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At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry





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Volume 49, Number 1 January 2014 Manager: Karen Graham E: Editor: Alyson Magee E: Contributors: Samantha Livingstone, Laura Hyland, Symon Ross and Brian McCalden Senior Accounts Manager: Michelle Kearney E: Art Editor: Karen Donnelly Accounts: Gerardine Carson Publishers: James and Gladys Greer Ulster Grocer is published by Greer Publications 5B Edgewater Business Park, Belfast Harbour Estate, BELFAST BT3 9JQ Tel: 028 9078 3200 Fax: 028 9078 3210 Web: @ulstergrocer Subscription: £27.50 per annum £37.50 outside UK Designed & Produced by: Greer Publications Design Tel: 028 9078 3200 Printed by: W&G Baird, Antrim Tel: 028 9446 3911

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36 • Ulster Grocer | JANUARY 2011

Vibrant local food and drink industry secures export markets by Arlene Foster, Minster for Enterprise, Trade and Investment


he customer-focused innovation which underpins the £4.4bn food and drink processing industry here has been highlighted in a series of important events for local businesses. Over the last year, a wide variety of local companies have successfully competed for speciality food and drink awards in competitions in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting many of the award winners at an event to mark their achievements. The outstanding quality, originality and variety of the successful food and drink on show were thoroughly impressive. I was also encouraged by the enthusiasm of the smaller processors in particular, and especially the artisan enterprises selling outside Northern Ireland. Grocery retailers including major supermarket chains and independents are increasingly recognising and embracing the business opportunity offered by our vibrant food and drink industry. The message for retailers from such awards events is that food and drink companies here have highly innovative and different products that offer consumers exceptional taste experiences, as well as value for money. What success in these competitions also does is to give smaller business the confidence that they have products that can travel to markets outside Northern Ireland. This message is clearly registering with the award-winning companies. In recent months, we’ve seen successful companies - including smaller businesses - securing sales in highly competitive global markets such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, France, Russia, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Spain and Libya. In addition, celebrity chefs of the calibre of Heston Blumenthal, Marcus Wareing, Mark Hix and James Martin are increasingly looking to Northern Ireland for innovative food ideas. Enabling the industry to harness the business potential abroad has long been a priority for the NI Executive. For this reason, Invest NI offers a comprehensive portfolio of support to enable companies, both large and small, to develop original products, upgrade skills and grow business abroad. A key driver of growth in both short and medium terms will be the recommendations in the Going for Growth – Investing in Success action plan of the Agri-Food Strategy Board. We are evaluating almost 200 recommendations put forward by the Board and have already responded to one major request from the industry for easier access to funding in the shape of the new Agri-Food Loan Scheme. Food and drink has the potential to be transformed into a £7bn industry that will employ an additional 15,000 people by 2020. My aim, as Enterprise Minister, is to work with the Board towards this objective and achieve the key objective of a fully integrated supply chain from field to shelf. I am proud of our food and drink industry for what it has achieved, but even greater success is within reach. I am committed to ensuring that every company in the sector has the support they need to develop and market highly innovative products that will put the NI Food and Drink industry firmly on the map. Working together, I am confident that the true potential of this vibrant industry can, and will, be realised.

Grocery retailers including major supermarket chains and independents are increasingly recognising and embracing the business opportunity offered by our vibrant food and drink industry.”









8 364• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011



PageS 7-15 – TRADE COMMENTS: Industry officials and business representatives offer their reflections on 2013 and projections for the coming year. Page 18 – JOHN BARRETT: Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association Chairman Tony O’Neill remembers well-know industry figure John Barrett. Page 21 – HIGH NOON ON THE HIGH STREET: Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association Chief Executive Glyn Roberts outlines his plans to protect and promote the independent retail sector in 2014.


PAGE 22-24 – RETAIL ROUND TABLE: Three Henderson Group directors join Ulster Grocer for a lively discussion on general trading conditions, the Group’s retail strategy, key developments over the past year and plans afoot.

Pages 33-34 – WHEY TO GO: Chief Executive David Dobbin tells Ulster Grocer about Dale Farm’s fantastic year, which has included completion of its £40m investment programme and turnover up by a third as domestic and international markets grow.

Page 42-43 – NEW YEAR, NEW BOSS: Janet McCollum took over as CEO of Moy Park on January 1 and tells Symon Ross about the poultry group’s strategy moving forward as head of the Marfrig Group’s European operations. Page 46-47 – THE WHOLESALE NINE YARDS: Laura Hyland hears from Managing Director Mark Windebank about Savage & Whitten’s impressive growth over recent years as it sets its sights on expansion into the Republic of Ireland market.

Page 52-54 – MARKETING MADNESS: Don’t miss out on the highlight of the grocery industry calendar. Entry is now open for the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards, with winners to be announced at the GroceryAid Ulster Grocers’ Ball on May 9.


Page 88-89 – GOING GLOBAL: With a little help from Invest Northern Ireland, local artisan food and drink producers are securing supply deals in new markets from London to Singapore.

88 8 • Ulster Grocer | JANUARY 2011




PageS 25-28 – STAR STORES: Nine shops going that bit extra to stand out from the crowded retail market, and increase their profit margins, are profiled.



Agri-food sector flourishes while retail grocery market remains tough, competitive and price-focused


et’s start on a positive note. Signs of recovery are continuing in the Northern Irish economy, albeit at a slower rate than in Great Britain. Throughout the recession, agri-food has been among the few sectors still in growth and the Government, banks and economists are forecasting it will spearhead a return to growth in the local economy. Ambitious targets have been set by the Agri-Food Strategy Board, to boost sales by 60% to £7bn by 2020 and the local workforce employed in agri-food by 15% to 115,000 people. And while the main focus of growth will be exports, the investment to be made in production and processing to back this sector expansion is also expected to have a positive impact on supplies of food and drinks in the domestic market as local businesses become more efficient and innovative. The past year has not been without its hiccups in the agri-food sector, with the heavy snow last spring and ‘horsegate’ among challenges but thankfully local farmers and the meat industry weathered both storms and have moved on. Northern Ireland has even taken the lead 6

in enhancing transparency and traceability in the food chain, with Queen’s new £33m food fortress. Northern Irish food and drink producers have already raised their game over the last few years, as evident in the significant numbers bringing in Great Taste Awards. At the recent World Cheese Awards at the BBC Good Food Show in Birmingham – judged by over 260 experts from 23 countries – Dale Farm and Fivemiletown Creamery brought in, respectively, four medals for cheddars and two for goat’s cheeses. Many of these award-winning businesses have already secured export markets, as evident in the success stories featured on ps 88-89. Local companies are also investing in the future including Downpatrick-based venison and pork producer Finnebrogue, which this month announced it would spend £3m on new facilities and marketing, and add 65 new jobs, with the aim of doubling sales to GB in particular. Last month, Finnebrogue was listed in a London Stock Exchange Group report on 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain, covering fast growing SMEs. This month’s edition of Ulster Grocer features many similar examples of local companies which started out small and have now become significant forces in the food

Ambitious targets have been set by the Agri-Food Strategy Board, to boost sales by 60% to £7bn by 2020.”

industry across the island of Ireland, GB and further afield from Genesis with its £15m turnover to Dale Farm at £500m. And where does the grocery sector stand amid all this fanfare? Well, the word from the high street is that trading conditions remain tough, competitive and price-focused with those green shoots of recovery yet to yield any tangible impact on consumer purse strings. News stands and tobacco sales in particular are struggling. The multiples are continuing their steady march into the Northern Irish marketplace, with a shift of focus from larger out-of-town stores to high street convenience outlets. And discounters such as Lidl are increasing their share of the grocery market. Symbol group and independent convenience stores are having to work that much harder, with a survival of the fittest mentality prevailing. The good news is that, while there will undoubtedly be casualties, many stores have risen to the challenge and successfully staked their claim on consumers’ grocery spend. Some shining examples of such stores are profiled later in the magazine under our ‘star stores’ feature. A unifying factor among these successful stores continuing to grow in a competitive market is ongoing investment in their shops and staff. Many c-stores are also backed by strong local wholesale groups, which boast long histories of supporting the local food sector, have adapted well to the evolving economic climate and are confident they can put up a good fight in an increasingly crowded grocery market. This is my first edition as the new editor of Ulster Grocer and I’d like to extend best wishes to our readers and advertisers in 2014. I’m looking forward to meeting and working with you throughout the coming year.

Alyson Magee


Reflections and projections for 2014 Officials and business representatives from the grocery sector offer their views and insights into the past year of trading, alongside hopes and expectations for the coming year. Department of Agriculture and Rural Development: promoting local food


ith over £4bn sales and almost 10% of private sector employment, the agriculture and food processing industries provide a very valuable contribution to the local economy. My Department has a long history of initiatives to support the performance of the sector, including education, skills and knowledge transfer programmes delivered by CAFRE; innovation and R&D undertaken by AFBI; and a range of agri-food investment and other support measures. The importance of the agri-food sector has also been recognised in the Economic Strategy and Programme for Government 2011-15, which contains a commitment to develop a strategic plan for the sector. In line with that commitment I, along with the DETI Minister, appointed the Agri-Food Strategy Board (AFSB) to develop a plan for export-led growth to 2020. AFSB’s Strategic Action Plan Going for Growth was launched at this year’s Balmoral Show (see Agri-Food Strategy Board commentary below). DARD Minister Entering new markets is a key recommendation of the report. I have not long returned from my second Michelle O’Neill visit to China, which is an export market of huge potential. My engagements allowed me to raise awareness of the quality and safety of the north of Ireland’s livestock and agri-products and the scientific expertise underpinning this. During my meetings with key government officials and decision makers, I focused on our robust traceability systems and our high animal health and welfare status. Traceability of our food was never more in the spotlight than throughout the controversy of the horsemeat scandal. I worked hard to ensure that consumers were aware our beef is second to none and they should have every confidence in the supply chain. Evidence shows that, since the horsemeat scandal, many consumers are switching to local produce and many of the main supermarkets are starting to source the majority of meat products from local suppliers. Indeed, many of these supermarkets have embarked on campaigns to encourage people to switch to local produce, which in turn will ultimately drive demand for produce.

Agri-Food Strategy Board: Going for Growth


gri-food is Northern Ireland’s most successful industry. With sales of £4bn per annum, it is our largest manufacturing sector. Over a quarter of employment in the manufacturing sector comes from food and drink processing and there are almost 50,000 AFSB Chairman people who work on our farms. Tony O’Neill There can be no doubt that agrifood is now a major industry which is driving the local economy and contributing substantially to every area of Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Executive has recognised the importance of the agri-food sector by giving it prominence in both the Programme for Government and the Economic Strategy. A key priority for the Executive has been the creation of a Strategic Vision and Action Plan for the industry to 2020. This task was assigned to a new industry-led Agri-Food Strategy Board (AFSB) for Northern Ireland, which I have had the privilege to chair. Following extensive consultation with the industry, other interested parties and Government, the Board produced a Strategic Action Plan which sets out our vision and objectives for the Agri-food sector to 2020. We believe our outlook is captured in the Plan’s title, Going for Growth – Investing in Success. Central to Going for Growth is our Strategic Vision of ‘growing a sustainable, profitable and integrated agri-food supply chain, focused on delivering the needs of the market’. Our vision recognises that there is a single agri-food supply chain, and that all elements of the chain must be sustainable and profitable for the sector to prosper and grow. Making

this vision a reality will make a significant contribution towards achieving the targets in Going for Growth that, by 2020, the agri-food sector will grow sales by 60% to over £7bn, grow employment by 15% to over 115,000 jobs and grow sales outside Northern Ireland by 75% to £4.5bn. These targets are challenging, but they have to be. Nothing less would be expected of a sector with the successful track record of agrifood; one of the few sectors in Northern Ireland that has continued to grow despite the economic downturn. Indeed, the sector has demonstrated tremendous potential for sustainable growth through its sharp focus on export sales, innovation and productivity. In developing Going for Growth, the Board was immensely encouraged by the appetite to expand sales outside Northern Ireland, demonstrated increasingly by businesses, both large and small and across most industry sectors. There are new markets opening for our food and drink all of the time, especially in the Far East. As we look to the New Year, I see 2014 as a year of prosperous growth for the sector, with continued expansion in new and existing markets. I hope to work closely with the Executive as they finalise support mechanisms to deliver on the aims and objectives of Going for Growth, such as the new Rural Development Programme. Success, and delivering sustainable and profitable growth, will require the financial and policy support of the Executive. The industry will also have a crucial part to play, and will be required to invest for growth if we are to achieve this vision for Northern Ireland agri-food. AFSB will remain in place for another two years and we very much intend to see this project through to success. This is an opportunity not to be missed, and we believe the timings and indications bode well. The opportunity is now and pace is critical to enable the industry to secure the available opportunities. We have a world class product with an excellent provenance. Delivering on Going for Growth will help to ensure that the potential of this product is maximised both at home and around the world. 7

COMMENTARY Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association: pride in our products


NIFDA Executive Director Michael Bell

013 was a pivotal year for the Northern Ireland Food and Drink industry. A year in which a number of things happened that were, quite literally, industry changing. The ‘horsegate’ incident caused a seismic shift in consumer perceptions and purchasing patterns, but more importantly it has led to retailers

simplifying their supply chains. Not only does Northern Ireland have an excellent track record for integrity and quality in food and drink manufacturing, but we can now be equally proud of Queen’s University Belfast’s decision to invest £33m in a Global Institute of Food Security. This investment decision had been made ahead of the ‘horsegate’ incident but the timing could not have been any more fortuitous for Queen’s and Professor Chris Elliott. Professor Elliott has now published an Interim Report on the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks which has highlighted the need to put significant effort into ensuring our supply chains are fraud and crime free. The Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association fully endorses any efforts to improve transparency and controls around the production and movement of all food products within the EU. The Northern Ireland Grain Trade has invested in the concept of ‘Fortress Ireland’ and in systematically using risk based analysis to set new world class standards of integrity assurance. This is a superb foundation for all of us to build upon.

Invest Northern Ireland: facilitating export opportunities


eet the buyer’ events with leading retailers in the UK, Republic of Ireland and further afield have helped around 120 local food and drink companies, both large and small, to secure new business worth £46m over the past three years. Invest NI Food Director Such events with retail chains John Hood and leading independents are an integral and very successful part of the comprehensive range of marketing and other practical support that we provide for local food and drink companies. As well as arranging meetings between companies and retail buyers, Invest NI assists companies in key areas such as product development, design, market research and packaging. These expert services, I believe, are on a par with those offered by our counterparts in Britain, the Republic and many other parts of Europe. Over the past five years, we’ve provided around £50m in support to food companies here for activities such as innovation, skills and marketing through participation in international food exhibitions and trade missions. This has led to over £300m being invested in the local economy by companies, both large and small, right across Northern Ireland. This support demonstrates our recognition that food and drink is an immensely important industry that generated almost £4.5bn to the local economy, is our main manufacturer, a key exporter and employs 100,000 people throughout an extensive supply chain that runs from 8

The weather in 2013 was hugely challenging for our farmers. Going forward we need to ensure farmers can depend on the support of the entire supply chain when facing these issues. ‘One supply chain’ was a key phrase which came out of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association’s Appetite for Growth Conference this year. The reality that farming, processing and retailing form one supply chain and are entirely co-dependant on each other is now being recognised. This is extremely encouraging. For too long our industry has been divided, creating an obstacle to improving the sustainability of the sector. 2013 also saw the publication of the Agri-Food Strategy Board’s Going for Growth report, which makes a number of key recommendations to accelerate the growth of the Northern Ireland food and drink industry. These recommendations are with the Executive, and it is our hope that they will resource and support them fully. The Northern Ireland food and drink sector significantly underperforms on global exports; however it significantly over performs in benchmarks against other regions. For example, Northern Ireland has won more Great Taste Awards pro-rata than any other region in the UK. We have significantly invested in state-of-the-art factories, something which is recognised by major retailers and is again an indication of our commitment to developing and manufacturing quality products for consumers. Northern Ireland is very good at food and drink. New distilleries and micro breweries are being built; the first new distilleries in over 100 years. 2013 saw a record level of entries for the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards, which is one of the highlights on the local food and drink industry’s calendar and a celebration of innovation and the ingenuity of our industry. I am extremely proud of our food and drink industry, and I look forward to working together across the supply chain towards our growth and export targets – and a successful and prosperous 2014.

‘field to fork’. Another important aspect of our support is the assistance provided to companies to work with retailers on developing innovative products for market opportunities. Our strategic focus, of course, is on measures that will accelerate growth in sales outside Northern Ireland by the 400 companies that we currently work with. This underpins our Corporate Plan as well as the Northern Ireland Executive’s Programme for Government. Working with my colleagues in Trade, Skills and Innovation and Technical Solutions, my focus is on helping established exporters win more business and to encourage many more companies to take the necessary steps to sell successfully and, above all, profitably abroad. The work that we are doing with companies in processing and packaging and related services has a very positive impact on the entire supply chain. The Agri Food Strategy Board (AFSB) would also share our view that the agri-food industry must be seen and supported as a single supply chain. Research indicates that that every job in the industry generates a further two jobs in other sectors of the economy. Every £1m of food and drink processing output generates £2m in regional economic output. Invest NI and AFSB will both have a key role to play in helping to achieve the projected £1.3bn investment by the industry, the 75% rise in sales outside Northern Ireland to £4.5bn and 15,000 new jobs in the AFSB action plan by 2020. For many smaller companies, in particular, the most important markets will continue to be Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland and are likely remain so for the foreseeable future. We will need to expand the relationships that we already have with key retailers to assist companies to grow sales in both markets. The opportunities in both markets are certainly substantial and growing steadily. The UK, for example, currently has a balance of trade in food and drink in excess of £18bn every year. There will be significant benefits for the local economy if we can secure a much greater slice of this business. And I believe we can – and will – do so.

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COMMENTARY Ulster Farmers’ Union: controversy, challenge, and opportunity


ooking back on 2013, the year can be summed up by three words: controversy, challenge, and opportunity. After a wet end to 2012, the weather in early 2013 posed the greatest challenge for many farmers and definitely tested our resilience. The wet weather Ulster Farmers’ Union President kept many livestock indoors Harry Sinclair for far longer than many had anticipated and slurry stores and fodder reserves were pushed to their limits. Then Northern Ireland was hit with the worst snow storm it had seen in 60 years and many farmers and rural dwellers bore the brunt of it. Thousands of sheep and hundreds of cattle perished in the snow and such was the gravity of the situation, the NI Executive got involved and our Agriculture Minister called on the MoD and the Irish Air Corps for help. Farmers rallied though, and the Government’s fallen stock and fodder transport schemes provided much needed support to many farm businesses. Fortunately, the good summer weather and mild autumn/ winter weather has buoyed farmers. For the most part 2013 ended on a high as harvests were good, fodder stocks replenished, slurry spread and livestock out in many fields well into November. Controversy came in the shape of the horsemeat scandal, which topped the headlines in 2013. Farmers felt badly let down by the unscrupulous practices of some of our supply chain partners. The reputation of Northern Ireland’s beef industry was on the line during



opes are high that 2014 will be a year of recovery in the local economy, which would be good news for everyone in Northern Ireland. It is great to see unemployment falling and confidence in the business community returning, but Asda’s Income Tracker is a monthly reminder to us that many families in Northern Ireland are still struggling to pay the bills. Our latest Income Tracker shows disposable family income in Northern Ireland at only £60 per week, far below the UK average of £157. This poses a huge

challenge to retailers in Northern Ireland and, against this backdrop, Asda will be sticking to its gimmick-free, long-term strategy of delivering Every Day Low Prices for our customers. The pace of change in retail is phenomenal and, for Asda, 2014 will be a year of investment in our prices and quality but also in areas such as multichannel, local produce and communities. With 18 million customers across the UK, there’s a golden opportunity for Northern Ireland producers and processors to grow their business with Asda and also boost our regional economy in the process. Asda’s commitment to Community Life will also be a major focus as always, as we see the benefits of building closer links with the communities we serve.

Costcutter Supermarkets Group: new supply chain system


t has been a very busy and exciting 12 months for everyone connected to Costcutter Supermarkets Group and the next 12 look equally so, having announced a new supply chain in March through which we will bring a much improved system to our members. Costcutter Retail Director The economy steadily Daniel Quest improved in 2013, albeit at quite a slow pace, and the outlook for 2014 shows this trend continuing. Our 10

the horsemeat scandal but farmers were able to hold their heads high. We had reared our animals to the highest EU standards and could boast that virtually all our beef was Farm Quality Assured. 2013 was also a year for progress. The first Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) was appointed with responsibility for ensuring fair play between supermarkets and their suppliers; something the UFU had pushed for, for many years. It is still early days for the GCA but it is at least a step towards addressing the undeniable power imbalance that exists in our supply chain. Fittingly, the milestone Agri-Food Strategy Board (AFSB) report was also officially launched this year with the message that there is only one supply chain and for Northern Ireland’s agri-food industry to be successful, all partners in the supply chain must be profitable. The report provided a range of suggestions for growing the agri-food industry but it will take a tangible commitment from our Government and processors to see many of these suggestions come into fruition. And we witnessed history in 2013, as the reformed Common Agriculture Policy was agreed by the EU Commission, EU Parliament and the EU Agriculture Council. While there is still some work to be done, overall the final deal is workable for Northern Ireland. The future looks bright for 2014 and indeed beyond. The Northern Ireland agri-food industry is poised for growth. We are the only industry in Northern Ireland that has traded strongly during the recession and are a key contributor to the local economy. The implementation of the CAP, worth around €320m annually to Northern Ireland, is also high on the agenda. It is important we get this right for farmers; keeping it as simple as possible, while minimising red tape. Also, ensuring that AFSB’s plans to grow our industry stay on track and keep true to the message of a single supply chain will also be important. The supply of raw material is the foundation for growth and producer profitability remains a key issue. Without addressing it, this tremendous opportunity for industry growth will not be realised.

Asda NI Corporate Affairs Manager Joe McDonald

members have continued to grow their businesses and we have seen some fantastic new stores being opened by existing and new members. This looks set to continue in 2014 and following the transfer of Supershop stores to Costcutter Supermarkets Group, we look forward to working with these retailers and helping them to achieve their goals. 2014 is a hugely exciting year for Costcutter Supermarkets Group and our members as we complete the transfer to our new supply chain system. Control of our buy and supply enables us to give our retailers an enhanced package, through an improved range, pricing and promotional offer which will help them pass on great deals to their customers. The full roll out of our new independent own brand is a central pillar of this and its three-tier structure allows retailers to tailor their range to meet the needs of their customers. All in all, 2014 looks set to be a very exciting year.

why I’m happy I chose the Henderson Group... iness? What made you decide to go into bus of Ulster Jordanstown and after ty ersi Univ I studied a business degree at the G sector and started working for FMC the in er graduation I established a care latterly MSVC. well-known brands such as Britvic, and in and thoroughly enjoyed the ble forta com It was an industry I felt very nity to run my own business challenges it presented. When the opportu e it. seiz presented itself it made perfect sense to

Ryan Lynch

iness? How and when did you start the bus s and we had the opportunity to ines My family are in the construction bus property required significant purchase a retail unit in Feeny in 2005. The in construction and my passion for redevelopment, so with the family expertise retail, we got to work!

blished initially? How difficult was it to become esta acquired the existing retail unit and but certainly worthwhile. Whilst we had ing, lleng cha es offerings for Establishing the business was the shop and increasingly improve the stor nd exte to n visio a had still we rior inte completely overhauled the s to provide a good our customers. to 2800 sqft. This was driven by our focu counter was installed. sqft 0 160 from e stor the ed and exp In the first year we d and a Food to Go all our refrigeration section was extende store to SPAR. I needed the support offering of fresh food, with this in mind the ed and rebr I the Henderson Group and In 2013, I established a partnership with and effective marketing, high quality product ranges and have the ability to c tegi surpassed of a company who would deliver stra derson Group this year has completely Hen the from ived rece e hav I port sup increase footfall in my store. The my expectations. retailer with Henderson Group? challenging economy. I felt What are the benefits of becoming a and continue to recognise the increasingly s year 10 over for stry indu il reta the in I have now been . that our store would benefit from a change who are a local, strong and reliable company, I could provide the store with a p, r sector is By joining forces with the Henderson Grou success of my business and this particula on all re futu the re ensu to nt orta imp ely hug ice, which offers a 24hr lead time fresh look and feel. Driving fresh is Henderson Group’s improved delivery serv bt had a significantly positive impact on The p. Grou on ders Hen the for s focu big a dou e range of fresh produce, has without a fresh orders, partnered with their extensiv the growth of the business. man? d to be a successful business man/wo What qualities would you say you nee hly enjoy what you are doing and without a doubt take your business seriously! oug dge and reward them To be successful I think you need to thor re success and it’s important to acknowle ensu to you ind beh team a d nee you et, ing. Never forg customers as without them you have noth accordingly. Also remember to value your to a young budding entrepreneur? What practical advice would you give up and start again when things go wrong are indispensable qualities for budding get difference between Passion, determination and the ability to stance in the early stages can mean the assi l ncia fina , view of t poin tical prac a entrepreneurs. From erestimated. year from the Henderson success and failure. This must not be und guidance and support I have received this the ce, advi and help on take to id afra be Lastly, don’t ened my business as a whole. Group has been invaluable and has strength

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ver the past year, Musgrave Retail Partners (MRPNI) has made continued progress in further developing and improving the offer which our SuperValu, Centra and Mace retail partners provide in their local communities across Northern Ireland. MRPNI Managing Director These improvements have Nigel Briggs been founded on understanding the changing consumer, and in working closely with our representative Retailer Councils in shaping the content, communication and execution of the offer, to drive sales and profit. In the course of the last year, we have implemented major initiatives on retail pricing, own brand, wrapped bread and in-store bakery, as well as further developing ‘different and better’ promotions, which aim to provide real stand out for our brands in a crowded market. In 2013, we invested substantially in lowering prices – with over 2,000 retail prices lowered in SuperValu and Centra and wholesale prices reduced in tandem to fully maintain retail margins. This initiative was supported by a strong multi-media marketing campaign, under the banner of ‘Price Drop’. Subsequently ‘Price Match’ was introduced in SuperValu, with over 1,000 products matching Tesco; again with retail margins fully maintained. Retailers also benefitted from MRPNI’s largest ever single investment in retailer rebate increases – enhancing retailer profitability in these tough times, and to a level which is in marked contrast to our competitors. We continued to develop our own brand ranges with the Centra own brand range extended and fully repackaged in a bright new contemporary design and the ‘Daily Basics’ value range which, on average, provides price points 50% cheaper than the leading brands also enhanced. SuperValu and Centra’s wrapped bread offer was completely

Swift’s SuperValu, Lisnaskea: sales growth and award recognition


rading has been steady as our sales have grown and public profile has been enhanced. It hasn’t always been easy but hard work and determination has made 2013 a successful business year. One of the major highlights was sales growth. On a personal level, I won an Irish GRAM award for ‘Manager of a Store 6000sqft+’ and was runner up in the ‘People’s Choice’ category. I was also the first person from Northern Ireland to make the ‘UK 30 Top New Talent FMCG Rising stars’ list and was commended in the UK retail industry awards. On a store level, we won the ‘Training Initiative of the Year’ at the Irish Forecourt Awards. We undertook work on our fresh and frozen departments to prepare us for a bigger revamp in 2014. As our business has grown, we have increased our staff numbers. We also put a major focus on our awardwinning deli/‘food to go’ offering and are 12

restructured, with average retail price reductions of over 10%, as well as increased retail margins, meaning we have now by far the most competitive wrapped bread offering in the independent sector. Our in-store bakery offer was also fully reworked through the introduction of our ‘Baked Today’ range which was directly sourced from suppliers across Europe, enabled by the scale of Musgrave’s direct buying power – with the new range available in all three brands. The scale and strength of the wider Musgrave Group, which now partners more than 3,500 independent food retail stores, with combined turnover of over £6bn, will continue to benefit SuperValu, Centra and Mace retailers in Northern Ireland as we move forward – with increasing focus on leveraging our direct buying power, to improve pricing and margin structures as well as the quality and impact of our range of retailer supports, on an ongoing basis. Indeed, the scale of our direct purchasing opposite suppliers remains a key reason as to why Musgrave remains the best long-term partner for progressive independent retailers in this market. All in all, this unparalleled level of brand development activity has enabled us to more than hold our own over the past year, in what is a tough and challenging market. A further series of brand developments and initiatives – in product range, pricing, promotional activity and supply chain – is planned for 2014, laying a solid foundation for real growth in retailer sales and profitability over the next few years. On Mace, our focus going forward will be on the wholesale offer, with a view to improving wholesale pricing, supported by a range of simplification initiatives aimed at making Musgrave easier to do business with, and differentiating us from our wholesale competitors. Musgrave has and will continue to invest heavily in the offer – both for our retailers and their shoppers – with substantial improvements in pricing and rebates to be introduced through 2014. The year ahead will undoubtedly bring further challenge to the sector, with competition between wholesalers for the business of independent retailers, and between retailers for shoppers, certain to intensify still further. In Musgrave, we believe ourselves well-placed to meet the challenges of economy, market and competition – working in partnership with our retailers to better understand and meet consumer needs, in order to drive sales and enhance profitability on an ongoing basis.

reaping the benefits of this. Today’s customer is much more savvy than ever before when it comes to prices and offers. Own-brand products are becoming a particular favourite, especially with the SuperValu range being 33% cheaper on average than the leading brands. However the luxury convenience foods sector is also showing real growth. People are willing to pay more for good quality fresh foods and the nature of fresh food means that the customer is a more frequent visitor. We are optimistic for the New Year. We know the strengths we have can help drive the business further and appeal to the wider demographic. We will continue to be innovative and challenge ourselves to become the best in the county in offering unrivalled ranges and services in the area. 2014 will hopefully see a store redevelopment which is needed for us to continue our growth. This should lead to a better shopping experience for our customers and allow us to further enhance our range and offerings. The independent retail sector needs support

Swift’s SuperValu Store Manager Darren Given

from the government in order to allow us to be sustainable. We are often the backbone of the community and are, in a lot of instances, situated in the heart of the town. We need planning permission to be more easily achieved so that we can develop our business to meet the demands of the modern customer and in turn help town centres survive.

COMMENTARY Henderson Retail: fresh foods and customer service focus


espite a competitive marketplace we have achieved very positive like for like growth across all quarters of 2013. Now, in 2014 we are embarking on the final year of our companyowned stores’ five year strategy of ‘Delivering through our People’. This will build on the successful work that we’ve already done in terms of the implementation of our Operational Framework, Coaching as a Way of Working, which has significantly improved levels of communication throughout the Team and encouraged proactive customer engagement. Since implementing these initiatives, we have received increased levels of positive customer feedback, improved mystery shopper results and importantly, strong commercial results. Customers want to see a wider variety of high quality local fresh food and we introduced some excellent new products throughout the year from leading local suppliers including McAtamney’s, Cloughbane and Around Noon, all of which are exclusive to SPAR and EUROSPAR stores. Challenges we’ve faced have included the plastic bag levy although initiatives like carry to car and bag for life helped address the impact on average basket spend while increased footfall has ensured strong sales growth has continued. Customers are demanding value and so we continue to offer key

Boyd’s Mace owner Cathal Boyd

Boyd’s Mace, Toomebridge: restructure drives sales up 18%


013 was very good with the store performing 18% ahead of last year. This excellent performance can be attributed to a team focus on delivering a fantastic customer experience and great store standards.

