishment of crops, to severe drought with no recovery time in between. “Farmers are irrigating fields, which is highly unusual for here and it is adding to production costs. We are looking to our retail and processing partners to recognise this and the extreme circumstances we are facing.”
HEAVENLY ENJOYS WHITE’S OATS SECURES NEW THE TASTE OF LISTING WITH WAITROSE Oats has secured a new SUCCESS IN CHINA White’s contract to supply two new Organic
eavenly Tasty Organics, an awardwinning supplier of natural snacks for babies and children, has expanded its export trade into China. Working with Runshen International Trading (Shanghai) Co, one of the country’s leading food distributors, Heavenly products are now available in over 800 independent mother and baby stores across the country. Heavenly’s Wafer Wisps, Coconut Squishies, Halo Bites and Breadsticks are currently available, to be rolled out across the range in the coming months. In 2016, China ended its 40-year one child policy, boosting market potential. “Exporting into China was a strategic development for the company and not a decision the business took lightly,” said Shauna Blair, founder of Heavenly. “Although we were keen to launch into China quickly, we needed to make sure we had everything in place, such as finding the right partner and ensuring our brand was protected. It took a long time to register our trademark which we hadn’t anticipated. “Although it’s been a long process and a substantial investment for a small family run business like ours, we are delighted to have partnered with Runshen and have been overwhelmed with our success in China already. We look forward to introducing our brand into more stores across the country as our presence grows over the coming months.”
Oat Mueslis to Waitrose in a deal valued at £250,000, expanded its listing with the retailer to seven lines. White’s Organic Oat Muesli Four Seed and Fruit & Nut, containing over 30% oats and free from added sugar, were stocked in 122 Waitrose stores from July, “With health and nutrition increasingly driving consumers’ purchasing decisions, our new muesli range meets that need perfectly by allowing them to pursue healthy lifestyles as well as inspiring them to enjoy the great taste of oats in a new and exciting way,” said Danielle McBride, brand manager at White’s. “White’s is focused on developing and bringing to market nutritionally balanced, 100% natural porridge oats and oat cereals from a brand consumers can trust.”
CHINA LIFTS BAN ON UK BEEF
hina’s decision to lift its ban on UK beef imports, introduced 20 years ago following the BSE crisis, has been welcomed by the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC). The move has been heralded as a significant one for beef producers and processors from across the UK, including those in Northern Ireland. “China’s decision to lift the BSE ban on UK beef is news that I very much welcome,” said Ian Stevenson, chief executive of LMC. “This important decision is another vital step on the roadmap to securing market access for UK beef exports to China. “LMC works strategically with UK government and industry representatives within the UK Export Certification Partnership to help prioritise, secure and maintain market access to countries outside the European Union for UK meat and livestock producers. “The Northern Ireland red meat industry looks forward to developing exports to China and will continue to work through the process to develop export protocols, to get plants approved for export and to get export certificates agreed.”
Supermarket sales of organic foods grew 4.2% in 2017, representing six years of sustained growth for the UK organic market*. *Source: Soil Association Organic Market Report 2018
LOCAL BAKERY SECURES OCADO LISTING
ward-winning Holmes Bakery, based in Craigavon, Co Armagh, has secured a listing for six lines with online supplier Ocado. Ocado will be listing Holmes Bakery’s Fifteens, Caramel Fingers, Toffee Crispies, Florentine Slice, Milk Chocolate Rocky Road and Salted Carmel and Pecan Nut Slice, all of which were available for online purchase from the beginning of July. Holmes Bakery sells a range of hand-crafted traybakes and biscuits throughout Northern Ireland, the UK and further afield. Recently, the company has welcomed strong growth in export sales including, in particular, premium hamper companies. “We are thrilled to have had six lines listed with Ocado and we feel that our premium selection will fit well with their customers,” said Gillian Castles from Holmes Bakery. “Holmes is more than just a bakery, with us it’s a family tradition. The fact that our hard work and focus on great quality ingredients and traditional methods has paid off just makes the whole family so proud.”
