ShelfLife Magazine - August Issue 2022

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Relief badly needed Average energy bills of SME food retailers expected to treble, and in some cases quadruple from September since last year Counter culture Dan White reflects on the uproar provoked by AIB’s announcement to remove cash services from 70 branches and its subsequent turnaround + simply the best! Mark Byrne of Blake’s Centra is Ireland’s National Grocery Retail Manager of the Year 2022 CONVENIENCE RETAILING • OFF-TRADE • SUPERMARKETS • NEWSAGENCY • FORECOURT LARGEST INDEPENDENTLY AUDITED GROCERY TRADE CIRCULATION IN IRELAND August 2022


generation supermarket and forecourt in

announcement about removing cash services from 70 branches and its subsequent climb down 16 Centra store profile:

Kerry supports in place in the workplace for women experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and menopause MARKETING& CATEGORY FOCUS 41 Healthy living 46 RTD beverages 48 Franchise opportunities 51 PR and marketing 54 Cooking sauces 58 Cash & carry spotlight 64 Breakfast 69 Market movers Circulation audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations. Managing Director JOHN McDONALD; Sales Director PAUL BYRNE Operations Director BILLY HUGGARD Published monthly by Mediateam Ltd., 55 Spruce Avenue, Sandyford, Dublin 18. A94 RP22 Telephone (01) 294 7776 Fax (01) 294 7799 ISSN: 1393 0753 ShelfLife is a member of Magazines Ireland ShelfLife August 2022 Vol. 29 No.8 Editor GILLIAN HAMILL (01) 294 7776 Staff journalist JULIA O’REILLY (01) 294 7709 Contributors CAROLINE REIDY FIONNUALA CAROLAN BARRY WHELAN COLIN GORDON Head of business IAN MULVANEY (01) 294 7766 Account manager MARK MORGAN (01) 294 7767 Circulation Publisher JOHN McDONALD (01) 294 7744 Printing W & G Baird Ltd ShelfLife is a controlled circulation magazine, available to selected individuals with interests in the retail and wholesale grocery trade, who fall within the publisher’s terms of control. For those outside these terms, annual subscription is €98.00 including postage & packing.

Support needed for retailers who play vital role in supporting local communities

Contents August COVER STORY 26 Grocery Management Awards Supreme

“Food retail is very energy intensive given the perishable nature of the products we sell and the need to run heating, air conditioning, cold storage, fridges, and freezers 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said. “We are asking government to support the food retail industry, which employs thousands of people in communities across the country and ensures people have access to food locally.”

Energy bills have become a pressing concern for retailers across the country. ShelfLife has spoken to several who have told us of increases reaching tens of thousands of euros. This very much chimes with the figures given by SuperValu and Centra MD Ian Allen, who spoke out earlier this month on the urgent need for government to introduce a temporary financial support package for SME food retailers. Allen outlined that the average energy bill for a SuperValu and Centra is expected to treble, and in some cases quadruple from September since last year. Based on current outlook, the average Centra store will see energy bills rise from circa €50,000 in 2021 to up to as much as €200,000 in September 2022.

Musgrave is calling for a number of specific measures to be introduced, including the introduction of an energy price cap, a rebate for food retailers when energy costs as a percentage of turnover increase over predefined thresholds, and the temporary suspension of commercial rates. As always, retail organisations such as CSNA and RGDATA have also been playing a key role in driving a solutions-based approach to this mounting crisis. The more voices that can join this call the better the situation is now sadly altogether far too severe to fall on deaf ears. Hamill, editor, ShelfLifemagazine Champion interview: Winner Mark Byrne, manager of Blake’s Centra, Blarney tells Fionnuala Carolan just how much this accolade means to him 48 61 Daybreak store profile: Shane Murphy of Daybreak Murrintown, Co. Wexford believes in AIB’s Centra retailer Donagh Hickey tells Gillian Hamill his nextRathmore, Co.




working smarter, not harder in order to be successful in his new venture 30 GMA winners: All the pictures and interviews with the winners of the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards 2022 ADVISOR 10 Recruitment: Barry Whelan of Excel Recruitment explains how employers need to change their outlook to ensure staff retention during the post-pandemic ‘Great Resignation’ 22 HR: Caroline Reidy explains how vital it is to have correct NEWS&ANALYSIS 4 News grid 6 CSNA news 8 Seen and heard 20 NOffA news FEATURES&REPORTS 14 Dan White reflects on the uproar provoked by


16 24

Aldi has increased pay for store employees in the UK for the second time in 12 months. From September, the discounter will increase hourly pay by 40p to reach a minimum of £10.50 outside the M25 and £11.95 in London. “Our new rates of pay maintain Aldi’s position as the UK’s highest paying supermarket,” said Giles Hurley, the chief executive of Aldi UK and Ireland.

Consumer spending on take-home grocery sales in Ireland fell by 3.1% over the 12 weeks to 10 July 2022, according to the latest figures from Kantar The decline has slowed over the latest four weeks, with a drop of 0.9%. Despite a fall in spending, grocery inflation stands at 7.7% which is the highest level seen since August 2008.

Ice-cream, eggs, and crisps pulled from shelves due to ‘contamination’


The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has issued alerts about some products that have since been removed from shelves in Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes Stores, Spar, and SuperValu. Shoppers are being encouraged to check their homes for the affected items which include certain batches of eggs, biscuits, crisps, and ice cream. Among the products being recalled are batches of Haagen-Dazs ice cream and Tesco is recalling a batch of its Free From Digestive Biscuits. For more on this, turn to page 24 ■ the above and the latest grocery-related news as it happens, visit

4 NEWS ShelfLife August 2022 |

Aldi has launched Ireland’s largest reverse vending machine at its Naas, Monread Road store in Co Kildare. The newest unit is capable of collecting and storing up to 10,500 plastic bottles or 42,000 aluminium cans at any given time The move will see Aldi’s Kildare customers being encouraged to return PET plastic bottles (up to three litres in size) and aluminium drink cans to the reverse vending machine in Aldi’s store.

Kellogg raises forecast for full-year sales and profits Kellogg has raised its forecast for full-year earnings after topping estimates for quarterly sales, as higher prices for its breakfast cereals and snacks helped it overcome cost-related challenges. Kellogg, like other global packaged food makers, has been largely successful in raising product prices to counter spiralling costs of freight, labour and ingredients without drawing the ire of consumers. However, analysts are warning that the company could hit a ceiling on price hikes as households tighten their bets amid raging inflation.

Grocery inflation in Ireland hits 7.7%, the highest level since 2008

Consumers have been able to combat some of the effects of inflation through choosing cheaper products, but the average price paid for each item has still increased by 6.3%.

More than 50% of businesses burdened by Brexit regulations: CSO Increased regulatory burdens due to Brexit have hit 54% of businesses, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. Data, published by the CSO, shows that 40% of enterprises had difficulty sourcing raw materials or intermediate products from suppliers abroad due to Brexit and Covid-19 The UK was the most popular location for both global purchasing and supplying of goods and materials and services, the data shows Consumers spending more as essentials inflate: Revolut Spending on groceries, restaurants and fuel is increasing month-on-month, according to banking app Revolut. In contrast, spending on clothes shopping, and leisure activities such as sports clubs and cinemas has dropped, as consumers prioritise while inflation surges. Supermarket spending was up 6.6% per consumer in July, compared to June However, looking back since last year, spending on groceries has actually dropped by 4% per consumer in July 2022, compared to July 2021, suggesting many are looking for cheaper products.

Aldi launches largest reverse vending machine in Ireland at Naas store

For more details on all

Aldi awards second pay rise in year for UK workers

Bernadette Gilligan of Lidl Ennis

The top news stories in FMCG and retail from across Ireland

Lidl Ireland removes mandatory retirement age of 65 Lidl Ireland has removed its mandatory retirement age clause for current and new employees. The company will give all employees the option to continue working beyond the age of 65. The retailer said its decision will allow the company to attract more “mature” and “lifeexperienced” talent, as well as offering more flexibility to current employees. It also pointed out that those who choose to continue their service can opt to extend their pension plan.

Irishman to become president and CFO of The Coca-Cola Company Irishman John Murphy will become president and chief financial officer at The Coca-Cola Company, effective from 1 October Murphy, who currently serves as executive vice president and CFO, will add the president role following the retirement of Brian Smith. Murphy, 60, has served as CFO since 2019 He began his career at Coca-Cola in 1988 and worked all over the world for the company from Japan to Indonesia to North America. Before joining Coca-Cola, Murphy worked for four years as an auditor for Price Waterhouse in Dublin.

LOOKING FOR KERRYGOLD BUTTER? Kerrygold is proud to be Ireland’s #1 Butter Brand. To access the full range of Kerrygold products please contact us directly at and we will connect you with your neares t supplier. *Source: Nielsen, 52 w/e 22nd May 2022. *

Action for retailers needed urgently This government needs to understand the very serious pressures that all small and medium-sized businesses are encountering and must resolve to immediately put in place a series of measures designed to provide badly needed relief to the sector We need a temporary financial support package that will give immediate assistance by way of a suspension of commercial rates, a number of measures specifically designed to acknowledge the importance of energy in our businesses including making provisions for inclusion in schemes from which we are currently excluded, and the application of a rebate or refund scheme to reduce the effect that community-based retailers are experiencing with increases of over 200% in the cost of energy. CSNA will seek the assistance of other representative bodies with similar concerns to join the call to action.


• Any rebate should be viewed as a reallocation of employers’ PRSI, and not in itself a cost to the Exchequer.

Commitments were made by both the Tánaiste and the Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail, Damien English that employers who can provide evidence that an extra employee was paid during a period of sick leave may be able to claim an allowance or rebate for such payment following an extensive review of the first period of operation of the Sick Leave Act in 2023. The bill has completed all stages of its passage and awaits the signature of the President to become law. Ministerial regulations giving effect to certain aspects of the act are expected presently. Both Mr Varadkar and Mr English accepted the views of CSNA that Ministers Varadkar and English have accepted the CSNA’s views that SMEs in the services sector are disproportionately affected by sick leave legislation small and medium-sized businesses that need to provide service to their customers are disproportionately affected by this legislation. Senator Pat Casey summed up the feelings The bill will go to the Dáil for debate but unless there is a serious change of heart from Minister McGrath’s department, the CSNA understands it is unlikely to be enacted. The old National Lottery should have sought protection from the courts once the bookies started offering bets on the outcome of Lotto; it’s a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. In the UK, there is a ban on bookies offering any kind of bet on National Lottery games and the lottery’s proprietorial rights are protected.

A private members’ bill, in the names of three Fine Gael senators, Ward, Currie and Carrigy, was recently debated at Committee stage and, to the surprise of those present, was not met with the same level of enthusiasm from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform that had previously been publicly iterated by both the Minister in charge of regulatory matters pertaining to The National Lottery, Minister Michael McGrath and the Minister for State Ossian Smyth. Minister Smyth had been sent into the Senate with the hapless task of pouring cold water on the efforts expended by Senator Barry Ward. This bill was attempting to close off the very lucrative access that Irish and overseas bookmakers have availed of for many years in offering various bets on the outcomes of the National Lottery draws. The National Lottery is obliged under its license to forward an agreed percentage of its net sales to go to Good Causes. It was argued by the proponents of the bill that this amount would be greater if the bookmakers were no longer permitted to use National Lottery property in their gambling offerings. Although the actual amount gambled in Ireland in bookmakers’ shops on lottery products is subject to wild and wide speculation, it is somewhere more than €60 million but less than €250 million. The Department had originally suggested that they supported the bill and did so in the second stage and would be happy to provide drafting amendments that would tidy up the bill. However, in a complete turnaround, they have since provided several excuses as to why they could not continue to support the bill unless there were a number of changes, and even if that were done, they would also have to wait for the Indecon report. In short, the bookies lobby “knobbled” the bill, aided by a number of Fianna Fáil Senators who had spoken on behalf of the bookmakers’ industry in previous debates of the bill. Senator Ward, in a well-reasoned and devastatingly accurate rebuttal of Minister Smyth’s rationale, managed to expose the frailty of the Department’s case.


CSNA is seeking a temporary financial support packaging that will help retailers survive rising energy and business costs of many when he called on future legislation to be proofread for its effect on community-based businesses. CSNA based its argument for a rebate on a number of principles

The private members’ bill is seeking to prevent bookmakers offering bets on the outcome of National Lottery draws Department pours cold water on Senator’s efforts to amend National Lottery Act

• 74% of the €8 billion annually accrued comes from employers’ contributions.

• It is not unreasonable to seek this reallocation of funds that have, since 1979 been collected specifically for a particular purpose, the funding of employee redundancy costs (no longer rebated for over a decade). We look forward to engaging with the minister and his department officials throughout the review process.