The highlight of last year was being named runner up in the Mace Store of the Year Awards with Musgrave Retail Partners NI (MRPNI). It was a fantastic accolade for our staff who take great pride in the store, and strive to offer our customers the best retail experience. We set goals on how to develop our business both at shop front and back office levels. As well as customer service and excellent store standards, we also focused on our back office systems to ensure that the correct financial controls were in place. This was achieved through the employment of a full-time office administrator. We are continually looking at new lines and receiving customer feedback on what they would like to see in the shop. Working with the information gathered from our ePOS system, it is easy to collate data on best sellers and more importantly, which items are not selling quite as well and can be discontinued. This is a constant work in progress but it



headline promotions as well as price match campaigns alongside clear every day value. We are very proud that 2013 has been such a positive year in terms of industry recognition. We won several local and national awards for our achievements, which is tremendous. It is also important for us to support local community groups through a wide range of initiatives including charity involvement Henderson Sales & Marketing Director and employee volunteer Paddy Doody opportunities, and last year saw some outstanding achievements from the Team in these areas. In terms of barriers to business, we would like to see government address the issue of high rates and high energy costs, as well as focus on factors which improve consumer confidence, which help create “wealth” and therefore drive economic growth. We believe 2014 will continue to be both challenging and competitive but we are optimistic. With continued investment into both our physical estate and people, we will work to improve our Customer Proposition which will keep us at the forefront of the Northern Ireland marketplace.

f 2013 ended with the major retail trade reporting a downturn in Christmas trade as compared to 2012, this was no real surprise as the 2013 economy was a repeat of 2012. While events locally (civil unrest, late spring snow etc) kept the public at home and, it could be argued, helped the retail grocer, the impact was minimal. The much-publicised increase in tourism did increase consumer numbers. However, while these were of benefit within the local areas, they impacted the hospitality sector only. Recent rumblings from Downing Street would suggest that a potential increase in the tax threshold, together

means we offer a wide range of good value products from the MRPNI warehouse to our customers. Remaining competitive in the current economic climate is a challenge for all independent retailers, given the activities of the multiples. We are constantly reviewing our offer with a focus on value for money for customers. Consumer buying habits have changed, with customers purchasing less per visit but on a more frequent basis, with a real focus on promotions. The strong promotional activity offered by MRPNI every three weeks allow us to refresh our consumer offer and retain customer loyalty. One of the main barriers facing small businesses currently is getting finance to further develop our business. MRPNI has been very supportive of our business. However, I think that government bodies should do more to invest in small businesses by providing grants to help them develop.

with a reduction in general taxation, could result in an increase in consumer disposable income. This, together with the recent small lift in the housing sector and reported increases in new car sales across the island, would seem to suggest that we are finally seeing light at the end of the recession tunnel and, once this translates into consumer confidence, consumers may once again return to shopping based on motivators other than price. That said, the challenge for the local sector is to maintain position against Internet shopping and the age old combination of quality, price, freshness and service should see the trade well appointed to take advantage of what will, hopefully, be a more optimistic year.

Johnson Brothers Group Sales Director Philip Mills


COMMENTARY McCool’s Centra, Ballymena: rejuvenated layout, sales up


McCool’s Centra owner Peter McCool

Musgrave Marketplace: value, choice and service


n today’s competitive wholesale environment, being first for value, choice and service is more important than ever. At Musgrave MarketPlace, we ensure customers avail of the very best prices and promotions all year round, the widest wholesale range in Northern Ireland and all with excellent and reliable service through our new warehouse management system at Duncrue. As part of the largest wholesale buying group on the island, we can use our group buying power to bring exceptionally low everyday prices across our range to meet the needs of our customers. On top of all this value, we operate a very

e celebrated McCool’s Centra’s 41st anniversary in 2013 and we have delivered growth of over 3%. In recessionary times, this achievement is all the more remarkable as it has been accomplished in one of the most deprived areas in Ballymena. Achieving Musgrave Retail Partners NI (MRPNI) store of the year award in March was a milestone within our business, and testament to the ongoing innovation within our store in delivering products which meet our consumers’ requirements. The MRPNI support throughout the past year helped us to continue to achieve growth and deliver the highest standards for our customers. I’ve worked alongside Kevin, our store manager, to rejuvenate the shop and introduce an exciting and greatly improved internal layout. We also showcased new

competitive and transparent rebate structure called ‘Payback Time’. This scheme rewards our customers all year round with up to 4% rebate on their purchases; plus there is a further 1% rebate for ‘collect’ customers. In fact, in 2013, we paid out over £300,000 to our customers in rebates. We also recognise that different customers prefer different types of services, which is why we give customers a choice in how to buy from us. Whether the choice is a delivery, collection service or to order from our online store, customers can rely on the support and advice from our team. We pride ourselves on the excellent relationships we have with our customers and this will always remain at the heart of our business in 2014 and beyond.



Nisa Chief Operating Officer Amanda Jones


isa has been developing at pace to ensure its members are delivered the very best opportunity to thrive as independent retailers. In 2014, Nisa is simplifying its business to make it easy for retailers to grow and develop. It is organisationally changing to become more consumer-focused by establishing a new marketing function to increase brand awareness amongst consumers and new business units, which will specifically focus on the different needs of its symbol, independent and specialist members. It has revitalised the look and feel of its consumer marketing to drive increased consumer interest in Nisa member stores and these developments will continue as Nisa’s marketing function develops to include

fresh in-store meal solutions, which have created fantastic sales growth. There are ongoing challenges for any business of overheads and continued rising costs. However, our growth in sales has been matched by an equally impressive result in reducing our operating costs, notably our wage and wastage costs. We delivered this while also improving standards as demonstrated by the ‘Score on the Doors 5’ proudly displayed in store, and a mystery shopper report average of 94%. Consumers’ demands and requirements are constantly changing and as a business our aim is to understand these changes and deliver upon their expectations at all times. The New Year, I’m sure, will bring its challenges. However, we are confident we can achieve continued growth in this tough economic trading environment. We will continue in our goal to meet our consumers’ expectations and deliver an all-round quality service.

Musgrave MarketPlace Trading Director Michael McCormack

consumer and trade insight personnel, specific brand managers and a comprehensive digital team. Nisa is also reinvigorating its Heritage ownlabel range. It has an established and extensive range of own label products, including unrivalled chilled and fresh products but it wants the brand to take that next step. Nisa’s vision is to develop the Heritage brand even further in the next year, building on its current success and creating a unique own-brand range that is fit for the future, as it moves towards developing Heritage into a £500m brand. And 2014 will see Nisa continue to invest heavily in its award-winning distribution network, which it has done most recently with the introduction of ambient time windows, and will continue to do so in order to provide the very best service to all of its members across the UK and Ireland.



n 2014, we predict the growth of value cigarettes and RYO will remain strong as existing adult smokers continue to seek out greater value for money. We will also be closely monitoring the success of emerging products and trends in the market, and will continue to review, expand and develop a strong portfolio of brands in line with national trends but with a strong regional focus. The ability to plan on a local level is the key to JTI’s success in Northern Ireland, where our brands perform particularly well and we have a market share of over 53%. Take for example Amber Leaf, JTI Head of Communications currently the top selling RYO brand in Northern Jeremy Blackburn Ireland, with an impressive 34.9% volume share of the RYO market, and Sterling, Northern Ireland’s top-selling cigarette brand. To really maximise tobacco sales in 2014, we recommend retailers maintain regular contact

Irwin’s Bakery: combining tradition with innovation


rwin’s Bakery has been baking bread for consumers for over 100 years, and continues to play a major role in the local agri-food sector and wider Northern Ireland economy. At Irwin’s, we continue to adapt and grow our product range in line with consumer trends and we have seen an increasing demand for traditional products such as the much-loved Nutty Krust. With over a century of baking experience behind us, we’re always keen to combine the traditional with the inventive and look at new ways to develop our product range and offer something new to the consumer. As well as continuing growth in our home

market, our award-winning Rankin Selection traditional Irish bread range has grown by almost 30% since 2008 and more than doubled in the Republic of Ireland. Great Britain is our largest export market and Rankin Selection products make up 80% of sales in this region. Irwin’s other key ranges have prospered in recent years, with our cakes and biscuits division, Howell House growing revenues by 120% since 2010 in the GB market alone. Export development will remain a major part of Irwin’s growth strategy in 2014. Alongside growing exports, we will invest in new product development and production innovation, while continuing to deliver a quality product which meets both our customers’ and consumers’ high expectations.

with their local JTI representative to ensure they are kept up to date with new products and best sellers in their area. They are trained to give advice to help retailers make the most of the tobacco category, from the latest tobacco trends and legislation, through to invaluable merchandising advice to help maximise sales. 2014 will see smaller store retailers face their final year of an open tobacco gantry and preparing for the display ban should be high on every retailer’s agenda. Our message to retailers is simple: don’t wait for the ban to happen, be prepared. It sounds obvious but it’s important to monitor sales and ensure the basics of category management are continuously put into practice. (All market data is taken from Nielsen Market Track November YTD 2013.)

Irwin’s Bakery Commercial Director Michael Murphy


Call for tighter food chain controls welcomed by NIFDA


call for tighter controls governing the food chain, in the interim report of the Elliott Review ordered in the wake of the ‘horsegate’ scandal, has been welcomed by the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA). The interim report, published ahead of the full report to come in the spring, identifies weaknesses in UK supply chain networks, together with suggested solutions. Professor Chris Elliott, director of the Institute for Global Food Security, opened last year at Queen’s University Belfast, was appointed by the Government’s food and health departments to review the food chain after the horsemeat-in-beef scandal came to light. His interim report suggests a systems-based approach to tackling food fraud, prioritising the needs of consumers with a zero tolerance approach to fraud. Prof Elliott also recommends a shared investment between government and industry in intelligence gathering and sharing; wide access to suitable laboratories using standardised testing; measurable government support for the integrity and assurance of food supply networks; clear leadership, coordination and enforcement; and punitive penalties for serious incidents. NIFDA Chairman Tony O’Neill welcomed Professor Chris Elliott’s

call for tighter controls to prevent international criminality within Europe’s biggest industry, and said the Association would fully endorse any efforts to improve transparency and controls around the production and movement of all food products within the EU. “The horsegate saga revealed the international scale upon which fraud can be perpetrated,” he said. “As European food prices rise, criminal temptation will follow, and it is essential that the appropriate authorities throughout Europe possess the powers and resources to identify, investigate and prosecute. It is equally important that those authorities co-operate across borders as it is clear that criminality recognises no national restriction in its scope or operation. “Northern Ireland’s food and drinks industry has invested heavily to become a world leader for quality, innovation and value. Our Farm Quality Assurance Scheme ensures the traceability of NI-produced food from farm to plate; we have developed a system for testing imported grain which is un-matched world-wide, and our systems are based on transparency. “Such rigour has enabled us to build a strong reputation in markets at home and abroad, and we support all initiatives which will protect our integrity.” 15


Remembering John Barrett Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association Chairman Tony O’Neill remembers John Barrett, a former director and chairman of the Association who had a long and illustrious career history with Coca-Cola and was a passionate supporter of charities.

John Barrett is pictured, right, with First Minister Peter Robinson at the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards.


ohn Barrett, one of Northern Ireland’s leading lights in the food and drink industry sadly passed away last year. John was a director of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) from 2002-2013 and acted as chairman from 2004-2006. John was a true gentleman. He was polite, professional and dignified. He earned quiet respect from all his peers – in particular when he faced his devastating diagnosis with uncommon courage, talking frankly and openly about it. John and his wife Joan were with us at the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Awards only a few months ago. Our thoughts and sympathy are with Joan and the family. A great strategic thinker, John enjoyed the challenge of leadership. He had a gift which is increasingly rare – he treated everyone with the same respect. He led NIFDA through a time of great change (something he did in many organisations), laying solid foundations that we continue to build on today.

John was instrumental in the formation of Food NI, now successfully supporting local food and drink marketing. He worked tirelessly to transform Taste of Ulster and revitalise it. The success that it has become today is due, in no small part, to John’s hours of work behind the scenes. That was another hallmark of his character – he was not afraid of the limelight but neither did he court it. When it comes to Northern Ireland’s soft drinks market, few people could equal John Barrett’s experience. Originally from Sussex, John joined Coca-Cola Bottlers (Ulster) Ltd in 1971, quickly working his way up through grassroots sales to establish the company’s first telesales operation in 1975; the first Coca-Cola operation internationally to introduce such technology. Posts including Sales Promotions Manager, National Accounts Manager and Head of Grocery Division followed, with John taking responsibility for overhauling the company’s distribution

From John Barrett’s first speech as chairman of NIFDA in 2004: ‘When I took over the chair of NIFDA some 10 months ago, it was with no small sense of worry; worry that I didn’t know a great deal about the industry, other than of course my own sector and worry about ‘what does the future hold’. Those 10 months have seen me develop, I have to say, even greater worries about our industry. ‘We have undeniable strengths; tremendous quality, world class companies, our enviable clean and green island, a toughness borne of our local history, a strong agriculture foundation and a superb workforce. ‘But together we face enormous challenges that just seem to increase. Consumers are demanding more value for money and more new products, coupled with ever higher levels of integrity as a given.


From left: Tony O’Neill and John Barrett at the GroceryAid Hog Roast in 2011.

system in the latter position. As General Sales and Commercial Manager from 1996, John oversaw the development of the change management programme. John was appointed to Coca-Cola Bottlers (Ulster) Ltd’s Board in 2001, becoming Executive Director. John was a great connector of people and was a passionate supporter of charities. He ensured that we played our part in the community in supporting local charities. John helped to lay the foundations for the ‘one supply chain’ concept. John said in 2003: “I hope that as we develop our partnerships further, greater understanding will lead to greater co-operation which will produce dividends for us all.” It is my privilege to develop that vision and carry it forward. In my view, our trade association and our industry owe John a debt of gratitude. Not that I suspect he would welcome any fuss, maybe just a quiet Coke in the bar.

Our colleagues in agriculture are facing the revolution of CAP reform, coupled with the challenges of increasing environmental regulations. ‘Retailers are now deciding to go to single point of supply, forcing rationalisations and amalgamations within our members. Then we have ever increasing margin pressure, and concentration of the supply channels. ‘Government who seem determined to lob ever more charges at us – the electricity debacle is well known to our members, water charges, industrial de-rating – all in all a difficult and turbulent time for our industry. No better time then to have a strong trade association, lobbying hard for a level playing field and to make sure that we get the support and the encouragement that we deserve as Northern Ireland’s largest manufacturing industry.’

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Sparkling new Tesco deal secured by Armagh Cider Company A

rmagh Cider Company has secured a deal to supply Tesco Northern Ireland with three of its bottled ciders. The family business uses hand-picked Armagh Bramley Apples grown in its own orchards, and carrying the EU Protected Geographic Indication mark of quality and provenance, to produce its cider. It lays claim as the only cider producer in Northern Ireland that goes ‘from blossom to bottle’. “People may know us from food festivals and craft fairs, where we have been sampling and selling for years,” said Helen Troughton, co-owner of the business with her husband Philip. “This listing with Tesco will provide us with unrivalled exposure, not only on shelf, but through their local marketing and events. We have had a stand at the Tesco Taste NI food festival and people were constantly asking: where can we get the product?” Up to 1,000 tonnes of apples are produced annually from the family’s orchards, and first pressed to produce apple juice in a traditional rack and cloth press which - although labour-

Darran Wallace, the modern face of the ‘Maine Man’, delivers a consignment to Tesco.

intensive by comparison with an automated press - produces a superior quality juice with more texture and flavour than mass-produced juices. The juice is then made into cider and bottled on the farm. The bottled ciders being stocked in Tesco are Carsons Crisp and the slightly sweeter Maddens Mellow, both winners of gold, silver and bronze medals in the International Cider Challenge, and Mollys Mulled Cider. “We have been talking to Armagh Cider Company about supplying Tesco for some time so we’re delighted to see them coming on shelf,” said Stephen Murphy, buying manager at Tesco NI. “As a buying team in Northern Ireland, we are always looking out for small local companies producing something fantastic, which we think our customers will love – and Armagh Cider Company is doing just that. It’s important for artisan producers to maintain the integrity of their product and continue using the processes that make them so popular – you can really taste 100 years of nurture and expertise with these ciders.”

Helen Troughton, co-owner of Armagh Cider Company.

The Maine Man goes mainstream ‘T

he Maine Man’ is making a comeback after Ballymoney-based Maine Soft Drinks sealed a deal to supply an estimated £150,000 to £200,000 worth of soft drinks to Tesco Northern Ireland. Best known as Northern Ireland’s door-to-door ‘lemonade man’ supplying retro favourites such as Raspberryade and American Cream Soda, the family-run business still has 45 ‘Maine men’ delivering to 40,000 households. Tesco NI is stocking Raspberryade, Pineappleade, Cloudy Limeade, Sarsaparilla, Brown Lemonade, American Cream Soda, White Lemonade and bright blue Bubblegum, all in plastic litre bottles. The Harkness family has run Maine Soft Drinks for almost a century and currently employs 105 staff. In addition to its well-known lines, the business also has bottling contracts for soft drinks companies in Scotland and continues to produce and bottle kids’ soft drinks under the Smak and Vitazade brands. “We sought advice from Invest NI, who encouraged us to look differently at our business,” said Derrick Harkness, sales director of Maine Soft Drinks and great-grandson of the founder. “They helped us to see that there is still a lot of value in the Maine brand, and that it is something with which people in Northern Ireland still have a very positive connection.” Invest NI provided financial support for investment in the company’s production plant, leading on to the new contract with Tesco. Tesco Buying Manager Steven Murphy said: “This is an exciting new listing for us, not only as it’s adding another local supplier to our portfolio of Taste NI suppliers but, more importantly, because Tesco is part of such an important new direction for this family business. I myself have childhood memories of waiting expectantly for the Maine man to arrive each week.”

8 • •Ulster 3620 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011


2013 a year of delivery for NIIRTA By NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts

First Minister Peter Robinson, pictured (right) with Glyn Roberts, opened NIIRTA’s new offices last year and supported its Small Business Saturday initiative on December 7.


013 was another year of progress for the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA). With new enhanced offices close to Stormont, increased membership and movement on key issues such as rates, planning and car parking, we are delivering for our members. NIIRTA was delighted the First Minister The Rt. Hon Peter Robinson MLA opened our new office in July, stating: ‘NIIRTA has firmly established itself as a passionate champion for independent retailers across Northern Ireland.’ As the First Minister says, we are championing our members’ issues at Local Councils, NI Assembly, Westminster and Brussels. We have had over 25 meetings with ministers and shadow ministers in Belfast and London. NIIRTA has met with the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State for NI, Shadow Business Secretary and nearly all of the Executive ministers. We have presented to numerous parliamentary committees in London, Dublin and Belfast on a range of issues from banking, planning and urban regeneration to rates. While disappointed the Carrier Bag Levy

got the go ahead, NIIRTA was successful in lobbying the DOE Minister to cap it at 5p for the foreseeable future and get phase two, which introduces a levy on renewable carrier bags, pushed back. On car parking, we were successful in getting a special Christmas deal from the Department of Regional Development for their owned car parks to charge £1 for five hours over the Christmas period. In addition, we negotiated a special Christmas discount deal with NCP for their Montgomery Street car park in Belfast City Centre. On planning, we continue to engage with DOE and, following a recent meeting with the Minister, a new draft Planning Policy to protect our town centres is to be published within the next few months for consultation. We are working with Finance Minister Simon Hamilton to build upon the Small Business Rate Relief scheme and to ensure the ongoing Rates Revaluation delivers for independent retailers and town centres. NIIRTA led the Small Business Saturday initiative on December 7, which brought in additional thousands of pounds for local small businesses on that day. For our supplier members, DARD Minister

NIIRTA will give a special focus on the elections in May to the new 11 local councils. These councils will be powerful players in urban regeneration, planning, economic development and town centres.”

Michelle O’Neill launched our new Suppliers’ Forum, which improves communication between our wholesalers, retailers and local suppliers. Speaking at the launch of the NIIRTA Suppliers’ Forum, Minister O’Neill said: ‘While the ever-increasing global demand for food provides great opportunities for our producers, the local market is still the key market outlet for many of our producers and I am pleased that NIIRTA is launching a Suppliers’ Forum to further cement linkages within the supply chain. I have no doubt this initiative will lead to increased trade between members in support of the objectives of the recently produced Going for Growth report. ‘I wish NIIRTA and all the independent retailers continued success with this initiative and thank them for their ongoing efforts to bring local food to local communities whilst remaining the heart of our rural towns.’ Turning to our priorities for 2014, NIIRTA will be giving a special focus on the elections in May to the new 11 local councils. These councils will be powerful players in urban regeneration, planning, economic development and town centres. It is vital that the councillors newly elected in May are able to hit the ground running with a coherent agenda for change when power is passed to them in 2015. We plan to publish our own Local Council Manifesto in the next few months, setting out our new policy priorities and engaging with candidates from all parties. Given our huge problem of having the highest shop vacancy rate in the UK, we will be pushing for urgent action from the Executive. Firstly, the First and Deputy First Minister should devote a special Executive meeting to addressing this problem, drawing up a Marshall Plan of measures. We need to see a comprehensive joined-up plan covering business rates, planning policy, car parking and town centre regeneration. We believe this new plan should include the creation of retail incubator units to support the next generation of retail entrepreneurs, and a new vacant shop strategy. The Executive should organise a major conference to bring together international experts in retail and regeneration to identify how other towns and cities across the world have successfully dealt with these problems and, more importantly, how we can learn from them. 2014 can be the year of opportunity for our independent retail sector and we will continue to ensure that its voice is heard at every opportunity. 21


Secrets of success: the Henderson Group From left: Pat McGarry, Paddy Doody and Neal Kelly joined Ulster Grocer for a round table discussion on the past success and future plans of the Henderson Group.

Investment in retail price cuts and new technology, alongside a continued fresh food push, has helped the Henderson Group retain its competitive edge in the crowded Northern Irish grocery market. Alyson Magee spoke to Henderson Wholesale’s Sales and Marketing Director Paddy Doody, Group Logistics Director Pat McGarry and Fresh Food Director Neal Kelly about the past year, and the Henderson Group’s plans for 2014. What key developments has the Henderson Group undergone over the past year? Paddy: The major focus is on the development of fresh food products throughout our stores. Our target is to achieve 50% of our sales through fresh foods and I am pleased to report we’re well on our way to achieving that. We have expanded our fresh foods team this year with several new people joining the department at various management levels. We have put in place proactive training programmes to help ensure all staff are qualified and fully trained on how to deal with various aspects of the fresh food process. This covers everything from handling to displaying fresh foods. An important aspect of this training is the quality assurance procedures we have in place. All fresh produce arriving at the warehouse has to be graded; if it’s not up to our spec, it’ll be rejected. Quality Assurance is an area of the business that we are continually improving and investing in. Neal: The category growth in Meat, Poultry & Produce has been extremely positive and, 8 • •Ulster 3622 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

as a result, has supported the investment in up-weighting our fresh team. The new team affords us time to communicate better with retailers and find out what they need in terms of fresh food development and support. Our category specialists also have more time to talk to suppliers and spot both market gaps and future growth potential, as well as helping us to tailor solutions that are right for independent retailers. Pat: Key developments in terms of logistics have been through the better use of assets, and improved efficiencies throughout our IT and new technology investments. Our location, in Mallusk, is very much advantageous to us. We are centred between the two ports of Belfast and Larne and, as a result, developed excellent distribution facilities throughout Northern Ireland. Another development has been through the use of mobile computers for all our drivers; this assists with asset control and process of delivery. Within our Henderson Foodservice business, we have introduced voice picking technology in the warehouse which has helped

Paddy Doody

RETAIL ROUND TABLE to support the voice technology which we are currently using throughout the business. How are trading conditions? Paddy: Trading is very tough in all the sectors we operate in but we are performing well. It’s a tough market, in which we have a squeeze on margins whether it’s in retailing, wholesaling or manufacturing. Therefore you have to cut the cloth tight and remain focused. We’re very focused on what shoppers want and our research shows shoppers in NI are still very value driven and will be for some time to come. As a company, we have invested in benchmarking and research. The results show we are cheaper at both a retail level and at ensuring our retailers achieve a better margin – at the end of the day we’ve got to help them make money too. Neal: I think the industry can talk about the recession and almost become excessively risk averse which often can lead to missing growth opportunities. People enjoy modern convenience shopping and whilst being more aware of the pound in their pocket, they are still happy to spend it in local stores. The sector we’re operating in is showing very encouraging signs of growth and we’re doing everything to ensure we tick the right boxes for shoppers. Which grocery categories are performing well and/or struggling? Neal: Fresh food is showing signs of growth in the middle and upper tiers. The more difficult categories tend to be where cheaper meat products have been used in the past across the whole retail sector. What we’re trying to do is create a point of difference and generate reasons for coming into our stores. Currently we do this is by providing excellent local brands supported by as much local ownbrand as possible. Spar has always supported local suppliers but, with improvements in packaging design and better shopper communication, we’re shouting about it a little better. Paddy: Newspapers and magazines are struggling mainly due to the way people consume news and the rise in digital media available. Tobacco is also a difficult category currently and is struggling from the trade in illicit cigarettes, high pricing and lower consumption. What is your strategy for maintaining a competitive advantage? Paddy: We have 420 stores including 77 company-owned with the rest independents – some with more than one site; all trusting us as a long-term business partner. Twenty years ago, SPAR used to be the small convenience store. Not any more, as we continue to expand and improve the stores that operate in the community today. Spar Glenwell in Glengormley is a good example of what we’re about today and in the future. With smaller 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Pat McGarry

Neal Kelly

stores, we’re trying to encourage them to increase the size and range of their stores. We need to be able to compete with the multiple formats, who intend to open more convenience stores in Northern Ireland. We can do things the multiples can’t do; no matter how hard they try. We just need to be smarter at what we do. As a proud supporter of local producers we are bigger than any of the multiples. The Henderson Group continues to ensure all the money it makes is retained in Northern Ireland and the level of local investment by the family is just stunning. Neal: Having a larger local team on the ground than anybody else helps to ensure we maintain our competitive advantage. We are always looking at how to improve and provide that little extra ‘newness’. By increasing our volume, we can source more unique and price-competitive ranges for

retailers and shoppers. Shoppers really like continuity and a range that’s there day-in, day-out, week-in, weekout. Whether it’s the smallest Spar or the largest Eurospar, the breadth of the range is such now that we can cater to all markets. Pat: From an operations point of view, it’s in continuing the programme of investment in price and margins; investing in our business with technology, equipment and the most modern and efficient vehicles where we hope to maintain a competitive advantage. Our investment in facilities is also ongoing. What are your more successful retail partners doing that makes the difference? Paddy: The biggest thing they’re doing is investing for the future and the really good retailers are able to focus on their shoppers at the same time. For stores with falling sales, there’s usually a reason and it can be frustrating when it’s something obvious. With the fresh food journey, it is likely you’ll have a lot more waste. That is one of the big things retailers have to understand; you’ve got to invest in waste. We want returning shoppers, who visit our stores knowing they can pick up everything they need for that night’s dinner. It takes time to change people’s attitudes and behaviour. Neal: In my mind, it’s all about people. Those who invest in their teams and are passionate about team development tend to be those who reap the greatest rewards in terms of growth. What services do you offer to your retail partners? Paddy: The Henderson Group Academy, which is a training facility, is available to all our retail partners. The Academy offers retailers the opportunity to access current trading standards and trends through a very approachable and flexible team. It is an invaluable resource in these challenging times. The courses cover everything from Customer Service to Food Safety and Management Development. If you sign up, you will have access to all of these courses and it’s a very cost effective way to train up the stores’ staff.

Those who invest in their teams and are passionate about team development tend to be those who reap the greatest rewards in terms of growth.” Neal Kelly


RETAIL ROUND TABLE the short- to medium-term. It will be all hands on deck. Neal: I would like to think a modern convenience store, set up with the appropriate proportion of fresh foods, can achieve at least that growth. Coupled with range, improved communication, and engagement with shoppers via fantastic retailers, we will keep increasing the relevance of our brands for shoppers for many years to come.

The Henderson Group is making progress with its goal of achieving 50% of all sales through fresh foods.

The Spar Guild, a team of both retailers and Henderson Group employees, meets six times a year as a working group. We also hold two larger retailer meetings a year to communicate key messages to our retail customers along with networking events such as business conferences, held annually. Our retailers want to be guided and led but they want to be consulted as well. Does local sourcing continue to be important for you? Neal: We start off from a position of trying to source locally and it’s by default if we import from GB. To source local is right for shoppers and for retailers in terms of cost price and it’s important to us to support Northern Ireland suppliers. Our whole local emphasis in this area is not a marketing campaign, it’s in our DNA. Pat: The Henderson Group has always made provenance a priority. We are proud to support local suppliers, with over 75% of our fresh products sourced locally. Our commitment is to reinvest back into the communities in which we operate. One way of doing so, is the support of local suppliers. How much more are consumers prepared to pay for local produce? Paddy: Zero – they might say they’re prepared to pay more but they’re not. There’s not a straight forward link between what shoppers say and what they do. Shoppers act rationally and understandably to get the best deal for themselves. Are there any factors other than the economy having an impact on the grocery sector? Paddy: The whole area of planning, with the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association trying to protect town centres and move away from huge out-of-town developments. Another area which has an impact is civil unrest like the flag protests and the impact this has had on people’s livelihood. 8 • •Ulster 3624 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

The whole political situation needs to be properly addressed. Pat: The Agency Workers Regulations that came into force recently have made it much more difficult for us to maintain efficiency; it has injected cost into the business. We see the introduction of HGV operator licensing as a positive that provides a more level playing field for distributors. Although we have always maintained a high standard for our delivery fleet, this legislation underpins it. One thing I would ask for is a more speedy response to legislation for drivers when we hit emergency situations such as the snow fall last year, when parts of the country had six feet of snow. It would be great if we could step in quickly to relax drivers’ hours and give them the time to get home. Do you believe forecasts of 1.5%plus growth for the Northern Irish economy in 2014 are accurate and, if so, what impact do you expect to see on the grocery sector? Paddy: The consumer still feels vulnerable. I expect business still to be tough for at least The Henderson Group’s fresh food push has been carried through to its marketing strategy.

What plans does the Henderson Group have for 2014? Paddy: We will continue to invest in fresh foods and continue to cut the price of goods for shoppers, while at the same time increase the money we spend driving sales through our retailers. Pat: We also want to further invest in technology, improving our ability to complete our transactions and use our delivery fleet more fully and efficiently by working with our suppliers to get goods from their factories or supply points to Mallusk. The other key area is looking to improve our facilities, to create more loading space and improve what space we have; particularly for fresh food warehouses. Neal: We have a lot of exciting food developments on the horizon. How that will manifest itself in stores will be convenient solutions to feed families, while recognising the need to keep waste to a minimum and being conscious of price sensitivity. We need to find solutions that feed couples and families and encourage the ‘little and often’ approach to shopping. If we can do that and facilitate stretching the household budget, we’ll be even more successful. We’re continuing to be innovative and different but we still need to work hard to ensure we provide dinner at the right price. We’ve just launched a fantastic new sandwich range, which is market leading. The whole of lunch and teatime solutions is there to be developed further. The Henderson Group as an organisation is investing in the very areas retailers and shoppers are asking us to invest in.