CRISIS ICE CREAM CARTON TARGETS NEW SUPPORTERS
ndustry charity GroceryAid has stepped up its #Notbuyingit campaign with a direct mail initiative to over 370 business leaders. Each one received a full-size Crisis ice cream carton highlighting how real emergencies can hit people out of the blue, leaving them feeling like they have nowhere to turn. GroceryAid provides support for all colleagues in the industry through its Helpline and crisis grant service. Last year the charity mailed Cans of Loneliness, illustrating the impact of social isolation on retired colleagues, while this year the focus has switched to those working in the industry today. “With applications up by 22% and more than ever before coming from people of working age, it’s essential that
we widen our network of support within the industry,” said Steve Barnes, chief executive at GroceryAid. Jim Fox, associate director of Public Affairs at Coca Cola European Partners, said: “Many of us need some help at several stages of life. The young and the middle aged can be as vulnerable as our older colleagues for many different reasons. It is great that GroceryAid are here to help on all of those occasions when you just need a little extra help. The Crisis ice cream carton mailing is a fantastic initiative to shine a light on the excellent work the charity does.” For more information about the #notbuyingit campaign, contact news@ groceryaid.org.uk, call 01252 875925 or visit www.groceryaid.org.uk.
THOMPSON’S SUPPORTS GRAND OPERA HOUSE FAMILY FESTIVAL T
hompson’s Family Tea has sponsored the Grand Opera House Family Festival, an activity-packed three-day event including the magical Fairy Godmother’s Tea Party, for a second year. The Tea Party saw children and their families enjoying the ‘perfect cuppa’ with Cinderella, Aladdin, Jack and the Fairy Godmother. “As fourth generation From left, the Fairy Godmother and Jamie Thompson, marketing Thompsons, we share this executive of Thompson’s Tea. passion for quality and take great pride in the fact that over one million cups of Thompson’s Punjana are enjoyed every single day in Northern Ireland alone,” said Jamie Thompson, marketing executive at Thompson’s Punjana. “We were delighted to once again have the opportunity to partner with the Grand Opera House and contribute to the success of this year’s Family Festival. It is amazing to think that our business was born in Belfast in 1896, just one year after the Grand Opera House opened its doors for the very first time. “Together, we are each very proud of our Northern Irish heritage and were delighted to support the Family Festival that was filled with tours, tea, and treasure hunts. After all, I don’t think anyone could ever possibly resist the opportunity to attend a Tea Party with the one and only Fairy Godmother.”
TV CAMPAIGN BACKS NEW JAFFA CAKES LEMON & LIME A new Jaffa Cakes variant, Lemon and Lime, has been launched by the global snacking company behind some of the UK’s favourite biscuits and snacks, pladis, for a limited 12-month run. The launch will be supported with a TV ad campaign, The First Day, depicting a young woman embarking on her first day of work – with Jaffa Cakes helping her to break the ice with colleagues. The ad forms part of McVitie’s recently launched Sweeter Together master brand campaign. “We hope to both reward loyal fans of classic orange Jaffa Cakes with a new flavour to enjoy, and entice a growing, younger audience,” said Emma Stowers, brand director at McVitie’s.
KP RETURNS TO TV WITH £2M CAMPAIGN KP has returned to TV screens this July with its popular The Nut Nut’s Nut campaign. Airing until August 6, the campaign reminds audiences that KP Nuts are perfect for summer sharing moments, from BBQs to a balmy night in on the sofa. At 30 seconds long, the ad focuses on the high quality and taste credentials of the brand. Its aim is to bring KP Nuts to a new generation and show that nuts can be enjoyed throughout the year, not just at Christmas.