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Sick Leave Act 2022: CSNA will engage with government throughout review


The Committee also recommended that the government should work towards reducing the amount of personal allowances for tobacco products that returning visitors to other EU member states can avail of. Recommendations from the Joint Oireachtas Committee that have been charged with scrutinising bills are rarely adopted in full. A recent analysis showed that, on average, fewer than 40% of recommended changes were agreed by the sponsoring department. There is, however, a significant level of outright hostility from many corners towards vaping products that could see some, or public health experts who will identify close contacts and advise appropriately. The employer does not need to take any additional action (other than reinforcing the prevention measures) while awaiting the result of the test. To the specific question as to whether an employer needs to determine close contacts of suspected Covid cases and make CSNA past president wins High Court ‘slip and trip’ claim We were almost as happy as Jim Bird of SuperValu Navan was, to learn that he had succeeded in having an earlier Circuit Court judgement confirmed. A customer had claimed to have suffered soft tissue injuries when she alleged that she fell over a shopping basket that she suggested had been left carelessly at the checkout. Jim’s insurance company at the time, FBD, having reviewed the comprehensive evidence that Jim had assembled, agreed to fight the case, and to their credit, agreed to vigorously defend the original verdict. We await the written judgement to learn why the judge found against the appellant yet refused an Order of Costs; this is surely flying in the face of common sense and actually encourages the practice of appealing a lower court finding. In the meantime, all we can say is “Well done Jim”. ■

Businesses should maintain Covid-19 best practice, including the ongoing provision and use of hand sanitiser

Members will be aware that the Department of Health intends to further regulate the ways that nicotine-inhaling products (e-cigarettes and vaping units) are sold. A report from the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the prelegislative scrutiny of the bill, which is also designed to licence the sale of tobacco products was published recently. Whilst the bill was (relatively) The Health and Safety Authority of Ireland (HSAI) has provided CSNA with the steps an employer should take when an employee informs them that they are being treated or are positive for Covid-19. Below is the response from the HSAI; in short, the HSE or HSA will contact anyone who must selfisolate, be tested, or to collect details for contact tracing. Current close contact advice from the HSE applies, and currently neither the HSE nor HSA have outlined any additional mitigation measures that the business must take other than normal risk assessment measures in place since businesses reopened, including the ongoing use of hand sanitiser et cetera. In relation to the steps employers should take regarding employees who were close contacts of an employee referred for a Covid test, if the test comes back positive, the workplace will be contacted by the feasible to increase the minimum age at which both tobacco and vaping products could be purchased. The suggestion is to raise the age from 18 to 21. We noted the suggestion from the Committee that studies should be commissioned to consider whether the availability of packs of cigarettes in quantities greater than 20 (Big Boxes) lead to negative outcomes due to increased consumption.

CSNA past president Jim Bird recently received positive news from the High Court A Joint Oireachtas Committee report suggests the age at which both tobacco and vaping products can be purchased should be raised from 18 to 21

The report recommended that studies should be carried out to ascertain whether it would be them aware that a suspected close contact is awaiting test results, the short answer to this is no. Employers are not obliged to inform other staff members that may be close contacts to selfisolate while a suspect case is awaiting their test result. The current rise in numbers of people being infected clearly demonstrates the need for everyone to maintain best practice.

Health Committee backs ban on vaping Increased incidences of Covid: Most recent advice CSNA MEMBER’S STORY CSNA NEWS CSNA ADVICE IF YOU WISH TO JOIN THE CSNA, PLEASE CONTACT THE ASSOCIATION ON 045 535050 | ShelfLife August 2022 7CSNA NEWS

most, of the additional restrictions called for by the Committee to be incorporated into the bill when it is published after the summer recess. The disclosure in recent weeks of some of the decidedly unethical marketing techniques adopted by the Chinese owners of the Elf Bars serves to prove the points being made by the legislators that vaping products have moved from being a smoking cessation device towards a lifestyle product with an addictive characteristic.

benign in the imposition of restrictions to consumer choice, the Committee’s report was “full double barrel” in recommending the outlawing of all flavours other than tobacco. The report also recommended that the products be subjected to the same packaging regulations as exist for tobacco products.

The move towards more sustainable deli packaging, the latest step in Centra’s sustainability journey, will see over 234 tonnes of waste being diverted from landfills. One of the new and exciting packaging innovations is compostable sandwich wrapping paper which does not contain silicone coating and Centra has also introduced Frank & Honest compostable coffee cups and lids. Musgrave recently announced a €25 million investment as part of a new sustainability fund aimed at empowering Centra retailers to achieve net zero carbon by 2040 Musgrave is calling on the government to introduce a temporary financial support package for SME food retailers currently experiencing devastating energy price increases. The package should include the introduction of an energy rate cap, the suspension of commercial rates, capital allowance super-deduction, VAT warehousing and the inclusion of food retailers in existing, and future, support schemes. The average energy bill for a SuperValu and Centra is expected to treble, and in some cases quadruple from September since last year Based on current outlook, the average Centra store will see energy bills rise from circa €50,000 in 2021 to up to as

8 SEEN AND HEARD ShelfLife August 2022 |

SuperValu and Centra are the big winners at the 2022 Great Taste Awards

This year, SuperValu picked up five three-star awards, making SuperValu the Irish retailer with the most three-star awards, one of the highest accolades in the competition. Three of the SuperValu Own Brand range were awarded the coveted three-star accolade These winning products were SuperValu Sour Cream, SuperValu Summer Eating Irish Lamb Tomahawk Chops and SuperValu over-the-counter Cowboy Steak.

“The current inflationary environment, coupled with soaring energy costs, has put our retail partners under pressure like never before,” said Ian Allen, MD of SuperValu and Centra. “Energy is the second highest bill, after labour, a store owner must meet and with sales volumes back on last year, the new crisis of rapidly surging energy costs is compounding the cost of doing business in a high volume and low margin sector.”

Other key highlights within the winners are five awards for coffee brand Frank & Honest, one award for The Happy Pear and two awards for Moo’d ice cream. ■ Musgrave recently announced a €25 million investment as part of a new sustainability fund

Nearby celebrates the opening of 100th store Centra has announced new sustainable deli packaging changes as part of its commitment to eliminate, reduce and replace unsustainable packaging. Centra aims to deliver 100% sustainable deli packaging in delis nationwide by 2025. Centra deli packaging innovations include compostable salad bowls and soup cups, reusable knives and forks and new compostable sandwich wrapping paper

Centra aims for 100% sustainable deli packaging by 2025 Musgrave calls for urgent financial supports for SME food retailers

The winners of the renowned Great Taste awards have been announced with SuperValu taking home 108 awards and Centra taking home 50 awards. This marks the most successful year ever for the brands at the Great Taste awards, and places them at number one in the Irish market. SuperValu won 108 awards, making it number one in the multiple market in Ireland. SuperValu’s Signature Tastes range won 58 awards, further solidifying its position as the number one premium range for taste and quality in an Irish supermarket. Centra took home a total of 50 awards making it the number one convenience retailer in the country, including 19 awards for the Inspired by Centra premium range

In April 2022, Nearby celebrated its first birthday and what a year it has been! Since day one, the brand’s offering has gone from strength to strength, with stores now across the entire island of Ireland. Today, the team enjoy the success of the last year and celebrate the opening of their 100th store. With an ambitious growth plan and great uptake from local businesses, the team have recently opened four new stores throughout Dublin, one in Meath and another in County Down. The newest addition to the Nearby family opened on 21 July in Creeslough, Co Donegal. If you’re thinking about making a change and want to find out more about joining the Nearby family, get in touch with the team today. With over 100 retailers located across the island of Ireland, you’ll be in great company! much as €200,000 in September 2022.

SuperValu scooped 108 awards, while Centra won an impressive 50 awards Ian Allen, MD of SuperValu and Centra has pointed out that the average Centra store will see energy bills to up to €200,000 in September 2022

The newest addition to the Nearby family opened on 21 July in Creeslough, Co. Donegal

What drove the Great Resignation?

Support employee development: Employers should also be able to support their employees’ career growth and development, as today’s workers seek long-term stability Being able to provide skill-enhancing training and other career growth opportunities will not only benefit individual staff members, but also the entire business. Create productive conversations: Employees are also more likely to be happy at work when they feel like management value their wellbeing. Employers should open productive conversations wherein staff are free to share their queries, issues, and ideas. This can also help foster good working relationships and help find answers to solve problems. The Great Resignation is unavoidable, and it is still happening as employees continue to look for greater working conditions. The key here is retention; businesses should implement changes to rectify the mass movement of employees.

The Great Resignation has massively affected employers, especially when organisations urged workers to return to their respective offices. It led to

Between 2020 to 2021, there has been a historic record of employee turnover, and this incident occurred globally. This period of uncertainty coaxed individual workers to re-evaluate their employment obligations, priorities, and their options. Employers were also forced to operate through the ripple effects of ‘The Great Resignation’. They were urged to think of effective ways and alternatives to retain staff, in what became the most challenging employee market since the year 2000. It is safe to say that employers have learned a lot from this pandemic-led phenomenon.

The Great Resignation has urged employers to think of effective, alternative ways to retain staff companies increasingly having open positions, which also caused disruptions in their daily operations. Remaining employees needed to compensate for the lack of manpower Immense workloads drove employee burnout affecting their overall performance and productivity and of course retention of staff. The Great Resignation has also changed how traditional employer and employee relationships work. What has been learned? Flexibility is the key: Work-life balance has become an essential aspect of every individual’s life. Working from home lets employees spend more time with their pets and loved ones while they perform their daily tasks. Flexibility helps create a stress-free working environment, and it encourages staff to be more productive and improve their quality of work.

BARRY WHELAN managing director of Excel Recruitment

The ‘Great Resignation’ was coined by Anthony Klotz to describe this unprecedented turn of events that is continuously shaping the global workforce. While The Great Resignation may have emerged because of the pandemic, it can be argued that this trend started even before Covid-19. Records show that from 2009 to 2019, there was a steady increase of 0.10% in people leaving their jobs every year. This inclination changed in 2020, as many employees decided to hold on to their jobs because of the uncertainties brought about by Covid-19. But as apprehensions declined and businesses started embracing workfrom-home, the job market was back. This gave employees the confidence to move position and in 2021, The Great Resignation occurred. Why employees joined the Great Resignation Recent research in the US Flexjobs (the flexible jobs job board) and the Pew Research Centre, came to the following conclusions, which we feel mirror the situation here in Ireland.

3. Underpaid staff: 63% of American workers quit their jobs because the pay was too low The same survey also found that the employees who quit their jobs have already been employed in a different company with better salaries and opportunities.

There is no denying that the world has shifted during the height of the pandemic.

4. No work-life balance: Poor work-life balance means dedicating more hours of each day to work. Being overwhelmed with more job responsibilities can heighten individuals’ anxieties, stress, and other mental health issues. What was the impact of ‘the Great Resignation’?

Following the pandemic-fuelled ‘Great Resignation’, employers have needed to change their outlook to ensure staff retention. Here, Excel Recruitment’s Barry Whelan highlights some key lessons that have emerged from this period of rapid change

1. Toxic work environment: The study revealed that 67% of employees leave their companies due to workplace toxicity. Also, a lack of growth if the work culture is toxic not just in the employees themselves, but in the entire organisation.

2. Lack of recognition: Unappreciation and undervaluation will cause a downturn in employee morale. The lack of recognition leads to unmotivated staff, which in turn, will have a big impact on their productivity and performance. Eminently, it is another deciding factor for employees to look for better opportunities elsewhere.

■ 10 ADVISOR: Recruitment ShelfLife August 2022 |

The changing face of the employer/employee relationship

Applegreen’s 24/7 birthday fuel sale took place at participating outlets around Ireland, starting at exactly 9am and continuing for 2 hours 47 minutes until 11.47am. As an added bonus for the lucky counties involved in the All Ireland that day, Applegreen outlets in counties Galway and Kerry kicked off the sale at 6am.


All-Ireland football fuel frenzy With the All-Ireland Football Final also taking place on Sunday, 24 July, Applegreen outlets in Galway and Kerry the two finalists started the fuel sale earlier than others from 6am, giving GAA supporters from the Kingdom and the Tribesmen extra time to fill their tanks for less as they hit the road for Croke Park. Lucky fans travelling from Galway and Kerry to Croke Park on Sunday morning were pleasantly surprised when they pulled up at the pumps. “What better way to start the journey to Croke Park than with a significant saving on your fuel cost,” says Stapleton. “And not only did our customers in Galway and Kerry get more time to save 24.7 cent per litre at the pumps, they were also able to stock up on snacks, drinks, rolls and other goodies at one-off discount prices too. In line with the 24/7 theme, they could even get a car wash for just €2.47!” To spread the word about the 24/7 mega sale, Applegreen enlisted the help of its ambassadors, the 2 Johnnies. The popular comedy duo who have teamed up with Applegreen on many occasions fronted a radio ad campaign to promote the one-off birthday celebrations. Huge turnout As in previous years, the sale sparked nationwide excitement as customers rushed to their local Applegreen to take advantage of discounted fuel prices. Retailer Gary Higgins of Centra Labane Service Station, Ballylara, Ardrahan, Co Galway spoke to ShelfLife about the success of the day. Higgins explains that this is the second time they have run the sale “We started at 6.45am in the morning. We had advertised it a little but the customers had no idea of the

12 ADVERTORIAL ShelfLife August 2022 |

Applegreen endeared itself to the public last month in a nationwide mega sale of fuel plus lots of in-store favourites to celebrate the company’s birthday on Sunday, 24 July To mark the occasion, all petrol and diesel prices were reduced by 24.7 cent per litre for a period of 2 hours 47 minutes.

Applegreen marks ‘24/7’ birthday with nationwide flash fuel sale To celebrate the company’s birthday on 24 July and to give something back to their customers, Applegreen retailers surprised customers with a flash sale that lasted 2 hours 47 minutes and it went down a treat with loyal and new customers alike

Prior to the event, Applegreen’s commercial director Seamus Stapleton said they were really looking forward to giving something back to their loyal customers. “This is our favourite time of the year and we can’t wait to celebrate our birthday with all our customers on Sunday and we’re kicking the day off with another mega fuel sale,” he said. “In addition to reducing petrol and diesel by 24.7 cent per litre for a specific period of time, we’ll be offering a huge range of in-store discounts as well as doubling our donations to our charitable fund all day long. “We know that our customers are feeling the pinch of inflation and rising prices so we’re investing more than half a million euro to give something back to our loyal customers and communities in the form of birthday offers and discounts,” he added.