Shops with star quality Outlets standing out from the crowded retail market have been nominated by their symbol group and multiple retail partners as ‘star stores’. NISA EXTRA FIVEWAYS: 1950s DINER ATTRACTING LOCALS AND DRIVERS


isa Extra Fiveways is a 10,000-squarefoot store which is based in a prime location for customers travelling between Belfast and Dublin, as well as customers living in the popular town of Newry. It offers a wide range of products and services including fresh produce, fresh meats and fish, a deli counter, butchery, free car parking and a 1950s-style American Diner which makes the store a one-stop-shop for its customers. The opening of the diner was a major development and has proved to be a great Manager Frank Hagan success, drawing people from both locally and further afield. Nisa Extra Fiveways has always been a meeting place for the local community and the diner offers locals and the wider community a fantastic casual dining experience. The store is also a petrol forecourt store, which helps to attract people fuelling their journeys between Belfast and Dublin. The store currently employs over 200 staff, making a significant difference to the local economy. Best sellers are within the fresh food category such as serve-over,

butchery and hot food. The store prides itself on providing the best possible experience for its customers, and has incorporated many new services including a hot food and deli counter, diner, off-licence and in-store bakery and butchery. 2013 has been a successful year’s trading for Nisa Extra Fiveways; currently trading 7% up on last year. This can be partly attributed to the successful butchery, due to the good quality of the meat sourced locally and the fact the horse meat scare at the start of the year led to many more shoppers buying from local sources. In the last year, Nisa Extra Fiveways celebrated its 25-year anniversary by holding a celebration day and draw for its customers to enjoy. This included the top prize of a car for one of its lucky customers. A particular challenge Nisa Extra Fiveways has had to deal with in the last year is the opening of the new Tesco store in June 2013. Management had to work harder at delivering first-rate customer service and deeper cut promotions, as well as increasing its advertising.



ainsbury’s 13 stores in Northern Ireland all follow the retailer’s five core values: best for food and health; a great place to work; sourcing with integrity; respect for our environment; and making a difference in our community. Sainsbury’s opened its Bangor store in November 2011 and, since then, all of the colleagues at the store have worked hard to deliver on these values and create an environment where people love to work and shop. Sainsbury’s stores are built to the highest environmental specification and its store in Bangor is no exception. It boasts a number of environmentally-friendly features including a biomass boiler and rain water harvesting system, as well as a state-of-the-art natural refrigeration system, reducing carbon emissions by 33%. Since opening, the store has firmly embedded itself in the local community. It has worked in partnership with RNLI as its local charity partner in 2012, and the Christopher McCollum Fund in 2013, to raise funds of more than £10,000 to date. The store also works closely with New Horizons, part of Action Mental Health, to help people as they return to work. It is supporting New Horizons to deliver NVQ Level 2 in Retail Skills by allowing participants on the programme to work towards a Diploma. This is a first for Sainsbury’s in Northern Ireland. The store also contributes in the local community through donations. Flowers are donated weekly to Action Mental Health to support their floristry courses. Produce is also given to Assisi Animal Sanctuary to help them reduce their weekly overheads and similar

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donations have been made to Belfast Zoo. Sainsbury’s Bangor Youth Ambassador and PR Ambassador are heavily involved in the local community. These roles help to bring to life the company’s values and goals. The store ambassadors get involved in activities and organise events to highlight Sainsbury’s role in the community and to promote the products and services available. By bringing to life a unique environment where colleagues and customers truly love to work and shop, the Bangor store is now recognised as a training centre of excellence. The store is the hub for both trainee managers, with the store manager having personal accountability for their development. Combining all of these elements with a great team effort from colleagues to deliver service excellence for customers, Sainsbury’s Bangor is proud to be nominated ‘star store’ for 2013.


STAR STORES eurospar brackenvale: expanded local range, better prices


ecember officially marked the launch of Eurospar at the former Spar Brackenvale store, Saintfield Road. The store is owned by the family-run Henderson Group, owners of the Spar, Eurospar, Vivo and Vivoxtra franchises in Northern Ireland. The change from Spar to Eurospar, ‘the super easy supermarket’, brings with it a wealth of benefits to the local community in the form of a much larger range of products to choose from - over 6,000 -and the lower prices. The new store runs the Eurospar Supermarket Price Match scheme, so local customers can be reassured they will get the value of the multiples, closer to home. A new development is the addition of the new in-store butchery, operated by family-run H&J Carnduff Butchery and Delicatessen. Serving a wide range of local produce, Hamilton and Jonathan Carnduff have been in business since 1993, and have won various highly acclaimed national accolades over the years for their quality-assured meat. Over 75% of the Henderson Group’s fresh food suppliers come from the island of Ireland, and there will be plenty of new, exciting and bespoke ranges available.

Pictured, from left, at the new Eurospar Brackenvale Store are John Clarke, business development manager at the Henderson Group; David Miskimmin, Eurospar Brackenvale store manager; and Nigel Gray, retail director at the Henderson Group.

These include award-winning Ballymena butchers, K&G McAtamney, which supplies a range of quality, handmade, ready-to-cook meal solutions; Doherty and Gray, also from Ballymena, which supplies a range of premium meat products; and Cloughbane

Farm Shop from Tyrone which supplies a range of pre-cooked family ready meals. Eurospar Brackenvale was officially opened with the help of Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, which will now be the store’s official charity partnership.



sda opened the doors of its Portadown store in November 2012, creating 450 permanent and part-time positions and bringing 44,000-square-foot of retail space - and the full Asda offering - to the Armagh area for the first time.

Asda’s Portadown store was opened in late 2012, with local lady Elaine McClenaghan (centre with cake) appointed as its Community Life Champion to support local initiatives.

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One of the first priorities for the store was to roll out its ‘Community Life’ programme; an exciting initiative which is transforming how Asda interacts with the community surrounding its stores. A new position was created to support this and local woman Elaine McClenaghan became the store’s first ‘Community Life Champion’. With dedicated hours ring-fenced for community support and engagement, Elaine has spearheaded a wide range of community schemes throughout the year. This has included raising over £60,000 for local charitable causes and launching Asda’s unique ‘Chosen by You, Given by Us’ concept; allowing local people to vote for and support truly local groups and charities. Elaine has also spent a staggering 400 hours volunteering in the community; supporting local senior citizens clubs, taking a healthy eating road show to primary schools in the area and coordinating a variety of community campaigns such as Asda’s annual ‘Big Litter Pick’. The store also welcomed 50 community groups into the supermarket to use Asda’s meeting rooms, freeof-charge. The first year of Asda Portadown’s Community Life programme has been a resounding success with all of the colleagues at Asda Portadown, led by Elaine, fully embracing the initiative; contributing their time, energy and enthusiasm towards embedding the Portadown store in the local community.



&W Wholesale has nominated Today’s Local Sandy Row for special recognition in reviving a dying store. The previous symbol/site had been closed leaving the community without a local convenience store. When S&W stepped in, they rejuvenated the store and reinvested within the local community. The store works closely with local community groups and provides support for fundraising within the community. Almost two years on, the store is trading well and the business is now successful. Today’s Local Sandy Row has been a symbol store since April 2012, employing 10 staff from the local community in the 1,800-square-foot store, which features a huge range of products at competitive pricing including fresh fruit and vegetables, ambient, chilled and frozen; newspapers and magazines; a £1 zone; in-store ATM; Cuisine de France bakery; hot food counter, Piacetto Hot drinks-to-go; two ice cream fixtures; National Lottery; and Paypoint including Collect Plus. This store is serviced by S&W Wholesale,

which delivers at least twice weekly alongside direct deliveries such as bread and frozen food. Sandy Row store relies on convenience trade from the hundreds of local homes and businesses in the Row and in the lower

Donegall Road areas. Marketing is wholesaler-led, including a three-weekly cycle of offers compiled into a four-page flyer distributed around the catchment area.


Tesco Newry Store Manager Stephen Magill is pictured, centre, with his staff.


esco has named its most recently opened Extra store in Newry as a star store. The 63,000-square-foot Newry store is Tesco’s third largest store in Northern Ireland and is under the watchful eye of Store Manager Stephen Magill, who has 20 years’ experience. It was the launch pad in Northern Ireland for a new look F&F clothing section, the first of a new fresh fruit and vegetable layout and a stunning new wine shop fit-out. The store design showcased several eco-benefits and included the use of innovative lighting wells to

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flood the store with natural daylight. The Downshire Road store opened in early June 2013, in an area with the highest unemployment in the province among 18 to 25-year-olds. It created 330 new jobs, including employing seven young people under 25, who had been in long-term unemployment and were given an opportunity through the Youth Employment Scheme. Ahead of opening, the local community expressed fears for the impact the new Tesco might have on the city. Through a programme

of community engagement led by Stephen and store Community Champion Sheelagh Smyth from Annalong, Tesco met with local stakeholders and community representatives, to address their issues and concerns. “The store has performed superbly well,” says Stephen. “From a zero base in Newry, we have gained loyalty from customers very quickly and have over-achieved in our sales targets. Our customer feedback has been excellent and our service has been highly praised. “Our staff are being seen as the most warm and friendly in the area and customers have commented on the great range across the store and the value for money – and they’re pleasantly surprised with our superb new-look F&F clothing department. One of the mostcommented-upon things is our primacy meat counter; customers love having a ‘real butcher in the shop’ and knowing that the meat is all locally farmed. “One of the most important benefits of the store has been how we have helped local charities and groups. Since opening, we have really worked hard on giving back to the community, either by offering our services for a local choir or bag packing or donating clothes to local charity. One of our biggest achievements has been working with Newry Foodbank on three initiatives since opening.” 27


Musgrave Retail Partners NI’s Store of the Year awards take place annually in March and, in 2013, its winners were Poole’s SuperValu, Moira, McCool’s Centra, Ballymena and Hall’s Mace, Carrickfergus poole’s supervalu moira: awards rack up in 10th anniversary year

Eddie and Meena Poole of Poole’s Supervalu Moira


oole’s has had a fantastic year, undertaking store refurbishments and winning a number of prestigious awards for their work;

all while celebrating the store’s 10th anniversary in Moira. With a strong focus on customer service and convenience, the busy Main Street store provides everything its customers need for a one-stop-shop including an extended butchery and excellent off-license. The store carried out a refurbishment at the end of last year which saw them put new lidded freezers and a pack system into the shop, significantly increasing their energy efficiency and green credentials. A further phase of development saw the introduction of a post office local counter and an extended range of services including passport and car tax.

Recent improvements to the store have proven very popular with local customers and have been recognised within the industry with Poole’s winning awards for Merchandising, Environmental Sustainability, Staff Development and Overall Best Shop at the 2013 Independent Achievers Academy Gala Dinner, held in London. This year saw Poole’s SuperValu’s 10th anniversary in Moira which was celebrated with fundraising for MRPNI’s charity partner Action Cancer and a fun day for their customers. The store has also been particularly active on Facebook over the past year, interacting with its customers and using it primarily to promote their off licence.

Mccool’s centra, ballymena: expanding its convenience offering


entra Ballymena, which celebrated its 41st year in business in 2013, has consistently met the very high standards expected by customers, while also offering a wide variety of quality products. Convenience is key at McCool’s Centra, and the store is well known locally for its quality, fresh, hot food and deli counter. It has consistently excelled, both in its commitment to customer service and in its consistent delivery of in-store standards. McCool’s has very successfully developed its own brand meal solutions providing a large range of more than 20 lines for customers, to be expanded further next year.

The store has also invested considerably in its staff training and store environment which has certainly paid dividends for the customers. The team has a strong track record of providing for their community and raised £4,000 last year for Action Cancer through a variety of store initiatives involving staff and customers. One such initiative, which customers donated generously to, was a running challenge, where a treadmill was placed in the store for a weekend with all levels of staff taking part to continuously run on it the entire time. The staff also gets involved in seasonal campaigns such as dressing up for Halloween.

Peter McCool of McCool’s Centra Ballymena



Neil and Tracy Hall of Hall’s Mace Carrickfergus

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all’s Mace has been trading for an incredible 32 years and plays an integral part in its local community. Hall’s has been recognised for its excellent deli and lunchtime delivery service and the superb variety of hot and cold food available helps this area flourish. The store offers a wide variety of grocery products, an improved and enhanced fresh produce section and a large, chilled food area, where own brand butchery has become the primary focus. First class customer service is a priority within Hall’s Mace. Staff are friendly, helpful and build a close rapport with all customers. Free home delivery is also available, with the

elderly within the local community benefiting from this immensely. The store reaches out to the local community by donating hampers and shopping vouchers to fundraising events, sponsoring local sports teams and twice a year taking part in Cool FM’s ‘Cash for Kids’ Campaign. All staff members take part in ‘Cash for Kids’, making it a fun day for them to engage with their customers and give back to the community. Hall’s Mace always strives to maintain the highest possible standards with excellent customer service, a first class ‘food to go’ service and ongoing support of the local community.


Irwin’s invests £250,000 in rebrand

Paul Rankin (left) and Brian Irwin.


oosting its success in key export markets GB and the Republic of Ireland is behind Irwin’s recent £250,000 investment in a rebrand of its Rankin Selection range of traditional Irish breads. The rebrand includes a complete packaging redesign and roll-out of the range, first introduced to the GB market in 2002 and now commanding annual retail sales value of £16m. Sales of Rankin Selection breads have grown by almost 30% since 2008 in Irwin’s biggest export market, GB, with the brand

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representing 80% of Irwin’s sales in the region. GB sales of the Portadown-based bakery’s Howell House cakes and biscuits division have grown by 120% since 2010. Exports to RoI have, meanwhile, more than doubled in recent years. “The Rankin Selection bread range has been an enormous success for Irwin’s, creating a significant increase in trade with major retailers in GB,” said Brian Irwin, chairman of Irwin’s Bakery. “The aim of the rebrand has been to create a stronger brand platform to further enhance our position within the highly competitive bread market – we want to remind our customers of our products’ quality, taste, versatility and availability.” The Rankin Selection range includes Soda Farls, Stoneground Wheaten, Wheaten Bannock, Wholewheat Soda Bread, Barmbrack, Potato Farls, Brown Soda Bread, Sliced Fruit Soda, Fruit Loaf, Irish Batch – Plain Bread and Cinnamon and Raisin Loaf.

Escape to Enniskillen offered to UG reader


rwin’s Bakery is giving NI shoppers the chance to Escape to Enniskillen, with its packs of four and eight muffins featuring a special code to enter a draw Pictured enjoying an Irwin’s muffin are with a prize of a weekend Lewis (11) and Ellie (8) with Hannah break for two at Belmore Robinson of Irwin’s Bakery and Terry Court & Motel, Enniskillen. McCartney of Belmore Court & Motel. From January 12, a draw will take place every week for the next three months (to March 30), awarding one lucky couple the chance to get away for a special ‘staycation’ in the picturesque heart of County Fermanagh. To celebrate its new Escape to Enniskillen on-pack competition, Irwin’s Bakery has an additional ‘staycation’ prize available exclusively for readers of Ulster Grocer.

To win this fantastic prize, answer the following question:

Q) On which Irwin’s product can your shoppers find the

Escape to Enniskillen on-pack competition? Send your answers with your name and full address to: Entrants must be aged 18 years or over. For full terms and conditions, please check the competitions page of the Irwins Bakery website:


S&W honours employee John Murray N

ewry-based Savage & Whitten Wholesale is fast becoming one of the leading independent wholesalers in Ireland, evolving over 100 years (see ps46-47). Witnessing this evolution for the last 50 years has been John Murray, who at 15 left school, walked into the office and asked for a job. Luckily for him, George Savage said yes and the rest is history. John’s first role within the company was as a helper in the confectionery van sales department, and he travelled around Co. Down and Co. Armagh. When John joined the company in 1963, it was trading as Martin Nesbitt & Irwin and was based at Hill Street in Newry, before relocating to Merchants Quay as Newry Cash & Carry. It then moved on to the Carnbane Industrial Estate, where it remains today. Following this last move, the company merged with J & E

S&W managing director Mark Windebank, right, recently presented John Murray with a gold watch in honour of his 50 years with the business.

Whitten in 2000 and became, as it is known today, Savage & Whitten Wholesale. “During my time at S&W, I have had many roles,” said John. “From starting as a helper on the van for over two and half years, I progressed to the wholesale/grocery business as a ‘shop boy’, which involved picking and packing orders for a further three years. In 1968, I took up the role of General Assistant at the Merchant Quay premises and, for six years, carried out a whole host of warehouse duties. “In the year that Richard Nixon resigned over the Watergate scandal, I took up the position of Sales Rep aka ‘a traveller’, as it was fondly known then, in 1974. I covered the same areas as I did back when I was a van boy and it was great to get out and about, meeting new people and hearing their stories. It was a role I cherished for 14 years, until my personal circumstances changed, resulting in me reverting back to warehouse duties as a Checkout Operator, helping and serving customers. “When the business relocated to the Carnbane Industrial Estate, I resumed the role of Warehouse Operative, picking and packing boxes and dealing with customer services. I thoroughly enjoyed this job and it’s a role that I am still actively doing today.” Over John’s tenure with S&W, the retail landscape has undergone many changes. When asked by the Ulster Grocer what he believes has had the biggest impact on the sector in the last 50 years, John believes this to be the influx of larger supermarkets/multiples causing the sad exit of many small retailers from the retail landscape. He feels that the multiples have taken away some of the camaraderie between the customer/wholesaler relationship. When asked for one piece of advice he would give to someone starting on the career ladder, John said: “Listen to the people with experience, and do the best that you can and in everything that you try to do. Don’t think that you know it all... because you never will.”



Floor space fills up for IFEX 2014 F

loor space is almost at capacity for this year’s IFEX – to be held in the King’s Hall Pavilion, Belfast over March 11-13 – due to increased early interest. Entry is also open for the ChefSkills and team event La Parade des Chefs competitions to be held during the exhibition. Entry forms are available to download at www.ifexexhibition., and must be submitted before February 8. The events are part of the International Salon Culinaire, a forum for student and industry chefs under the directorship of Sean Owens. Around 250 chefs are expected to participate in 14 ChefSkills category competitions, including the Department of Agriculture-supported IFEX Northern Ireland Chef of the Year, at this year’s exhibition. In addition, La Parade des Chefs will feature four teams of eight, primarily from NI culinary colleges, operating in a glass-fronted, ‘real time’ restaurant; setting, preparing, cooking for and serving 60 covers each. Both The ChefSkills Theatre and La Parade de Chefs are supported by the Department for Employment and Learning (DELNI) and catering supplier Stephen’s Catering Equipment. “The competitions are all about encouraging our culinary talent to upskill and be the best that they can be, which mirrors DELNI’s commitment to helping and encouraging young people to learn new skills to benefit their careers,” said Owens. For the past 10 shows, Stephen’s Catering Equipment has committed to providing all of the major catering equipment used by the 250 chefs. Other supporters for the Salon Culinaire include Flogas, which will be fuelling the cooking in The ChefSkills Theatre and at La Parade des Chefs. The Salon Culinaire is a major part of IFEX due to its long-standing commitment to nurture talent within the industry, and the cooking competitions will sit alongside a number of other Pictured are, from left, Sean Owens, IFEX Salon Culinaire exciting features at the event. These include over 100 exhibitors showcasing the very latest in director; Brendan Baxter, former IFEX gold medal winner and Head Chef at Fusion; and Soraya Gadelrab, IFEX event new products and services, a cold display of edible art and the Product of the Show awards. director. A biennial event, over 5,000 industry professionals are expected to visit IFEX this year. To find out more about IFEX and to register your attendance, please log onto, follow it on twitter @IFEX_NI, via Facebook or join the IFEX NI Group on LinkedIn.



Dale Farm brings in the harvest By Alyson Magee


rom 33% sales growth and completion of its £40m investment programme to a great summer for lolly sales, 2013 has been a bountiful year for Dale Farm. “All of this hasn’t happened by chance,” says David Dobbin, chief executive of the United Dairy Farmers subsidiary. “We have been working on these markets for years. What we’re seeing now is almost the harvest, after years of hard work.” Sales of the group’s dairy products have been growing across the board, from the domestic market to GB and markets further afield such as Russia and China; propelling Dale Farm’s annual turnover to around £500m. Backing this growth has been a major investment push, the final phase of which was the £20m expansion of its Dunmanbridge, Cookstown site to facilitate the doubling of cheddar cheese and whey protein powders throughput. The total programme, which has generated over 100 jobs, marks the largest investment to date by a single business in Northern Ireland’s dairy sector. It has also included the upgrade of liquid milk processing facilities in Pennybridge, Ballymena and a new state-ofthe-art butter and dairy spreads site at Dale Farm’s Dromona Creamery in Cullybackey. And David feels Dale Farm is now in a formidable position to face the end of milk quotas in 2015, when extra supply from countries previously subject to export limitations such as Ireland, Germany, France and Poland is expected to flood the market. Dale Farm has 1,600 dairy farmer members providing almost a billion litres of milk every year. “In Northern Ireland, we haven’t been constrained by the milk quota and so have been getting markets in place,” says David. Over the past few years, the group has ramped up its throughput and secured markets on par with the end of milk quotagrowth forecast for the Republic of Ireland. Dale Farm has been targeting long-term markets for milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt and impulse ice-cream, as well as whey ingredients. “We need to get that scale so our products here are competitive,” says David. “Even if you’re not an exporter, you’ve got to meet products from those who are head on. These days, consumers have a lot of choice and options. By playing bigger on international markets, it’s giving us the scale and we can put more investment into products and packaging. The scale we have now is making it easier to do things.” Dale Farm also takes great pride in its Northern Irish heritage, with David outlining

the advantages of retaining local control. “We’re headquartered here, we’re run by local people,” he says. “We’re Northern Irish at heart and every penny we make goes back to local farmers and investors in our business.” GROWTH IN DOMESTIC MARKET The recent investment has supported growth in cheese, butter and yoghurt sales in the domestic market. “We’ve entered into portion-packed butter for foodservice through buying Fane Valley,” says David. “We took that to the British market and Republic of Ireland market and have been able to treble sales. The more scale we’ve got, the more we’ve been able to do things we otherwise couldn’t have done.” And Dale Farm’s acquisition of Mullins ice-cream “uncannily pre-empted Northern Ireland’s best summer in many years,” says David. “With the better weather, we have seen strong growth. We sold 1.5 million ice

lollies per week in July. There are only 1.8 million people in Northern Ireland so we were astounded; ice-cream has had a fantastic year.” Nonetheless: “It’s competitive out there,” says David. “The customer is still not seeing a trickle down effect from the recovering economy.” As a result, Dale Farm has focused product development on engineering price points to get consumers motivated to buy. The economic downturn has boosted sales of indulgent, comfort products, including both butter and cream as ingredients for home baking and take home lines such as custard and desserts. The extended Pennybridge site is producing new dessert lines including fresh custard and trifles. “With desserts, there is strong growth there,” says David. “We’re investing not just in facilities but in product development and marketing.” >>>

Trade Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Dale Farm Chief Executive David Dobbin at the official opening of Dale Farm’s extended cheddar cheese and whey processing facility at Dunmanbridge, Cookstown.


FOOD PROFILE At the other end of the health spectrum, sales of ‘healthier’ lines such as half fat butter, lighter cheese and zero fat yoghurt have also risen. “We were first to market with 1% milk and half-fat butter,” says David. “We’ve always tried to ensure if the consumer wanted to choose low-fat products, it was available.” Thus, while natural, full-fat Greek-style yoghurts have taken off, low-fat Greek yoghurt options are also proving popular. TARGETING GLOBAL MARKETS While the major steps in Dale Farm’s investment plan have now been achieved, the business has no plans to rest on its laurels just yet. “We’re not going to stop investing but we’ve made a major step forward with that investment,” says David. Sales have also risen to international markets. “From a global viewpoint, the dairy industry is driven by international demand,” he says, citing Asia – and China in particular – as key markets. The one child policy in China has stimulated demand for better quality ingredients going into infant formula products, and Dale Farm has been happy to supply those ingredients. Plans include expanding its cheese packing operations and supply of specialised baby food ingredients, which is the fastest growing global dairy market worth an estimated $30bn. Indeed, on the day of our interview last month, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development was hosting a Chinese delegation at Dale Farm’s Cookstown plant. Another important market is Russia, which imports cheese from Dale Farm during its harsh winter when domestic dairy production falters. Last month, Dale Farm cheese exports to Russia reached 2,500 tonnes worth £10m in two years on the back of a recent further order for £1.7m of cheddar. “In a company of our size, there’s an ongoing need to invest every year,” says David. “The next three to four years will be filling the capacity we’ve created. The main focus is consumer production in the British Isles but also sales of cheese across Europe. The wider Russian and Chinese markets are more bulk ingredients. It is too difficult logistically to handle consumer products so far away.” To accommodate its ongoing expansion, Dale Farm is embarking on a strong recruitment programme covering a spectrum of positions from graduate marketing to nutrition and product development, logistics and procurement. “We’re going to go out in 2014 with a heavyweight recruitment drive for graduates,” says David. “If you put that against the backdrop of the wider economy; there has 34

Pictured after Dale Farm reached £10m in exports to Russia are, from left, Chris McAlinden, Dunmanbridge factory manager and Stephen Cameron, group commercial director for Dale Farm.

These days, consumers have a lot of choice and options. By playing bigger on the international markets, it’s giving us the scale and we can put more investment into products and packaging.” been uninterrupted growth in the wider agrifood sector right through the recession.” ENERGY PROVISION AN ISSUE With consumers still very much on the value hunt, “costs of energy and haulage continue to rise so being able to grow has helped keep our unit costs down,” says David. Dale Farm has been lobbying for access to natural gas in the west of the province, which could generate an annual £1m in savings for the business. “West of Craigavon, there’s a lot of food processing which has been reliant on heavy fuel,” says David. Plans to expand the Cookstown site further have been hampered by the electricity supply, which is limited as the grid is already struggling to cope with anaerobic digesters and wind farms in the area. “We’ve been seeing blackouts in Cookstown to the point we’re considering

generating our own electricity,” he says. “The electric costs here for industry are the highest for Europe; our consumer prices are more competitive than industry prices. If we charge too much, it will hold back the industrial sector, the food sector.” Once natural gas is available, Dale Farm plans to install a mixed gas and electric plant allowing at least partial generation of its own power. OPTIMISM PREVAILING FOR 2014 Heralding 2013 as a win-win year for farmers and the dairy industry, David says Dale Farm is looking forward to keeping momentum going this year. “In general, we are looking forward very confidently to 2014 but it’s a marathon race,” he says. “We’re by no means complacent and continue to be hungry for growth but are humble enough to recognise there are things we could be doing better.”


Over 100 supporters attend GroceryAid Carol Service M

GroceryAid event dates 2014

Friday 9th May GroceryAid Ulster Grocers’ Ball Wednesday 18th June GroceryAid Hog Roast Thursday 7th August GroceryAid Golf Day Friday 3rd October GroceryAid Candy Ball Sunday 16th November GroceryAid Sunday Lunch Wednesday 10th December GroceryAid Carol Service

ore than 100 supporters of GroceryAid NI attended a Christmas Carol Concert with The Honours Choir, Wallace High School, which took place in St Patrick’s Parish Church (pictured left), Drumbeg, Upper Malone Road, on the evening of 11th December. Candida Corscadden of Green Isle Foods introduced the evening with Bible readings by Gerry Cassidy of Allied Bakeries, David McWilliams of Courtney & Nelson, and Cliff Kells of Tesco. The choir was lead by organist David Falconer. Cliff Kells, chairman of GroceryAid NI, thanked the Rev Willie Nixon and Select Vestry of St Patrick’s for use of their beautiful church, and The Honours Choir for their excellent rendition of the carols. Christmas refreshments were served following the service. GroceryAid Committee member David McWilliams said afterwards: “Could I say a big thanks to Candida Corscadden for organising it once again and to all those who contributed in any way; particularly those who supplied the mince pies and mulled wine. I thought it was a great event, a good way to start Christmas and remind us all what Christmas is really about. The music was of a really high standard and thoroughly enjoyable.” Trade sponsors included Allied Bakeries, Costcutter, Courtney & Nelson, Dale Farm, Green Isle Foods, Greer Publications, Henderson Group, Musgrave Retail Partners NI, Punjana, Sainsbury’s, and Tesco. Christmas hampers distributed to local beneficiaries The GroceryAid NI Committee distributed a large number of hampers to local food industry beneficiaries in December. Chairman Cliff Kells said: “I want to express my thanks to all who donated and helped pack and distribute the hampers. They really are appreciated by our local beneficiaries at Christmas.” Gillian M Barker, director general of GroceryAid, said: “As you can imagine, we have had loads of letters and telephone calls from our beneficiaries expressing their gratitude for this wonderful gift. “I just want to say a very big thank you to all of your committee members for the hamper deliveries this year. Many thanks for organising and delivering these hampers and, of course, best wishes for 2014.”


Meat processor Dunbia invests £2.3m in skills development


nterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced a £2.3m investment in training and development by Dungannon-based Dunbia. The supplier of beef, lamb and pork products is implementing skills development programmes over the next three years designed to improve and grow its business. Invest Northern Ireland has offered Dunbia NI over £714,000 towards the investment, which involves establishing a Butchery Academy, implementing leadership and management training and introducing lean manufacturing practices to help reduce costs, waste and improve the firm’s operational efficiency. “Dunbia’s investment in training and development will ensure it can build on its success to date and continue to increase its profitability and performance,” said the Minister, during a visit to the company last month. “Support from Invest Northern Ireland is helping Dunbia up-skill its 1,000-strong workforce across Dungannon, creating a culture of continuous learning and improvement which will be invaluable in driving this company’s performance. Its structured training programmes will help to nurture local talent and create a stable workforce that will guarantee a sufficient supply of skills to meet demand.” Jim Dobson, managing director of Dunbia, said: “This investment is about developing our people through targeted core skills training and ensuring we have strong management on board to safeguard the future of the company.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Matthew Dobson, managing director of Dunbia’s Dungannon facility.

“We recognise the value of an experienced workforce and quality products, and feel that now is the right time to make these improvements to our training and development structures. Invest NI support has been crucial in helping us push forward with our plans which will enable the business to remain competitive through these testing trading times.” Dunbia NI is involved in the procurement, slaughter and de-boning of cattle and sheep, wholesale distribution and retail packing of beef and lamb. The multinational food company operates from 11 sites in the UK and Ireland and from sales offices throughout Europe. 35

FOOD PROFILE Seamus Carr (second left) and the Karro board.