LUCOZADE SPORT COLLABORATES WITH IRFU Lucozade Sport has embarked on a campaign supporting Made to Move summer fitness goals around the country with Lucozade Sport Touch Fit, in a joint initiative with the IRFU bringing people of all fitness levels together for a series of unique and exciting full body workouts. “As a sponsor of the IRFU we have a great relationship, and we both understand and promote the wellbeing benefits of any type of exercise, so we are really excited to support and launch Lucozade Sport Touch Fit, as Ireland’s brand-new way to work out for people across the country,” said Philip Keenan, marketing manager of Lucozade Sport Ireland. 43
COCA-COLA HOSTS SUSTAINABILITY FORUM
ompanies need to conduct business in an environmental, economical and socially responsible way to remain relevant for their customers and suppliers, delegates heard at a recent NI Chamber event. Organised as part of the NI Chamber & SONI Energy Forum, sharing best practice on energy efficiency, the event was held at Coca-Cola HBC’s Knockmore Hill Plant in Lisburn. Around 40 businesses attended the Forum, which included insight into how the soft drinks manufacturer has become recognised as a global leader in sustainability by its Technical Product Support Manager Gary Stewart. “Many companies still view sustainability as the traditional approach such as putting solar panels on the roof or cutting down on the amount of paper that they use,” said Christopher Morrow,
head of Policy & Communications at NI Chamber. “However, it goes beyond just environmental issues; it’s also about financial and social commitments and opportunities. “Business leaders must rise to the challenge of making sustainability a key part of their business strategy. It is no different to any other business practice you need to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve, with buy-in from throughout the organisation where everyone can contribute. “Unless companies conduct their business in a manner which is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable, they risk alienating their customers and suppliers. Our members are finding that a sustainable approach to business can also improve a firm’s reputation. Many individual consumers prefer to buy from responsible businesses,
whilst businesses may choose to buy from sustainable suppliers as part of their own commitment to sustainable development.”
From left, David McDonald, NIE Networks; Andrew Robinson, Boomer Industries; Ciara Cashen, Coca-Cola HBC; Natasha Sayee, SONI; Gary Stewart, Coca-Cola HBC; and Christopher Morrow, NI Chamber.
NEW BODY TO REPRESENT RECYCLING AND WASTE MANAGEMENT SECTOR R ecycle NI, a new industry organisation representing Northern Ireland’s multi-millionpound recycling and waste management sector, was recently launched. “Our membership consists of conscientious business owners who recognise the many challenges within the resource and waste management sector,” said Glyn Roberts, independent chair of Recycle NI. “We seek to work collaboratively with decision-makers and political representatives at all levels to achieve positive change, benefiting the environment and the economy. “We believe that achieving
From left, Joseph Doherty of Re-Gen Waste, Owen Lyttle of DEARA, Glyn Roberts and Allison Townley of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
high quality recycling outcomes and meeting the requirements of the circular economy is the responsibility of all players in the supply chain, including the consumer. “As the current Programme for Government rightly says, treating waste as a resource with a value, rather than something simply to be disposed of, can result in a society that uses finite natural resources more efficiently. It can help ensure that our economy is more competitive, creating opportunities for investment and job creation through sustainable production and resource efficiency.”
ECO WATER SUPPLIER BENEFITS FROM COMMUNITY LOAN
learer Water, a social enterprise business based in Magheramorne near Larne, is hoping to expand its customer base after receiving a £50,000 loan from Ulster Community Investment Trust to purchase a new automatic carbonator. Production has grown to 10,000 bottles per day, with Clearer Water employing 11 workers with a focus on helping disadvantaged people who find it difficult to secure employment. The new carbonator will enable the company to expand its customer base in the hotel and restaurant trade in particular.
Clients already include Shu, Ox, Wine & Brine, the Fitzwilliam and Lough Erne hotels, Titanic Belfast, Henderson Group and a number of up-market delicatessens in London. The social enterprise’s water is naturally purified through three limestone aquifers on the Antrim Plateau and has a pH of 7.8, putting it in the top 10% of UK bottled water. Each bottle also contains a unique ‘Trace Code’ which allows customers to find out not just about the product, but also the person they have helped to support in employment by their decision to purchase Clearer Water. Clearer Water is Ireland’s first ethical bottled water company.