For breaking news and latest offers follow Applegreen on; Twitter (@goapplegreen), Facebook (@goapplegreen) and Instagram (@_applegreen_).

price,” he says Higgins had scheduled a few extra staff as he anticipated a big crowd which was good planning as he says it was “chaotic at the tills”. In this rural setting Higgins says they would usually know all their customers but people came from near and far that day to take advantage of the promotion. “There were people coming from all over the place that we would never have seen before. People were ringing their friends and putting it on Facebook too,” he explains. With a limited amount of time for such a promotion, it is inevitable that some people would miss out but Higgins says that customers accepted that the promotion had ended. “It wasn’t that we had to turn people away but queues formed so when we put the price up, it went up on the sign and we notified people so those at the back of the queue just drove off then.” Asked if his customers would be expecting to see this again he said there was no expectation of that and they knew it was just a once off birthday celebration but Higgins agreed that it would be great to see it as an annual event. “I know the customers would be delighted if it happened again next year There was a great atmosphere and the fact that it fell on the All Ireland Day made it extra special.”

13ADVERTORIAL | ShelfLife August 2022

AIB’s hasty decision to bin its plan, after investing a reputed €40m in An Post’s cashhandling services, is almost certainly no more than a tactical retreat. Sooner or later, and most likely sooner, a reheated version of AIB’s cashless branches will make a reappearance. For all the banks, and not just AIB, the desired outcome is to get us out of their expensive branches and doing our banking online instead. They have enjoyed considerable success in this with the most recent AIB interim results showing that digital transactions at the bank hit 2.9 million a day in the first half of 2022, almost double the 1.5 million recorded in the first half of 2017. Almost three-quarters (74%) of AIB customers are now digitally active. The latest data from Banking & Payment Federation Ireland shows that the volume of contactless payments increased by a massive 53% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first three months of last year and that the number of contactless payments is now averaging 2.5 million a day looking toward sweden The banks look longingly at Sweden, which is planning to go completely cashless by March 2023, less than seven months away. However, even in Sweden there is opposition to the switch. Apparently, opposition is particularly strong among customers of the Systembolaget, the state liquor monopoly, who would rather if their bank, or perhaps Big Brother, didn’t possess the full details of their alcohol consumption! And anyway, we aren’t all Scandinavians. It isn’t just the Irish who retain a fondness for the folding stuff. A 2020 survey by the ECB found that the proportion of cash-based transactions in eurozone countries in 2019 ranged from a high of 88% in Malta to a low of 68% in Latvia and Lithuania with the proportion of cash-based payments in the eurozone’s largest economy Germany being 77% the Irish figure was 70%. In other words, reports of the imminent death of cash may be somewhat exaggerated, regardless of whatever AIB and the other banks might think.

AIB’s cashless branches debacle, with Ireland’s second-largest bank being forced into a humiliating climbdown on its plans to remove cash services from 70 of its Republic of Ireland branches, is the latest battle in a long war as the banks seek to exit the cash business. On 19 July, AIB announced that 70 of its 170 branches would be “repurposed”. After the usual guff about the “repurposing” allowing the 70 branches to “focus more on account opening, financial planning, mortgages, loans, savings and investments,” AIB slipped in the killer: “With digital usage soaring, the cost of providing cash services has become increasingly unsustainable. As a result, cash, ATM and cheque services will be removed from these branches.”

Dan White reflects on the uproar provoked by AIB’s since-revoked announcement to remove cash services from 70 branches

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AIB HQ on Molesworth Street, Dublin (Photo: Sam Boal/

Dan’s Digest With Dan White VieWs on the latest eConomiC & politiCal neWs

Uproar Despite pointing out that its customers could continue to access cash through An Post’s 920 outlets, the AIB announcement provoked uproar with the affected communities, their political representatives and retailers uniting to express their outrage. With the state still having a 63.5% shareholding in AIB, a legacy of its €20.8bn post-crash bailout, the final result of this showdown between the bankers and the politicians was never in any doubt. Three days later AIB was forced into a humiliating climbdown. To which one can only ask, what on earth had AIB boss Colin Hunt been thinking? Retailers speak out Among those criticising the AIB move was RGDATA Director general Tara Buckley didn’t mince her words when criticising the AIB “repurposing” of its branch network. “This move by AIB represents the latest step in the withdrawal of the banks in Ireland from our communities. They are basically checking themselves out from our suburbs, towns and villages and leaving communities to their own devices. And they are taking their ATMs with them. “This move will have huge implications for local retailers, who will now become the main providers of cash services within local communities in many cases for low value transactions which will ultimately cost the retailer money Banks are now placing this responsibility on retailers and yet will continue to fleece retailers with cash handling and cash management charges.”

AIB’s cashless branches debacle


The June retail sales figures show that the volume of non-motor retail sales was down by 6.4% compared to June 2021 and by 2.1% on May 2022. However, the impact of inflation is shown by the fact that the value of non-motor retail sales actually rose by 3.2% over the past year This near 10% gap almost exactly matches the rate of inflation with the CSO, estimating that Irish prices rose by 9.6% on a HICP basis in the year to July Volume sales down With the exception of pharmaceuticals, volumes sales of which rose by 6.6%, and bars, up 54% in a post-Covid bounce, the volume of all sales categories was well down over the past year Food, beverage and tobacco sales volumes were down by 14.6%, non-food supermarket sales by 8.8%, furniture and lighting by 5.8%, hardware and paint by 4.7%, electrical goods by 4.6% and clothing and footwear by 1.2%.

Consumers cut back as inflation bites As inflation continues to bite, retail sales are suffering, not just in Ireland but throughout the eurozone, with consumers cutting back on purchases as they try to make their devalued euro stretch further


The value of sales of food, beverage and tobacco sales fell by 8.9%. While some of the reduction was undoubtedly due to people spending more in bars and restaurants following the lifting of the Covid restrictions earlier this year, inflation is also having a major impact on spending patterns. eU statistics And it’s not just in Ireland. Figures released by the EU statistics agency Eurostat show that the volume of retail sales in the eurozone fell by 3.8% in the 12 months to June. Eurostat estimates that the volume of nonfood sales was down by 4.8% while food sales fell by 3.1%. The agency estimates that the decline in Irish sales volumes (8.8%) was amongst the highest in the eurozone, matched only by Germany and exceeded by Denmark, where the volume of sales fell by 9.5%. With consumers facing the prospect of further huge increases in gas and electricity bills in the autumn, the question facing all retailers is will things get even worse before they start to get better? ■ June retail sales figures show the value of sales of food, beverage and tobacco sales fell by 8.9%

Offering more in Rathmore

With a vibrant and varied offering on display, retailer Donagh Hickey of Centra Rathmore in Co. Kerry, is offering a nextgeneration supermarket and forecourt destination, writes Gillian Hamill Not to fall guilty to the trope that is ‘the busman’s holiday’, but here at ShelfLife we must confess that on summer holidays abroad, we do love to pop into a local supermarket and c-store or two to get a flavour of how the offering compares to what’s available at-home. We suspect more than a few of you readers are exactly the same! It got us to thinking just what holidaymakers visiting Irish shores would make of Centra Rathmore in Co. Kerry Unique mix Standing at an impressive 9.500 sq ft, not only does this local supermarket and forecourt house a full ambient offering to which locals come from a 10-mile radius to do their full weekly shop, but the Centra/Applegreen store also houses an extensive deli offering, in-store bakery, butchery, large sit-down area, varied off-licence and Caramico Authentic Italian Pizza concept, all topped off with a colourful explosion of toppings enticing curious minds over to explore Moo’d Ice Cream. We’ve never seen anything like this breadth of offering at a forecourt abroad and so we can only imagine that tourists here conclude Ireland is streets ahead of the international game and they would be right! “We put a lot of focus on fresh, Irish produce and it’s vital to have stand-out features that maybe the large multiples can’t deliver,” says retailer Donagh Hickey. Delivering value With a customer mix of approximately 80% local shoppers and 20% passing trade, offering value has always been important at Centra Rathmore to secure repeat local custom and prevent shoppers from driving to larger towns nearby for their weekly shop. Donagh Hickey is all too aware this will become even more critical for consumers as the cost-of-living crisis continues. As such, the store has a new promotional cycle every three weeks with strong specials on offer, alongside a broad Centra own-brand range and ‘Wow’ offers available every week. “We have to be seen to offer value; that’s huge at the moment across the store because if people don’t see value, they will let vote with their feet and move on,” says Hickey “It’s a very competitive market for the foreseeable future so it’s key to stay on top of that.”

During the pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions, many more local people realised the diversity, quality and value that was available at Centra Rathmore and Hickey is now determined to keep that custom into the future. Focus on fresh Undoubtedly, shoppers often ‘eat with their eyes’ and with a spacious and bright appearance, Centra Rathmore has visual appeal in spades. It also has quality, homemade credentials that more than pass the muster “Within the deli, we do fresh, homemade lunches and salads every day,” says Hickey “We have two bakers for our in-store bakery and a qualified butcher in-store to serve fresh meats.” Centra Rathmore’s quality-focused ethos is summed up well in the Caramico Pizza offering. “It’s a great product,” says Hickey simply “The ingredients are all wholesome and top quality; they’re not processed. Even the sauces are all made from ingredients in-store so you’re not just getting it out of a bottle.” The result is fantastic flavour “It’s very well received; we get a lot of people buying them uncooked to take home and cook themselves,” Hickey notes. “It’s a great addition to the store, it brings a different The team at Centra Rathmore, and the friendly customer service they provide, are “a huge part of why the business has succeeded,” says retailer Donagh Hickey With two bakers based at Centra Rathmore’s in-store bakery, customers are spoilt for choice with an enticing, freshly baked selection available every day

Retailer Donagh Hickey says Centra Rathmore places a huge emphasis on fresh, Irish produce

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After all, the FMCG sector is constantly developing. “I’m in the grocery business now for 31 years and I still think I’m new to it,” Hickey laughs. “I still think I’m only in the door! I’m with Centra now since 1999 so that’s 23 years and the offering they are bringing to us represents a sea change. They are working away in the background; evolving and continuing to advance through looking at new initiatives and then bringing those to us. “When you are driving around the country, looking for a store to enter, there’s a very high standard you know you will experience when you walk into any Centra store,” he continues. As a result, Hickey believes passing trade is higher at Centra Rathmore because customers’ confidence in the brand is so high. A view borne out by the figures which show Centra Rathmore has achieved weekly growth of 25-30% since 2019. This all adds up to a destination store to which any visiting retailer whether from Ireland or abroad would be missing a trick by failing to take inspiration from this unique offering! ■

Support is very much a two-way street at Centra Rathmore, which has for years been involved in supporting the local GAA club in Rathmore as well as several local football clubs in the surrounding areas and multiple charities. “From being involved not in Rathmore because I don’t live in Rathmore but in my own local GAA club for years, you realise the importance of support from local businesses,” Hickey reflects. “Often, it’s been difficult to raise funds and particularly now when the cost of living has climbed so high, it’s vital to support local clubs and charities. We’re doing it all the time and are delighted to do so. I’m very fortunate that we get great support from our local community, and I’m very happy to support them in return.”

Local support As well as improving access to the store, as soon as customers enter, they are guaranteed to receive a warm welcome. “We have a very mature team of staff that have been with us for a long time and I would say straightway it’s a huge part of why the business has succeeded the personality of our staff with our customers and our staff with our customers it works both ways,” says Hickey. “The local support we receive is exceptional and I put that down to the staff.”

A qualified butcher in-store serves fresh meats, while a delicious variety of hot meals and sandwiches are also served fresh daily With an impressive floorspace of 9,500 sq ft, shoppers can find everything they need to complete their full weekly shop across every department at Centra Rathmore

Continual evolution While Centra Rathmore is now reaping the rewards of its latest revamp and extension, completed in March of this year, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it was through continual evolution and gradual improvements that the store has become the 9,500 sq ft flagship outlet it is today Hickey outlines how the store has gone through various iterations during his 31 years there. “In 1991,” he recalls, it was “a motor dealership with a traditional forecourt; three pumps out at the front. We had converted what was office space into a 600 sq ft store and that marked our first venture into retail, a small independent store with a petrol forecourt that has always been a family business, managed by my mother until 1999.” Seven years later, a new purchase of land sparked new life into the business. “In 1998, I purchased around two acres of land,” Hickey continues. “I was lucky enough to be able to get that just beside the property and we built a new 2,500 sq ft Centra, with a Statoil forecourt in 1999. That marked the beginning of our relationship with Centra.” With the store trading well under the Centra brand, it wasn’t long before they embarked on another major expansion during the following decade. “In 2007, we doubled the size of our Centra store to 5,500 sq ft,” says Hickey A new focus also started to take shape. “Our original store was more convenience and deli focused but we saw there was a market in Rathmore for a neighbourhood store. We invested and became the local supermarket.” In 2018, Hickey started to consider another expansion. With the forecourt having become congested due to its high volume of business particularly after its transfer to Applegreen in 2015 the retailer was coming under pressure for space. Hickey subsequently gained an extra half acre of land from the local Rathmore GAA Club, and expanded the Centra to its current floorspace of 9,500 sq ft. While the pandemic delayed progress somewhat, the expansion was fully completed in March of this year The result has greatly improved ease-ofaccess for supermarket customers, with 90 carparking spaces now directly adjacent as opposed to some 35 spaces located at the side and back of the store previously “It’s much better now,” explains Hickey “It’s very easy to get in and out to do your grocery shop, without needing to cross the forecourt.”