Cookstown brand all set to sizzle Ulster Business editor Symon Ross meets Seamus Carr, the CEO of Karro Food Group, which has major plans for expansion of the Cookstown pork business it bought last year.


he company behind one of Northern Ireland’s best known food brands – Cookstown sausages – is set to increase production at its mid-Ulster site, creating hundreds of new jobs. Seamus Carr, chief executive of the brand’s owner Karro Food Group, says plans are underway to expand its facility in Co. Tyrone to increase the number of pigs slaughtered from just over 22,000 to 30,000. The pork processor’s ramp up in production is expected to take place over the next three years and could see its workforce rise from just over 700 people to around 1,000, says Seamus. “We have major ambitions to grow the Cookstown facility. To ramp it up to 30,000 pigs, we will have to invest £10m and that 36

project is under way at the moment.” “We are hopeful that recent initiatives through the Agri-Food Board and funding from government to increase primary supply will be a route to accelerate those developments,” he adds. “The growth will be about the ability to access funding and planning to put that primary infrastructure into Northern Ireland.” As head of the Karro management team, working with investors Endless LLP, Carr led a successful management buy-out of Dutch company Vion Foods’ UK pork division last year, forming Karro Food Group. The group, headquartered in Yorkshire, encompasses nine sites which incorporates pig farms, pig slaughter and processing.  As well as the famous Cookstown sausages,

the group processes fresh pork, bacon and gammon, cooked meats and frozen burgers and sausages in the retail, foodservice and food manufacturing sectors. It employs over 3,000 employees and has a turnover in excess of £550m. The company supplies all of Tesco and Asda’s pork products in Northern Ireland as well as Henderson Group and Dunnes in the Republic of Ireland. It also runs the McGhee’s butcher concession in Asda, employing 90 people. Carr, who first worked at Cookstown in the mid-1990s under one of the firm’s previous owners, says the plant is at the centre of its future growth plans in the UK, Ireland and further afield. “Cookstown is the core of Karro. It is not regional, it is very important,” he says. “Cookstown when I first went there in the mid-1990s was killing 6,000 pigs. Today Cookstown is killing 22,000 pigs a week, over half the group’s throughput. It is a very substantial business which will have turnover of £175m and employs over 700 people, so

FOOD PROFILE Karro Food Group has its own pig farms in Scotland, and also brings in around 12,000 pigs a week from trusted farmers in Northern Ireland and 10,000 a week from the Republic of Ireland.

it is a very big business in Northern Ireland and a major employer in that Cookstown and Tyrone area,” he adds. “Our major focus out of Cookstown now is export driven. The facility in Cookstown is the only facility is Northern Ireland that is US Department of Agriculture-approved. The plant is also approved to export to China by the NI Department of Agriculture and we’re putting a lot of effort into getting approval from the Chinese authorities.” In the US, the best-selling products are, perhaps unsurprisingly, ribs but Karro is widening its portfolio there. Exports to China will involve pigs heads and trotters but, there too, Carr is expecting a wide range of orders. “China would have historically been offaltype products that we don’t tend to consume here like heads and bones, however, because of the greater wealth and urbanisation, they are going up the protein chain and a wider range of products will be bought by these countries,” he says. Investment in the Cookstown plant has already begun in preparation for the Karro Food Group is investing £10m to increase capacity for pig slaughtering at its Cookstown site.

expansion, with a further £3m invested in a state-of-the-art stunning facility, believed to be more humane than other methods. Leading technology developed by Vion, backed by Invest NI, will also soon be deployed in Cookstown. The company, like all other meat producers, is putting a renewed focus on ensuring the security of its supply chain in the wake of the ‘horsegate’ scandal. While he says Karro’s procedures are “very robust”, Carr also says it takes no chances, noting that the company got caught up in the 2008 dioxin issue because of “someone in the supply chain doing something they shouldn’t be doing.” “It is a big challenge. From a Karro perspective, we see it as an advantage because in Cookstown, we only handle our own kill. It is bought from known farmers into the plant; it is a closed supply chain so we can give our customers a greater surety on that,” he says. “In light of horsegate, everyone has had to re-evaluate their supply chains. Our procedures would have been very robust anyway but where you buy in materials external to your own farmer suppliers, as we do in Malta and Holland, you are always open to risks so you have to keep a constant focus on it.” The company has its own pig farms in Scotland but brings in around 12,000 a week from trusted pig farmers in Northern Ireland and 10,000 a week from the South. Carr said it is planning to increase the number of pigs reared on its own farms from just below 10% to 20% in the next few years. With over 20 years experience in the agrifood industry, working in senior roles for the likes of Unipork and Glanbia, Carr says he is glad to see the renewed focus on developing the sector as a major driver of employment and the economy. He believes there are strong career opportunities for young people in the sector with numerous paths for development. “If you’re going to take on these export markets you have to make sure you meet very stringent quality standards, packing standards, so the concept of an unskilled operative is alien to me. They all have to be skilled at the job they do,” he says. 37

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Northern Ireland’s No.1 Wholesaler


Genesis keeps artisan baking alive O

f all the industries to choose from, Genesis Managing Director Brian McErlain reckons he picked the right one. “Buildings were boom and bust and IT is still trendy but technology is the future and food will always be there. We’ve had a good recession,” he says. “Well, agri-food has done well through that period anyway.” Brian would even go as far as to steer any young people looking for a career towards food science. “You have to be technically very savvy and professional to get it right,” he says of the food industry today, and with the big supermarket groups: “These guys trade on their reputation. You need people with the technical skills. I’d say to any kid, food science is one job where there’s work.” Working in the food sector has certainly panned out well for Brian and his five brothers, who have grown their father’s bakery business from one small shop into a major manufacturing operation expected to turnover £15m in 2013. The first shop opened in 1968, and Brian was up at 6am to work there on Saturday mornings from the age of 11. An initial supply deal with Wellworths in Magherafelt was successful and soon expanded to six other shops in the grocery chain. “Then Safeway took over Wellworths, and then we got into Tesco and Sainsbury’s in the late 1990s, and started picking up symbol groups,” says Brian. The business moved to its current site, on the Aughrim Road in Magherafelt, 20 years ago and has since steadily grown, doubling in turnover between 2007 and 2013. Now, the factory operates in rolling shifts with Saturday the only downtime, and 18 van loads head out each day to transport Genesis’ baked goods around the province and further afield. Brian’s brothers, three of whom went to bakery school, all work in the business, heading up new product development, dispatch, operations, business and development and bakery management. All six meet monthly to see how everything’s going. FINDING THE BRAND VALUE “This year, we took a hard look at our brand and tried to pull out what was our brand value,” says Brian. “We found it was all about taste.” He talks about the three ‘p’s – people, purpose and product, with Genesis focused on producing a better product than its competitors and offering integrity of ingredients. Flour is sourced from local millers, including Andrews. Genesis is about “keeping artisan baking

The six McErlain brothers including Brian (third from left) are all involved in different aspects of the business.

alive with our skilled artisan programmes,” says Brian. “If it’s too automated, you lose all the skills. We make sure we make the best possible product we can. People appreciate proper food and good food made the right way, and people with values.” PRODUCT LINES Genesis’ products have not changed a great deal over the years. “A lot of the products are pretty traditional,” he says. “It’s just size profile and packaging profiles that have changed and innovations like the ‘wee sodas’. “Another example is wheaten bread - now you can’t sell it unless it’s sliced. It’s all about convenience and practicality.” Products need to be practical, convenient and indulgent, he says, with manufacturers needing to ask themselves which boxes they are ticking. The business has a dominant position in sales of wheaten bread and scones, with pancakes another popular line. While value price points have worked well in the economic downturn, “we still sell a lot at full price,” says Brian. Production is evenly split between branded

and own-label produce, with Waitrose in GB stocking both but in different tiers. “A lot of the own-label business is driven off the back of the brand values,” he says. Currently about 40% of output is destined for the domestic market, with another 40% going to Great Britain and 20% to the Republic of Ireland. A small volume goes overseas, for example mince pies to M&S in France but Genesis is not too worried about markets outside of the UK and RoI just yet. “There’s a lot of ground to be tilled in the UK yet,” he says. “We’ve been on a growth trend over the last few years, and have a growth target of 20% year-on-year.” BARRIERS TO GROWTH Brian is thankful the salt reduction targets initially set by government have been relaxed as they would have made it difficult to keep the integrity of some products. “Salt is a major factor as a preservative,” he says, “and products with cheese would have been impossible to produce.” Commodity prices are an ongoing issue for bakers, with flour shooting up in price in 2012 while buttermilk and sultanas bore the brunt of volatility last year. Genesis is confident of overcoming such barriers, however, and plans are underway to expand production at Magherafelt. “There’s enough slack in the day,” says Brian. “If we’re clever about it, we can do it.” 39

FOOD MANUFACTURING PROFILE Willowbrook Foods managing director and founder John McCann.

COMPANY FACT FILE Name: Willowbrook Foods Location: Killinchy, Newtownards Products: Salad bags and bowls; prepared vegetables; stir-fries, noodles and bean sprouts; wet salads; mash products; and mayonnaise. Customers (include): Centra, Superquinn, Tesco, Nisa/Today’s, Vivo, Costcutter, the Co-op, Mace, Costco, Henderson Group, Booths, Pizza Hut, Hastings Hotels, Hilton and Kerry Foods.


Innovative processor adds value to salads and vegetables Killinchy-based Willowbrook Foods has ambitious expansion plans and looks set to achieve them, says Laura Hyland.


ith over 40 years of experience in the food industry, it is easy to understand why Willowbrook Foods has experienced much success over the decades. A constantly evolving company, the business is delighted with the success of its Food Innovation Centre (FIC) and believes it has many more prosperous years ahead. Willowbrook Foods Managing Director John McCann set up the company on his father’s land in Killinchy after graduating from university in business studies. From a farming background himself, John knew that it was vegetables he wanted to grow on the land and, with that, came about the creation of Willowbrook Foods as we know it today. “I started with a couple of fields on the farm and, unlike my father, I knew it was vegetables and not livestock I wanted to earn my living from,” says John. “The breakthrough came with Wellworths, who we supplied to for nine years. Our foundation was laid and we knew, as a company, it was time to move forward. Since then, we have grown to being probably the biggest fresh food processor in Ireland; something which I am indeed very proud of today.” Willowbrook Foods prides itself on its quality products; something which John feels very passionate about. “We have three factories, one in Newtownards and two in Killinchy,” he says. “We have 250 employees and feel there is a great future in convenience and added value for good quality vegetable and salad products. We have arrived to where we are today through sheer dedication.” Willowbrook Foods works alongside other farms and local growers to ensure a great tasting product reaches its customers. “We love what we do and are experts in,” says John, highlighting “quality assurance, new produce development, procurement of fresh vegetables, production control and management and sales and customer support.” Competition is high but many suppliers have their own category or niche, and

FOOD MANUFACTURING PROFILE Willowbrook’s is convenient vegetable and salad solutions for the added value market. “To succeed, it requires continual innovation and maintaining a strong relationship with the customer and this is how our FIC came about,” he says. “In 2008, we started to make plans for a new factory. The old factory had progressed from small to bigger but we needed a stateof-the-art food processing factory to the highest levels, and we built and completed a 60,000-square-foot food production factory designed specifically for our type of operation in 2011. “Coupled with that, during this period we obviously were looking forward to expansion and product development. We always have had a number of people working on this but, as competition increased, everything was changing fast in the convenience market and we identified that innovation was more and more important. We decided to build a Willowbrook FIC beside the new factory, just as it was opening. We have a state-ofthe-art food innovation centre, with seven full-time employees who work steadily for all our customers and prospective customers in looking for new products, new recipes, new ideas and new packaging and, in this process, we benchmark every retailer basically in Europe. Not only do we do the six big UK, we do many in Germany, France and Holland. The FIC, although it is in the same area as our new factory, is really a company in its own right but works fully for Willowbrook Foods.” The Centre offers opportunities for food businesses to develop new products, and

I started with a couple of fields on the farm and I knew, unlike my father, it was vegetables and not livestock I wanted to earn my living from.” to improve existing ones. It is dedicated to supporting customers through each stage of the process from idea generation to product launch. “There is massive room for expansion in relation to our products,” says John. “We are really a unique company in the British Isles. Within our three factories, we do a vast range. We make convenience products and there is no doubt that there is great room for expansion. Occasionally I think, ‘well everything has been done, there is nothing more we can do’ but that is absolutely wrong as things are changing all the time. “Efficient companies will move on and the expansion is there to be achieved. In recent years, it has been more difficult due to the recession and competition from other suppliers.” However, John is keen to move forward and is looking forward to the continuing, and future, success of Willowbrook Foods: “Our goals for the future are to carry on our steady expansion and remain profitable. We have three factories; in these factories we cover about 11 categories of fresh food. We have a two and a half-year plan to increase our turnover by 35%, which we think is highly

achievable through innovation and marketing.” John believes the combination of his new factories and innovation is driving the company forward. “We have an unbelievable range,” he says. “We grow our own bean sprouts; make our own mayonnaise with our production facility which goes into all our coleslaws. We have our own cooking factory where we make everything from carrots and potatoes to rice and couscous. Are we innovators? Yes, big time.” The FIC employs three members of staff with degrees in food science. John believes it is very important to listen to customers to grasp their needs but also part of innovation is watching what is happening in the world. “Through continually benchmarking the leading retailers, not only in Europe but also in America where we regularly benchmark Walmart and Safeway, we are able to continually evolve and better our company,” he says. “In actual fact we are away ahead of the Americans. “Our goal is to carry on with our steady expansion and remain profitable. I would like to thank all our customers for their continued support throughout the years.”

The Willowbrook Food Innovation Team (l-r): Alice Marks, technologist; Ashley Neill, technologist; Wendy Sterritt, NPD manager; Tanya Nielsen, technologist; and Anna Szoldrowska, NPD assistant.



Janet McCollum Moy Park’s new CEO ready for a fresh challenge BY SYMON ROSS


ou might expect the person taking over Northern Ireland’s largest business to be a little daunted by the prospect. But Janet McCollum, who officially assumed the mantle of CEO at poultry producer Moy Park this month, is instead excited about the prospect of continuing the stellar growth enjoyed by the Craigavon-based company in recent years. Moy Park again topped the Ulster Business Top 100 list in 2013. Its most recent figures showed sales of £1.1bn and profits of £24.4m. The company employs 5,500 people in Northern Ireland among its 12,000-strong workforce and works closely with 600 local farmers. “I’m really very excited and extremely proud to have the opportunity to take on this


role as CEO of Moy Park. I have worked for Moy Park for the last 20 years so I know the business very well indeed and I’m excited about where the business can go,” she says. Having worked alongside retiring CEO Nigel Dunlop and the executive team to put in place Moy Park’s current growth strategy, Janet believes the company will continue to build upon its positive growth momentum. “The business is strong and growing. Our strategy is to continue to establish ourselves as a leading and highly regarded food company in Europe. With our turnover now approaching close to £1.5bn, I feel the business has a strategy in place which will lead to future growth, meeting the needs of both our retail and food service customers,” she says.


Born in Belfast, Janet went to school at Victoria College before studying at the University of Aston in Birmingham. Her career began at Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages before she returned to Northern Ireland to join manufacturing company Insoleq in 1989 and then move to Moy Park in 1993. She most recently held the role of group finance director at Moy Park and played a key role in the reorganisation and restructuring of the business, including the re-financing of the business and the acquisition of O’Kane Poultry. Describing her own leadership style as “democratic, open and honest”, she says Moy Park is a people-focused company and this is something she will continue to prioritise. “I am, with my financial background, very much results-focused and I believe the best way to achieve great results is to have great people working with you,” she says. “Ultimately Moy Park’s success is down to its people. We have a really strong team of dedicated and committed people from our farmers to factory staff and all through the company.”

For 2014, the new CEO says Moy Park’s strategy will be to continue to grow its core UK and Ireland fresh poultry and convenience food business, while at the same time growing its wider Continental European business, being a major part of Marfrig’s international operations. “The market for locally sourced chicken is growing strongly at the moment and we are ideally placed to meet this demand. We’re also supporting our customers in new channels such as online and local convenience stores,” says Janet. “We will also continue our expansion of multiprotein sales across the UK, Ireland and continental Europe as part of our growth opportunity.” Although she’s confident of continuing the positive growth momentum, Janet acknowledges there are big challenges for all food companies in the current climate. “The volatility of feed and input costs absolutely remains a pressure for the industry. That hasn’t gone away,” she says. “Food is becoming more expensive to produce and we have to work closely with our customers both to recover the cost from the market where we can and to continuously seek new ways of improving our costs from within the supply chain.”

The business has recently invested in its capability and resource in category and consumer insight, innovation and food development. One encouraging development she highlights is the government’s recognition of the contribution the agri-food sector makes to the economy, and she welcomes the recent strategy published by the Agri-Food Strategy Board. But more still needs to be done to help the sector thrive. As in most sectors, she believes access to funding and financial support remains a big challenge for the agri-food industry and planning too will need to be streamlined to allow more local businesses in the field to grow quickly and effectively. “When you look back over the last five years, Moy Park has almost doubled in size. It has always been a forward thinking company. I suppose the golden rules would be, think big, be positive and surround yourself with the best people,” she says. “We’re proud to be an indigenous local business and we will play our part in the continued advancement of the local agrifood sector.”



Focusing on food awards success editions of its Taste of Ulster Guide for the World Police & Fire Games featuring additional coupons for the athletes, and following on from 25,000 copies printed earlier in the year. Both the Taste of Ulster Guide and Food Producers Guide were published in new pocket-sized editions last year in conjunction with NITB. With the Food Producers Guide, “it’s not a buyers’ guide,” says Shirlow. “It’s more about trying to attract the interest of people who are foodies.” And when The World cruise ship came into Belfast last year, Food NI organised a reception in the Belfast Harbour Commissioners’ Office featuring food supplied by 20 local producers. Catering to this wealthy elite represented a business opportunity for the producers showcased at the event. Food NI was also involved in the second annual Open Farm Weekend last June, with 19 farms hosting 10,000 visitors.

Michele Shirlow of Food NI talks to Alyson Magee.


ocal success in the Great Taste Awards will be the focus of Food NI’s promotional push in 2014, with plans in place to host its judges at this year’s Balmoral Show. Twenty-three Northern Irish producers scooped gold awards at the last Great Taste Awards, with a number securing three-star distinction for multiple products including Hannan Meats of Moira and En Place Foods UK of Cookstown. As a result, “the industry has become much more confident,” says Michele Shirlow of Food NI, which is hoping to build on the achievement by placing the Awards at the centre of its marketing activity in 2014. The organisation hopes to host Great Taste Awards judges at the Balmoral Show this year to stimulate public interest by demonstrating how their testing is conducted. Getting finalists into the BBC Food & Farming Awards is a further goal, as is elevating the reputation of Northern Irish food and drink by helping more producers secure accreditation under the EU Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) mark. Armagh Bramleys and New Season Comber Potatoes/Comber Earlies have succeeded in gaining PGI status, which serves as a mark of quality and provenance; generally commanding a premium. Over January and February, Food NI is, alongside the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), taking a contingent of chefs around the country to visit restaurants and producers. March will then see the winner of the first Northern Irish regional heat of the World Pesto Championship, Clare Rainey, travel to 44

Genoa for the finals. And just as 2014 is shaping up as a busy year for Food NI, an annual food calendar is also starting to emerge for the province, says Shirlow. Events ensuring focus is maintained on local foods include Farmhouse Breakfast Week in January/February; the Comber Potato Festival in June; Flavours of The Foyle in July; Clandeboye Food & Craft Festival in August; and Taste & Dine at City Hall Belfast in October. 2013: A GREAT YEAR In addition to awards success, 2013 also saw local producers benefit from an injection of new life into the local restaurant scene and a boost from tourism. “We’ve seen a huge change in the Northern Irish restaurant scene,” says Shirlow, highlighting collaboration with the restaurants of St Anne’s Square on foodie events and the arrival of new entrants such as Ox Belfast. Less welcome is the Continental Market at Belfast City Hall: “the bane of my life,” says Shirlow. “It would be fine if there was a local market beside it.” Nonetheless: “2013 was a great year,” she says. “We sponsored the World Police & Fire Games, and pulled together the restaurants and producers with 42 local companies involved at 17 venues. “We took a griddle into the airport and cooked wheaten bread for the World Police & Fire Games contestants arriving off the plane.” Food NI also reprinted a further 7,000

EVOLUTION OF FOOD NI Food NI was created about seven years ago, when a similar initiative to the current AgriFood Strategy Board identified the need for a joint NI food and drink promotional strategy at home and overseas. Back then, the local food and drink sector was largely commodity-based without the many small artisan producers it boasts as members today. The organisation was launched with great fanfare and a TV campaign but the 2008 recession dampened its promotional spending power and prompted a shift towards practical on-the-ground support. Funded primarily by its members and events, Food NI receives ad-hoc support from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and NITB. “Not being part of government gives you a huge amount of freedom but also a huge amount of risk,” says Shirlow. The body now has 250 members, and is operated by a team of three full-time members of staff reporting to a board, and an operating group comprised entirely of representatives with marketing backgrounds. Two students and another 25 or so people working in various capacities, including inspectors for the Taste of Ulster Guide, are also involved. “We’ve attracted a lot of people who want to work with us because we’re very passionate and involved,” says Shirlow. “Northern Ireland’s got a great food message. It’s going really well. We hope to keep building on the Great Taste Awards success.”


Free’ist breaks free from sugar at Crumlin Road Gaol launch A

new range of sugar-free foods ‘that don’t compromise on taste or quality’, Free’ist, was introduced recently at a launch event in the Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast. Free’ist is targeting the fast growing free-from marketplace in the UK and Republic of Ireland, and has been developed by Belfast-based GM Marketing following market research and trials with consumer focus groups. GM Marketing has created a 13-strong range of sugar-free cookies, chocolate, wafers and jams to meet growing demand for tasty treats in the free-from category. The products are suitable for consumers with conditions such as diabetes, and several products in the range are also gluten-free. The business has drawn on its 15 years of experience in marketing a broad range of branded foods in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, to come up with products that are sugar-free and also richly flavoured. “Free’ist is a range of sugar-free/no added sugar products to indulge cravings for tasty treats,” said Gerard McAdorey, GM Marketing’s managing director and founder. “But unlike other sugar-free brands, what we’ve done is put flavour first. “The priority of our product development team was on creating scrumptious products with outstanding taste that were also sugar-free

and ideal for those seeking to balance their diet. “We worked closely with experienced manufacturer partners and with taste panels in the development of the new product range of foods that combine quality, free-from status and taste.” The sugar escape plan was unveiled at a briefing in the gaol for the company’s existing and potential customers. The Free’ist range includes four cookies – Hazelnut, Choc Chip, Choc Striped Peanut Cookies and Coconut Cookies; four chocolate bars – Smooth Milk Choc, Hazelnut Choc, Rich Dark Choc and White Strawberry Choc; Chocolate Wafer Bars and Chocolate Wafer Sticks; and three jams – Strawberry, Raspberry and Marmalade. The range has already been listed by retailers in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland including Henderson’s, Musgrave’s and Dunnes. Negotiations are also well advanced with retailers and wholesalers in GB. GM Marketing is a sales and distribution company, with a staff of 36, marketing and distributing brands such as Nestlé Cereals, Typhoo Tea, Tilda Rice, Vimto and Butcher’s Pet Care in the island of Ireland. The company is based in Belfast and has an outsourced warehousing operation in Antrim. In 2012, it expanded into the UK where it services the wholesale cash & carry sector for a number of brands.

Gerard McAdorey of GM Marketing with guard Roy Snodden at the official launch of Free’ist in Crumlin Road Gaol.

Lord Mayor Mairtin O’Muilleoir at the official launch of Free’ist Sugar Free Products at Crumlin Road Gaol.

From left, Steve McDonagh, Laura Longridge, Caitriona Henry and Gerard McAdorey from GM Marketing with guard Roy Snodden at the official launch of Free’ist in Crumlin Road Gaol.

From left, Gerard McAdorey, Laura Longridge and Caitriona Henry from GM Marketing ‘breaking free’ from the depths of Crumlin Road Gaol at the launch of Free’ist, an innovative new sugar free range.


WHOLESALE PROFILE Mark Windebank has overseen growth in turnover to over £60m as chairman of the Today’s Group and managing director of Savage & Whitten Wholesaler.

After success in NI, Savage & Whitten sets its sights on the RoI market Mark Windebank, chairman of the Today’s Group and managing director of Savage & Whitten Wholesaler, tells Laura Hyland why he believes his company is going from strength to strength.


avage & Whitten has been in existence for around 90 years, with Mark Windebank taking over the reins almost eight years ago. The turnover has grown significantly over this period, from £14.5m in 2005 to over £60m by the end of 2013. “A major part of that growth during the last three years has been driven by the development of the Today’s stores,” says Mark. “There are now 93 Today’s stores in operation, representing over 40% of the business. The first three stores opened are 46

based in Donegal, and they still remain today. However the bulk of the store development has been in Northern Ireland, where S&W are able to deliver a complete service which we are currently unable to do south of the border.” Savage & Whitten currently exports 26% of its business to the Republic of Ireland, and would like to see this business grow further. “To be a major supplier in the south, we really need to develop a new and innovative strategy,” says Mark. “We will need to develop a separate business in order to deliver a complete package to our customers. To be seen as a significant player, we would ideally like to develop at least 150 stores in the south. Our turnover this year will be £60m; if we want to achieve £100m, we need the step change which will come with a branch in the south of Ireland.” “When I joined Savage & Whitten, we were essentially a local Cash and Carry with a limited delivered business,” he says. “Although the model worked and the business was profitable, it needed to broaden its

outlook if it wanted to grow significantly. We started out with two simple goals; firstly to expand geographically to reach all of Northern Ireland and a large proportion of the south and, secondly, to drive a ‘customer first’ ethos right across the business.” CUSTOMER-FOCUSED APPROACH Customer satisfaction is clearly something Mark takes very seriously: “We have got to look after and work closely with our customers to ensure they are successful and profitable. We are now, I believe, a leading wholesaler on the island and it really goes back to the people who work in every area of the business. We do care a great deal about our customers and, I am happy to say, we enjoy excellent loyalty from them. “We maintain strong relationships and good working partnerships with our suppliers and customers and I believe this is what makes our business such a success.” Savage & Whitten has had a successful 2013, with a 25% increase on last year following a 23% rise in 2012. Today, his

WHOLESALE PROFILE company’s main goals are: “to maintain successful growth and continue to develop its team,” says Mark. “Finding the right roles for all our staff members and developing our internal team, alongside recruiting from external sources, will help us progress forward. I feel that my role as MD is to be the team coach and ensure that we utilise the individual strengths of the individuals in our team. My responsibility is to set targets, give advice and look after my staff; those are my main priorities.” Mark’s appointment as chairman of the Today’s Group has been a positive move. “Initially I got elected to the Board and this year I was asked to become chairman; something which I was very honoured to accept,” he says. “As chairman of our group, I hope I can help our Board to develop a strategy to meet the needs of all of our wholesale members. I feel we really need to market our retail brand to its full potential. NATIONAL EXPANSION PLANS “Ideally, we would like to develop 1,500 Today’s Stores across the UK (and Ireland) and develop a successful national brand. We, at Savage & Whitten, can play our part on the island of Ireland but we need to work closely with our colleagues on the mainland if we want to compete at the highest level.” Savage & Whitten uses the ‘Swords’ system from Sandersons to run its business. “Swords operates our whole business from ordering to final accounts,” says Mark. “It is a completely integrated system, and allows our business to work very effectively. “Embracing technology is something our business thrives on and it definitely helps us to drive the efficiencies required in a modern business. Take the introduction of wireless

head-sets for our operators who can now work hands-free, enabling them to work more efficiently and safely.” When asked if the 5p carrier bag levy has affected the business, Mark laughed and said: “Well, we’ve sold more Bags for Life.” “No, it is definitely a good thing that we all must get used to. However, I think men are particularly bad at remembering to bring a bag when shopping; perhaps that’s just me. Environmentally, it is a great concept and the concerns around how it would be managed have all been overcome quickly so I believe it should be rolled out across all of the UK.” RECESSION’S SILVER LINING When asked if the recession has affected the business, Mark says: “One positive thing about the downturn is that, eight years ago, it was almost impossible to get people to come into our industry. Before the recession, it was buoyant times and inevitably it was hard to recruit; particularly where we are located with options north and south. The downturn has enabled us to recruit some fantastic people and we now must ensure that we develop and retain them. “We have a great team and it has taken eight years to get to where we are now as a business. I am extremely proud of the people that I work with and I enjoy my job. I hope that the staff feels similarly as we attempt to create an atmosphere where people enjoy what they are doing because if they do, then they will be successful.” Mark says the best part of his job is seeing results: “I love when we win business and are successful, and it is very rewarding to see individuals in our team develop to their full potential. Another plus is to hear a customer praising what we have done and receiving

feedback that our customers are pleased with our service.” Bad parts of the job are few: “Although I do get disappointed when we let people down. I worry that I have not trained my staff properly or that I have not got the message across to my team. “If we let people down, I feel that I haven’t done my job correctly but this only makes me more determined to fix the problem. We don’t linger on faults and I would rather get the problem resolved and move on. The fact that I live 100 miles away is a bit of a problem at times. However, this is a personal decision and does help me to understand the regional variances of our business.” COMPETITIVE SPIRIT STOKED BY GOLF Golf is a passion of Mark’s and, having played all over the world and competed against golfing champions Darren Clarke, Graham McDowell, Paul McGinley and Padraic Harrington in his younger days, it is clear where he gets his competitive instincts from. Did he ever beat them? “I did win on the odd occasion, but I’m now wholesaling and they are professional golfers so I guess that tells the true story.” “Golf is a real passion of mine and has been since I was 10,” he says. “I still remain reasonably competitive and have also been privileged enough to be asked to become captain of Portstewart Golf Club next year. So this will be another strain on my time but I love it. “When I am on the golf course, I am able to forget about work as I have to turn my phone off but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I really do feel very passionate about my role within Savage & Whitten and as chairman of the Today’s Group. I am certain we are set for great things ahead.”

Savage & Whitten Wholesale had a good 2013, with sales up 25% year on year.



Millbrook Coldstores invests in site upgrades as business grows




illbrook Coldstores, a division of Larne-based Topping Meats, has made a significant investment over the past year in upgrades. As well as a new computer and stock control system, the business has installed a new racking and handling system, and new blast freezing system. “Trade has been good,” says Alan Topping of Millbrook Coldstores. “We are seeing high demand from customers. I wouldn’t say there have been any particular challenges over the past year; there are different challenges for different customers.” The cold store was set up 25 years ago and has since evolved into a state-of-the-art facility with capacity to store 4,000 tonnes of produce and a convenient location; minutes

away from the Port of Larne and on the main dual carriageway with easy access to Belfast Port and local airports. The site offers blast freezing and tempering facilities and can provide cold-storage solutions for a wide range of companies, regardless of size, in the food sector. Additional features include 3,500 pallet spaces, racking systems, labelling and a computerised stock control system. The facility is also BRC-accredited. And New Year wishes for the business? “Lower energy costs,” says Alan. “They are always rising, and less bureaucracy would be good too.” Millbrook Coldstores also has plans to add another storage chamber this year. Parent company Topping Meats meanwhile

occupies an adjacent site, offering capacity to process 500 head of cattle per week through its boning hall, which is fully equipped with up-to-date processing and weighing technology. Its production line can handle vacuumpacked cuts of beef and lamb; catering cuts; PAD Beef; fresh and frozen manufactured beef; quality carcase beef and carcase lamb; and fresh and frozen beef and lamb offal. EC-approved, the premises are inspected regularly by official Veterinary inspectors and are also BRC-accredited. The outlook for 2014 is positive, says Alan, with the business actively seeking new export markets in GB and continental Europe. “Help with getting more exports going would be great,” he says.


year in review

Ulster Grocer’s year in photographs

January Plans in Place to Improve Farm Safety Pictured at the launch of the Farm Safety Partnership’s new action plan are local ministers Arlene Foster (left) and Michelle O’Neill with UFU President Harry Sinclair. Since April 2007, more than 40 people have been killed in Northern Ireland as a direct result of agricultural activities. Many more have been seriously injured.