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LIGHTHOUSE COMMUNICATIONS INVESTS IN A BRIGHT FUTURE
ighthouse Communications has appointed a new chairman, following its recent £400,000 investment in purchasing and refurbishing Centre House on Holywood’s High Street. The PR and marketing communications agency, which employs 10 people, has appointed Mike Smith OBE as chairman. A former chief executive of Titanic Quarter and Laganside, Smith will oversee a growth and acquisition strategy over the next three years, while ensuring the highest standards of corporate governance. “Following complete refurbishment works, our new headquarters now provide a modern, comfortable, spacious environment for our award-winning team, effectively future proofing the business for further growth,” said Stephen Smith, founder and managing director of Lighthouse
Communications. “As well as offering public relations, marketing and digital communications services, the recent launch of our corporate video and design division has been well received by the corporate market. “Mike’s appointment as chairman is significant, as his contacts and experience complement the strengths of the executive team. He will be an asset as we continue to progress our From left, Mike Smith ambitious strategy. OBE, chairman; Alyson “Close partnerships with our English, director; and Stephen Smith, founder long-standing clients to drive sales and managing director. and ensure effective stakeholder communications has been key to our success over the years. “At Lighthouse we aim to provide innovative counsel to our diverse client base which includes Belfast City Airport, Grant Thornton, Donnelly Group and the Institute of Directors.”
JOHNSON BROTHERS (BELFAST) MAKES TWO NEW APPOINTMENTS
Gareth Bennett has been appointed as corporate services director, Johnson Brothers.
Neil Patton has been appointed as sales director, Grocery Pharmacy Division, Johnson Brothers.
ohnson Brothers (Belfast) has made two new appointments, as part of an internal re-structuring. Neil Patton has been appointed as sales director, Grocery Pharmacy Division, where he will be responsible for the sales function into the grocery, pharmacy and wholesale sectors. He was previously sales manager for the Grocery Pharmacy Division. Gareth Bennett has been appointed as corporate services director, with responsibility for Human Resources, Finance and Systems. Previously, Bennett was a senior manager at Grant Thornton, Deloitte and Ernst & Young. Established in 1893, Johnson Brothers is a sales distribution company operating in Ireland, offering extensive coverage of grocery multiples, symbols, wholesale, convenience, forecourts, pharmacy and foodservice channels. The company is fourth generation family owned, with over 100 years of experience, laying claim to best value solutions for sales & marketing, logistics and administration services.
Unit 2, 1 Edgewater Road, Belfast Harbour, Belfast BT3 9JQ Tel: +44 28 9077 0999 Fax: +44 28 9078 1172
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TS FOODS EXPANDS ITS ANN’S KITCHEN RANGE N
Launched last September, the range is available in SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO, SuperValu and Centra stores in Northern Ireland, with the four new products available exclusively at SPAR, EUROSPAR and ViVO stores. Family-run TS Foods is based in Castlewellan, where it has been located for almost 40 years since it was started by Tony and Ann Steele. The company produces a number of other brands including family favourites Tony’s Chippy and TS Stuffings.
orthern Irish chilled and frozen food producer TS Foods has expanded its Ann’s Kitchen range, adding four new products, following the success of the line. The existing range of Filet O Fish, Cod Bites and Fish Cakes has been joined by three crisp bakes (Ham & Cheese, Cheese & Onion and Chicken & Broccoli) and crispy Battered Cod Fillets. Ann’s Kitchen picked up the top prize in the Product Innovation category at the Henderson Fresh Innovation Awards, held at the Balmoral Show in May.