Brand expertise On the topic of support, the Centra brand’s reputation and expertise has proved essential to the business, according to Hickey. “Even when I was about to sign with Centra [in 1999], when I was an independent, I would have recognized that it was a market leader I started out in convenience and when you see their expertise and understanding of the market, and their willingness more importantly to understand the market and to continuously evolve with the changing times, I have to say they’ve been exceptional.”

dimension and the quality is great. At the end of the day, that’s what people respect.”

The Caramico Pizza offering has received a great reaction from customers in-store, through using “wholesome and top quality” ingredients

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Shane Murphy has been working in retail since he was 15

Murphy eventually moved on to work in Dunnes Stores and then to senior roles in SuperValu with the Caulfield Group. In 2008 the opportunity came to open his own store with Centra in Rosslare and he has been forging ahead with his convenience businesses since.

“Daybreak is a convenience store we want to see you two/three times a day for your coffee in the morning, your lunch and your milk and bread on the way home,” he explains. “We don’t expect people to do their weekly shop here.”

Shane Murphy from Daybreak Murrintown, Co. Wexford is a seasoned retailer who has just opened his second Daybreak store. His five year plan is simply to create a good work/life balance for himself and his employees by working smarter, not harder. Fionnuala Carolan speaks to him about his new business and the current challenges facing retailers Murrintown is a townland about five miles outside of Wexford town. Aside from Murphy’s recently opened Daybreak store, it consists of a pub, a primary school, a credit union and the Department of Agriculture down the road. The next nearest shop is approximately five miles away so it’s easy to believe that the locals are delighted to have this new amenity on their doorstep. “We want to be convenient for everyone,” explains owner Shane Murphy “We want the locals to know that we are there for them. We didn’t just open it to make a quick buck. We’re in it for the long haul.”

Working in SuperValu and Dunnes Stores and then opening a Centra meant that Murphy was used to running things on a larger scale. When they opened the Daybreak in Taghmon, it took a bit of adjustment to get used to managing a smaller operation where you need to work in every facet of the business due to less staff.

Locals in Murrintown are delighted to have the brand-new Daybreak on their doorstep

Running a smart business

Family business Murphy, a native of Wexford town, explains that it’s their third store in the county, already running a Centra in Rosslare and another Daybreak in Taghmon. This site in Murrintown was derelict for eight years until a local auctioneer got planning permission to double its size, making it a more enticing property for perspective retailers. “We had a look at it before Christmas and decided we would have a chat to the owners. We came up with a plan and we opened by April,” explains Murphy, illustrating just how rapidly things progressed. He and his wife Siobhan work in the businesses alongside their daughter Shauna (31) who manages the Centra store in Rosslare and their two teenage children Sean (17) and Sarah (16) who help out across the three stores and Murphy is happy for them to decide if they want a career in retail when they are good and ready “I wouldn’t push any of them towards it,” he says. “It will give the younger two a bit of work ethic before they go to college and they can make their own decisions after that.”

Background in retail Murphy has been working in retail since he was 15 and you could say he was almost dragged into it by his industrious grandmother “My grandmother was good friends with the late Jackie Pettitt, who started Pettitt’s Group (that now runs six SuperValu stores across the south east). My grandmother was in shopping one day and Jackie was on the floor sweeping. She asked why he was doing it himself and he replied that some fella he had hired hadn’t come into work. “I have a grandson sitting at home doing nothing,’ my grandmother said. ‘Do you want him to come in?’ I wasn’t even looking for a job,” he laughs. “I was just 15 and wanted to play football all day Next thing she arrived up and said ‘there’s a job there in Pettitt’s. Go down there and help Jackie out’. That was in 1989 and I haven’t left retail since.”

STORE PROFILE store: Daybreak Murrintown, Co. Wexford owners: Shane and Siobhan Murphy staff: 15 size: 1,700 sq ft opening hours: 7.30am-9pm Monday to Saturday and 7.30am-8pm Sunday

“The deli is doing extremely well,” explains Murphy of their Munch & Co deli offering. “We have a really good team in there that are into their food and are hard workers. We’ve a different menu every day and the locals have loved it and are coming from miles around.


The staff has started to experiment and are making different types of rissoles and they are going down a treat.” For those who don’t know, a rissole is a local Wexford delicacy involving potatoes with herbs in either breadcrumbs or a batter They are very popular in the deli but they also provide a full carvery roast every day and have started to offer platters for parties too. “The support from the locals has been phenomenal,” says Murphy

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Coffee is one of the main footfall drivers in-store, and customers have been impressed by the 9 Grams offering With a different menu every day, customers are coming from miles around to enjoy the Munch & Co deli offering

Musgrave Most retailers are aware that customers are going to be very conscious of cost going forward. Is it hard to offer value in a small store? “No, I think the value is still there because Musgrave is working hard on the promotional side of the business making sure that the people and the suppliers receive value,” says Murphy. “The amount of lines might come down but there is always value in every category.”

Challenges of a new business

Luckily we’ve had a fantastic response from day one,” he says. The new rules coming in on sick pay and the living wage are a worry for small retailers in particular says Murphy but the more pressing issue is inflation and the soaring cost of energy meaning that people have less money in their pockets.

Speaking about the challenges and concerns that one goes through when opening a new business, Murphy is very honest about their hopes and fears. “Every store has its own challenges and with a new store you are trying to find your feet and help your staff find their feet. The bit of anxiety is that you are never guaranteed any customers. Just because we are open doesn’t mean we are entitled to anything.

It is not surprising as the Murphys endeared themselves to the locals early on by offering free ice cream to all the children in the local school. “On the day that the kids got their Easter holidays we gave all the primary school children free ice cream. At 12.30 that day we had 300 children in a queue for ice cream going down the road. The whole village were standing around eating ice creams and the atmosphere was super,” he recalls. They have the Daybreak ice cream concept Lickety Split in-store which has been a real hit so far They also offer the 9 Grams coffee concept with coffee being one of the main footfall drivers in store.

“Where we make money is people buying themselves a coffee for €3 rather than a jar of coffee for €4. Or treating themselves to a nicer bottle of wine at the weekend. That’s where we get the money to do revamps, to bring in new concepts and have the place looking as good as possible and the latest machinery and nice uniforms but you will see a slowdown on those things now as people will just not have the money to spend,” he realistically states.

The deli staff like to experiment and make different types of rissoles, which are going down a treat with locals Value is displayed throughout the store with retailer Shane Murphy noting that: “Musgrave is working hard on the promotional side of the business making sure that the people and the suppliers receive value”

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“If you are a single person and you are not buying in bulk you might see an increase in the costs of your shopping sooner because a lot of time the value is in multi-buys. The challenge is when will inflation stop and is the government doing anything to stop it as they have to play a role,” he stresses. Paul Mullen, the Musgrave business development manager (BDM) has been a big help to the Murphys in getting the store up and running. “I knew what Musgrave could offer me so I know I’m with the right people for the job,” says Murphy

Five year plan While still finding their feet in Murrinstown, it’s probably a little premature to ask if there are any plans for more expansion in the pipeline and Murphy confirms that they are happy with what they have. “My wife said that for the sake of this marriage you are not to take on any more stores,” he jokes. “I think the five year plan is just to make our lives and the lives of everyone else in the business who works for us easier. To do everything we do efficiently and face the challenges that come along but my mantra is ‘work smarter, not harder’. I just try to make my colleagues’ lives as easy as possible. If I see them doing something, I’ll suggest the easiest way to do it. That’s all we want to do is grow the business and make sure our people aren’t killed doing it. I want people to have an enjoyable day and have a laugh while getting the job done.”

Demand shift Just as the business has changed, Ruiz notes that consumer demand has changed too. “Gin was performing really well before the pandemic, but now sales have gone down massively Meanwhile whiskey is really having a moment, it’s flying out the door We have a great selection of rare whiskeys for customers who collect. If a customer can’t find a type of whiskey they come to us and we try to get it for them.”

Award sponsored by Alpha Zeta

With its stellar reputation, the A league of their own Julia O’Reilly caught up with Dante Ruiz, manager at the 2022 Leinster Off-Licence of The Year award winner The Wine Centre in Kilkenny city

High standards Of course, running a highly successful, multi-award-winning store comes with its own challenges, but Ruiz says it comes quite naturally to himself and the team. “I never feel pressure in this job I love the work and have a great team working with me My main concern is staffing. In this business, people are always moving around so finding the right replacement is incredibly important. To keep standards high you need the right people in the shop.” As Ruiz prides his team for providing personalised, specialist advice to customers, he is adamant that the team maintain that high standard as the store experiences staff turnover. When bringing new members of staff into the fold, Ruiz is grateful to have senior members of staff who he can rely on to help guide the way “We have two members of staff who help the newer employees learn how we engage with the customers, and how we present ourselves and our shop They help set the tone going forward.”

Without missing a beat, the team developed an online shop and business started rolling in. “It took off so quickly,” says Ruiz. “Just like that, we were sending out boxes of whiskeys, wines, and beers, every day. The online sales ended up being a really positive addition to our business, and we’re still seeing success with the e-shop today.”

Since The Wine Centre first opened its doors in 1965 it has been renowned for its dedication to customer service and excellence in product selection. Most recently, the store was lauded by NOffLA, who named it the Leinster Off-Licence of The Year for 2022. Based in Kilkenny city The Wine Centre boasts an extensive collection of new and old-world wines, alongside over 300 craft beers. Plus, its recently opened ‘Whiskey Wall’ carries over 120 whiskeys, including a selection of rare bottles, all of which are available to purchase When ShelfLife recently caught up with the store’s manager, Dante Ruiz, he shared his delight at receiving the honour “We were very excited when we heard we’d won. This is one of the greatest achievements an off-licence can receive, so it means a lot to us. It’s something our customers like to see as well, so that’s another nice element of the win.” While the win was warmly welcomed, this isn’t The Wine Centre’s first rodeo In fact, they have scored the accolade nine times in the last 10 years. Originally from Peru, Ruiz has lived in Ireland since 2009 After a short spell in Dublin, he moved to Co Kilkenny, and having been told The Wine Centre was looking for a wine sales advisor, Ruiz applied and has been there ever since. Exceptional service A real stand-out in its field, Ruiz says one of the key differences between The Wine Centre and other off-licences and supermarkets is the expertise of its staff and its vast drinks range “The Wine Centre is such a specialist shop, and the knowledge our team has is really exceptional. But more than just being knowledgeable, they’re all chatty and friendly, which is incredibly important too.”

The store is a huge hit with American tourists who often come in to buy American bourbon and end up with Irish whiskey store is a must-visit for many the tourists visiting the area. “We are the main off-licence here in Kilkenny,” says Ruiz, “so we get a lot of tourists, especially from America. They love seeing our wide selection of drinks, but mainly they like to chat with the team. Often the Americans come into the store to buy American bourbon and end up with Irish whiskey “History always sells,” Ruiz continues. “If you tell someone about the history behind a drink, and really engage with them, they almost always end up buying it. Sometimes it might not be as ‘good’ a drink as others we offer, but a great story can make it extraordinary.”

Big changes Like many in the industry, The Wine Centre team faced many hurdles in the early days of the pandemic: “That forced us to make some big changes, the biggest being our embrace of e-commerce.”

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What’s more, The Wine Centre began delivering to its long-term customers in Kilkenny at no cost another development that is still going strong to this day. “We do local deliveries in Kilkenny at no cost, and our online shop ships internationally Before the pandemic, it was mainly the younger generations buying alcohol online, but now it’s much more popular across the board.”

Social media trends

Whispering Angel is a nice wine that social media has created a real frenzy around. We sell it for

Many consumers are making alcohol purchases based on social media trends. Mezcal, in particular, is very popular both online and with customers in Ruiz’s store. And Whispering Angel Rosé has seen a huge sales boost thanks to its popularity on the internet. “Internet trends have a big impact on our sales,” says Ruiz. “The mezcal trend started on social media, and young people are still buying it en masse

In on monthly column outlining NOffLA members’ favourite tipples, Emily McEntee of McEntees Off-Licence, Newmarket Street, Kells, Co. Meath, outlines her top pick

The NOffLA website can be found at ■

My favourite

Staying on top of what’s popular online is an important aspect of running a successful noffla contacts If you have any queries regarding NOffLA membership or services, please contact our administrator, Reggie Walsh, at Block D, Unit 6, Nutgrove Office Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14, by telephone on 01 296 2326, by fax on 01 296 2451 or by email at

The Wine Centre boasts an extensive collection of new and old-world wines Store manager Dante Ruiz Ruiz says one of the key differences between The Wine Centre and other off-licences and supermarkets is the expertise of its staff and its vast drinks range Emily McEntee is a fan of Cockagee cider, which is made nearby along the Boyne valley in Slane McEntee’s Off-Licence has been serving the local community in Kells for over 100 years. The above photograph from the 1930s shows Emily’s great grandfather, Ted McEntee and Annie Kinsella (photograph restored by NMC Photos, Kells) When I was first asked to submit a piece about one of my favourite products, the decision was difficult, as we have an extensive range of premium wines, beers and spirits and we have great Irish partners who import the finest alcohol products, so to choose from these wasn’t an easy feat But here in McEntee’s we pride ourselves in supporting local, we love local Irish products especially when we have premium Irish products right at our doorstep, and luckily for us, Cockagee cider is made a couple of towns over along the Boyne valley in Slane Mark and Fiona make hand crafted, small batch ciders using the traditional Keeving process which gives their ciders unique aromas and flavours. With a rather unusual name Cockagee is named after an old Irish apple tree thought to be extinct and is now blended with the finest English and French apples to make this beautiful cider Cider was once the original wine of the land here in Ireland and their goal in The Cider Mill Slane is to return it to its former glory Tasting notes With a beautiful golden colour, floral aromas, a burst of honey, fruit and almonds with a fullbodied long finish, this low alcohol cider is perfect as a whole year-round drink on a beautiful summer’s day and even at Christmas dinner This is hands down my favourite product in stock, and if you haven’t tried it before, now is the time At €4.20 for a 375ml bottle and €8.40 for a 750ml bottle you couldn’t pass it. We have really seen sales spike of Cockagee this summer and expect it to keep going as consumers seem to be looking for less quantity but higher quality products. Cockagee can be purchased now on store today, and it’s something Ruiz does not take lightly “We have a full-time member of staff that does marketing for us. He uses social media to promote us and our products and through using those tools we have generated a lot of customers. “In a business like this, if you’re not into the social media trends, the business won’t survive. You have to embrace technology You have to use these platforms as another way to interact with customers.” As to how he keeps customers coming back, Ruiz says: “Some places are cheaper than us, but customers always come back to The Wine Centre because they trust us. Our customers trust our recommendations, our delivery is reliable our products are of a high-quality We’re a tight team that really values our relationship with the customer, and they can feel that.” €30 and people are delighted to get their hands on it.”