February Maxol to expand Forecourt business under new brand identity Maxol, Ireland’s leading family-owned fuel company, unveiled a new brand identity for its network of service stations across the island of Ireland and announced that it would invest a total of £40m over the next five years in support of its Irish operations. Pictured at the launch is Tom Noonan, chief executive and Brian Donaldson, chief operating officer of The Maxol Group.

March Foster Announces over 50 new jobs for Tayto Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced that the Tayto Group is creating 58 new jobs at its Tandragee factory in a £6m expansion, which is supported by Invest Northern Ireland through its Jobs Fund. Pictured with the Minister is Mr Tayto and Tayto Chief Executive Paul Allen.

April Tesco CEO Philip Clarke launches Queen’s new £33m global ‘Food Fortress’ (L-R) Professor Chris Elliott, director of Queen’s University’s new Institute for Global Food Security, with Tesco CEO Philip Clarke and Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Peter Gregson at the launch of the Institute in Belfast. Clarke officially launched the new Institute, which will improve global food safety through the establishment of a ‘food-fortress’ in Belfast. An investment of over £33m from Queen’s will see the Institute play a key role in national and global efforts to provide the world’s growing population with a sustainable, safe and secure supply of high quality food.

May Attending the prestigious 25th annual GroceryAid Ulster Grocer’s Ball are members of the local GroceryAid Ball Organising Committee (l-r): Cliff Kells, Mark Gowdy, James Greer of Greer Publications, Gerry Cassidy, Jonathan Verner and David Neill.

8 • •Ulster 3650 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

year in review June BALMORAL SHOW REVIEW Moy Park, Northern Ireland’s largest food company, celebrated its return to the Balmoral Show at the all new Balmoral Park. Proving once again that the Moy Park stand was the place to be, First Minister Peter Robinson visited the stand to sample some tasty Moy Park chicken. The First Minister is pictured with Paula Hall and Aidan Fisher of Moy Park. Moy Park sampled a range of delicious hot and spicy chicken wings and succulent breaded chicken goujons on the stand and Moy Park Group Executive Chef Aaron Dixon hosted a series of cookery demonstrations to show visitors how to make a selection of mouth-watering chicken dishes. As part of its sponsorship of the Irish Open 2013, Moy Park also gave visitors to the Balmoral Show the chance to escape the weather and win seven nights of ‘sun, sea and golf’ on a luxury break in Dubai.

August Featured the inaugural countdown of the Top 25 local food companies celebrating their continued growth and contribution to the Northern Ireland economy. We interviewed a number of leading industry officials including Tony O’Neill, chairman of the local Agri-Food Strategy Board. The Board had recently launched the ambitious Going for Growth action plan, which has been backed by the local food industry with an unprecedented pledge to invest £1.3bn by 2020.

October Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Finance Minister Simon Hamilton announced that a new agri-food loan scheme would be open for business in November. Adrian Doran (left), Barclay’s head of corporate banking in Northern Ireland, has been appointed chair of the lender’s working group for this new initiative, which is designed to boost Northern Ireland’s important agri-food sector.

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

September Northern Ireland food and drink companies secured a record number of stars in the UK Great Taste Awards including local oat miller and cereal brand White’s Oats, which scooped up an impressive 12 gold stars. Pictured celebrating White’s success was farmer Tim McClelland from Tandragee and supplier to White’s Oats with his children Rachel aged 7, Cameron aged 9 and Hannah aged 3, together with White’s Oats Brand Manager Danielle McBride.

November/December Food Force Ireland Chairman Henry Emerson, of Emerson’s supermarket in Armagh, launched the third supplier trade day at the Culloden Hotel which again proved to be a huge success all round. FFI is a retailer-owned company working on behalf of members to maximise trading terms and provide promotional activity for local suppliers. Membership has grown from around 20 retailers to 56 operating a total of 100 stores. Pictured are Debra Johnston, trading controller and Henry Emerson, chairman of Food Force Ireland.





An niv ers ary

40 Years At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry

You Could Be a Winner Enter the glittering Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards and give your company the opportunity to sparkle The 26th annual Marketing Awards are expected to be as closely contested as ever. The winners will be revealed at the annual prestigious GroceryAid Grocer’s Ball which will held at the Culloden Hotel on Friday the 9th May. The gala ball has been a fixture in the grocery trade’s social calendar for many years. GroceryAid, the grocer’s benevolent fund, formerly known as Caravan, is the beneficiary of the evening so it’s the perfect backdrop for the presentation of these coveted awards.

The Awards are open to any company that’s involved in retail grocery trading, from products to suppliers and wholesalers as well as individual retail outlets. They are always hard fought and as a result are widely regarded as the highest marketing accolades that a company can achieve in this sector. The Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards are recognised as a mark of professionalism and industry awareness of those who win them. They make a clear statement to peers and clients and they are certainly worth competing for as successive winners can well attest, such as Premier Bakeries who have been the overall winner of the Best Marketing Campaign award for the last two years. 8 • •Ulster 3652 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

MARKETING AWARDS Premier Foods reflects on ‘That’s why we love ORMO’ Jackie Kirk, Ireland Brand Manager said, “We were absolutely delighted to have won the Best Marketing Campaign category at the Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards 2013, with the ‘That’s why we love ORMO’ campaign. To get this level of endorsement from such a prestigious judging panel was a real boost for the team here in Belfast. “ORMO is one of Northern Ireland’s best known brands, specialising in morning goods, with a history spanning over 135 years. Building on the core values of ‘Quality, Taste and Value’ the campaign involved new packaging, a new promotional strategy, a full suite of Point of Sale material for retailers and was supported by a new multi-media L to R, Ryan McFarland (Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands) Tiffany Brien, Jackie Kirk (Ormo Brand Manager Ireland) and advertising campaign including radio and James Greer, publisher of Ulster Grocer magazine. outdoor. By building on the strength of the ORMO local heritage, this campaign achieved and exceeded all objectives, helping us regain market share and improving brand recognition levels amongst consumers. We have continued to reinforce those key messages since winning the award. Quality and Taste remain the essence of the brand, with local ingredients at the heart of the products. With an extra focus on reduced salt, low saturated fats, and clear nutritional information on the packaging, today’s health conscious consumer knows exactly what’s in their purchase, by way of the clear messages on the new packaging. I and the team at Premier were very proud to have won the award for Best Marketing Campaign. We were delighted to beat off such stiff competition in the sector. We go into 2014 very optimistic, and look forward to yet another successful year. We have exciting plans for 2014 in terms of further innovations and marketing for the brands, but we’ll keep those under wraps for the moment!”

To book a table at the Awards please don’t delay contact Mark Gowdy ( or David Neill (

So what are you waiting for? This is a prime opportunity to generate positive PR, to raise your company profile within the grocery sector, to boost staff morale, to target potential customers and to network with key clients who will be in attendance at the Gala Ball.

Register your interest Today! Download an Entry form and see the full list of entry requirements on the website Call: Karen Graham on 028 90783235 Email: Fee: An administration fee of £100 plus VAT will be charged to enter **All entries will benefit from editorial coverage in the magazine. Entries must be received by Friday 28th February. 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011


The 2014 Categories MARKETING AWARDS

Best Marketing Campaign 2013 Sponsored by

This may be a corporate, brand or project campaign and food suppliers, grocery wholesalers and grocery retailers are all eligible to enter. While the subject matter of the campaign may be any aspect of retail grocery, the marketing campaign should include some or all of the following elements – Press, TV, radio, outdoor, in-store POS/ merchandising, PR, website, leaflets, digital and SMS.

Best In-Store Consumer Sales Promotion Sponsored by

This could be a stand-alone or even a joint promotion between two companies - for example, two manufacturers/brand owners running a crosspromotion on complementary products or a retail group and a manufacturer working together on a promotion running across a group of stores, or an individual retailer working independently with a manufacturer/brand owner to run a unique promotion that is exclusive to one store.

Best New Product Launch/Relaunch This category is open to brand owners and includes new product launches as well as the relaunch of existing products

Best CSR Initiative/ Charity Partnership

The best Corporate Social Responsibility or Charity Partnership Initiative category is open to any company operating in the retail grocery sector, from food manufacturers/suppliers to wholesalers and individual retailers.

Best Brand Best product brand open to all brands serving the grocery wholesale and retail sector. Judges will examine the effectiveness of brands in relation to communication, advertising and promotional campaigns, distribution effectiveness, brand visibility and customer loyalty.

Green Retailer of the Year Sponsored by

This category is open to retailers who have adopted effective ‘green’ management systems and product selection. The judges will look for evidence of good supply sources, in-store handling procedures, and meeting customer expectations.

Best Off-Sales Drinks Campaign This category is open to the manufacturers, wholesalers or retailers behind promotional drinks campaigns in the off-trade sector. The campaign entered can include one or all of the following media - radio, television, print, outdoor, in-store, merchandising and digital.

Best Food Export Marketing Award Sponsored by

Sponsored by This award will recognise and celebrate the hard work and dedication of Northern Ireland foodproducing companies which have taken the bold step into exporting, and are marketing their products outside the country successfully.

8 • •Ulster 3654 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011


Irwin’s sponsors local farming reality TV show P

Pictured at the launch of the series are participating farmer John Tate from Moira and Irwin’s Bakery Commercial Director Michael Murphy.

ortadown-based Irwin’s Bakery is sponsoring the new series of UTV’s Rare Breed – A Farming Year. The series, which follows a number of farmers and farming families throughout the agricultural year, regularly attracted audiences of over 200,000 with its first series in 2012. “This high profile sponsorship is part of our ongoing programme of brand support for the Irwin’s range. Each programme will be book-ended by mouth-watering serving suggestions of the full product range, all designed to get shoppers hungry for our delicious breads,” said Michael Murphy, commercial director of Irwin’s Bakery. “Farming is such an important part of local life and a major part of both our economy and our community. As a leading local agri-food producer, Irwin’s Bakery is delighted to support the second series of Rare Breed – A Farming Year; a programme which showcases the rich variety as well as the highs and lows of the agri-sector in Northern Ireland.” The series is produced for UTV by local independent production company, Crawford McCann and follows 17 families throughout 2013, including arctic winter weather and torrential rain to record-breaking summer temperatures. The series was shot in high definition and will be shown on UTV on Monday evenings at 8pm.

No false starts for Strathmore’s Commonwealth Games campaign


trathmore, the official water of this year’s Commonwealth Games, has launched a range of special packs to celebrate the brand’s association with Glasgow 2014. All packs in the range will feature new Glasgow 2014 graphics reflecting the visual theme of the Games, as well as the Do more with Strathmore campaign strapline to be launched in the run up to the Games. “Water is the fastest growing category in Soft Drinks at +12%[1] and AG Barr will be helping retailers take advantage of this growth by taking Strathmore’s profile to a new level,” said Adrian Troy, head of marketing at AG Barr. “As the Official Water of Glasgow 2014, Strathmore will be on the field of play in every Games venue, refreshing and hydrating athletes. It will be seen by millions of consumers UK wide. “This makes 2014 a game changing year for Strathmore and we will be investing in a heavyweight consumer marketing plan to maximise this awareness. Retailers across the UK should ensure they include this must-stock brand on their fixture to maximise the Commonwealth Games profit opportunity.” [1]: Source: Nielsen Scantrack, Value Sales, MAT to 12.10.13, Total Coverage.

Dale Farm launches Athletes’ Academy F

ive young up-and-coming sports stars from Northern Ireland have been awarded training bursaries of £1,000 each as part of the new Dale Farm Athletes’ Academy in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust. The athletes also participated in a unique masterclass in sports psychology, nutrition, media engagement and competing on an international stage at Ulster Rugby’s Ravenhill Stadium. Building on its successful support of emerging sporting talent through the Dale Farm Sports Award, the business launched the Pictured, from left, are Ryan Glynn, Leonora Kennedy, Marcus Christie, Olivia Mehaffey and Zak Wilson. The five young athletes were chosen for the first Dale Academy last year. As well as awarding further bursaries, it will Farm Athletes’ Academy, in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust, and gathered to support a professional development programme of mentoring and attend a special Masterclass in sporting excellence and receive a £1,000 bursary each at Ravenhill Stadium. community outreach. The five athletes taking part in the inaugural Academy were Leonora Kennedy of Enniskillen (rowing); Marcus Christie of Strabane (cycling); Olivia Mehaffey of Scarva (golf); Ryan Glynn of Bangor (sailing); and Zak Wilson of Newtownabbey (table tennis). Ranging in age from 14 to 26, the athletes all currently compete at international level and were selected for the Academy based on their potential, current funding needs and commitment to their chosen sport. “We’re delighted to be supporting this new initiative and once again working with Dale Farm – a company which has contributed greatly to the development of young athletes over the last number of years,” said Dame Mary Peters DBE.


tobacco news

New limited edition for Silk Cut’s 50th anniversary J

TI has introduced a limited edition overprinted-film (OPF) design across selected packs of Silk Cut in preparation for its 50th anniversary celebrations this year. Available nationally in all trade channels from December, while stocks last, the limitededition OPF design will carry the text Sparking Conversation Since 1964 and run across packs of King Size Purple and Silver 10s & 20s, and King Size Blue 20s. “Silk Cut is a hugely successful brand and has continued to grow its share of the premium cigarette segment for the past 10 years[1], currently accounting for nearly one in five packs sold[2],” said Jeremy Blackburn, head of communications at JTI. “Since 1964, Silk Cut has set the benchmark for creativity and innovation. It not only introduced UK adult smokers to bevel-edge packs and SuperSlims cigarettes, it was also the first brand to introduce capsule technology to the UK with Silk Cut Choice. But it doesn’t end there, to mark this occasion and celebrate Silk Cut’s 50th anniversary, we have lots more exciting and original plans lined up for next year – watch this space.” The premium cigarette segment accounts for over a fifth of cigarette sales[3]. Silk Cut currently holds a 19.8% share of the segment[4], generating on average 55%[5] more profit than a value brand, per 20s pack. JTI is a member of the Japan Tobacco Group of Companies, a

leading international tobacco product manufacturer. It markets worldrenowned brands such as Winston, Mild Seven and Camel. Other global brands include Benson & Hedges, Silk Cut, Sobranie, Glamour and LD. With headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and core revenue of $11.8bn in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, JTI has operations in more than 120 countries and about 25,000 employees. [1] Nielsen 2002 – 2013; [2] Nielsen Market Track YTD Sept 2013; [3] Nielsen Market Track YTD Sept 2013; [4] Nielsen Market Track YTD Sept 2013; [5] Based on RRP & 1,000 outer rate as of 6th September 2013.

JTI slams EC revision of the Tobacco Products Directive T

obacco group JTI has criticised the European Council’s decision last month to revise the Tobacco Products Directive as an early Christmas present for criminal gangs. While stating support for the European Commission’s objective of reducing youth smoking, JTI said the revision will not achieve its goal. Increasing the size of health warnings to 65% will not deliver any public health benefit, as adults and children already understand the risks associated with smoking, according to the group. Further, many of the proposed measures including the menthol ban will make it easier and cheaper for criminals to produce and sell cigarettes that are not tested, regulated or taxed, it said. The illicit trade in tobacco is already costing EU countries around €12.5bn[1] a year. “Today’s announcement from the EU to ban 10s, menthol and smaller pouches of tobacco is an early Christmas present for criminal gangs across the UK,” said Jorge da Motta, UK managing director of JTI. “Banning 10s and smaller pack sizes of RYO will mean the lowest price will now be the street price sold by criminals who peddle to anyone, including children. Meanwhile the Government’s exchequer will have to plug the gap left from the flood of non-duty UK paid cigarettes and roll your own tobacco which will come in to the UK. “JTI, along with many others, have expressed concerns to the Government and it is disappointing that they did not push back on this. We now urge them to put in place the resource that is going to be needed to stop the influx of illegal tobacco into the UK. “UK retailers that rely on tobacco to generate footfall and sales will be dismayed at the decision of the EU which will put more money in the pockets of criminals instead of their tills and puts them at a significant disadvantage with their European counterparts.” [1] Project Star report KPMG, 16 April 2013.


NFRN outraged by news carriage hike


ews wholesaler Newspread (NI) has come under fire from the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) for hiking its carriage charges. The charge to have newspapers delivered to their stores increased by between 23% and 67% in early January, according to NFRN members in Northern Ireland. Using Newspread NI’s new carriage charge template, a retailer receiving between £100 and £200 worth of newspapers will now have to pay £36.58 a week, an increase of £9.08, while those selling less than £100 of newspapers will pay an extra £6.90 a week at £32.20. NFRN also said retailers have received incorrect notification of the increases. “This is nothing short of daylight robbery,” said James Simpson, president of NFRN Northern Ireland. “The lowest charge for our members is £32.20 so if they are handling less than £100 worth of newspapers they will now make nothing, leaving newsagents even unable to pay themselves the minimum wage. “Can’t Newspread see that by raising carriage charges above the current rates of inflation, it will be forcing yet more newsagents out of the marketplace?” NFRN hopes to meet with the board of Newspread at the earliest opportunity, and has not ruled out legal action.

Trade Directory


agent & company index | 58-71

retailers guide | 72-78 brand index | 79-87



Abbey Bond Lovis

Allegro Distribution

Bacardi Brown-Forman

Belfast: Lanyon Building, 10 North Derby Street, Belfast, BT15 3HL T: 028 9335 0015

Unit 3 Balmoral Business Park, Boucher Crescent, Belfast, BT12 6HU T: 028 9068 3040 F: 028 9068 2644 W:

N. Ireland Contacts Customer Development Manager: Richard McCluskey M: 07971 508682

Armagh: 18 Russell Street, Armagh, BT61 9BS T: 028 9332 5008 Coleraine: 10 Blindgate Street, Coleraine, BT52 1EZ T: 028 9332 5205 E: W: Type of Business: Insurance Brokers and Risk Advisors Personnel: Managing Director: Maurice Boyd Director: Stephen Carlisle Director: Gary Crabbe Director: Ken Alderdice Associate Director: Lesley-Ann Starrett

PERSONNEL: General Sales Manager: Chris McGrath T: 028 9068 8788 TYPE OF BUSINESS: Sales, Marketing and Distribution Main brands: Superglo Firelighters Firelog Firepak Eco logs 4head Astral Blistex Dentyl Bazuka Treatment Gel Dentinox Ibuleve Speed Relief Otex Express Fenjal Del Monte Just Juice Kiwi Glade Mr Muscle Oust Pledge Toilet Duck Brillo Goddards Shout Autan Raid Spontex Nivea Nivea for Men Elastoplast Atrixo Valley Gold Diabetic jams

Customer Development Executives: Ashley Douglas M: 07971 508669 Ryan Brown M: 07971 508739 Aaron Skinner M: 07971 508732 T: 01962 762100 W: or MAIN BRANDS: Rum: BACARDI Superior Rum - BACARDI Gold Rum - BACARDI 8 Year Old Rum BACARDI Oakheart - Bacardi Razz Vodka: Grey Goose Original - Grey Goose La Poire - Grey Goose L’Orange - Grey Goose Le Citron - Finlandia Classic Vodka Finlandia Cranberry - Finlandia Grapefruit Eristoff Vodka - Eristoff Black - Eristoff Gold Gin: Bombay Sapphire Gin - Oxley Gin Tennessee Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s - Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel - Gentleman Jack Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Vermouth: Martini Extra Dry - Martini Rosso - Martini Bianco - Martini Rosato Noilly Prat Dry Bourbon: Woodford Reserve Speciality: Southern Comfort - Southern Comfort Lime - Southern Comfort Cherry Tuaca - Chambord - St Germain Sparkling: Martini Asti - Martini Prosecco Martini Rose Rtd: Breezer: Orange, Pineapple, Watermelon - Breezer Spritzer: Peach, Mixed Berry - Bacardi & Cola Premix cans Jack Daniel’s Premix cans Southern Comfort Premix cans Ready to Drink Cocktails: BACARDI Mojito - BACARDI Cuba Libre

8 • •Ulster 3658 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011




Joseph Brennan Bakeries

Britvic Northern Ireland

18 Creamery Road, Cloyfin, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, BT52 2NE T: 028 7034 3265 F: 028 7035 1653 W:

Greenhills Industrial Estate, Walkinstown, Dublin 12. T: + 353 1 4608400 F: + 353 1 4514631 E: W:

Britvic Northern Ireland, The Mount Business and Conference Centre, 2 Woodstock Link, Belfast, BT6 8DD T: 028 9070 7222 E: W:

PERSONNEL: Deputy Managing Director: Colm Brennan

Personnel: Country Director: Kevin Donnelly

PERSONNEL: Chief Executive: Nigel Kemps Operations Manager: Ian Campbell

Commercial Director: Derek Beatty

Financial Controller: David Faulkner Sales Manager: Victoria McCook Type of Business: Procuring, processing and marketing of milk products and main brands. Main Brands: Ballyrashane

Business Development Manager: Colin Todd

Director of Symbols & Wholesale: Brian Magennis Director of Multiples: Philip Mc Donald Director of Brand Marketing: Leonie Doyle

Head of Marketing: Ivan Hammond

Director of New Channels: Noel-John McLoughlin

Type of Business: Bakery

National Account Manager (Symbols & Wholesale): Peter Horwood-Barrett

Main Brands: Brennans Bread WeightWatchers

National Account Manager (Symbols & Wholesale): Jonny Burnett National Account Manager (Symbols & Wholesale): Peter Doherty National Account Manager (Multiples): Lesley Ferris Key Account Manager (Symbols & Wholesale): Sarah McBrien Key Account Manager (Food Service): Gerry Maguire Regional Development Manager: Derrick Murphy Type of Business: Soft Drinks Manufacturer and Distributor Main brands: 7UP Ame Ballygowan Britvic 55 C&C Cidona Club Orange Club Mixers Energise Edge Energise Sport MiWadi Pepsi Robinsons Robinsons Fruit Shoot

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Costcutter Supermarkets Group Ltd (Northern Ireland) Belfast Mills, 71-75 Percy Street, Belfast, BT13 2HW T: 028 9032 9761 F: 028 9032 9667 E: W: PERSONNEL: Chief Executive Officer: Darcy Willson-Rymer

Cuisine de France

Dale Farm Ltd

Grange Castle Business Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 T: 00 353 (0)1 464 7200 W:

15 Dargan Road, Belfast, BT3 9LS T: 028 9037 2200 F: 028 9037 2211 E: W:

Cuisine de France Blaris Industrial Estate, Unit 2, 5 Altona Road, Lisburn, BT27 5QB Co. Antrim T: 00 44 (0) 28 9260 3222

Personnel: Group Commercial Director: Stephen Cameron Ireland Commercial Manager: Jason Hempton

Trading Director: Vicki Reay Retail Director: Daniel Quest Sales Director (Costcutter & kwiksave): Jamie Davison Sales Director (Supershop): Duncan Jelfs

Personnel: MD Aryzta Food Solutions Ireland: Peter Jackson Commercial Manager NI: Tom Kinnier M: 07711 104585

Customer Services Director: David Thompson

Business Development Manager: Liesa Johnston M: 07918 904796

Retail Operations Director: Richard Collins

TYPE OF BUSINESS: Cuisine de France offers an extensive range of market-leading bakery and food-to-go concepts. Celebrate unique every day with Cuisine de France. For more than two decades Cuisine de France has been making delicious, freshlybaked breads, pastries and confectionery for in store-bakeries throughout Ireland. Our master bakers combine time-honoured, traditional baking methods with only superior quality ingredients, including wheat from the Champagne region of France. From the unique Cuisine de France mother dough used in our French speciality breads, to the gentle rolling of every Viennoiserie product, everything we make is lavished with care and attention to achieve a mouth-watering unique taste. Treat yourself to one of our delicious breads and pastries in your local store today.

Marketing Director: Richard Coates Finance Director: Bob Marshall Strategy & Operations Director: Steve Potter IT Director: Kevin Widdrington NI Regional Sales Manager (Costcutter & kwiksave): John Clarke - 07885 200028 NI Regional Sales Manager (Supershop): Adrian O’Brien - 07747 752580 Type of Business: Supermarket Group Main Brands: kwiksave Costcutter Supershop

Main brands: Cuisine de France Pierre’s Carroll Cuisine Tim Hortons La Brea Bakery Otis Spunkmeyer McNamee’s

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Commercial Manager Northern Ireland: Nigel Cairns Type of Business: Dairy manufacturer Main brands: Dale Farm Dromona Spelga Loseley Rowan Glen

Dennison Commercials Ltd

Genesis Crafty

GM Marketing Ireland Ltd

37 Hillhead Road, Ballyclare, County Antrim, BT39 9DS T: 028 9335 2827 F: 028 9335 2136 E: W:

31 Aughrim Road, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, BT45 6BB T: 028 7963 2465 F: 028 7963 4207 E: W:

5th Floor, Lesley House, 25 Wellington Place, Belfast, BT1 6GD T: 028 9026 7080 F: 028 9043 4466 E: W:

PERSONNEL: Sales Director: Rob Ireland

PERSONNEL: Managing Director: Brian McErlain

Area Sales: Hugh Smyth

Operations Director: Damian McErlain

Area Sales: Chris Arthur

Product Development Director: John McErlain

Type of Business: Volvo Truck & Bus Dealer for Northern Ireland

Commercial Director: Melvyn Bacon

Like us on Facebook at PERSONNEL: Managing Director: Gerard McAdorey T: 028 9026 7080 Commercial Director: Malcolm Newbigging T: 028 9026 7080

Technical Director: Declan Ferguson National Accounts: JP Lyttle Brand Manager: Oonagh Lagan

National Account Controller: Gary Martin T: 028 9026 7080 Buying Controller: Martin McCauley T: 028 9026 7080

Financial: Lynn Caulfield Business Development: Paul McErlain Business Development: Bernard Monaghan Type of Business: Genesis Crafty produce and distribute hand crafted morning goods, bread and cake throughout Northern Ireland, UK and ROI via both retail and foodservices. WHY GENESIS CRAFTY: We are six brothers who are also six bakers. We take pride in baking everything the truly artisanal way creating the best taste and texture for you! CORE PRODUCTS: Genesis Crafty Butter Sultana, Cherry, Wheaten and Plain Scones Genesis Crafty Original, Blueberry and Chocolate Chip Pancakes Genesis Crafty Sliced Oven, Toaster, Honey & Yogurt and Fruited Wheaten Genesis Crafty Original, Round and Wee Sodas Genesis Crafty Raspberry Jam Bakes and Iced Topped Madeira Sponge

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

Sales & Marketing Co-ordinator: Steve McDonagh T: 028 9026 7080 Financial Controller: Mark Fitzsimmons T: 028 9026 7080 Type of Business: Sales & Distribution Company Why GM? We are a unique Sales and Distribution Company who are the chosen route to market for a number of leading FMCG brands within grocery, pharmacy and foodservice. We are an innovative company with unrivalled industry experience and we are always taking products places.






H.J. Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Stradbrook House, Stradbrook Road, Blackrock, Co. Dublin T: 00 353 1 2805757 F: 00 353 1 2801957 W: Personnel: Sales Director - Ireland: Alan Rochford Marketing Manager - Ireland: Maresa Cagney Type of Business: Marketing, sales and distribution of HJ Heinz brand and product portfolio. Main Brands: Heinz: Baby - Cereals Baby - Drinks Baby - Fruity Custard Pots Baby - Snacks and Rusks Baby - Mum’s Own Recipe Beanz Barbecue Sauce Mayonnaise Salad Cream Soup Tinned Pasta Tomato Ketchup Weight Watchers from Heinz: Frozen Ready Meals Baked Beans Soup Tinned Pasta HP: Brown Sauce Fruity Sauce BBQ Sauce Lea & Perrins: Worcestershire Sauce Amoy: Straight to Wok Stir Fry Sauces Soy Sauce Straight to Wok Noodles Coconut Milk

Henderson Group

Interactive (Irl) Ltd

Hightown Avenue, Mallusk, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 4RT T: 028 9034 2733 F: 028 9034 2484 E: W:

6/7 Grange Park, Trench Road, Mallusk, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 4LA N.Ireland T: 028 9083 1730 F: 028 9083 1731 E:

Personnel: Chairman, Henderson Group: John Agnew Joint Managing Director: Martin Agnew Joint Managing Director: Geoffrey Agnew Group Finance Director: Ron Whitten Information Systems Director: Andrew Logan Group Operations Director: Patrick McGarry Trading Director: Alan Fitzsimmins Fresh Foods Director: Neal Kelly Group Property Director: Mark Adrain Human Resources Director: Sam Davidson Sales & Marketing Director: Paddy Doody Corporate Marketing Controller: Bronagh Luke Brand Marketing Controller: Brenda Mulligan PR & Communications Manager: Emma Armer Channel Sales Manager (Supermarkets): Stephen Gibson Regional Sales Manager (Supermarkets): Paul Deans Channel Sales Manager (Neighbourhood): Sarah Halliday Regional Sales Manager (Neighbourhood): David Bennett, Jonathan Finlay, William Bill Fresh Foods Development Manager: Healey Martin Trading Controller: Glen Howe Trading Managers: Edward Burns, Brendan Dumigan, Eugene McCabe, Michelle Dineen Category Space Planner: Mark Wilson Fresh Foods Trading Controller: Nigel Dugan Regional Fresh Foods Manager: Stuart Cordner Fresh Foods Manager: David Hamilton Fresh Food Trading Managers: Iain Dickson, Alistair Kelly, Noel McGregor Fresh Food Buying Manager: Eddie Blair Henderson Print Manager: Alan Ritchie Type of Business: Symbol Group Wholesaler for SPAR, EUROSPAR, ViVO, ViVOXtra and ViVO Essentials in NI. Number of Stores: Henderson Wholesale Ltd service over 400 stores across the five brands.

8 • •Ulster 3662 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Personnel: General Manager: John Flanagan M: 07919 122947 Commercial Manager: Mark Stuart M: 07919 122946 Sales Manager: Ian Cochrane M: 07867 306343 Business Development Executive: Enda McDaid M: 07920 148780 Business Development Executive: Harry Dunlop M: 07920 148680 Business Development Executive: Paul Ritchie M: 07920 148580 Distributor/Agent: Procter & Gamble Authorised N.I. Distributor Type of Business: Sales, Marketing and Distribution to the N.I. Grocery Trade Main brands: Personal Care & Beauty: Always; Aussie; Braun; Gillette; Head & Shoulders; Herbal Essence; Lasting Colour; Loving Care; Max Factor; Nice n` Easy; Nice n` Easy Root touch up; Olay; Old Spice; Pantene; Perfect 10; Shockwaves; Silvikrin; Wash & Go; Wella; Tampax Health & Wellbeing: Crest; Clear Blue; Fixodent; Oral-b; Pepto-Bismol; Vicks House & Home: Ace; Ambi Pur; Ariel; Bold; Daz; Dreft; Duracell; Fairy; Febreze; Flash; Lenor Baby & Family: Pampers; Pampers Kandoo; Infacare Snacks: Pringles Electrical Personal Appliances: Breville; Dreamland; George Foreman; Remington; Russell Hobbs; Sanyo MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to fulfil customer satisfaction within our distribution channels and to represent our principals according to their world leading standards of innovation, service and quality.