WILLOWBROOK FOODS’ SALAD SALES BOOSTED BY HEATWAVE
illowbrook Foods has ramped up production of its summer salads range after this year’s heatwave across Ireland and the UK pushed sales up by 50% year on year. “We’re delighted to report such a sales increase in salad this year, thanks to the incredible summer we have been experiencing,” said John McCann MBE, managing director of Willowbrook Foods. “The warm weather makes a delicious salad the perfect choice for a light summer meal, side dish or snack – and a great salad is built on great leaves. “Our Continental, Baby Leaf, Rocket and Aromatic Herb Salad bags make a flavoursome foundation for salads. People are becoming more experimental about their salad creations – using croutons, seed mixes, avocadoes, fresh fruit, meat, seafood or dressings to bring their dish to life.” Willowbrook Foods’ salad bags and bowls are available in a wide range of stores across Ireland.
KP LAUNCHES NEW SWEET CHILLI CASHEWS AND SHARING NUT MIXES
P Nuts, the UK’s bestselling nuts brand, has launched new KP Sweet Chilli Cashews and KP Sharing Nuts Mixes. Tapping into the ‘better for you’ trend and the growth of cashews as the second biggest nut type worth £58m and growing at +7.6% , KP Snacks has added to its successful cashews range with KP Sweet Chilli Cashews (also available in Salted and Honey Roast). The entire range has been re-launched in stand-up packs to support visibility on shelf and provide differentiation from their successful range of peanut products. KP Nuts is also launching new KP Sharing Nut Mixes to add to its successful on-the-go range which sold over three million packs in their first year. The new 120g sharing formats of KP Fruit & Nut Protein Mix and KP Orange Nut Fudge Energy Mix aim to bring scale to the growing segment of nut mixes. The launches will be supported with a £2m summer campaign, including TV, out of home and social and digital activity.  Nielsen YTD 21.04.18 47
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IN THE HOT SEAT TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF I’m Pat McKeever from Long Meadow Cider. We’ve been growing and harvesting apples for over three generations and recently diversified into the cider industry in 2014. We now produce a selection of craft ciders, apple juice and apple cider vinegar; all of course produced from our home-grown fruit.
IN THE HOT SEAT PAT McKEEVER, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF LONG MEADOW CIDER
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE? Days on Long Meadow Farm vary depending on the time of year and season. Currently we are preparing for harvest and making sure the orchards are in top shape for the busy few months ahead. Orchard work can vary from pruning, mowing and spraying to generally ensuring everything is as it should be. As we’re now also involved with the cider industry, a day can involve anything from pressing apples to blending apples and ensuring the taste is just right before being bottled, a very difficult job but there’s always people willing to help for some reason. WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE? The highlight of my career to date has been the introduction and growth of our family business, Long Meadow Cider. Never did we anticipate when we first started out it would reach the stage it has. There’s been a lot of blood, sweat and tears but it has been worth it all. Hopefully it will be a business that passes on through the generations. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? I love working outdoors whether it’s pruning, mowing the orchards or getting apple bins out in the orchards in preparation for harvest. I love the variance of what I do as each day can be completely different. WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK? Sometimes trying to fit everything into a day’s work. It can be difficult at times juggling both apple orchards and cider making and we’ve also recently started orchard tours as well with some cider sampling of course. We don’t have average working hours, we’re usually working late into the evenings, especially at harvest time, or if we’re getting ready for a cider event the following day.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED? If you’re going to do something do it right – take no shortcuts. Best advice given to me by my father Peter McKeever. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE? As like most farmers, the weather is my biggest gripe. It can be very frustrating when work has to be carried out in the orchards and there’s persistent rain, especially at harvest time. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS AND AMBITIONS? I would like to see Long Meadow Cider grow into a well-known, recognisable brand within other countries. To say across the world would may be too ambitious but you never know. We have
big plans already in place for a tearoom/ farm shop, so there are definitely exciting times ahead. We want people to be able to come and relax in an orchard setting and experience its true beauty regardless of the season. WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE? Home. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD PRODUCT? A huge steak, medium to rare with all the trimmings. HOW DO YOU RELAX? With a cool refreshing glass of Long Meadow Cider at a gathering of family and friends.
182955 LRS NI
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182955 LRS NI Trade Ad 25.07.indd 1
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