21NOFFLA NEWS | ShelfLife August 2022

“Management teams should be trained to understand the impact that menopause can have on work and what adjustment should be offered to those affected,” writes Caroline Reidy

CAROLINE REIDY managing director, The HR Suite CONTACT THE HR SUITE: If you require further information or advice on HR, please do not hesitate to contact The HR Suite’s consultants on (01) 9014335 or (066) 7102887 or email the company at

improving experience of women

In September 2021, in response to a question during a Dáil sitting, the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly responded that the government recognises that menopause is a key health issue for women in Ireland today, and work is underway to progress in this area. The question was whether training and a protocol would be put in place for employers to support their employees who may be experiencing menopause and/or perimenopausal symptoms. The Minister also highlighted that menopause has been identified as a priority under the Women’s Health Taskforce. He also assured that the Minister for Health and the Women’s Health Taskforce are committed to improving the experience of women in Ireland through the menopause. As menopause is a medical condition which can affect people in the workplace, it will continue to be a priority for the Women’s Health Taskforce and the Minister of Health.

Supporting employees during the menopause

Duty of care Under health and safety legislation, employers have a duty of care towards employees and menopausal symptoms should be treated as a medical issue. Failure to support employees who are affected by such symptoms may contravene laws such as discrimination. Following best practice, risk assessments should be completed to consider specific requirements and needs of employees who are experiencing perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms. The assessments should include but not be limited to, access to appropriate toilet facilities, drinking water and well ventilated and air conditioned work spaces. Some consideration should also be given to flexible working where possible. Many employers are now proactive in managing an age and gender diverse workplace. Employers and management teams should be trained to understand the impact that menopause can have on work and what adjustment should be offered to those affected. standalone policy and eap A standalone policy on menopause in the workplace may be introduced by the company to assist and support employees. This policy should give direction to support channels available to employees such as HR support and/or the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Guidance for both employees and their managers should be freely available throughout the workplace and this should be outlined within the standalone policy Simple changes within the workplace can make all the difference in helping provide a more comfortable working environment to those experiencing symptoms.

The use of the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which offers impartial and confidential counselling and advise services would assist in resolving difficulties which may affect health, wellbeing and work performance. The use of the EAP can assist hugely when offering support to employees who are experiencing perimenopausal symptoms or are going through the menopause. open door policy With the EAP and standalone policy, the employer should operate an open door policy This encourages the employees within an organisation to contact you, the employer, with regard to work related or personal problems which are treated with the strictest confidence. The open door policy gives the employee a safe space to share their concerns and allows the employer to provide assistance in resolving problems or concerns. The company’s policies should reflect this whereby the business will make time for employees and will listen to them sympathetically and offer realistic solutions. Some employees may need more regular breaks throughout the day to rest or attend medical appointments. Flexible working options can allow employees to manage their working hours and working day in a way that suits them whilst experiencing these symptoms. An employer should discuss possible flexible working options with employees who may benefit from this arrangement whilst navigating through menopausal symptoms.

Menopause is marked by the ending of menstruation and is often referred to as ‘the change’. Whilst the menopause is a natural part of the life cycle, it is often still a taboo subject in many workplaces, which is a reminder to employers of the importance of being proactive in managing an age and gender diverse workplace. Both menopause and perimenopause within the workplace should be addressed as, quite often, many employees in this category are at an advanced stage in their career. It is therefore important that the correct supports are provided in the right way It is estimated that eight out of 10 women experience symptoms leading up to the menopause. In most cases, the first symptom is a significant change in the usual pattern of the menstrual cycle. However, women can be affected by symptoms for a long period of time before this, which is typically known as the perimenopausal period which can last four to six years before the natural menopause occurs. Perimenopause is the time during which a person’s body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years for that person. Without treatment, most menopausal symptoms gradually stop naturally, usually between two and five years after the initial symptoms start.

22 ADVISOR: HR ShelfLife August 2022 |

An estimated eight out of 10 women experience symptoms leading up to the menopause, and within the workplace, many are at an advanced stage in their career. It is therefore vital that the correct supports are provided in the right way, writes The HR Suite’s Caroline Reidy

Celebrating stores Jason McSteen Nearby ROI Sales Manager (+353) 0 86 604 0474 This milestone comes after launching Nearby just one year ago and we’d like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone involved. The future for the Nearby brand is very exciting and we can’t wait to expand even further across the island of Ireland. If you are a passionate retailer looking for a positive change, get in touch today to see how we can help To find out more about the benefits of becoming a Nearby retailer contact: We’re thrilled to announce the opening of our 100th Nearby store!

Camile launches new Indian brand Thindi with four restaurants now open

Retailers hit by product recalls

Helmed by Camile Food Group CEO, Brody Sweeney, this new addition to the Irish restaurant scene recently opened its doors in Shankill with the feel-good Indian also available for collection, takeaway or delivery to customers in Phibsborough, Clarehall and Sligo town, creating 60 jobs in the local areas. Download the Thindi app to check out the menu or visit

Dublin city centre is welcoming a brand-new Krispy Kreme store this month. Based in the heart of the city centre, the stand-alone Hotlight store will be the capital’s flagship and its full-glass frontage will allow Krispy Kreme fans and passers-by to see the production of its mouth-watering doughnuts from the outside Located in the city’s new Central Plaza building, this is Krispy Kreme’s first store in the centre of the city, situated at the popular pedestrian walkway linking Dame Street to Temple Bar The store opened its doors at 7am on 17 August.

Meanwhile, Tesco has recalled a batch of Free From Digestive Biscuits amid fears it could contain small metal pieces. The affected packs are 160g and have a best before end date of March 2023. A batch of Fray Bentos Just Chicken Pie has also been pulled from shelves in Tesco, SuperValu, and Dunnes Stores due to the possible presence of plastic. The affected product is 425g and has batch code L079T, with time code between 06:00 08:22, and a best before date of 09/2023. A batch of Mars Bounty Ice Cream Bars has been recalled due to the presence of the unauthorised pesticide ethylene oxide The affected bars have the batch code 037C3DOE02, and the best before date 31/08/22. Meadow Park Eggs has recalled batches of Meadow Park 6 Free Range Duck Eggs due to the possible presence of Salmonella. The recall includes all best before dates up to and including 08/08/2022.

Before the project ‘Nutrition with Melon Flavour’, only 24% (41) of the children involved were obtaining sufficient calories

The FSAI also issued a recall notice on Roma’s Formaggio Da Pasta cheese powder due to the potential presence of mould. The impacted batch is in a pack size of 80g with the best before date 05/05/2023. Costs involved in recalls Not only do food product recalls cause a disruption in operations while managing the recall, but there is also a direct cost of recalling stock and the associated activities and the indirect costs caused by the knock-on effects. ShelfLife will report on this issue and the impact on retailers in greater detail in our September issue if you would like to share your thoughts on this topic and the impact on your business, please email

Fyffes partners with Food Bank of Honduras With the aim of supporting healthy nutrition and reducing school absenteeism of children in the communities near Fyffes’ melon-producing farms in Choluteca, Honduras Fyffes and the Food Bank of Honduras have created a pilot programme, ‘Nutrition with Melon Flavour’ (or ‘Nutrición con Sabor a Melón’) which has already benefited 138 families. The project involved delivering 13,151 nutritionally balanced lunches to the children, with a different menu for each day, including melons from Fyffes subsidiary Sol Group So far, Fyffes has donated 1,200 melons to local families.

Earlier this month, Irish supermarkets asked customers not to eat a number of food products after issuing recalls on several items. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued alerts about some products that have since been removed from shelves in Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Dunnes Stores, Spar, and SuperValu. Any shops that stocked the impacted products posted point of sale notices in their store and gave shoppers refunds for returning any of the affected batches. The FSAI recalled various batches of Haagen-Dazs ice cream products due to the detection of 2-Chloroethanol, a recognised reaction product of ethylene oxide which is banned for use in foods in Europe The recall affected several flavours: Belgian Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Pralines and Cream, and Duo Belgian Chocolate and Strawberry Crunch. The products were for sale in major Irish supermarkets including Tesco, Dunnes and SuperValu. Just last month, a separate alert was issued for tubs of Haagen-Dazs Vanilla weighing 460ml and Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Collection packs of 4x95ml for the same reason.

Camile Food Group CEO, Brody Sweeney with Thindi head chef, Mubashar Ali

Limerick-based Twomey’s Bakery signs new €5m Aldi contract Aldi Ireland has agreed a new exclusive three-year deal worth almost €5 million with Limerick-based Twomey’s Bakery to supply all of Aldi’s 150 Irish stores with its breads, baked scones, tarts, and sponges. Twomey’s Bakery, based in Dromcollogher, Co Limerick, has partnered with Aldi since 2019 and currently supplies Aldi’s stores with its ancient grain batch loaf, apple tart, fruit scones, apple sponge and apple crumble As part of the new deal, Twomey’s will also be introducing a tasty new rhubarb crumble which will be available over the summer months so customers can enjoy the rhubarb while it’s at its best.

Krispy Kreme opens Dublin city centre store

Irish-owned Camile Food Group has embarked on an exciting expansion into Indian fare with the official launch of Thindi. Delivering a modern take on Indian cuisine, Thindi is inviting a new generation of foodies to turn their weekly routine into a ritual, with a fresh perspective on the authentic flavours of this indulgent subcontinent culture. A host of perennial favourites from Punjabi Samosas to creamy Masalas, are all made to order by a team of experienced Indian chefs.

Krispy Kreme has opened a store in Dublin’s new Central Plaza Peter Bough, buying director, Aldi Ireland and Patrick Twomey of Twomey’s Bakery

24 FOOD FOCUS ShelfLife August 2022 |

Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, the event’s platinum sector, likewise spoke of the importance of supporting and recognising managers’ dedication, noting: “Bank of Ireland are delighted to once again be lead sponsor of the Grocery Management Awards. These awards showcase the excellent standards and service delivered by the Irish grocery sector They also celebrate the significant contribution made by personnel within the sector to their local communities nationwide Personally, it remains a privilege to support and recognise all that’s great about the internationally renowned Irish grocery sector.”

Here’s to all the finalists and winners, and we’ll see you all again next year!

Celebrating the Heroes of Retail Awards sponsored by Bank of Ireland and held in association with Excel Recruitment

25GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

“Bank of Ireland are delighted to once again be lead sponsor of the Grocery Management Awards,” said Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland

The flexibility and quick-thinking required by Ireland’s leading grocery managers has once again been thoroughly demonstrated by this year’s winners,” said ShelfLife publisher John McDonald MC Shay Byrne of RTÉ Radio One’s Rising Time kept everyone entertained throughout the evening, pictured here with Supreme Champion Mark Byrne and Bank of Ireland’s Owen Clifford Ireland’s grocery retail industry gathered at Dublin’s Royal Marine Hotel on Wednesday, 6 July, for the 2022 ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards, recognising individual management excellence in the sector With 350 guests in attendance. 23 awards were presented, honouring the best in the many departments that make up local convenience stores and supermarkets, culminating in the grand prize of ShelfLife National Grocery Retail Manager of the Year Led by MC Shay Byrne of RTÉ Radio One’s Rising Time, the prestigious, independently judged awards ceremony was supported by platinum sponsor Bank of Ireland and carried out in association with Excel Recruitment. Mark Byrne of Blake’s Centra, Blarney Filling Station, Co Cork was named National Grocery Retail Manager of the Year 2022. The judges deemed Mark Byrne an outstanding winner on account of the true dedication and passion he has demonstrated for the retail industry (turn to page 28 for our interview with this exemplary manager). Commenting on the overall national winner, the judges noted: “A firm, fair and friendly manager, Mark Byrne has said time and time again how the heart and defiance of his team during a two-year pandemic has helped their store reach record turnovers. This award is not just based on sales figures but how well retailers can adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the retail industry “Mark’s truly positive outlook on life shines through to his management style and how he runs his store. He has invested many hours in developing his team and ensuring they get the recognition they deserve. A true advocate for excellence in retailing, Mark Byrne is well deserving of this award.”