Irwin’s Bakery

Johnson Brothers (Belfast) Limited

KARRO Food Group

5 Diviny Road, The Food Park, Carne Industrial Estate, Portadown, BT63 5WE T: 028 3833 2421 F: 028 3833 3918 E: W:

incorporating Johnson Brothers (Distributing) Limited

70 Molesworth Road, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, BT80 8PJ T: 028 8676 3321 F: 028 8676 8524 E: W: W:

PERSONNEL: Chairman: Brian Irwin Technical Director: Niall Irwin

137 Hillsborough Old Road, Lisburn, BT27 5QR T: 028 9267 9121 F: 028 9266 8800 Personnel and Positions: Chairman: Michael Y Johnson Joint Managing Directors: Dermot W.M. Johnson and M Andrew Johnson

Commercial Director: Michael Murphy Financial Director: Richard J Johnson Sales Director: John Hopkins

Personnel: Sales: Trevor Mounstephen Marketing: Colin Glennon Type of Business: Manufacturer of branded, own label, foodservice and commodity products for multiple proteins.

Group Sales Director: Philip Mills Type of business: Irwin’s is Northern Ireland’s only indigenous wholesale bakery and the company behind iconic local brands such as Nutty Krust, Howell House ‘Jammy Joeys’, Irwin’s Softee and the Rankin Selection traditional Irish bread range. Irwin’s products are based on traditional Irish recipes and baking methods, including original fermentation and slow-baking processes. Irwin’s Nutty Krust was launched in 1963 and is a firm Northern Ireland favourite. Since then, Nutty Krust has been loved by generations of families to the present day. Irwin’s is a familyowned and managed company which supplies major supermarkets, convenience and trade sectors across Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Currently employing over 450 staff, Irwin’s Bakery have been baking bread in Northern Ireland for over 100 years.

Johnson Brothers (Belfast) Limited: Sales Manager: Neil Patton Johnson Brothers (Distributing) Limited: General Manager: Ivan Thompson Sales Manager: David Lewis

Distributor/Agent: O’Kane Foodservice Main brands: Cookstown McGee’s Butcher

Type of Business: Selling & Distributing Agents Pure Coffee Manufacturer Distributor/Agent: Selling & Distributing Agents

Main Brands: Irwin’s Rankin Selection Howell’s Handmade

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KP Snacks Ltd

Lindt & Sprungli Ltd

Mackle Petfoods

11 Aghnatrisk Road, Culcavey, Hillsborough, BT26 6JJ T: 028 9268 2644 E: W:

Unit 310 Q House, Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland T: +353 12936909/ 07967590040 F: +353 12936913 E:

40 Corrigan Hill Road, Moy, Dungannon, Co.Tyrone, BT71 6SL T: 028 8778 4641 F: 028 8778 4955 E: W:

Personnel: Northern Ireland Business Development Manager: Ricky Watts

NI Sales Manager: Gordon Knox

Type of Business: Manufacturer and Distributor of Savoury Snacks & Nuts Distributor/Agent: KP Snacks Ltd Main brands: Brannigans Choc Dips Discos Frisps Hula Hoops KP Nuts McCoys Nik Naks Phileas Fogg Roysters Skips Space Raiders

8 • •Ulster 3664 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Type of Business: Confectionery Main brands: Lindt Lindor Lindt Excellence Lindt Gold Bunny Lindt Bear Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection

Personnel: Managing Director: John A. Mackle Sales and Marketing Manager: Gwendoline Rafferty Type of Business: Pet food manufacturer Main brands: Brandy Brandy Complete Cat Club Jessie Champion Professional



Maxol Oil Limited 48 Trench Road, Mallusk, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT36 4TY T: 028 9050 6000 F: 028 9050 6025 E: W: Type of Business: Forecourt & Convenience Retailer Main brands: Maxol

McColgan’s QUALITY FOODS LTD Dublin Road Industrial Estate, Strabane, BT82 9EA T: 028 7138 2797 E: W:

15, Old Belfast Road, Larne, County Antrim, BT40 2SH T: +44 (0) 28 2827 9217 E: W:

PERSONNEL: Managing Director: Brian McColgan

Type of business: Cold Storage

General Manager: Grainne Hampton

• Coldstores

Commercial Director: Roy Wilkinson

• 3500 Pallett Spaces

TYPE OF BUSINESS: Manufacturer of convenience food including pies, slices, pasties, sausage rolls, jambons, quiche. Foodservice and retail, chilled and frozen. Own label specialists. Brands include McColgans, Strathmourne Foods, McColgans Choice Cuisine.

SERVICES: • Blast Freezing on site • Racking Systems • Labelling • Stock Control System, fully computerised recently installed I.T. Systems • Tailored to client needs • BRD Accredited

DISTRIBUTION: Multi temperature deliveries across NI, ROI and GB daily.

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





Montgomery Food Consulting 100 Knockmany Road, Clogher, Co Tyrone, BT76 OXJ T: 07766 395738 or 028 8554 9906 E: W: Type of Business: • Consultancy in BRC (Food Standard & Storage & Distribution), EIQA, SALSA, HACCP, CMI, Hygiene Scoring System, TESCO, ASDA Standards • Butchery/Hospitality Consultancy Food labelling • NEW Butchery Card printing service for food labels • Food specifications • Food Nutrition Analysis • Allergen risk analysis and training • Cleaning & Hygiene Audits • Supplier Audits • Training Provider: CIEH Training Centre • Food Marketing/NPD • Interim Technical Support We can help your business in areas where you need technical support and advice. We operate in Northern Ireland and ROI.

Moy Park Ltd


The Food Park, 39 Seagoe Ind Estate, Portadown, Craigavon, Co..Armagh, BT63 5QE T: 028 3835 2233 F: 028 3836 8011 W:

Donegal Road, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, T: 00353 7491 31009 F: 00353 7491 31892 E:

Personnel: Director of Sales Ireland: Paul Burch

Sales Director: John Bonner Operations Director: Drew Chambers

Brand Marketing Manager: Briege Finnegan Type of Business: Moy Park is a leading provider of fresh, locally farmed poultry in the UK and Ireland and is recognised as one of the largest producers of organic, free range and corn fed poultry in Europe. Moy Park supplies retailers and foodservice providers throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe with a range of high-quality, fresh, coated and added value retailer own brand and Moy Park branded poultry products. The Moy Park brand includes fresh, breaded and ready to cook products. Moy Park employs over 12,000 people across 14 sites in Northern Ireland, England and Europe. Distributor/Agent: Neil McMullan Ltd, 28 HalfPenny Gate Road, Moira, Craigavon, Co.Armagh, Northern Ireland, BT67 OHW T: 07831 566827 Main brands: Castle Lea Jamie Oliver Moy Park O’Kane

8 • •Ulster 3666 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Personnel: Managing Director: Peter Mulrine

Financial Director: Malachy Magee UK Sales Manager : Dessy Moen Type of Business: Manufacturer of finest quality juices, smoothies and sauces. Mulrines are one of the largest producers in both the UK and Ireland. Manufacturer of factory brands, own label multiple brands and Mulrine own brand products. Main brands: Juice Press Range of Premium Juices and Smoothies Kulana Pure Fruit Juices Bramble Hill Fruit Juices Jaffa Gold Juice Drinks Juice Press Smoothies Kandee Sauce Pproducts Sunstream Splash Pouch Drinks

Musgrave MarketPlace NI Head Office: 1-15 Dargan Crescent, Duncrue Road, Belfast, BT3 9HJ T: 028 9078 4800 W: E: BELFAST: 1-15 Dargan Crescent, Duncrue Road, Belfast, BT3 9HJ T: 028 9078 4800 Manager: Clarke Hill DERRY: Pennyburn Industrial Estate, Buncrana Road, Derry, BT48 0LU T: 028 7130 5700 Manager: Darren Peoples LURGAN: William Street, Lurgan, BT66 6JD T: 028 3832 2771 Manager: Garry Williams PERSONNEL: NI Director : Michael McCormack Retail Sales Manager NI: Andrea Keers Foodservice Sales Manager NI: Rory Gallagher Marketing Manager: Paula Mahoney Commercial Manager: Neil Donnelly Type of Business: Musgrave Wholesale Partners is Northern Ireland’s largest wholesaler, providing both collect & delivered wholesale solutions for independent retailers and foodservice professionals. Main Brands: Musgrave MarketPlace, and DayToday Product Ranges: Musgrave Excellence Musgrave Professional Smart Buy Butchers Select Simply Meat Today’s

Musgrave Retail Partners NI 1 – 19 Dargan Drive, Belfast, BT3 9JG T: 028 9078 7100 F: 028 9078 7101 E: W: Personnel: Managing Director: Nigel Briggs

Northern Snack Foods Ltd Lissue Industrial Estate East, Lisburn, BT 28 2RB T: 028 9262 2820 W: Personnel: Martin McClinton Mob. 07850 410917 Contact North West: Nigel Morton Tel: 07720 967492

Services Director: Damian McCarney Finance Director: Matt Myers Trading Director: Pat Leane SuperValu Centra Sales Director: Nigel Maxwell Mace Sales Director: Trevor Magill HR Director: Sandra Mahood

Contact Belfast/Greater Belfast: Jonathan Lamont Tel: 07545 927064 Type of Business: Distributor of Snack foods Main Brands: Hunky Dorys Crisps O’Donnells Velvet Crunch King

Centra Customer Manager: Norman Bennett SuperValu Customer Manager: Connor McCann Mace Sales Manager: Amanda Holmes Communications Manager: Kate Ferguson Type of Business: Musgrave Retail Partners NI (MRPNI) is the wholesale partner and distributor to over 250 independent SuperValu, Centra and Mace stores in Northern Ireland, with a combined turnover in excess of £600 million. MRPNI is part of the Musgrave Group, the leading partner to entrepreneurial retailers and food service professionals in the UK, Ireland and Spain. Main brands: SuperValu Centra Mace

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







Premier Bakeries Ireland


Decisionvision Ltd, 2 Wilford Business Park, Ruddington Lane, Nottingham, NG11 7EP T: 0844 811 8700 F: 0115 9824661 E: W:

Apollo Road, Belfast, BT12 6LP T: 08707 288 888 (office hours) F: 028 9038 8558 W:

65a Cormeen Road, Armagh, BT60 4ND T: 028 3752 7540 F: 028 3751 5433 E:

Personnel: Business Unit Director: Trevor McCrum Business Unit Controller: Ben Daggett Business Unit Manager: Billy Thompson Business Unit Manager: Gillian Moore Key Account Manager: Claire Wade Ireland Brand Manager: Jackie Kirk Category Insights Manager: Barry Spence

Personnel: Managing Director: Ruairi Cunningham

Type of Business: Premier Bakeries (Ireland) part of the Premier Foods Group manufacture and distribute quality bakery brands such as Hovis Bread, Nimble Bread, Mothers Pride and Ormo Bread & Morning Goods. We also manufacture retailer branded & foodservice breads and morning goods for a number of customers in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Premier Foods Group also manufacture some of the nations favourites such as Mr Kipling cakes, Sharwoods Asian foods, OXO stock cubes, Batchelors soups and noodles, Loyd Grossman sauces, Bisto gravy and Ambrosia custard and rice pudding.

Type of Business: Bakery and Dairy

Type of Business: EPOS & IT Solutions Provider

Main Brands: Hovis Ormo Mothers Pride Nimble

8 • •Ulster 3668 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Commercial Director: Eamon Lynch Operations Manager: Patrick Woods Financial Controller: Rachel Cunningham

Distributor/Agent: Really good foods distribute a range of high quality artisan and premium bread products to all the symbol/independent and multiple stores in N. Ireland as well as products in some GB multiples. We also distribute a full range of milk and cream products throughout the retail and catering sectors in N. Ireland. Main brands: Really Good Bakery Products Strathroy Milk and Cream New York Bagels



ROBERT ROBERTS (NI) LTD 10 Flush Park, Lisburn, Co Antrim, BT28 2DX T: 028 9267 3316 F: 028 9266 1131 W: PERSONNEL: Managing Director: Gareth Bradley Marketing Manager: Sinead Adair TYPE OF BUSINESS: Robert Roberts NI Ltd offers a full service of sales, distribution, merchandising, promotional and marketing. We distribute a combination of our own brands and those of our blue chip principals to all grocery trade sectors, multiples, symbols, cash & carry, independent wholesale, garage forecourts and independents.

Sales Placement Contract People Ltd Unit A4, 17 Heron Road, Sydenham Business Park, Belfast, BT3 9LE T: 028 9045 5040 F: 028 9073 9058 E: W: PERSONNEL: Managing Director: Allan Rutherford Recruitment Director: June Wilson Director of Outsourced Services: Russell Johnston Field Marketing: Diane Johnston Type of Business: Specialist Permanent Recruitment: FMCG, Licensed Trade, Foodservice, Retail, Marketing, Technical Sales, Construction, Advertising/Media, Pharmaceutical/Medical, IT, Telecoms Specialist Field Marketing Company providing the face and voice of our Clients’ Brands at the Point of Purchase: Merchandising Auditors Heavy Duty Installations Quality Teams Technical Services Sales Blitzes Contract Sales POS Management Mystery Shopping Promotions/Demonstrations HR Consultancy, Payroll.

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

SHS Sales & Marketing 199 Airport Road West, Belfast, BT3 9ED T: 028 9045 4647 E: W: Personnel: Managing Director: David O’Neill Sales Director: Des McCullough General Sales Manager for Northern Ireland: Michael Whitely Type of Business: FMCG Distributor Main brands: Airwick Askeys Batchelors Condensed Canned Soups Batchelors Canned Vegetables Bloo Bonjela Bottlegreen Brasso Chewits Cillit Bang Colgate Cookeen Crisp & Dry oils Crosse & Blackwell Canned Soups Crosse & Blackwell Canned Vegetables Danone Dettol Disprin Durex E45 Farmlea Finish Flora Oils Gaviscon Harpic Jeyes Jordans Jucee Lemsip Lypsyl Maguire & Paterson Marigold Mars Milk Drinks Mr Sheen Napolina Nurofen Palmolive Parozone Parsons Primula Princes Food & Drink Ryvita Sanex Savlon Shloer Seuekot Silvo Soft & Gentle Steradent Strepsils Tunnocks Vanish Windolene Woodwards Gripe Water 69



Strathroy Dairy Ltd Shergrim, Omagh, Co.Tyrone, BT79 7JD T: 028 8224 0948 F: 028 8224 6280 E: W: Personnel: Managing Director: Patrick Cunningham Operations Director: Aidan McCarron Director ROI: Ruairi Cunningham Commercial Director NI: Eamon Lynch Commercial Director ROI: Phelim McCarron Financial Controller: Jim McCann IT Manager: Damien Harkin Quality Control Manager: Tracy Doyle Type of Business: Dairy Processing: Milk & Cream Main brands: Strathroy Bainne Ur Erganagh Various Private Label Brands

8 • •Ulster 3670 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Today’s Savage & Whitten Wholesale Ltd Unit 1a Carnbane Business Park, Newry, Co Down, BT35 6QH T: 028 3026 3521 F: 028 3025 1103 E: W:

Ulster Exhibitions Limited 13 Harbour Court, Heron Road, Belfast, BT3 9HB T: 028 9046 9003 F: 028 9046 9004 W: Contact: Peter Corbett

Type of Business: PERSONNEL: Supplier of event and display services and Todays Team products Sales & Marketing Director: Michael Skelton Todays Store Development: Maurice Little Main Brands: Todays Sales Manager: Chris McGaw Revostage Portable Staging Business Development Managers: Mark Bric Gerry Nelson, Martin Mullin Easystands Plex Display S&W Team Managing Director: Mark Windebank Operations Director: Norman Savage IT Director: Richard Whitten Sales Director: John Whitten Trading Director: Alan Dorman Finance Director: Barry Duffy Warehouse Manager: Philip Hughes Marketing Manager: Julie Burden Transport Manager: Sean McNeill IT Manager: Conor Duffy HR Manager: Jill Cowan Type of Business: Savage & Whitten are the Symbol Group Wholesaler for Today’s Extra, Today’s Local & Today’s Express.



United Biscuits Foods Division

United Biscuits UK Ltd

PO Box 3, Hillsborough, P O Box 3, BT26 6JU Hillsborough, T: 028 9268 2644 Co Down, F: 028 9268 3804 BT26 6JU W: Office: 028 9268 2644 F: 028 9268 3804 Personnel: E: National Field Sales Manager: Dave Cutler W: Personnel: General Manager: Barry Maloret

Business Account Manager: Tim McAuley Field Sales Manager: Peter Lockard

Development Manager: Gareth Hutchison Business Account Manager: Lloyd Graham Business Account Manager: Darren Shirlow Type of Business: United Biscuits Foods Division, are one of Northern Ireland’s leading Ambient Foods Distributors / Service Providers, delivering a Comprehensive Sales and Distribution Service. Manufacturers: Annabel Karmel Barry’s Tea Bonduelle Ltd Calypso Soft Drinks Ltd E Flahavan & Sons Ltd Tangerine Confectionery Ltd Topps International Valeo Foods Ireland W & R Jacob & Co (NI) Ltd Wagg Dog Foods

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

Type of Business: United Biscuits is a leading European Biscuits, Baked Bagged Snacks and Cake company. It manufactures and supplies popular household brand names including McVitie’s, Jacob’s, Go Ahead!, Choc Digestives, Digestives, Hob Nobs, Jaffa Cakes, Penguin, Club, Medley, Breakfast, Mini Cheddars & Carr’s.

White’s Speedicook Ltd Scarva Road, Tandragee, Co. Armagh, BT62 2BZ T: 028 3884 0592 F: 028 3884 1895 E: W: PERSONNEL: General Manager: James Mathers Sales and Marketing Manager: Mark Gowdy Brand Manager: Danielle McBride Trade Marketing Executive: Esther Jackson Type of Business: Oat Manufacturer. Breakfast Cereals Main Brands: White’s

Biscuits Distribution Company: United Biscuits UK Ltd, Aghnatrisk Road, Culcavey, Hillsborough, Co Down, Northern Ireland, BT26 6JU T: 028 9268 2644 F: 028 9268 3804



retailers guide CO-OPERATIVE RETAILERS The Northern Ireland Co-operative part of The Co-operative Group REGIONAL OFFICE Carrickfergus Industrial Centre 75 Belfast Road Carrickfergus BT38 8PH T: 028 9335 7500 F: 028 9335 7505 Regional Manager for NI & IOM: Gary Macaulay FOOD STORES

Cregagh 61 Cregagh Road Belfast BT6 8PY T: 028 9045 7422

DONAGHADEE 20 New Street Donaghadee BT21 0AG T: 028 9188 2297

Finaghy 124A Upper Lisburn Road Belfast BT10 0DJ T: 028 9061 1775

FIVEMILETOWN Ballylurgan House 138 Main Street Fivemiletown BT75 0RX T: 028 8952 1001

Gilnahirk King’s Road Belfast BT5 7EJ T: 028 9079 4036

Ballycastle 8-9 The Diamond Ballycastle BT54 6AW T: 028 2076 8166

Knockbreda 390 Ormeau Road Belfast BT7 3HX T: 028 9049 1470

Ballynure 27 Main Street Ballynure BT39 9TV T: 028 9334 9616

Lisburn Road 513 - 517 Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 7GP T: 028 9066 0513

Ballymena 121 Broughshane Street Ballymena BT43 6EE T: 028 2565 4964

Oldpark 523 - 525 Oldpark Road Belfast BT14 6QU T: 028 9039 0900

Dunclug 5 Dunclug Shopping Centre Ballymena BT43 6SA T: 028 2564 3461

Rosetta 69 Rosetta Road Belfast BT6 0LR T: 028 9049 1565

Bangor Flagship Centre Main Street Bangor BT20 5AU T: 028 9147 1714

Shankill 192 - 212 Shankill Road Belfast BT13 2BJ T: 028 9033 1301

Ballyholme 82 - 84 Groomsport Road Bangor BT20 5NF T: 02891 275421

Sydenham 158 Connsbrook Avenue Belfast BT4 1JX T: 028 9047 1886

Belfast Antrim Road 238 - 240 Antrim Road Belfast BT15 2AR T: 028 9075 7747

Upper Malone 32 Upper Malone Road Belfast BT9 5NA T: 028 9060 5813

Ballysillan 323 Ballysillan Road Belfast BT14 6RE T: 028 9039 1127

BUSHMILLS 37 Lower Main Street Bushmills BT57 8QA T: 028 2073 1674

Beersbridge 361 Beersbridge Road Belfast BT5 5DT T: 028 9046 1020

CASTLEDERG 1 - 3 High Street Castlederg BT81 7AB T: 028 8167 1270

8 • •Ulster 3672 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

LARNE Circular Road 56 Circular Road, Larne BT40 3AE T: 028 2826 0737 Linn Road 16 Linn Road Larne BT40 2BT T: 028 2827 2104 LISBURN Belsize Road 100 Belsize Road Lisburn BT27 4BP T: 028 9267 7752 Longstone Street 164 Longstone Street Lisburn BT28 1TT T: 028 9267 9613 MOY 10 Dungannon Street Moy BT71 7SH T: 028 8778 4453 NEWTOWNABBEY Beverley Road 10-12 Beverley Road Glengormley BT36 6QD T: 028 9083 5544 TANDRAGEE 39 - 42 Church Street Tandragee BT62 2AF T: 028 3884 2763 Whitewell Unit 5 The Throne Centre 252 Whitewell Road Newtownabbey BT36 7NH T: 028 9077 3004 WHITEABBEY Abbots Cross 2-5 Abbots Cross Doagh Road Whiteabbey BT37 9QT T: 028 9086 4071


retailers guide WINDSOR 191 Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 7EJ

MULTIPLE RETAILERS ASDA Northern Ireland ASDA NI REGIONAL OFFICE Junction One Retail Park Antrim BT41 4LL T: 028 9448 5700 ASDA Regional Operations Manager NI: Aubrey Swift ASDA Regional Trading Manager NI: Michael McCallion

COOKSTOWN Sweep Road Cookstown BT80 8JR T: 028 8676 4831 Manager: Gillian Cuddy DOWNPATRICK Ballydugan Road Downpatrick BT30 6AJ T: 028 4461 9606 Manager: Kate Oakes DUNDONALD 1001 Upper Newtownards Road Dundonald BT16 1RN T: 028 9041 3510 Manager: Oliver Martin

ASDA Living City Retail Park York Street Belfast BT15 1WA T: 028 9035 7770 Manager: Eileen Mahaffey

ENNISKILLEN Derrychara Road Enniskillen BT74 6JG T: 028 6634 4900 Manager: Michael McFadden

ANTRIM Junction One Retail Park Antrim BT41 4LL T: 028 9448 5700 Manager: Robert Ryans

KILKEEL 51 Newcastle Street Kilkeel BT34 4AF T: 028 4176 5309 Manager: Jeremy Mitten

BALLYCLARE 30 Main Street Ballyclare BT39 9DQ T: 028 9334 5800 Manager: Steven Henry

Larne Redlands Industrial Estate Larne Habour BT40 1AX t: 028 2826 8500 Manager: Simon Fisher

BANGOR 2 Market Lane Bangor BT20 4SD T: 028 9147 4920 Manager: Mary Magill SHORE ROAD BELFAST 219 Shore Road Belfast BT15 3PR T: 028 9037 0889 Manager: Raymond Barr WESTWOOD Unit 1 Westwood Centre Kennedy Way Belfast BT11 9BQ T: 028 9060 3644 Manager: Roger Croskery COLERAINE 1 Ring Road Coleraine BT52 1QP T: 028 7035 8446 Manager: Roy Warke

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

NEWTOWNARDS Ards Shopping Centre Circular Road Newtownards BT23 4EU T: 028 9181 5577 Manager: Chris Elliott OMAGH 31 Dromore Road Omagh BT78 1QZ T: 028 8225 9646 Manager: Eugene Teague STRABANE Railway Road Strabane BT82 8EQ T: 028 7138 1400 Manager: Peter Beckett PORTADOWN New Store Bridge Street Portadown BT63 5AQ T: 028 3877 0300 Manager: Simon Arlow

Lidl Northern Ireland Dundrod Road, Nutts Corner Crumlin Co. Antrim BT29 4SR

Marks & Spencer M&S Head of Region (NI): Simon Lucas ABBEYCENTRE Abbeycentre Glenmount Road Newtownabbey Co. Antrim BT36 7DN T: 028 9086 3318 Manager: Wendy Loughridge BALLYMENA Fairhill Shopping Centre Broughshane Street Ballymena BT43 6UG T: 028 2565 1129 Manager: Liz McNamee BANGOR Unit 29, Bloomfield Shopping Centre South Circular Road Bangor BT19 7HB T: 028 9127 0674 Manager: Barry McVeigh BELFAST 48 Donegall Place Belfast BT1 5BY T: 028 9023 5235 Manager: Gerry Ferrin LISBURN Sprucefield Shopping Centre 157 Hillsborough Road Lisburn BT27 5UJ T: 028 9266 1000 Manager: Ryan Lemon FOYLESIDE Foyleside Shopping Centre Orchard Street Londonderry BT48 6XY T: 028 7137 7377 Manager: Kieran McCauley NEWTOWNBREDA Forestside Shopping Centre Upper Galwally Belfast BT8 4FX T: 028 9064 6630 Manager: Ali Ivery



retailers guide NEWRY Buttercrane Centre Buttercrane Quay Newry BT35 8HJ T: 028 3025 7257 Manager: John Woods OMAGH Unit 2, Showgrounds Retail Park Sedan Avenue Omagh BT79 7AQ T: 028 8225 1649 Manager: Brendan McManus ENNISKILLEN Erneside Shopping Centre The Point Enniskillen Co. Fermanagh BT74 6JQ T: 028 6632 4649 Manager: Jim Masterson

ARMAGH Simply Food Unit 2, Spires Retail Park Moy Road, Armagh Co. Armagh BT61 8DB T: 028 3751 8182 Manager: Conor McLaughlin Bow Street Mall Simply Food Unit 7, Bow Street Mall Lisburn Co Antrim BT28 1AW T: 028 9266 8163 Manager: Norma Gray COOKSTOWN Simply Food Broadfields Retail Park Orritor Road Cookstown Co. Tyrone BT80 8BH T: 028 8676 2833 Manager: Andy Stone

M&S Simply Food BELFAST: Boucher Road Simply Food Marks & Spencer Unit 8 Balmoral Plaza Boucher Road Belfast BT12 6HR T: 028 9066 4206 Manager: John Donnelly Malone (Lisburn Road) Simply Food Marks & Spencer 348 Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 6GH T: 028 9068 7131 Manager: Mark Esler

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd Sainsbury’s Regional Office Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd Forestside Shopping Centre Upper Galwally Road Belfast BT8 4FX T: 028 9064 4619 Regional Operations Manager: Nigel Macaulay Category Trading Manager: Andy Maclachlan Regional Supply Chain Manager: Paul McAlinden NI Commercial Buyer: Claire McAlinney

Upper Road (Newtownards Road) Simply Food 248/266 Upper Newtownards Road Belfast BT4 3EU T: 028 9065 9423 Manager: Diane Peers

ARMAGH Mall West Armagh, BT61 9AJ T: 028 3751 1050 Manager: Andy Relf

COLERAINE Simply Food 13 The Diamond Coleraine BT52 1DH T: 028 7035 7723 Manager: Tanya Magee

BALLYMENA 4 Braidwater Retail Park Larne Road Link BALLYMENA BT42 3AG T: 028 2564 4940 Manager: Daniel Pritchard

CRESCENT LINK Simply Food Unit 17A, Crescent Link Retail Park Derry BT47 6SA T: 028 7131 8907 Manager: Avril McLaughlin

BANGOR 10 Balloo Link BANGOR BT19 7HJ T: 028 9185 7599 Manager: Richard Heaton

8 • •Ulster 3674 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

CARRICKFERGUS 1 Rodgers Quay Carrickfergus BT38 8BL T: 028 9333 5200 Manager: Bea Cox COLERAINE 10 Riverside Regional Centre Coleraine BT51 3QQ T: 028 7032 8957 Manager: Gillian Ekin CRAIGAVON Rushmere Shopping Centre Central Way Craigavon BT64 1AA T: 028 3831 6519 Manager: Elena Curtis DUNGANNON Unit 14 The Oaks Shopping Centre Oaks Road Dungannon BT71 4NA T: 028 8772 3813 Manager: Sharon Woodhams FORESTSIDE Forestside Shopping Centre Upper Galwally Road Belfast BT8 4FX T: 028 9049 3028 Manager: Angus O’Neill HOLYWOOD EXCHANGE Holywood Exchange 302 Airport Road West BELFAST BT3 9EJ T: 028 9042 8140 Manager: Brian Slattery NEWRY The Quays Newry BT35 8QS T: 028 3025 7560 Manager: Simon Johnston SPRUCEFIELD 5 Sprucefield Park LISBURN BT27 5UQ T: 028 9267 7444 Manager: John Lockhart STRAND ROAD 150 Strand Road LONDONDERRY BT48 7TL T: 028 7136 0770 Manager: Steven Pollock WEST BELFAST Unit 28, Kennedy Centre Falls Road BELFAST BT11 9AE T: 028 9061 6386 Manager: Ciaran Owens


retailers guide BALLYGOMARTIN 2 Ballygomartin Road Belfast BT13 3LD T: 028 95707807 Manager: Michael Creighton

COOKSTOWN Orritor Road Cookstown BT80 8BH T: 028 86729600 Manager: Pat Scullion

CASTLEREAGH 160/220 Castlereagh Road Belfast BT5 5FT T: 028 95704707 Manager: Sam Larkin

CRAIGAVON EXTRA Highfield Road Craigavon BT64 1AG T: 028 38619800 Manager: Paul Gilvary

ANTRIM MASSERENE EXTRA 28 Castle Way Antrim BT41 4BU T: 028 944819407 Manager: Simon McNeill

CONNSWATER Connswater Shopping Centre Bloomfield Avenue Belfast BT5 5LP T: 028 9045 0046 Manager: Gareth Grew

Crumlin 2 Main Street Crumlin BT29 4UP T: 028 94447466 Manager: Gerard Crosbie

BALLYMENA Larne Road Link Ballymena BT42 3HB T: 028 25319300 Manager: Graeme Otley

CREGAGH 60 - 64 Cregagh Road Belfast BT6 9EQ T: 028 9045 5343 Manager: Alwyn Thompson

BALLYMONEY Castle Street Ballymoney BT53 6JT T: 028 27670807 Manager: Geoff Purcell

DUNMURRY Kingsway Shopping Centre Dunmurry Belfast BT17 9NP T: 028 9030 1026 Manager: Alwyn Thompson

Tesco Northern Ireland Tesco Support Office Abbey Retail Park Church Road Newtownabbey BT36 7GU T: 028 9088 7200 Store Director for NI: Gary Mills Commercial Manager for NI: Cliff Kells

BANBRIDGE 25 Castlewellan Road Banbridge BT32 4AX T: 028 40269466 Manager: Siobhan McKay BANGOR Bloomfield Shopping Centre South Circular Road Bangor BT19 7HB T: 028 91513515 Manager: Stephen Cowen

KNOCKNAGONEY EXTRA Knocknagoney Road Belfast BT4 2PW T: 028 90539400 Manager: Nicola Irvine LISBURN ROAD 369 Lisburn Road Belfast BT9 7EP T: 028 9066 3531 Manager: Andrew Kerr

SPRINGHILL Springhill Shopping Centre Killeen Avenue Bangor BT19 1ND T: 028 91517800 Manager: Debbie McConnell

YORKGATE 100 - 150 York Street Belfast BT15 1WA T: 028 9074 3333 Manager: Johnny Little

BELFAST METRO 2 Royal Avenue Belfast BT1 1DA T: 028 90160905 Manager: Jim Gough

CARRICKFERGUS EXTRA Minorca Place Carrickfergus BT38 8AU T: 028 9331 6200 Manager: Thomas Sloan

ANTRIM ROAD 405 Antrim Road Belfast BT15 3BG T: 028 90539600 Manager: Terry McNeill

COLERAINE 2 Bannfield Road Coleraine BT52 1HU T: 028 70219407 Manager: Derek Loughlin

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

DUNGANNON Beech Valley Dungannon BT71 7BN T: 028 87719507 Manager: Stephen Gibson ENNISKILLEN Derrychara Road Enniskillen BT74 6HN T: 028 8641 9607 Manager: Martin Geraghty GLENGORMLEY Carnmoney Shopping Centre Glengormley BT36 6HD T: 028 9083 7229 Manager: Aiden Fury NORTHCOTT EXTRA Ballyclare Road Glengormley BT36 5HD T: 028 95707200 Manager: Cathy Booker LIMAVADY 119 Main Street Limavady BT49 0ET T: 028 77246501 Manager: Noel McNulty LISBURN Bentrim Road Lisburn BT28 2GB T: 028 92508300 Manager: Graham Agnew LISNAGELVIN Lisnagelvin Shopping Centre Lisnagelvin Road Londonderry BT47 6DA T: 028 7134 3917 Manager: Emma Swail



retailers guide STRAND ROAD Quayside Shopping Centre Derry BT48 7PX T: 028 71610650 Manager: David Z Dunbar

TESCO EXPRESS (CARNINY) 144 Ballymoney Road Ballymena BT43 5BZ T: 028 25319287 Manager: Mark Waring

TESCO EXPRESS (MAYFIELD) 5 Mayfield Village Glengormley BT36 7WU T: 028 90160547 Manager: John Torbitt

LURGAN 45 Millennium Way Lurgan BT66 8DH T: 028 38617807 Manager: Harry A Smyth

TESCO EXPRESS (BALLYMENA) 107/117 Church Street Ballymena BT43 6D9 T: 028 2563 9376 Manager: Mark Waring

TESCO EXPRESS (LARNE) Main Street Larne T: 07441610277 Manager: Paul Abraham

MAGHERAFELT 24 Ballyronan Road Magherafelt Bt45 6EN T: 028 79369400 Manager: Nora O’Donnell

TESCO EXPRESS (BALLYHACKAMORE) 288 - 299 Upper Newtownards Road Belfast BT4 3EU T: 028 9065 1921 Manager: Stephen Bell

NEWCASTLE 21 Castlewellan Road Newcastle BT33 0GW T: 028 4372 5753 Manager: Matt Lovell

TESCO EXPRESS (BELMONT ROAD) 1/3 Belmont Road Belfast T: 028 90160510 Manager: Martin Stockton

TESCO EXPRESS (MONKSTOWN) 4 - 7 Monkstown Village Centre Newtownabbey BT37 0HB T: 028 90160 560 Manager: Richard Graham

TESCO EXPRESS (CAIRNSHILL) Unit 4 Cairnshill Saintfield Road Belfast BT8 6HG T: 028 90160 547 Manager: John Torbitt

TESCO EXPRESS (NEWTOWNABBEY) 142 Doagh Road Newtownabbey BT37 9QS T: 07822835646 Manager: Jim Brennan

NEWTOWNABBEY Abbey Retail Park Church Road Newtownabbey BT36 7GU T: 028 95706607 Manager: Janine Southall NEWTOWNARDS EXTRA Castlebawn Road Newtownards BT23 2NN T: 028 91513307 Manager: Tony O’Neill

TESCO EXPRESS (COMBER) 26 - 30 The Square Comber BT23 5DU T: 028 91513157 Manager: Andy Cooper

NEWTOWNBREDA EXTRA 170 Newtownbreda Road Belfast BT8 6HG T: 028 95707600 Manager: Nora Armour

TESCO EXPRESS (CRESENT LINK) Crescent Link Retail Park Londonderry BY47 5FX T: 028 71610110 Manager: Declan Laine

NEWRY 24 Downshire Road Newry BT34 1EE T: 028 30310500 Manager: Stephen Magill

TESCO EXPRESS (DUBLIN ROAD) 56/60 Dublin Road Belfast BT2 7HP T: 028 9016 0557 Manager: Paul Ewart

PORTADOWN Meadows Shopping Centre Portadown BT62 3TM T: 028 38617600 Manager: Mark Montgomery

TESCO EXPRESS (Great Victoria Street) 20 Great Victoria Street Belfast BT2 7BA T: 07822858680 Manager: Fiona McIlhone

PORTSTEWART 164 Coleraine Road Portstewart Co Londonderry BT55 7PL T: 028 70219670 Manager: Colin Hampsey

8 • •Ulster 3676 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

TESCO EXPRESS (HOLYWOOD) 36/40 High Street Holywood BT18 9AD T: 028 90160577 Manager: Danielle McDougall

TESCO EXPRESS (LIMAVADY) 21 Broad Road Limavady Co Londonderry BT49 0QP T: 028 77246707 Manager: Michael Brown

TESCO EXPRESS (ORMEAU ROAD) 307/317 Ormeau Road BELFAST BT7 3GL T: 028 95704 697 Manager: Gareth Grew

SYMBOL GROUPS Costcutter Supermarkets Group Ltd (Northern Ireland) Belfast Mills 71-75 Percy Street Belfast BT13 2HW T: 028 9032 9761 F: 028 9032 9667 E: W: Chief Executive Officer: Darcy Willson-Rymer Trading Director: Vicki Reay Retail Director: Daniel Quest Sales Director (Costcutter & kwiksave): Jamie Davison Sales Director (Supershop): Duncan Jelfs Customer Services Director: David Thompson Retail Operations Director: Richard Collins Marketing Director: Richard Coates Finance Director: Bob Marshall Strategy & Operations Director: Steve Potter IT Director: Kevin Widdrington


retailers guide NI Regional Sales Manager (Costcutter & kwiksave): John Clarke - 07885 200028 NI Regional Sales Manager (Supershop): Adrian O’Brien - 07747 752580

DayToday 1-15 Dargan Crescent Duncrue Road Belfast BT3 9HJ T: 028 9078 4800 N Ireland Director: Michael McCormack NI Retail Sales Manager: Andrea Keers Mob: 07525 951587 Business Development Managers: Denis McLaughlin Mob: 07881938374 Keith Crimmins Mob: 07956230481 Peter Quinn Mob: 07702732740 Colin Martin Mob: 07912451429 Ronan Cunningham Mob: 07956230482 DayToday /On-line support:028 90784809

Henderson Group Hightown Avenue Mallusk Newtownabbey Co. Antrim BT36 4RT T: 028 9034 2733 F: 028 9034 2484 E: W: Personnel: Chairman, Henderson Group: John Agnew Joint Managing Director: Martin Agnew Joint Managing Director: Geoffrey Agnew Henderson Retail Director: Nigel Gray Group Finance Director: Ron Whitten Information Systems Director: Andrew Logan Group Operations Director: Patrick McGarry Trading Director: Alan Fitzsimmins Fresh Foods Director: Neal Kelly Group Property Director: Mark Adrain Human Resources Director: Sam Davidson Sales & Marketing Director: Paddy Doody Corporate Marketing Controller: Bronagh Luke Brand Marketing Controller: Brenda Mulligan PR & Communications Manager: Emma Armer

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

Channel Sales Manager (Supermarkets): Stephen Gibson Regional Sales Manager (Supermarkets): Paul Deans Channel Sales Manager (Neighbourhood): Sarah Halliday Regional Sales Manager (Neighbourhood): David Bennett, Jonathan Finlay, William Bill Fresh Foods Development Manager: Healey Martin Recruitment Controller: Caroline Dalzell Trading Controller: Glen Howe Trading Managers: Edward Burns, Brendan Dumigan, Eugene McCabe, Michelle Dineen Category Space Planner: Mark Wilson Fresh Foods Trading Controller: Nigel Dugan Regional Fresh Foods Manager: Stuart Cordner Fresh Foods Manager: David Hamilton Fresh Food Trading Managers: Iain Dickson, Alistair Kelly, Noel McGregor Fresh Food Buying Manager: Eddie Blair Henderson Print Manager: Alan Ritchie

SuperValu, Centra & Mace Musgrave Retail Partners NI 1 – 19 Dargan Drive Belfast BT3 9JG T: 028 90 787 100 F: 028 90 787 101 E: W:

Managing Director: Nigel Briggs Services Director: Damian McCarney Finance Director: Matt Myers Trading Director: Pat Leane SuperValu Centra Sales Director: Nigel Maxwell Mace Sales Director: Trevor Magill HR Director: Sandra Mahood Centra Customer Manager: Norman Bennett SuperValu Customer Manager: Connor McCann Mace Sales Manager: Amanda Holmes Communications Manager: Kate Ferguson

Nisa Nisa Retail Limited Member Support Centre Waldo Way Normanby Enterprise Park Scunthorpe DN15 9GE T: 01724 282028 E: Fascias: Nisa Local Nisa Extra Independent fascia Loco Contact: Pat Leneghan – sales manager (Northern Ireland) E: T: 07950 355991

Today’s Savage & Whitten Wholesale Ltd Unit 1a Carnbane Business Park Newry Co Down BT35 6QH T: 02830263521 F: 02830251103 W:

Todays Team Sales & Marketing Director: Michael Skelton Todays Store Development: Maurice Little Todays Sales Manager: Chris McGaw Business Development Managers: Gerry Nelson, Martin Mullin S&W Team Managing Director: Mark Windebank Operations Director: Norman Savage IT Director: Richard Whitten Sales Director: John Whitten Trading Director: Alan Dorman Finance Director: Barry Duffy Warehouse Manager: Philip Hughes Marketing Manager: Julie Burden Transport Manager: Sean McNeill IT Manager: Conor Duffy HR Manager: Jill Cowan

Food Force Ireland Trading Controller: Debra Johnston T: 028 9092 3130 E:

TRADE ORGANISATIONS Dairy Council Northern Ireland Shaftesbury House, Edgewater Business Park, Belfast BT3 9JQ T: 028 9077 0113 F: 028 9078 1224 E: W:

Food NI Limited BELFAST MILLS 71-75 Percy Street Belfast BT13 2HW T: 028 90 249449 E: W: Facebook Food NI Twitter @Food_NI

Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland 10A - 10C Clarendon Road Belfast BT1 3BG T: 028 9041 7700 F: 028 9041 7726 E: W: Director: Maria Jennings



retailers guide THE LIVESTOCK AND MEAT COMMISSION (NI) Lissue House 31 Ballinderry Road Lisburn BT28 2SL T: 028 9263 3000 Chief Executive: Ian Stevenson

E: W: Twitter: @niirta Chief Executive: Glyn Roberts Office Manager: Lisa McMaster President: Paul Stewart, Chairman: Nigel Maxwell

National Federation of Retail Newsagents Yeoman House Sekforde Street London EC1R 0HF Head office: 0207-253-4225 NFRNHelpline: 0800-121-6376 W: Membership Services Manager: Angela Simpson E: District President: James Simpson Vice-President: Judy Mercer

Northern Ireland Pork & Bacon Forum 475 Antrim Road Belfast BT15 3DA T: 028 9037 0222 F: 028 9037 1231 E:

National Pharmacy Association 38-42 Peter’s Street St. Albans Hertfordshire AL1 3NP T: 01727 858687 F: 01727 840858 E: W: Chief Executive: Michael Holden

Petrol Retailers Association/ Retail Motor Industry Federation 201 Great Portland Street London WIW 5AB T: 020 7580 9122 F: 020 7307 3406 W: Membership Manager for PRA: Steve Coombe / 07831 373205

Northern Ireland Food Chain Certification Operations Centre Lissue House 31 Ballinderry Road Lisburn BT28 2SL T: 028 9263 3017 F: 028 9263 3003 E:

Northern Ireland Food & Drink Association Belfast Mills 71-75 Percy Street Belfast BT13 2HW T: 028 9024 1010 F: 028 9024 0500 E: W: Executive Director: Michael Bell PA to the Director: Joan Sherman

Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) 245 Upper Newtownards Road, Ballyhackamore Belfast BT4 3JF T: 028 9022 0004 F: 028 9022 0005 8 • •Ulster 3678 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

PERSONNEL: Chairman: Norman Robson Executive Director: Deirdre McIvor

Safefood 7 Eastgate Avenue Eastgate Little Island Co. Cork Ireland T: 00 353 21 230 4100 F: 00 353 21 230 4111 Helpline (NI): 0800 085 1683 E: W: Tweet us @safefoodnetwork Chief Executive: Martin Higgins

Ulster Chemists’ Association 5 Annadale Avenue Belfast BT7 3JH T: 028 9069 0456 F: 028 9069 0457 W: E: President: Jayne Laughlin (March 2014: Killian Johnston) Secretary: Adrienne Clugston


BRAND INDEX 1001 (Carpet Cleaner, Shampoo, All-Purpose Cleaner & Freshener) WD-40 Company Johnson Brothers 4Head Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd 7UP Britvic Ireland


Annabel Karmel Disney Snacks Annabel Karmel UB Foods Division Ariel Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Askeys SHS Astral Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Atrixo Beiersdorf UK Allegro NI Ltd

Airwick SHS

Aussie Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Autan SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd

Alberto Balsam Hair Products Johnson Brothers

Aveeno Skincare Johnson Brothers

Ace Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd

Always Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd


Ambi Pur Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Ame Britvic Ireland Amoy Coconut Milk HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct Amoy Soy Sauce HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct Amoy Straight to Wok Noodles HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct Amoy Straight to Wok Stir-Fry Sauces HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct

Bacardi & Cola Premix Cans BBF Bacardi Cuba Libre BBF Bacardi Gold Rum BBF Bacardi Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort Premix Can Range BBF Bacardi Mojito BBF Bacardi Oakheart BBF

Bacardi Razz Anadin BBF Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Johnson Brothers Bacardi Superior Rum BBF Andrews Flour Johnson Brothers Bacardi 8 Year Old Rum BBF Annabel Karmel Annabel Karmel Bachelors Canned Vegetable UB Foods Division SHS 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Bachelors Condensed Canned Soups SHS Bainne Ur Strathroy Dairy

Ballygowan Britvic Ireland Barry’s Tea Barry’s Tea UB Foods Division Bazooka Candy Brands Topps International UB Foods Division Bazuka Treatment Gel Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Benadryl Johnson Brothers Benylin Cough Syrup & Flu Remedies McNeill Products Johnson Brothers Besco Canned Fruit & Vegstables Johnson Brothers Distributing Besco Canned Tomatoes (Italian) Johnson Brothers Distribution Bic (Pens, Razors) Bic Ireland Johnson Brothers Blenders (Mayonnaise & Sauces) Blenders Limited Johnson Brothers Blistex Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Bloo SHS Blue Dragon (Stir-Fry Sauces, Cooking Sauces, Noodles, Condiment Sauces) A B World Foods Johnson Brothers Bold Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Bombay Sapphire BBF Bonduelle Bonduelle Ltd UB Foods Division Bonjela SHS 79


BRAND INDEX Bottle Green SHS Bramble Hill Fruit Juices Mulrines Brannigans KP Snacks Ltd Brasso SHS Braun Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Brazilian Corned Beef North Country Johnson Brothers Distributing Breezer Orange BBF Breezer Pineapple BBF Breezer Spritzer Peach BBF Breezer Spritzer Mixed Berry BBF Breezer Watermelon BBF Brennans Bread Joseph Brennan Bakeries Breville Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Brillo SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd

Carefree Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Carex Toiletries PZ Cussons UK Johnson Brothers Carroll Cuisine Cuisine de France Carr’s United Biscuits UK Ltd C&C Britvic Ireland Centrum Multivitamins Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Johnson Brothers Chambord BBF Chapstick Pfizer Consumer Healthcare Johnson Brothers Chewits SHS

Britvic 55 Britvic Ireland Butterkist Tangerine Confectionery Ltd UB Foods Division

C Calpol McNeill Products Johnson Brothers Calypso Soft Drinks Calypso Soft Drinks Ltd UB Foods Division 8 • •Ulster 3680 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Choc Dips KP Snacks Ltd Cidona Britvic Ireland Cilit Bang SHS

Club Orange Britvic Ireland Club Mixers Britvic Ireland Colgate SHS Colpermin Johnson Brothers Compeed Foot Care Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Cookeen SHS Cookstown Range Karro Food Group Crest Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Crisp & Dry Oils SHS Crosse & Blackwell Canned Soups SHS Crosse & Blackwell Canned Vegetables SHS Cuisine de France Cuisine de France Cussons (Toiletries) PZ Cussons UK Johnson Brothers

Citation Sweetcorn Johnson Brothers Distribution Clean & Clear Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Clear Blue Procter & Gamble Dale Farm Dale Farm Ltd Interactive (IRL.) Ltd





Danone SHS Daz Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Del Monte Del Monte Allegro NI Ltd Dentinox Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Dentyl Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Dettol SHS

E45 SHS Eco Logs Bord Na Mona Allegro NI Ltd Elastoplast Beiersdorf UK Allegro NI Ltd Energise Edge Britvic Ireland Energise Sport Britvic Ireland Erganagh Strathroy Dairy Ltd

Discos KP Snacks Ltd

Eristoff Vodka BBF

Disprin SHS

Eristoff Black BBF

Dorset Luxury Cereals (Muesli) Dorset Cereals Johnson Brothers Dreamland Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Dreft Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd

Eristoff Gold BBF Euthymol (Toothpaste) Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers

Durex SHS

F Fairy Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Farmlea SHS

Ferrara Pasta Johnson Brothers Distributing Finish SHS Finlandia Classic Vodka BBF Finlandia Cranberry BBF Finlandia Grapefruit BBF

Diabetic Jams Stute Foods Johnson Brothers

Dromona Dale Farm Ltd Duracell Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd

Febreze Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Fenjal Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd

Firelog Bord Na Mona Allegro NI Ltd Firepak Bord Na Mona Allegro NI Ltd Fixodent Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Flahavan’s E Flahavan & Sons Ltd UB Foods Division Flash Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Flora Oils SHS Frisps KP Snacks Ltd Fruitfield Preserves - Chef Sauces & Pickles Valeo Foods Ireland UB Foods Division Fruitfield Preserves - Old Time Irish Marmalades Valeo Foods Ireland UB Foods Division

G Gaviscon SHS 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011



BRAND INDEX Howell’s Handmade Irwin’s HP BBQ Sauce HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct HP Brown Sauce HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct HP Fruity Sauce HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct

Genesis Crafty Genesis Gentleman Jack BBF George Foreman Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Gillette Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Glade SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Gluten Free Biscuits (Kent & Fraser) Johnson Brothers Goddards SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Goddess Canned Tuna Johnson Borthers Dsitributing Grey Goose La Poire BBF Grey Goose Le Citron BBF Grey Goose L’Orange BBF Grey Goose Original BBF

H Harringtons Wagg Dog Foods UB Foods Division Harpic SHS Head & Shoulders Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Heinz Baby Cereals HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Heinz Baby Drinks HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Heinz Baby Fruity Custard Pots HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct 8 • •Ulster 3682 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Hunky Dorys Northern Snack Foods

Heinz Baby Mum’s Own Recipe HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct

Hula Hoops KP Snacks Ltd


Heinz Baby Snacks and Rusks HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Heinz Barbecue Sauce HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Heinz Beanz HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Heinz Mayonnaise HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct

Ibuleve Speed Relief Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Imodium Johnson Brothers Johnson & Johnson Imperial Leather (Luxury Soap & Toiletries) PZ Cussons UK Johnson Brothers

Heinz Salad Cream HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Infacare Procter & Gamble Heinz Soup HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Direct Irwin’s Heinz Tinned Pasta Irwin’s HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Heinz Tomato Ketchup HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Herbal Essence Procter & Gamble J. Cloth Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Hermesetas Sweeteners


Hermesetas Johnson Brothers

Jacaranda Canned Pineapple Johnson Brothers Distributing

Honeycomb Sparkle Mullins Johnson Brothers

Jack Daniel’s BBF

Hovis Premier Bakeries Ireland

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel BBF


BRAND INDEX Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey BBF Jacob’s Club United Biscuits (UK) Ltd Jacob’s Its Just Coffee W & R Jacob & Co (NI) Ltd UB Foods Division

Just for Men Combe International Johnson Brothers Just Juice Del Monte Allegro NI Ltd


Jaffa Gold Grapefruit Segments (Canned) Johnson Brothers Distributing Jaffa Gold Juice Drinks Mulrines Jameson’s Tangerine Confectionery Ltd UB Foods Division Jeyes SHS Johnson Baby Johnson Brothers Johnson & Johnson Adult Skincare Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Johnsons Coffee Johnson Brothers Direct Jordans SHS Jucee SHS Juice Press Range of Premium Juices and Smoothies Mulrines

Kandee Sauce Products Mulrines Kent & Fraser (Gluten Free Biscuits) Johnson Brothers King Crisps Northern Snack foods Kiwi Sara Lee Allegro NI Ltd Knorr Pasteria/Soups Unilever Johnson Brothers KP Nuts KP Snacks Ltd Kulana Pure Fruit Juices Mulrines

Lindt Bear Lindt & Sprungli Ltd Lindt Excellence Lindt & Sprungli Ltd Lindt Gold Bunny Lindt & Sprungli Ltd Lindt Lindor Lindt & Sprungli Ltd Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection Lindt & Sprungli Ltd Listerine Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Loseley Dale Farm Ltd Lotus Biscuits Johnson Brothers Loving Care Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Lypsyl SHS

Kulana Fruit Juices (Tetra Packs) Johnson Brothers Distributing


K Y Jelly Johnson Brothers

L La Brea Bakery Cuisine de France Lasting Colour Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce HJ Heinz Company (Ireland) Ltd Direct Lees Macaroons, Snowballs, Teacakes & Confectionery Lee’s of Scotland Johnson Brothers 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Lemsip SHS Lenor Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd

Maguire & Patterson SHS Mars Milk Drinks SHS Marigold SHS Martini Asti BBF Martini Bianco BBF Martini Extra Dry BBF Martini Prosecco BBF Martini Rosato BBF 83




Morning Fresh (Wash-Up) PZ Cussons UK Johnson Brothers Mortons Flour Andrews Flour Johnson Brothers Mothers Pride Premier Bakeries Ireland

Martini Rose BBF Martini Rosso BBF

Mr Muscle SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Mr Sheen SHS

Max Factor Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd McCoy’s Crisps KP Snacks Ltd McGee’s Butcher Karro Food Group McNamee’s Cuisine de France McVitie’s Chocolate Digestive United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Digestives United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Go Ahead! United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Hob Nobs United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Medley United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Mini Cheddars United Biscuits (UK) Ltd McVitie’s Penguin United Biscuits (UK) Ltd MiWadi Britvic Ireland

Napolina SHS


Neutrogena Johnson Brothers New York Bagels Really Good (QVS) Ltd Nice n’ Easy Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Nice n’ Easy Root Touch Up Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Nicorette NRT McNeill Products Johnson Brothers

O’Donnells Northern Snack Foods

Olay Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Old Spice Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Oral-B Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Original Source Johnson Brothers Ormo Premier Bakeries Ireland Otex Express Dendron Ltd Allegro NI Ltd Otis Spunkmeyer Cuisine de France Oust SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Oxley Gin BBF


Nik Naks KP Snacks Ltd Nivea Beiersdorf UK Allegro NI Ltd Nivea for Men Beiersdorf UK Allegro NI Ltd Noilly Prat Dry BBF Nurofen SHS

Palmolive SHS Pampers Kandoo Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Pampers Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Pantene Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Parazone SHS Parsons SHS

8 • •Ulster 3684 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011


BRAND INDEX Rea Valley Meats (Canned) Johnson Brothers Distributing Reach Floss Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers Reach Toothbrushes Johnson Brothers Really Good Bakery Products Really Good (QVS) Ltd Remington Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Robinsons Britvic Ireland Robinsons Fruit Shoot Britvic Ireland Rowan Glen Dale Farm Ltd Roysters KP Snacks Ltd Russell Hobbs Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Pasta (Ferrara) Johnson Brothers Distributing Patak (Spices, Indian Sauces etc.) A B World Foods Johnson Brothers Pearl Drops (Tooth Powder) Church & Dwight Johnson Brothers Pepto-Bismol Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Pepsi Britvic Ireland

Pledge SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Primula SHS

Princess Tangerine Confectionery Ltd UB Foods Division Pringles Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd


Phileas Fogg KP Snacks Ltd

Pink & White Wafers Johnson Brothers Piz Buin (In Sun Lotion) Johnson & Johnson Johnson Brothers 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011


Princes Food & Drink SHS

Perfect 10 Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd

Pierre’s Cuisine De France

Ryvita SHS

Raid SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd

St Dalfour 100% Fruit Spreads Johnson Brothers (Distributing) Limited Sanex SHS Sanyo Interactive (Irl) Ltd Savlon SHS Schwartz for Chef McCormick Food Services Johnson Brothers

Ramon Household Gloves Johnson Brothers

Seabond Combe International Johnson Brothers

Rankin Selection Irwin’s

Seuekot SHS



BRAND INDEX Strathroy Strathroy Dairy Ltd Strathroy Milk & Cream Really Good (QVS) Ltd Strepsils SHS Stute Extra Jams Johnson Brothers Sudafed Johnson Brothers

Sunstream Splash Pouch Drinks Mulrines Superglo Firelighters Allegro NI Ltd

T Shloer SHS Shockwaves Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Shout SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Silverleaf Canned Fruit Johnson Brothers Distributing Silvikrin Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Silvo SHS Simple (Toiletries and Beauty Products) Johnson Brothers Skips KP Snacks Ltd SMA Milk and Baby Formula & Readyto-Feed Johnson Brothers Soft & Gentle SHS Southern Comfort BBF Southern Comfort Cherry BBF 8 • •Ulster 3686 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Southern Comfort Lime BBF Space Raiders KP Snacks Ltd Speedicook Porridge Johnson Brothers Distributing Spelga Dale Farm Ltd Spontex Spontex Allegro NI Ltd St Germain BBF Steradent SHS

T-Gel Hair Care Johnson Brothers Tampax Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Tangerine Confectionery Tangerine Confectionery Ltd UB Foods Division Thermacare Johnson Brothers Distributing Tim Hortons Cuisine de France Toilet Duck SC Johnson Allegro NI Ltd Tresemme Hair Products Johnson Brothers


BRAND INDEX Weight Watchers from Heinz Baked Beans HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct Weight Watchers from Heinz Frozen Ready Meals HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct Weight Watchers from Heinz Soup HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct

Tuaca BBF Tunnocks SHS


Weight Watchers from Heinz Tinned Pasta HJ Heinz Company Ireland Ltd Direct Wella Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd White’s (Cereals) White’s Speedicook Ltd Windolene SHS Woodwards Gripe Water SHS Woodford Reserve BBF

Valley Gold Diabetic Jams Valley Gold Allegro NI Ltd Vanish SHS Velvet Crunch Northern Snack Foods Vicks Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd VO5 Hair Products Johnson Brothers

W Wagg Wagg Dog Foods UB Foods Division Wash & Go Procter & Gamble Interactive (IRL.) Ltd Weight Watchers Bread Joseph Brennan Bakeries 8 36• •Ulster UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011



Harrods listing for Good Food and Wine Company


rtisan supplier The Good Food and Wine Company is supplying its ‘Hot Toddy’ non-alcoholic spiced apple juice to Harrods in London. Invest Northern Ireland helped the Coleraine-based business secure the deal through a Meet the Buyer event it hosted in London. Nicholas Lestas, who formed The Good Food and Wine Company in 2011 with wife Michelle, said: “Winning this important business with such a prestigious retailer as Harrods is a massive boost for the company and gives us a platform from which to market other food and drink from our range that includes smoked salmon, juices, condiments and our unique jams. “The deal follows extensive discussions with Harrods over the past few months. Invest NI’s encouragement and introduction to a buyer from Harrods was extremely important in enabling us to reach a key decision maker quickly.” The Good Food and Wine Company won Great Taste Awards for several products last year, while other recent business included a pop-up shop selling its range of Christmas hampers in the Departures Lounge at the George Best Belfast City Airport and in stores at the Titanic Building. The company also provided smoked salmon with Irish whiskey and blackberry jam with 23 carat gold for a St Patrick’s Day celebratory lunch at the Irish Embassy in Brasilia last year, attended by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness. “This is an immensely encouraging success for a small and ambitious company that is keen to grow its business outside Northern Ireland,” said Dr Vicky Kell, trade director for Invest NI. “Our Meet the Buyer events help companies to benefit from the relationships that we have developed with key decision makers in major retailers in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland and further afield. This success is an example of how companies prepared to present products professionally, follow up business leads generated as quickly as practicable and allocate the required time and effort to secure the contract can achieve success and win new business.” The company has received a range of support from Invest NI, including R&D assistance for product development, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, an Innovation Voucher, technical advice and marketing support.

8 • •Ulster 3688 UlsterGrocer Grocer| JANUARY | JANUARY2011 2011

Finnebrogue targets GB market with £3m investment D

ownpatrick-based venison and pork producer Finnebrogue is investing £3m in new facilities and marketing activities with the aim of doubling its export sales. The investment will also create 65 new jobs. The GB market is a particular focus for the business, which already supplies its premium lines to M&S, Asda and Waitrose on the mainland. Products supplied by Finnebrogue include Rankin Selection Sausages stocked by Waitrose in GB and Tesco NI, and premium own-label sausages in UK and Ireland M&S including organic chipolata sausages, venison sausages and innovative flavours such as Beef and Tewkesbury Mustard Sausages. Recruitment for the new posts, which include several at managerial level, is already underway and scheduled for completion by the end of March. The company has also acquired new Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster is pictured with Finnebrogue Managing Director Denis Lynn, announcing production facilities. £3m investment and 65 new jobs for the business. “We are making what is an important strategic investment for the business in response to demand from our existing and potential customers in Britain,” said Denis Lynn, managing director of Finnebrogue. “Over the last number of years we have seen significant increases in demand for our premium pork products. The company currently employs 115 people and this investment will see that number rise to 180. “Our success is based on the strength of relationships which we have with retailers in a fast growing industry. Our business is growing strongly because of this commitment to anticipate and respond quickly to market trends and opportunities. Over the past three years, we’ve achieved annual growth of around 30%. “The expansion will provide the additional capacity we need to build upon our success in terms of new product development and sales outside Northern Ireland. While our main focus remains on Great Britain, we have pinpointed significant opportunities in other markets and are keen to exploit these in order to achieve even faster growth.” The expansion is being assisted by Invest Northern Ireland. Finnebrogue is the trading name for Lynn’s Country Foods, which was listed last month in a London Stock Exchange Group report on 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain. The list featured ‘a celebration of some of some of the fastest growing and most dynamic small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK’.