The theme of this year’s ceremony was ‘Heroes of Retail’, a title which ShelfLife publisher John McDonald described as a fitting tribute to the dedication demonstrated by Ireland’s leading grocery managers. “The flexibility and quick-thinking required by Ireland’s leading grocery managers has once again been thoroughly demonstrated by this year’s winners,” McDonald said. “Retailers have faced huge challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic not least of which, difficulties with staff rostering due to isolation restrictions. Rising business costs have likewise become a serious issue for community-based retailers. However, despite all the challenges, the winners awarded tonight have shown they can always be relied upon to deliver true professionalism, fantastic service and real care for their customers which sees them continuously go above and beyond to deliver an internationally renowned shopping experience. Their unfaltering attention to detail is truly to be commended.”

Supreme Champion Mark Byrne received a standing ovation as he walked to the stage to collect his trophy

Guests enjoyed a fabulous evening catching up in-person with their colleagues in the trade as these photos demonstrate There was a fantastic atmosphere in the room as our Supreme Champion Mark Byrne spoke on stage, joined by MC Shay Byrne and Bank of Ireland’s Owen Clifford

MC Shay Byrne chatted to all our winners on stage to find out more about what makes them stand out as Ireland’s best grocery retail managers Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Award with Supreme Champion Mark Byrne and ShelfLife publisher John McDonald

26 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Congratulations to our Award Winning Managers SUPERMARKET MANAGER OF THE YEAR (LARGE) Ger Joyce, SuperValu Swords Pavilions, Co Dublin FORECOURT MANAGER OF THE YEAR (SMALL) Mark Byrne, Blake’s Centra, Co Cork CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER OF THE YEAR Christina Ryan, SuperValu Blanchardstown, Co Dublin PROTEIN/PROVISIONS MANAGER OF THE YEAR Edmund Galavan, SuperValu, Kilbarry, Co Waterford SHELFLIFE NATIONAL GROCERY RETAIL MANAGER OF THE YEAR 2022 Mark Byrne, Blake’s Centra, Co Cork C-STORE MANAGER OF THE YEAR (SMALL) Claire Slevin, Herlihy’s Centra, Co Cork C-STORE MANAGER OF THE YEAR (LARGE) Erica Gavigan, Donnybrook Fair, Co Dublin FRUIT & VEGETABLE MANAGER OF THE YEAR Jason McGoldrick, SuperValu Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo SUPERMARKET DELICATESSEN/FOOD TO GO MANAGER OF THE YEAR Susan Lennon, SuperValu Kilbarry, Co Waterford C-STORE DELICATESSEN/ FOOD TO GO MANAGER OF THE YEAR Alicia Skwarek, Centra Arklow, Co Wicklow HR MANAGER OF THE YEAR Naomi Ryan, Donnybrook Fair, Co Dublin

28 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

determination that cancer will not define him. When he was put forward for the award this year he told the judges he had health challenges but didn’t go into detail about the extent of his sickness. As he explains, “I wanted to win the award because the judges thought I was the most deserving of it.”

Winning an award can mean a lot to a person. It is afterall, recognition from your peers and colleagues of hard work, determination and talent and it can motivate people to take their careers to new heights. Mark Byrne, manager of Blake’s Centra in Blarney, Co Cork was crowned the Supreme Winner of this year’s ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards. He was chosen because he was the cream of the crop, the person who the judges believed was the most deserving of the accolade this year Unbeknownst to the judges Byrne is living with terminal cancer, yet chooses to get up each morning and put in a hard day’s graft simply due to his love of retail and sheer

Night of the awards Byrne is still on a high from the win and remembers the night of the awards and the shock at being named supreme winner

When the judges said that Byrne shows “true dedication and passion for the retail industry and noted his truly positive outlook on life”, they didn’t realise how much of an understatement this actually was.

“Someone was offering me a drink and I just heard my name being called and I couldn’t believe it. It was a great moment for me and a fantastic night.” He dedicated the award to his two children, Callie and Harley-Grace having dedicated his other award earlier in the night of Small Forecourt Manager of the Year to his wife Elaine who certainly looked like his biggest fan as she stood in the middle of the room proudly recording him receiving his awards. Byrne is keen to ensure that his team get the recognition they deserve as he speaks of how hard working and supportive they are and says he would not have won the award without them. “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I have a great team,” he says. Byrne pays a special tribute to his assistant manager Tim Duggan (aka Mr Blarney) who has worked in the store for 25 years and is a great friend and support to him. “There really needs to be an assistant manager of the year award. It can be a thankless role but they work so hard and allow you to look at the bigger picture. If you can delegate to a strong assistant manager, then your life is so much easier,” he believes.

Byrne’s goal for a long time has been to manage Blake’s Centra and the icing on the cake was to win the award that rates him as the top retail manager in the country “This is the pinnacle of my career,” says Byrne. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Many people might struggle to understand this mentality, imagining that if we were given a finite amount of time, we would down tools and try to complete an extravagant bucket list.

The power of positivity

Mark Byrne, manager of Blake’s Centra, Blarney, Co. Cork was awarded the Supreme Champion Award at the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards 2022 at Dublin’s Royal Marine Hotel on 6 July. Fionnuala Carolan spoke to this very worthy winner and hears his extraordinary story Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, the event’s platinum sponsor, presents the National Grocery Manager of the Year Award 2022 to Mark Byrne of Blake’s Centra, Blarney Filling Station, Co. Cork, alongside ShelfLife editor Gillian Hamill MC Shay Byrne, Supreme Champion Mark Byrne and Bank of Ireland’s Owen Clifford celebrating together on stage

Managing the BFS Byrne has worked in Blake’s Centra Blarney on and off since 2011. This store is more commonly known locally as the BFS Blarney Filling Station. For nearly 20 years, owners Stephen and Jemma Blake have served the community trading through a recession and a pandemic whilst continually attempting to progress the store with revamps undertaken in 2008, 2017 and a mini revamp in February 2022. He says that the Blakes have supported him unequivocally in the role and with his health challenges in recent years. “They were so happy for me winning the award. I’m so thankful to them as they have looked after me and my family. I didn’t have to worry about wages coming in and paying bills. It means more for me winning it in Blakes in Blarney than anywhere else. It’s my spiritual home and the place I’ve been happiest working. I’ll never work in any other store,” he says without hesitation.

Progression Aside from working in the BFS, Byrne has had a number of management positions including Centra Youghal and Centra Cobh throughout his career During one of his stints away from the BFS while working in his home town Cobh in 2015, he was put forward and won the ShelfLife Grocery Manager of the Year Award for stores 2000-4000 sq ft and this spurred him on to enrol in the DIT Retail Management course, which further grew his love of retail. He believes that retail sometimes doesn’t get “the credence or respect it deserves” and believes it is a great career option with many talented people working in the industry While he was doing this course he was wooed back to Centra Blarney again in 2019 as the store owner Stephen wanted to take a step away from the business and asked Byrne to be the store’s manager “I started to naturally become the manager as Stephen gave me more responsibility and stepped away. We did a mini revamp in February this year bringing in the new Frank and Honest 2.0. The store is now probably between 6/7,000 square feet. It’s quite sizable for a Centra store and there are 50 staff,” he explains. “The deli is the star of the shop. Patrick, the deli manager, was nominated for a ShelfLife award too this year We have a full kitchen and a really strong offering. We have reached turnover that we didn’t even think was possible,” he says. A bad year While things were progressing well for Byrne in Blarney, the world came to a halt in March 2020 with the arrival of Covid-19 but Byrne’s world really stopped in April 2020 when he received the devastating and shocking cancer diagnosis. “I’d had issues with my back but I attributed it to doing the revamp as it was very physical and I used to play football so I presumed it was related to that. However when we looked into it, scans showed that it was much more advanced than they originally thought and it had spread through my body so they couldn’t operate,” he starkly reveals. One of the most difficult parts of the story was that he was due to take over as manager around that time, an opportunity he had waited a long time for and the cancer diagnosis initially took that possibility away from him as he had to step back from work to keep himself free from infection. “It was probably the most difficult thing to deal with as I felt like I had earned it. Covid compromised me so I had to stay off work until the start of the vaccines so once I was vaccinated I came in a few days a week. I wanted to feel like I was making a contribution. When I got back I built myself

Mark celebrating with his wife Elaine on the night “You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I have a great team,” says Supreme Champion Mark Byrne back up from two to four days a week,” he explains. In a difficult move they discussed getting another manager as medically he shouldn’t be doing it but he wanted to give it a shot. “My best friend said that the thing that I struggled with most was something being taken away from me so he said to me why not take it back? I spoke to my wife and she said she would support me whatever I decided. I didn’t know if it would work but I’m very determined and I’ve always been determined throughout all this. You can do anything you set your mind to,” he said. He eventually made it back to full-time and the full manager role while delicately balancing his health challenges with the needs of the store.

Mentally strong Byrne believes that the power of positivity is the most important tool he has. “I wanted this and I was able to push myself more than I or others thought was possible. My medical team think I’m mad but I say I’m not mad, I’m determined. Sitting at home wouldn’t do anything for me. I love retail. I choose to do this. I hope my passion for retail shines through. I would say I’m a better manager from all my experience and I’ve learned from everybody I’ve ever been involved with. I wouldn’t push myself if it was going to be to the detriment of the business,” he confirms. So what does the future hold for Byrne? “My diagnosis was two years and it has passed two years now My hope is that more medicine will come out and something else will turn up. I live my life as someone who has cancer but cancer doesn’t define who I am and it’s not the first thing I think about when I wake up or last thing before I go to sleep. It’s like it’s piggybacking on my life. There’s always hope and always something to aspire to.”

ShelfLife would like to congratulate Mark Byrne on his award and wish him and his family the very best.

■ 29GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 | ShelfLife August 2022

• Kornelia Deptula, SuperValu Ballyhaunis, Newpark, Co Mayo • Rheymel Manalo, Donnybrook Fair, Dundrum, Dublin 16 Forecourt Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager WINNER: Kathryn Moloney, Casey’s Londis, Castlebar, Mayo Gillian Hamill, editor, ShelfLife magazine, presents the Forecourt Delicatessen/ Food to Go Manager Award to Kathryn Moloney, Casey’s Londis, Castlebar, Mayo What the judges said: Kathryn Moloney from Casey’s Londis in Westport is a worthy winner of the Forecourt Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year 2022 Award. A manager whose professionalism is next to none, Kathryn Moloney is a positive and inspiring leader, who maintains constantly excellent standards in her department. Award sponsored by ShelfLife 30 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Cash and Carry Manager of the Year Award

WINNER: Gary Moriarty of Value Centre Listowel, Co. Kerry

Gillian Hamill, editor, ShelfLife magazine, presents the Protein/Provisions Manager of the Year Award to Edmund Galavan, SuperValu, Kilbarry, Tramore Road, Co. Waterford

Finalists: •

WINNER: Edmund Galavan, SuperValu, Kilbarry, Tramore Road, Co. Waterford


Winner: Gary Moriarty, Value Centre Listowel, Co Kerry Finalist: Kieran Barron, Value Centre, Letterkenny, Co Donegal Food to Go Manager by ShelfLife Kathryn Moloney, Casey’s Londis, Castlebar, Mayo Sharon Halligan Centra Kilkelly, Co Mayo O’Connell Centra, Blarney Filling Station, Co Cork Monica McLoughlin, McLoughlin’s Daybreak, Co Galway


Protein/Provisions Manager of the Year Award

Gillian Hamill, editor, ShelfLife magazine, presents the Cash and Carry Manager of the Year Award to Gary Moriarty of Value Centre Listowel, Co. Kerry


• Patrick

• Michael Kelleher, O’Brien’s Service Station, Costcutter, Bishopstown, Co Cork

• Helen Taylor, Daybreak Dungarvan, Co Waterford Protein and Provisions Manager of the Year Sponsored by ShelfLife

Winner: Edmund Galavan, SuperValu, Kilbarry, Tramore Road, Co. Waterford


Forecourt Delicatessen/


• Christine Sullivan, Candy’s Costcutter Carnew, Co Wicklow


What the judges said: The proud manager of a community-based business that supplies customers in the retail, food and beverage sectors, Gary Moriarty of Value Centre Listowel, Co Kerry was named Cash and Carry Manager of the Year 2022. Gary Moriarty consistently strives to put both his team and his customers at the heart of this business. The judges noted that his ability to manage his direct team and customer relationships in an increasingly competitive market while consistently delivering on KPIs is what sets Moriarty apart from the competition. What the judges said: Edmund Galavan from SuperValu, Kilbarry in Co Waterford was named Protein and Provisions Manager of the Year 2022. An experienced fresh meat manager, Edmund Galavan is an inspirational leader He loves his job and does everything to ensure his team love their jobs too. Galavan puts a big focus on the development of his team and his department and has achieved many successes over the last number of years.