New listings with Tesco GB for Tasty Foods T

asty Foods Cuisine, a Dunmurry-based manufacturer of convenience meals and sauces, has gained a listing in almost 250 Tesco stores in GB for its Authentic Curry Paste and Authentic Gravy Paste. Chef Conor Daykin founded Tasty Foods with wife Kathy in 1990, to develop a range of quality convenience foods including sauces and pies. “The new business in Britain builds on our relationship with Tesco Northern Ireland over many years,” said Daykin. “With help and encouragement from the Tesco team here, we were introduced to the key buyer from the supermarket’s team at its Cheshunt headquarters and given the opportunity to present a number of our products. “As a result of this presentation, Tesco GB listed two of our sauce pastes and these were on the shelves from 1 January. This is an immensely encouraging development for us and will provide a platform for continued growth of the business especially in Britain; a key target market for us in 2014. “We believe that there are significant opportunities there for our portfolio of premium quality foods which are based on our own recipes and use only the best available ingredients.” Tasty Foods employs around 30 people at a purpose built 10,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Glenview Business Park. The company has achieved British Retail Consortium Grade A accreditation, operates from an EEC-approved factory and uses the Food Standard Agency’s Traffic Light System on all its packaging. In addition to Tesco, the company supplies products to Asda, Sainsbury’s, Musgrave/SuperValu and Spar in Northern Ireland. The product range includes concentrated sauces, traditional homemade pies, quality beef lasagne, ready meals, fresh homemade soups, garlic breads and Irish stew.


Selfridges stocks Bruce’s Hill Irish Dexter Beef A

ward-winning Antrim-based beef farmer and processor Bruce’s Hill Cattle Company has secured a contract to supply Selfridges in London with its grass-fed meat. The business sources meat from its own Dexter herds on four farms covering more than 800 acres, and has won a series of UK Great Taste Awards for its steaks. “This is a very significant step forward not only for the business but also for the Irish Dexter breed which, 30 years ago, only existed in Belfast Zoo,” said Mike Frazer, managing director of Bruce’s Hill. “The deal with Selfridges in London’s Oxford Street is an immensely significant breakthrough for us in high-end retailing in Britain and follows hard on the heels of our link up with celebrity chef James Martin, who featured the beef in his recent Food Map of Britain BBC TV series and is now serving it in his restaurants. “Coverage on television led to a host of inquiries from companies and individuals wishing to buy our beef. Among those inquiries

was an approach from the meat supplier to Selfridges. Subsequent discussions led to a contract for our Dexter beef to the meat counter at Selfridges under our own Bruce’s Hill, Co. Antrim brand. “This is tremendous exposure for us. As well as the Dexter beef, we are talking to them about supplying speciality meat from our Belted Galloway cattle. Our business strategy is to expand business in Britain for our Dexter and Beltie speciality beef. “The contract for Dexter beef has also encouraged us to set up an initial supplier group of six local farmers to provide animals for us to finish on our farms.” The quality of Bruce’s Hill’s meat produced from its Dexter, Angus and Belted Galloway animals has been recognised by judges at the Royal Welsh and Royal Balmoral shows. “We’ve got exceptional products and a tremendous story to tell, the sort of heritage and provenance which UK consumers are seeking increasingly,” said Frazer.

Antrim Hills artesian water destined for China


allyclare-based Antrim Hills Spring Water has signed a new export deal with a Chinese distributor, at an estimated value of £500,000 this year alone. Antrim Hills will supply its artesian Water Within and Drip’n’ Drop brands to Hanscent, a leading distributor with bases in Shanghai and Ningbo after meeting at the Hotel China trade show last year. “This is an immensely important contract for the business because it gives us a very strong presence in a marketplace where demand for premium quality water is developing very strongly because of concerns about water quality there,” said Peter Geary, operations director at Antrim Hills Spring Water. “Our objective is to build on this business by working closely with the distributor to develop further opportunities in this very exciting market. “Taking part in Hotel China enabled us to meet and show our products to Hanscent, a leading distribution business which has bases in Shanghai and Ningbo and services customers in many parts of China. “Discussions about the contract began at the show and led to an initial agreement to supply water for Hanscent’s premium business and retail clients in key centres. “What helped win the business for us is our artesian spring well which provides all the water for our extensive range of 100% natural spring and flavoured products. The water from our unique artesian well is naturally filtered by the basalt rock formations of Co Antrim and bottled by us without any additives whatsoever.” Founded in 1989, Antrim Spring Water is a family-owned and managed business, which currently employs 12 people in a state-ofthe-art processing plant near Ballyclare. The company supplies natural spring and flavoured water to major retailers in GB and other international markets. It has also developed a sports drink.

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Bruce’s Hill Cattle Company sources meat from its own Dexter herds.

Foster urges businesses to explore Middle East opportunities E

nterprise Minister Arlene Foster visited the SEAFEX exhibition in Dubai in late 2013, with the aim of encouraging local companies to investigate business opportunities in new markets. Speaking to Northern Ireland food companies exhibiting at SEAFEX, the Minister urged both experienced exporters, and those looking at exporting for the first time, to investigate business opportunities in new rapidly growing markets. Foster also congratulated Lisburn-based Lowe Refrigeration, a supplier of both cold and hot equipment for corporate catering, on its recent export successes in the Gulf. “Lowe’s achievements in the Emirates are the outcome of a strategic approach to this important market,” said the Minister. “After completing market development work, the company decided to open a new office and distribution facility in Dubai for the region. “As a result of this focus, Lowe is now the main supplier of refrigerated display cabinets at renowned international exhibitions SEAFEX and Gulfood. The company, for instance, is providing 500 units to Gulfood; now one of the world’s biggest food and drink exhibitions.” Lowe has also received advice and practical support from Invest NI’s Dubai team over the past five years.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, pictured with Andrew Rooney, managing partner of Kilkeel-based Rooney Fish, recently visited the SEAFEX exhibition in Dubai to encourage local companies to investigate business opportunities in new markets. Seafood imports by the region are estimated at an annual $100m.



For van-tastic deals on wheels, Donnelly’s will deliver


ur van customers are important to us whether they are a one van man or a business,” said Terence Donnelly, managing director of the Donnelly Group. “The humble work van forms the backbone of our country. Without commercial vehicles making deliveries, day and night, throughout the roads of Northern Ireland, our province would grind to a halt. “We’re as passionate about our business as you are about yours. “As the largest retailer of vans and pick-ups in Northern Ireland, the Donnelly Group can cater to the needs of all business and retail customers by offering a huge selection of quality new and used commercial vehicles at the best value.” “With seven sites in Belfast, Ballymena, Dungannon, Dungannon M1, Eglinton, Enniskillen and Mallusk, Donnelly’s stock affordable new and used vans from Citroën, Fiat Professional, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Toyota, Vauxhall and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. “All of our manufacturers offer vans of all sizes; from the compact Citroën Nemo to the huge VW Transporter, we have the van to suit your needs. We will supply any van at any branch to both retail and business customers.” “The Donnelly Group is a family run business and we pride ourselves on the quality of service provided to every customer throughout the entire process of matching them to a van that suits their needs, requirements and budget. “For Donnelly customers, this excellent service continues long after purchase as our dedicated after sales team continue to offer advice and support, providing assistance with maintenance, servicing and repair work.” Another part of the Donnelly Group is Taxi & Bus Conversions (TBC), Northern Ireland’s leading specialist vehicle converter.


Their services include: crew van conversions, ply-lining, refrigeration installation and other specialist conversions. So, to see a van-tastic range of vehicles, van-tastic deals, van-tastic conversions and van-tastic service, you can rely on the Donnelly Group to deliver. For more information about their van range, visit their website or call in to any Donnelly Group branch and speak to a commercial specialist.


Chicken features on bank’s menu for growth By Brian McCalden From left, Brian McCalden of Ulster Grocer is pictured with William Thompson, agri manager NI at the Bank of Ireland UK and Taryn McHenry of the Ulster Farmers’ Union at the event.


rospects for the coming New Year are good, according to a senior banking executive. The agri-food industry is topping a list of potential growth sectors identified by the Bank of Ireland for 2014, with a recent briefing for journalists expanding on the reasoning for this positive view. William Thompson, the agri manager at the bank said that while discretionary spending remains constrained, and many farmers continue to be ‘challenged’ by a hangover from difficult trading conditions in 2012 and thanks to the harsh weather in 2013, returns looked encouraging. “Farmers need to focus on aspects of their business within their control and strive to increase profit margins through technical efficiency. Looking ahead, all signs in the short term are positive. However, everyone is aware of the volatile nature of this sector; therefore it is always important to plan for the worst and hope for the best. That said, the senior executive pointed out that Bank of Ireland had continued to play an instrumental role with both Government and major processors, such as Moy Park on the implementation of its Agri Food Loan Scheme. “Bank of Ireland has a strong appetite to

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

work with the poultry sector and had been delighted to welcome growers who supply Moy Park to a seminar in Ballymena to encourage applications to the bank’s £50m fund in support of their businesses,” he said. “Bank of Ireland is pleased to see that the recently published ‘Growth for Action’ plan is now being implemented.” Also speaking at the briefing event, economist Alan Bridle underlined the positives and said that new car sales in Northern Ireland, for example, were up by 12%, and said this was a good indicator of post recession stability. “Economic confidence can be both fragile and infectious,” said Bridle. “At present, we are catching some of the favourable winds blowing across the Irish Sea from the more robust GB market and this augurs well for a modest pick-up in the region’s growth during 2014 and further stabilising in property and labour markets.” “Typically, the biggest beneficiaries in early stage recovery are medium to larger companies with stronger balance sheets and diversified external markets. For domesticonly firms with local customer bases, it may not feel much like a recovery in 2014 as discretionary spending will remain constrained.

“The UK political and financial landscape is entering a period of heightened uncertainty in 2014 and Northern Ireland business and consumers should have more than a passing interest in the outcome of the Scottish Question”. He also noted a strong demand for credit in the second half of 2013, with the agri-food sector again near the top of the list of such forward-looking companies: “Indeed, across all businesses in Northern Ireland, over three quarters were reporting either stabilisation or growth in their individual business prospects.” Bank of Ireland UK hosted the seminar for members of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists to mark the end of a successful Enterprise Week themed Building Business Momentum. Throughout the week, Bank of Ireland UK played host to a series of events across Northern Ireland, including a number of agri-food seminars involving key stakeholders from the supply chain. “We were delighted once again to welcome this very important industry group and to have the opportunity to re-iterate Bank of Ireland UK’s strategic commitment to the Agri-Food sector in Northern Ireland,” said Ian Sheppard, head of Business & Corporate Banking NI for Bank of Ireland UK. 91

BUSINESS PROFILE Abbey Bond Lovis has enjoyed success since being founded in 2004, working with many high profile clients. Boyd says the broker remains focused on winning business from more of Northern Ireland’s top companies. “We continue to look for growth in the corporate sector. In addition, we remain strong in terms of clientele in the SME sector and are equally committed to this important area of our business. But we see more rapid growth in the corporate sector, those top 100 or 200 companies who might traditionally have gone with a national broker,” says Maurice.

A growing footprint Commercial insurance brokers and risk advisors Abbey Bond Lovis are ramping up their coverage of the regions in Northern Ireland while also winning more large corporate customers. Managing Director Maurice Boyd tells Ulster Grocer about the firm’s plans for the future.


hen a company reveals plans to move to a bigger office, you can normally take it as read that business is going well. That’s certainly the case for Abbey Bond Lovis, the independent commercial insurance broker, which has been steadily gaining a larger share of the corporate market over the past few years. The growth in business enjoyed by the firm has seen its staff numbers rise to 114, giving it the largest on-the-ground workforce of any commercial insurance broker in Northern Ireland. That growth has led to the need for further physical expansion and the company has taken the bold step of committing to move from its current Head Office to new premises, the former NSPCC building in Jennymount Business Park in Belfast. Maurice Boyd, managing director of Abbey Bond Lovis, says staff will move into the new site in around six months after an extensive refurbishment of the offices. “The move will give us double the space we have currently, allowing room for growth. It is a bit of a statement of intent from us, to show that we’re here for the long term and that we intend to remain serious players in this market,” he says. The new glass fronted offices will give the company its own reception to greet clients, meeting rooms for client reviews and, by remaining outside the city centre, will also have the added benefit of providing them with free parking. 92

REGIONAL REACH One of the key selling points which Abbey Bond Lovis believes sets it apart from its competitors in the commercial broking sector is the availability of its services in key regional hubs. As well as its head office in Belfast, the firm is investing in its offices in Mid Ulster and the North West to ensure all the resources it has centrally are on offer to clients around the province who want to speak with their broker closer to home. The decision to invest in these regional offices came about after the senior leadership team undertook a strategic review and analysed the market to see if it could improve its service offering. “We don’t believe a centralised approach is the way forward so what we have done is put a director in these offices to ensure there’s a senior presence to drive the business forward. It is a strong commitment to the local area and it means that whether you are a large corporate business or a smaller regional customer, you’ll get the same service from each office” says Maurice. “It is a big change and a big challenge but it is another area that sets us apart from our competitors. We can do all we need to from the regional offices without someone having to come to Belfast. We’re offering a corporate and SME service but with local representation.” Abbey Bond Lovis intends to double the size of its Coleraine office and is already recruiting new staff under the direction of director Gary Crabbe. The Armagh office, headed up by fellow director Lesley-Ann Starrett, has just undergone a similar review and will be adopting the same approach to linking regional and local business. Showing how confident he is in the strategy, Maurice says the company plans to look at the possibility of expanding to other regional centres in the near future. “I wouldn’t rule out an office in another location as we believe this approach will really work for us,” he said. SERVICE SKILLS Maurice Boyd is hopeful that Abbey Bond Lovis’ investment in its offices will show both the wider business community and its own staff that the directors are committed to driving the business forward. It’s a company that also invests in its staff, with bespoke individual training plans in place for every staff member, from receptionist to managing director. The MD says a lot of the training revolves around the softer skills needed to make sure the company is looking after its customers. “As a business grows, it is easy to take your eye off the ball. We’re determined not to do that,” he says. “You have to work hard to build relationships with clients and potential clients. Northern Ireland business people are cautious by nature so we’re focused on developing deeper relationships with people across the province.” Boyd stresses the company’s independence which means that, unlike rival brokers owned by big parent companies, it doesn’t have to get decisions approved through London or Dublin or further afield. “That’s important because we can make quick decisions for our clients’ business and our own. We’re very fast moving and clients like that,” says Maurice. “When it comes to insurance, yes, price is important, but clients equally demand quality service. We’re committed to delivering that quality.”


Hunger for Growth Grant Thornton helps Northern Ireland food and drink businesses feed their appetite for success. Charlie Kerlin


he food and beverage (F&B) industry is poised for growth around the globe. After years of uncertainty, retrenchment and delayed investments, industry executives are once again looking to invest in new products, new capacity, new distribution channels and new markets. Business and financial advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP believes that the Northern Ireland market is well positioned to take advantage of this optimism within the sector. They understand that many businesses require help and support in order to make the best strategic decisions to move their business forward, address challenges and minimise risks. Reviewing the attitude within the sector in the last 12 months of activities, Grant Thornton’s recent Hunger for Growth study found that when UK respondents were asked about whether either cost reduction or growth was most important over the next year, seven out of ten reported growth, with much of this optimism being driven by export opportunities. The study also showed that UK F&B businesses are planning to increase investment in facilities, equipment, IT and product development over the next 12 months. These are all positive signs, although potential barriers to growth remain – UK respondents cited raw material price increases as the biggest challenge in the year ahead and while increasing work forces is a lower priority – recruiting, retaining and reinvesting in the right staff is key. Charlie Kerlin, head of corporate finance and the F&B team at Grant Thornton in Belfast, tells the Ulster Grocer how he believes Northern Ireland businesses are well positioned to utilise this increasing level of confidence and overcome the challenges ahead. “We have found that performance in the F&B sector has been better this year, as a result of prices stabilising globally; which in turn helped lessen the damage caused by the horsemeat scandal in February and the heavy snow in quarter two,” he says. “In fact the horsemeat scandal has

presented the market with some opportunity for growth, by bringing to light the need for better traceability and sourcing of produce. The demand for locally-grown produce has significantly increased, presenting new sales channels for businesses and the need for more streamline supply chains. “As Jim Menzies, global leader for Grant Thornton Food and Beverage, points out in the Hunger for Growth report: ‘the industry faces stringent food safety, supply chain traceability, and product integrity regulations. Yet these new regulations will have a positive impact on businesses, as it allows them to promote compliance and create a competitive differentiator’. “Improving, but still relatively weak, consumer confidence will continue to be a factor in the industry, hindering domestic industry growth and resulting in a shift in consumer wants and needs; a shift that is here to stay for the foreseeable future, meaning that organisations in the sector have to adapt to capitalise on these changing goal posts,” says Charlie. “As a result, the relationship companies have with consumers is evolving. While the voice of the customer has always been important, it is the retailers who have become significantly more demanding and powerful. Is your product gluten free, organic? Was it produced in an environmentally responsible way? How are your products prepared, packaged, and shipped? Never before have F&B companies been subject to this level of scrutiny from customers and consumers.” As a result, a wave of significant change is moving through the industry, redefining how companies grow, operate and manage risk. Rapidly advancing technology is driving much of the transformation, providing opportunities to better understand and engage with consumers through digital channels and social media. However, technology does not come without challenges, exposing companies to new areas of risk and vulnerability. “Most leaders realise that technology and innovation is paramount to driving growth and enhancing customer engagement,”

adds Charlie. “In this customer-driven environment, data and analytics are proving to be increasingly valuable. F&B companies are taking note. In addition to obtaining customer insight, companies are leveraging data and analytics to support brand and product management, to make decisions on pricing, and to drive operational excellence.” The Hunger for Growth Report also demonstrates a growing belief that innovation is the key to success for food and beverage organisations, from continually evolving products to identifying more effective ways to run their business and creatively building relationships with consumers and defining their brand through the use of technology. Each company’s unique culture will determine how well they respond to today’s rapidly and dynamically changing food and beverage industry environment. “It can seem daunting for businesses to embrace these types of future decisions,” says Charlie. “But at Grant Thornton, we pride ourselves on being able to guide organisations through these challenges and counsel on the best way forward. With in-house expertise and years of experience, our team can help Northern Ireland businesses within the sector gain the knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to sort through today’s complex business problems and exploring visible options. By developing insights into industry trends and approaching market opportunities with a fresh perspective, we offer companyspecific guidance that helps our clients become or remain market leaders.”

The full Hunger for Growth report is available at Contact Charlie Kerlin on 028 9031 6510 or 93

email: email.


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INsee ASSOCIATION to your product featured on shelflife, contact LAURA GIRVAN at WITH or call 028 9078 3245

Rustlers launch two pub menu limited editions H

ot, Quick & Tasty category specialist Kepak Convenience Foods is building on its track record of successful NPD with the launch of two limited editions. The Rustlers Pub Menu range comprises Rustlers Beef & Pepper Sauce and Rustlers Chicken & Stuffing Mayo and will be available from January 2014. John Armstrong, Kepak’s marketing director says: “The Rustlers Pub Menu range takes inspiration from traditional pub classics that our consumers know and love, delivering tasty favourites at great value. “The £1 price point on the Rustlers Pub Menu range provides consumers with excellent value for money and encourages current consumers to increase their frequency of purchase as they like to try new products. “It will also encourage trial of the brand with new consumers adding significant incremental sales to the category. Recent limited editions have resulted in incremental category sales of 98% and we’re confident that the new range will have the same impact.”

For more information visit

Bloo toilet care launches new antibacterial cages B

loo, the fastest growing brand in toilet care[1], is bringing significant investment and driving consumer interest in the category with a major brand re-launch incorporating: new products; new technical innovation; and a striking packaging re-design. All of this will be supported by an £2m above the line marketing campaign across TV, digital and PR. Bloo is bringing major innovation to the category with the introduction of the market’s first antibacterial cages, available across the entire Bloo rim range. The unique innovation uses silver ion technology to ensure rims are kept hygienic and germ free. The new Bloo packaging is designed to increase shelf stand out and communicate that Bloo cleans with every flush. Yvonne Adam, Marketing Director at Jeyes, comments: “Currently worth £229m[1] and growing by 1%[1], toilet care is a key category in household. Bloo is the fastest growing brand in this category with growth outstripping the rest of the market, increasing by 7% in the last year[1]. [1] Up 7% in MAT terms – IRI data to 5 Oct 2013.

White’s Oats reveals 1 in 2 eat breakfast at work N

orthern Ireland porridge brand ‘digs in’ to the nation’s breakfast habits. Almost half of Northern Ireland’s working professionals eat the most important meal of the day at their desk according to a survey commissioned by local cereal producer White’s Oats. An overwhelming 92% of the working professionals surveyed confirmed they do eat breakfast which was welcomed by White’s Oats, yet, while tea and toast was the most popular breakfast at home, porridge was the preferred choice of more than one in four at work. White’s Oats partnered with the global initiative The Work Perk to reward 50,000 working professionals across Northern Ireland and Great Britain with delicious samples of its Toat’ly Oaty Instant Porridge and in doing so surveyed the pool of recipients. Made with 100% wholegrain jumbo oats and nothing artificial, Toat’ly Oaty comes in handy microwaveable sachets which take just two and half minutes making it ideal for busy professionals who are always on the go. Porridge is certainly a popular breakfast choice for working professionals with 45% of office workers in Northern Ireland eating

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porridge at least once a week and 29% eating it either daily or 2-3 times per week. In GB an even greater proportion of those surveyed, at 61%, eat breakfast at work compared to 54% in Northern Ireland. Once again porridge is the top breakfast at work choice as revealed by 29% of GB respondents, followed by cereal at 22% and tea and toast at 21%. Commenting on the findings, Danielle McBride, brander manager, White’s Oats added: “We’re delighted to learn that porridge is not just a popular at home breakfast choice but also a popular option among working professionals in Northern Ireland.”



This month, trade people speaks to Niall Delargy, owner of Ballyeamon Eggs.


WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL BACKGROUND AND HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH YOUR CURRENT COMPANY? As a young man in my late teens/early 20s I spent about five years of life working and travelling around the world before returning to the family farm. After a couple of years of sheep farming in the Antrim hills, I started producing freerange eggs. I was keen to get into farming and started off with only 12 hens which were kept in a shed and that is how the business started. Small beginnings I know but you have to start somewhere. Fifteen years down the track, this is now the mainstay of the family farm. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER? Mostly, I enjoy the relative flexibility of being my own boss. However, as anyone in the agrifood sector will tell you, there aren’t many days you can really call your own. GREATEST FRUSTRATION IN YOUR DAILY WORKING LIFE? I really like what I do. My frustrations are very trivial like traffic issues or weather related. March last year was a month I’d prefer to forget but never will. The snow caused one of my poultry houses and egg packing facilities to collapse but I did manage to keep the business running. FIRST LESSON YOU LEARNED IN BUSINESS? If you wouldn’t buy it or eat it, don’t expect someone else to. If it’s not right, it won’t do. FUTURE PLANS FOR YOUR COMPANY? To continue to grow and to develop our business and products in line with consumer trends. Currently most of our supply/demand is to local businesses within Northern Ireland and we are keen to expand and develop our business further. We are always interested in talking to all types of businesses about stocking our eggs and the advantages of trading with Ballyeamon Eggs. HOW DO YOU SEE THE LOCAL RETAIL SECTOR CHANGING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS? I see trends towards on-line grocery shopping continuing to grow but not at the rate they have over the past five years. Smaller retailers are now fighting back with better quality produce at really good prices, fresh ideas and that good old-fashioned personal touch. 95


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Stephanie Ingram Dairy Council appoints sports and exercise nutritionist The Dairy Council for Northern Ireland has announced the appointment of Sports and Exercise Nutritionist Stephanie Ingram, who will be responsible for developing a programme to promote the benefits of milk and dairy products and an active lifestyle among post-primary school pupils across Northern Ireland. Stephanie has a Masters in Sports and Exercise Stephanie Ingram is pictured, centre, being congratulated by Nutrition and is a Graduate member of the Dr Mike Johnston, chief executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, and Carole Lowis, Dairy Council nutritionist, Sports and Exercise Nutrition Register. after being recently appointed as sports and exercise “I am delighted to be working with the Dairy nutritionist. Council team to develop an innovative and engaging programme to educate young people about the importance of nutrition in an active lifestyle, and the potential role of milk and dairy products within this,” she said. “It is essential that we equip young people with the knowledge and tools needed to adopt healthy behaviours and foster a healthy attitude towards nutrition and physical activity from childhood and throughout their adult lives.” Dr Mike Johnston, chief executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland, said: “The Dairy Council remains firmly committed to promoting the nutritional value of milk in Northern Ireland and Stephanie is the ideal person to help us to communicate to teenagers about the importance of milk for sports and a healthy, active routine. “Stephanie’s role will be in addition to our existing Food and Fitness programme in primary schools and our Young Cook of the Year competition in post primary schools as part of our strategy of educating all young people about the key role of milk and the wide range of essential nutrients that it provides.” Amy Kelly Mackle Petfoods appoints new product development officer

Pictured, from left, are new Product Development Officer Amy Kelly and Engineering Manager Pascal McCaffrey who, along with Quality Assistant Briege McNamee (not pictured) each achieved a Distinction in the Level 3 Award in HACCP for Food Manufacturing.

Mackle Petfoods has appointed a new Product Development Officer Amy Kelly who, alongside two colleagues, has received a Distinction in the Level 3 Award in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) for Food Manufacturing. HACCP provides an effective and practicable management tool for identifying food safety hazards, and ensuring that adequate controls are in place. The Level 3 qualification covers the importance of HACCP-based food safety management procedures, the preliminary processes for HACCP-based procedures, development of the procedures, monitoring of critical control points and corrective actions and the evaluation of the procedures. Holders of the qualification will have the appropriate knowledge and understanding to be an integral part of a HACCP team and to supervise the implementation of a HACCP-based system in the work environment.

Tullamore D.E.W. appoints new global brand director William Grant & Sons has announced the appointment of Caspar MacRae as the new global brand director for Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey. Tullamore D.E.W. is the second largest Irish whiskey brand in the world, selling more than 850,000 cases annually worldwide. The brand has achieved significant growth worldwide in recent years with growth of over 20% per annum in the US market alone. Prior to his recent appointment, Caspar was vice-president of marketing for William Grant & Sons’ US business. He will be responsible for driving the ongoing growth of Tullamore D.E.W. across its key growth markets including the US, UK and mainland Europe. “It is an honour to be selected as the new Tullamore D.E.W. global brand director at such an exciting time in the brand’s development,” said Caspar. “Its growth over the past three years has been remarkable and, with our ongoing investment strategy, we aim to reach millions more fans worldwide over the coming years. “Tullamore D.E.W. is now perfectly positioned to continue to grow its market share in key international markets, and also to begin pioneering an exciting new path for the brand into emerging whiskey markets across the globe.” Caspar will be based in William Grant & Son’s Global Marketing & Innovation headquarters in Dublin.

RECRUITMENT, CONTRACTING & FIELD MARKETING CONSULTANTS 3O YEAR’S RECRUITING IRELAND’S TOP SALES & MARKETING PERSONNEL Unit A4, 17 Heron Road, Sydenham Business Park, Belfast, BT3 9LE. Tel: 028 9045 5040 • Fax: 028 9073 9058


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N. Ireland Contacts Customer Development Manager: Richard McCluskey 07971 508682 Customer Development Executives: Ashley Douglas 07971 508669 Ryan Brown 07971 508739 Aaron Skinner 07971 508732

Grey Goose L’Orange • Grey Goose Le Citron Finlandia Classic • Finlandia Cranberry Finlandia Grapefruit Eristoff • Eristoff Black • Eristoff Gold GIN Bombay Sapphire • Oxley

MAIN BRANDS: RUM Bacardi Superior Rum • Bacardi Gold Rum Bacardi 8 Year Old Rum • Bacardi Razz Bacardi Oakheart VODKA Grey Goose Original • Grey Goose La Poire

TENNESSEE WHISKEY Jack Daniel’s • Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Gentleman Jack • Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey VERMOUTH Martini Extra Dry • Martini Rosso Martini Bianco • Martini Rosato Noilly Prat Dry

BOURBON Woodford Reserve SPECIALITY Southern Comfort • Southern Comfort Lime Southern Comfort Cherry • Tuaca Chambord • St Germain SPARKLING Martini Asti • Martini Rose • Martini Prosecco RTD Breezer Orange, Pineapple, Watermelon Breezer Spritzer: Peach, Mixed Berry Bacardi Mojito • Bacardi Cuba Libre Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort premix can range Bacardi & Cola premix cans


Coming up in the February issue: Special Features • Energy Drinks • On the road: transport report • Speciality gluten-free food To advertise, contact:

Karen Graham Tel: 028 9078 3235

For further details: Email: Tel: 028 9078 3235





And finally... thank you! O

n behalf of the Ulster Grocer team, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all our clients and contributors for their ongoing support this year. Looking ahead to 2014, I am excited about working with you all again in what is shaping up to be a fantastic year for the local agri-food and grocery sector. Already Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Finnebrogue in Downpatrick is creating 65 new jobs as part of a £3m expansion and, just before Christmas, officially opened Dale Farm’s new state-of-theart £20m cheese and whey processing facility at Dunmanbridge near Cookstown. In particular, I am looking forward to the 26th annual Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards which will be held on the 9th May at the GroceryAid Ulster Grocers’ Ball in the Culloden Hotel. We are thrilled with the level of interest shown to date by potential entrants. Even at this very early stage, the majority of categories have already been sponsored, which is testimony to how strongly this event is valued by the local business community. I would encourage all our readers to consider entering at least one of the categories as the Marketing Awards are a tried and tested effective platform to raise your company profile. To find out more about which categories are available, and how to enter, please visit the website Wishing you all a happy and prosperous year ahead!

Karen Graham Manager of Ulster Grocer



At the heart of the Northern Ireland food industry







Advertising Manager: Karen Graham Tel: 028 9078 3235 Email:


BACARDÍ Gold rum Smooth and mellow gold rum to bring depth and character to classic rum cocktails. BACARDÍ Gold forms the basis of the original Cuba Libre, invented in the American Bar, Havana, in 1900; two years after the end of the Cuban-American war. This ‘original cocktail of freedom’ is one of the most popular serves in the world today. Squeeze 2 wedges of lime into a glass Add lots of ice to the top of the glass Pour over 50ml BACARDÍ Gold and add 100ml of cola

BACARDÍ Superior rum Dry and light tasting white rum perfect for mixing. BACARDÍ Superior inspired the earliest recipes for the classic Mojito and is also made to easily complement a variety of simple mixers like sodas and fresh juices.

BACARDÍ Oakheart Smooth and spiced with hints of smoke and notes of dried fruit. The robust flavour stands up to any challenge with a one-two punch of maple and honey followed by vanilla and caramel, perfectly served with cola over cubed ice.



Ulster Grocer January 2014