Award sponsored by ShelfLife Award sponsored by ShelfLife and Carry Manager of the Year by ShelfLife


Your Local Wholesaler For Over 50 Years The Value Centre team have achieved this prestigious award four years in a row! Gary Moriarty, Value Centre Listowel Manager with Gillian Hamill, Editor of ShelfLife FORECOURT DELI FOOD TO GO MANAGER OF THE YEAR 2022 WINNER: Kathryn Moloney, Casey’s Londis Castlebar, Co. Mayo Congratulations

Finalists: • Claudia Monteriro, Brennan & McNally’s Centra, Co Westmeath

Blanchardstown, Dublin Finalists: • Emer Rave, SuperValu Sutton, Sutton, Dublin 13 • Darren Smyth, Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick Street, Co Cork C-Store Delicatessen/ Food to Go Manager of the Year Sponsored by ShelfLife Winner: Alicia Skwarek of Centra Arklow, Co Wicklow Finalists: • Sharon English, O’Donnells Daybreak, Cahir, Co Tipperary • Christina Cork, Delaney’s Mace, Headford, Co Galway • Kasia Koszalka, Herlihy’s Centra Patrick Street, Co Cork • Debbie Fisher, Costcutter Burgess N25, Killeagh, Co Cork • Ger Keenan, Masterson`s Centra, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim • Jasmine Kerr, Mace Blackbull, Drogheda, Co Louth • Catherine Arnold, Today’s Extra, Killashandra, Co Cavan • Helen Taylor Daybreak Dungarvan,

• Micheal Cummins, Cummins Daybreak, Co Limerick • Wendy Bayliss, Daybreak Cahir, Tierney Tierney’s Costcutter, Co Foster Knocklyon,

WINNER: Christina Ryan, SuperValu Blanchardstown, Dublin Gillian Hamill, editor, ShelfLife magazine, presents the C-Store Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year Award to Alicia Skwarek of Centra Arklow, Co. Wicklow

Clare • Daniel

Gillian Hamill, editor, ShelfLife magazine, presents the In-Store Bakery Manager the Year Veronica Kenny of Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew, Co. Wicklow

Hayley Rochford, grocery recruiter from Excel Recruitment. presents the Customer Service Manager of the Year Award to Christina Ryan, SuperValu Blanchardstown, Dublin

WINNER: Veronica Kenny of Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew, Co. Wicklow

Customer Service Manager

• Russell O’Brien, Delaney’s Mace, Moneen, Castlebar, Co Mayo



Sponsored by ShelfLife

Customer Service Manager of the Year

What the judges said: Alicia Skwarek from Centra Arklow was named C-Store Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year 2022. A hardworking and dedicated manager, Alicia Skwarek puts a huge emphasis on customer service in her department. Skwarek’s department has been going from strength to strength and seen some amazing figures over the past year and her attention to detail and passion for her job is exceptional.


, SuperValu

Award to

C-Store Deli/Food to Go Manager of the Year

What the judges said: Veronica Kenny of Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew, Co Wicklow, was named In-Store Bakery Manager of the Year 2022 and praised by the judges for being a hugely passionate and caring manager She is constantly developing her product range to cater to the local community, which she has served for 14 years. Veronica Kenny truly believes in fostering a positive and innovative environment to allow each member of the bakery team to flourish. by ShelfLife

Co Tipperary • John

Award sponsored

Winner: Veronica Kenny, Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew, Co. Wicklow

WINNER: Alicia Skwarek of Centra Arklow, Co. Wicklow


• Oonagh Hannon, Nearby Ireland, Finisklin, Co Sligo In-Store Bakery Manager of the Year

Dublin 16 Award sponsored by ShelfLife In-Store Bakery Manager of the Year Award


32 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Sponsored by Excel

What the judges said: Christina Ryan from SuperValu Blanchardstown, Dublin, was the deserving winner of the Customer Service Manager of the Year 2022 Award. A manager who lives and breathes customer service, Christina Ryan is passionate about creating a warm, welcoming and professional environment to every customer that visits her store. She has established herself as a strong customer service manager and has made a considerable impact. Christina Ryan consistently supports her staff and has mentored several junior staff to promotion. sponsored by Excel Recruitment of the Year Recruitment Christina Ryan, SuperValu Co Waterford

Gillian Hamill, editor, ShelfLife magazine, presents the In-Store Bakery Manager of the Year Award to Veronica Kenny of Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew, Co. Wicklow, at the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards 2022

Veronica Kenny Who won In-Store Bakery Manager of the year, Sponsored by Shelflife Magazine

Edel Flood, BWG Foods with Sinead Roche of Mace Thomas Street, Limerick Dylan Gaffney, Hayley Rochford, Ciara Malone, Alan Treacy and Nikki Murran of Excel Recruitment

Brian Riordan, Lisa Rafferty, Gerda Stralkute, Katie Lipien, Dwayne Hunt and Vincent Whitmore of Caulfield’s SuperValu, Bandon, Co. Cork

Social Diary

Barry Group would like to congratulate Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew & their In-Store Bakery Manager

Heidi Fitzgerald, Lynn MacManus, Fiona O’Neill and Ashling Drumm; Musgrave

Michael Mackessy of Spar Croom with Ger Hurley, Zarinah Berkery and Philip Campbell of Aryzta Food Solutions Ireland Michael Morgan, Musgrave, with Mary Nolan, Jeff Nolan, Kornelia Deptula, Jason McGoldrick and Karen Kilbane of SuperValu Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo


WINNER: Arthur McGuire of Daybreak Raven Terrace in Co. Galway Fruit & Vegetable Manager of the Year

Supermarket Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager Sponsored by ShelfLife Winner:

Lennon, SuperValu Kilbarry, Waterford Finalists: • Erika Vainauskaite, Donnybrook Fair, Dundrum, Dublin 16 • Vincent Whitmore, Caulfield’s SuperValu, Bandon, Co Cork • Samantha Lanauze, Donnybrook Fair, Ranelagh, Dublin 4 Fruit & Vegetable Manager of the Year Sponsored by Excel Recruitment Winner: Jason McGoldrick, SuperValu, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo Finalist: • Dusan Zapletal, SuperValu Knocklyon, Dublin 16 Off-Licence Manager of the Year Sponsored by Barefoot Winner: Arthur McGuire, Daybreak Raven Terrace, Co Galway Finalists: • Antonia Dominguez Donnybrook Fair, Dundrum, Dublin 16 • Charlene Cullen, Today’s Extra, Killeshandra, Co Cavan • Craig Swift, Mace Blackbull, Drogheda, Co Louth • Kevin McGrath, Daybreak Dungarvan, Co Waterford • Jane Mooney, Daybreak Williamstown, Co Galway • Robert Mooney, SuperValu Sutton, Dublin 13 • Brian Riordan, Caulfield’s SuperValu, Bandon, Co Cork • Keiran O’Neill, SuperValu Kilmainham, Dublin 8 • Paul Tomney, SuperValu Rathborne, Dublin 15 • Shane McNulty, SuperValu Ballinteer, Dublin 16 Award sponsored by ShelfLife Award sponsored by Excel Recruitment 34 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

John McDonald, publisher, ShelfLife magazine, presents the Supermarket Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager Award to Susan Lennon of SuperValu Kilbarry, Waterford, alongside editor Gillian Hamill

Alan Treacy, grocery recruiter at Excel Recruitment, presents the Fruit & Vegetable Manager of the Year Award to Jason McGoldrick of SuperValu, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo

Off-Licence Manager of the Year

WINNER: Susan Lennon of SuperValu Kilbarry, Waterford Philip Lynch, country manager, Ireland, E. & J. Gallo Winery, presents the OffLicence Manager of the Year Award to Arthur McGuire of Daybreak Raven Terrace, Co. Galway

WINNER: Jason McGoldrick of SuperValu, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo

Supermarket Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager

What the judges said: Arthur McGuire from Daybreak Raven Terrace in Co Galway was the deserving winner of the Off-Licence Manager of the Year 2022 Award. A dynamic retailer who knows the importance of driving high standards across the department, Arthur McGuire has a real passion for range and quality products and shares this knowledge with an all his customers. He stocks over 100 wines from all the corners of the globe and over 40 craft beer and ales which are specially sourced. McGuire believes in bringing a high level of service and customer engagement which has led to outstanding results over the past 12 months. What the judges said: Jason McGoldrick from SuperValu Ballyhaunis was named Fruit and Veg Manager of the Year 2022. Motivated by a strong belief in catering for every member of the community by stocking a broader range of products, McGoldrick consistently delivers the highest standards and strong availability whilst also delivering on wastage and reduction targets. He has great flair in this department and is very popular with his colleagues and customers alike. Jason McGoldrick has set a great example to his colleagues by showing how diligence and hard work can lead to a successful career in retail, having started as a part-time assistant before progressing to the management team. What the judges said: Susan Lennon from SuperValu Kilbarry in Waterford was named Supermarket Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year 2022. A dynamic and forward-thinking manager who always leads by example Susan Lennon inspires professionalism and passion in her employees always She has overseen many changes in her department since she joined the business, and the fresh food department has consequently seen market-leading growth. Barefoot Susan

Award sponsored by

presents the Off-Licence Manager of the Year to winner Arthur


Philip Lynch, E.&J. Gallo Wines, McGuire of Daybreak, Raven Co. Galway

Anthony Murphy, PepsiCo, Micheal Cummins of Cummins Galbally, Co.


presents the Medium C-Store Manager of the Year Award to winner

Limerick Daybreak Cummins Sponsored by PepsiCo Daybreak Raven Terrace The ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards have once again recognised individual management excellence in the grocery sector CONGRATULATIONS TO CUMMINS DAYBREAK AND DAYBREAK RAVEN TERRACE FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS! CONGRATULATIONS OFF-LICENCE MANAGER OF THE YEAR MEDIUM C-STORE MANAGER OF THE YEAR Sponsored by Barefoot

David Melinn, head of key accounts, BAT, presents the Small C-Store Manager of the Year Award to Claire Slevin of Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick Street, Co. Cork

WINNER: Naomi Ryan of Donnybrook Fair, Dublin 4

What the judges said: A manager who lives and breathes retail, the judges deemed Michael Cummins of Cummins Daybreak, Galbally Co Limerick, a fitting winner of the Medium C-Store Manager of the Year 2022 Award. He loves his job and aims to give his customers the very best shopping experience in his store, always going the extra mile in customer service. Cummins treats staff with respect and values employee suggestions that can drive business growth, along with providing a fun and welcoming environment in-store What the judges said: Claire Slevin of Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick Street, Co Cork, was named C-Store Small Manager of the Year 2022. Having started in retail at the age of 15, Slevin has always been determined to reach the top. This winner creates a fun, positive, continuous training and encouraging environment for her team. TikTok is a new marketing tool this manager has introduced to her store and the business which she and her staff take great pride in. At 38 weeks pregnant in the middle of Covid, Claire Slevin continued to work 45 hours a week while helping out sister stores in the company. What the judges said: Naomi Ryan of Donnybrook Fair, Dublin was named the HR Manager of the Year 2022. An outstanding HR professional, Ryan has brought the HR function in her business from strength to strength over the past three years. She has overseen the recruitment, onboarding and training for one of the most exciting new store openings in the grocery retail space, all whilst continuing to improve customer satisfaction across the brand’s other stores through people engagement and development and striving to create constant moments of magic. by BAT Ireland and Vuse

Nikki Murran, director, Excel Recruitment, presents the HR Manager of the Year Award to Naomi Ryan of Donnybrook Fair, Dublin 4

Small C-Store Manager of the Year Award

Award sponsored by PepsiCo HR Manager of the Year Sponsored by Excel Recruitment Winner: Naomi Ryan, Donnybrook Fair, D4 Finalists: • Maurice Flynn, Herlihy’s Centra Group, Fermoy, Co Cork • Claire Shaughnessy Delaney’s Mace, Headford, Co Galway • Helena Roche, Mace, Thomas Street, Co Limerick • Janine McCormack, SuperValu Sundrive, Dublin 12 • Natalie McGrath, SuperValu Sutton, Dublin 13 • Jessica Maher, SuperValu Lucan, Newcastle Road, Co Dublin Small C-Store Manager of the Year Sponsored by Vuse Winner: Claire Slevin, Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick Street, Co Cork Finalists: • Marcus O’Rourke, Gala, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim • Mark Ryan, Mace, Thomas Street, Co Limerick • James Dobbs, Kings Gala, Athy, Co Laois • Charlie Doherty, Doherty’s Daybreak Ballina, Co Mayo • Martina Menton, Londis James Hospital, D8 • Noel Madden, Spar, Tipperary Town Plaza, Co Tipperary • Sharif Saurav Mace Blackbull, Dublin Road, Co Louth • Kevin Forde, Daybreak Dungarvan, Co Waterford Medium C-Store Manager of the Year Sponsored by PepsiCo Winner: Michael Cummins, Cummins Daybreak, Galbally, Co. Limerick Finalists: • Peter Allen, Donnybrook Fair, Malahide, Co Dublin • Stephen Clifford, Londis KCR, D6W • Raymond Still, Hanrahan’s Londis, Piercetown, Co Wexford • Micheal Cummins, Cummins Daybreak, Galbally, Co Limerick • Josephine Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick’s Costcutter Service Station, Co Clare • Damien McCormack, Mace Texaco, Letterkenny, Co Donegal • Aivars Mezapuke, Spar Capel Street, D1 • Mantas Franckaitis, Costcutter Mallow, Co Cork • Ray McCarthy, Flynn’s Centra, Riverstick, Co Cork • Manuela Huber, Centra Arklow, Ferrybank, Co Wicklow • Colum Browne, XL Clogheen, Co Tipperary • Joanna Czekaj, Daybreak Cahir, Co Tipperary • Denise Farrell, Delaney’s Mace Headford, Co Galway • Rachel Malone, Daybreak Drogheda, Drogheda, Co Louth • Sarah Kennedy, Delaney’s Mace, Co Galway Award sponsored by Excel Recruitment 36 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Medium C-Store Manager of the Year Award

HR Manager of the Year

Award sponsored

Anthony Murphy, customer business manager, PepsiCo, presents the Medium C-Store Manager of the Year Award to Michael Cummins of Cummins Daybreak, Galbally, Co. Limerick

WINNER: Michael Cummins, Cummins Daybreak, Galbally, Co. Limerick

WINNER: Claire Slevin of Herlihy’s Centra, Patrick Street, Co. Cork

Large Forecourt Manager of the Year

Philip Campbell, regional sales manager, Seattle’s Best Coffee, presents the Large Forecourt Manager of the Year Award to Michael Feeney of Applegreen Lusk North, M1, Lusk, Co. Dublin Philip Campbell, regional sales manager, Seattle’s Best Coffee, presents the Small Forecourt Manager of the Year Award to Mark Byrne of Blake’s Centra, Blarney Filling Station, Co. Cork Anthony Murphy, customer business manager, PepsiCo, presents the Large C-Store Manager of the Year Award to Erica Gavigan, of Donnybrook Fair, Morehampton Road, Dublin 4

Co Sligo • Rebecca Murphy, Herlihy’s Centra, Bishopstown, Cork • Philly Cullen, Hanrahan’s Londis, Co Wexford Small Forecourt Manager of the Year Sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee Winner: Mark Byrne, Blake’s Centra, Blarney Filling Station, Co. Cork Finalists: • Owen Kelly, Centra Kilkelly, N17, Kilkelly, Co, Mayo • Jane Mooney, Daybreak Williamstown, Co Galway • Michael Kelly, Candy’s Costcutter, Carnew, Co Wicklow • Michael Feeney, Applegreen Lusk, M1 Northbound, Lusk, Co Dublin • Kevin Forde, Daybreak Dungarvan, Co Wexford • Rasa Paipoliene, Doughty’s Mace/Texaco, Wilkinstown, Co Meath • Michaela Allen, Applegreen, Clanree Service Station, Letterkenny, Co Donegal • Kealon Coward, Applegreen Youghal, Co Cork • David Hogan, Daybreak / Emo, Ennistymon, Co Clare • Ajay Velayudhan Maxol Skehard Road, Co Cork • Aoife Redmond, Applegreen, Roughmead Service Station, Co Wexford • Clare Sheehan, Applegreen Ballincollig, Co Wexford • Darius Overlingas, Applegreen, Killeshin Service Station, Portlaoise, Co Laois • Liana Miller, Applegreen Ballymount, M50 Business Park, Ballymount, D12 Large Forecourt Manager of the Year Sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee Winner: Michael Feeney, Applegreen Lusk North, M1, Lusk, Co Dublin Finalists: • Chris McVeigh, Casey’s Londis, Ballina, Co, Mayo • Peter McKeown Spar The Kinnegad Plaza, Co Westmeath • Inga Gudavicine, Applegreen Midway Food Court, Junction 17, M7, Portlaoise, Co Laois • Maura O’Reilly, Mace, Ballinalack, Co Westmeath • Billy Cormack, Hilltop Service Station/ Mace Culleens, Co Sligo • Brian Nolan, Applegreen, M11, Wicklow, Co Wicklow • Dale Antanaityte, Applegreen, Clones Road, Co Monaghan 37GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Large C-Store Manager

Small Forecourt Manager of the Year

WINNER: Erica Gavigan of Donnybrook Fair, Morehampton Road, Dublin 4

What the judges said: Mark Byrne, the winner of the Small Forecourt Manager of the Year 2022 Award is an outstanding, passionate, and positive manager Byrne has put everything into his career because it genuinely makes him happy, and he truly loves his job The judges noted his real efforts to uphold staff moral through setting achievable goals and really taking staff members’ opinions on board. What the judges said: Erica Gavigan, the winner of the C-Store Large Manager of the Year Award 2022, is a truly passionate manager who takes great pride in her store and mentoring her team. Working in retail since 2010 Gavigan has achieved many successes throughout her career Not only has she won a ShelfLife award previously, but she also won Manager of the Year for her own company. Gavigan is a firm believer that you must invest and mould your team; a characteristic which has seen her store go from strength to strength.

Large C-Store Manager of the Year


WINNER: Michael Feeney of Applegreen Lusk North, M1, Lusk, Co. Dublin


4 Finalists: •


What the judges said: Michael Feeney of Applegreen Lusk North was the deserving winner of the Large Forecourt Manager of the Year 2022 Award. A manager who takes great pride in both his retail group and employees, Feeney has over 20 years’ experience working in retail and manages one of the most successful stores in the group


WINNER: Mark Byrne of Blake’s Centra, Blarney Filling Station, Co. Cork

Award sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee Award sponsored by PepsiCo Award sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee of the Year by PepsiCo Erica Gavigan, Donnybrook Fair, Morehampton Road, Dublin Luke Flood Herlihy’s Centra, Fermoy, Co Cork Dean Gaffney Cosgrove’s Centra, Maugheraboy,

, SuperValu Charlesland, Co Wicklow Mid-Sized Supermarket Manager of the Year Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Winner: Aurelija Barbsiene of Aldi Newcastle West, Co Limerick Finalists: • Lisa Gorham, Aldi Knocknacarra, Rahoon, Knocknacarra, Co Galway • Nigel Riddell, Aldi Ballinasloe, Co Galway • Aaron Corish, Aldi Enniscorthy, Bellefield, Co Wexford • Jamie Caffrey, SuperValu Blanchardstown, Co Dublin Large Supermarket Manager of the Year Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Winner: Ger Joyce, SuperValu Swords Pavilions, Swords, Co Dublin Finalists: • David Howell, SuperValu Lucan, Lucan, Co Dublin • Douglas Thompson, SuperValu Knocklyon, Dublin 16 • Edgaras Stanius, SuperValu Sundrive, Sundrive Road, Kimmage, Dublin 12 38 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Large Supermarket Manager of the Year

Small Supermarket Manager of the Year

• Tanya



Mid-Sized Supermarket Manager of the Year

WINNER: Aurelija Barbsiene of Aldi Newcastle West, Co. Limerick

What the judges said: Ger Joyce of SuperValu Swords Pavilions, was the deserving winner of the Large Supermarket Manager of the Year Award, running one of the top stores in his brand. Having spent 20 years within the business, Joyce continues to strive to get the best from his team by working with them to ensure the best experience for their customers. Joyce has achieved this by leading by example and adapting to the ever-changing face of retail through the years.

What the judges said: Aurelija Barbsiene from Aldi Newcastle West is a winner who is constantly striving for excellent customer service, highest standards and driving sales across the business. An outstanding retailer, Barbsiene has worked extremely hard over the years to grow and change with the needs of the customers, delivering the highest level of customer service, store standards and stock availability

2 Finalists: •

WINNER: Ger Joyce of SuperValu Swords Pavilions, Swords, Co. Dublin

Small Supermarket Manager


WINNER: Darren Dunphy of Dunnes Stores, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Large Supermarket Manager of the Year Award to Ger Joyce of SuperValu Swords Pavilions, Swords, Co. Dublin Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Mid-Sized Supermarket Manager of the Year to Lisa Gorham on behalf of winner Aurelija Barbsiene of Aldi Newcastle West, Co. Limerick Owen Clifford, head of retail sector, Bank of Ireland, presents the Small Supermarket Manager of the Year Award to Darren Dunphy of Dunnes Stores, Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2

What the judges said: Darren Dunphy of Dunnes Stores, Stephens Green, this year’s winner in the Small Supermarket category, is a true advocate of the brand, store, and people in that store. Boasting a 30-year career within the business, Dunphy is a manager who leads from the front and has spent the last number of years adapting to a vast change of customer profile within the store. He strives to ensure his customers’ loyalty through engagement and ensuring the entire team are offering a pleasant shopping experience for all. sponsored by Bank of Ireland Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland of the Year by Bank of Ireland Darren Dunphy, Dunnes Stores, Stephen’s Green, Dublin Karen Kilbane SuperValu Ballyhaunis, Newpark, Co Mayo McGarry


Retail Team of the Year WINNER: Broderick’s Spar, Croom, Co. Limerick Joe Dunne, retail director creative distribution at Hale presents the Retail Team of the Year Award to Michael Mackessy, representing all the team at Broderick’s Spar, Croom, Co. Limerick What the judges said: The impressive title of Retail Team of the Year for 2022 was awarded to Broderick’s Spar, Croom, Co Limerick; a store that is at the heart of its community with each occasion throughout the year At the core of the business is the customer and the local community The team take turns in litter picking the streets at the weekends, raising funds for Ukraine, Darkness Into Light and annually creating fundraisers for their senior citizens. Award sponsored by Hale Retail Team of the Year Sponsored by Hale Winner: Broderick’s Spar, Croom, Co Limerick Finalists: • Daybreak Dungarvan, Youghal Road, Dungarvan, Co Wexford • SuperValu Bandon, RiverView Shopping Centre, Co Cork • Masterson’s Centra, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim • Donnybrook Fair, Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin • Centra Kilkelly, N17 Kilkelly, Co Mayo • Nearby LMS Xpress Sligo, Finisklin Road, Co Sligo 39GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022

Award sponsored by

Brand Marketing Team of the Year Sponsored by BWG Foods Winner: The National Lottery Finalists: • Denny • CCBI • Red Bull • Cadbury • Club Orange • National Lottery • Cali Cali • Alpro • Brennans Bakeries • Monster Trading Team of the Year Sponsored by Shopper Intelligence Ireland Winner: Dunnes Stores Finalists: • Dunnes Stores • Tesco Ireland • Aldi Ireland • Applegreen • Gala Retail Services Limited • S&W Wholesale • Musgrave Group • Lidl Ireland • BWG Foods • Barry Group • Circle K 40 GROCERY MANAGEMENT AWARDS 2022 ShelfLife August 2022 |

Award sponsored by Shopper Intelligence Ireland Award sponsored

Colm Rooney, country manager Ireland of Shopper Intelligence, presents the Trading Team of the Year Award to the Dunnes Stores trading team represented by trade director James Wilson Alan Crawford, BWG Foods trading director, presents the Brand Marketing Team of the Year Award to sales manager Jim O’Connor on behalf of all the winning team at the National Lottery What the judges said: The Trading Team of the Year 2022 at Dunnes Stores continually work closely with Irish suppliers to deliver the best quality produce for Irish consumers. The wealth of new suppliers brought on board annually and willingness to engage and test new products has positive repercussions across the industry What the judges said: The nominations for the Brand Marketing Team of the Year Award were made by retailers and retailer managers who were asked their opinions on which marketing campaign has been most effective in driving sales this year covering all marketing communications including above, below and through-the-line The success of the National Lottery’s marketing team can clearly be seen in its results, whereby some 1.3 million adults play National Lottery games and draws regularly Last year, over €289 million was raised for the National Lottery’s Good Causes fund which directly impacted thousands of charitable and community groups in towns and villages across Ireland. With almost 5,500 retail partners, the National Lottery retail network contributes significantly to the Good Causes fund and in 2020, retail sales amounted to €783.1 million. Retailer commission also grew to almost €50 million which benefited retailers all over Ireland. Müller by BWG Foods

WINNER: Oleksandr Zavhorodniy, Aldi Sandyford, Co. Dublin Trading Team of the Year

WINNER: Dunnes Stores Brand Marketing Team of the Year

Hero of the Year Award

WINNER: The National Lottery John McManamly, Müller national accounts manager for convenience presents the Hero of the Year Award to manager Anton Burihin on behalf of Oleksandr Zavhorodniy of the Aldi Sandyford store

Thanks Plants prides its recipes on good wholefood kitchen ingredients, with no nasties or artificial ingredients that other companies might use “We’re very conscious that some people think plant-based products can be highly processed, so when coming up with the recipes I only put in ingredients that I would year olds in Ireland were overweight and 5% were obese Parents are concerned about the wellbeing of their children and want to make the right dietary choices to keep their little ones healthy, which puts levels of sugar, salt and fat in products which target children under scrutiny.

According to research from Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) published in 2019, 15% of five spices,” she adds. “The vegetables are blended so they are hidden within the burger which is great for my kids who can be picky eaters. “We also felt that the burger didn’t need any oil in the recipe, making it a healthier product for all the family.”

Your health is your wealth!

The Thanks Plants NoMoooo Burger includes black beans, pearl barley, fresh carrots, beetroot, mushrooms and spices

Thanks Plants is available nationwide in SuperValu, Tesco and good independent stores. Power up your water Popular squash range Robinsons is inviting consumers to discover their #MainSqueeze and power up their water this summer as it introduces a new pocket squash range with added vitamins. The new Robinsons Benefit Drops range will help consumers make tastier, healthier choices while on the go Available now in stores nationwide, Robinsons Benefit Drops are available in four flavours Immunity, Boost, Focus and Vitality each containing a different added functional benefit such as Vitamins B3 and B6, Vitamin C, and Zinc. This tasty new range comes in an ideal portable format for consumers on the move, adding great taste and additional vitamins to their water with just one squeeze Each bottle contains enough squash to make 20 tasty drinks wherever you are and what’s more the full range is sugar-free! Robinsons Benefit Drops (RRP €3.49) are available now in select retailers across the country Ireland as a nation has a firm focus on health, with Bord Bia data showing that almost nine out of 10 (87%) of Irish consumers regard their diet as fairly or very healthy. With that in mind, Gillian Hamill outlines the brands in demand as the healthy eating trend continues to flourish

Demonstrating the importance that Irish consumers place on healthy living, a study published by Spar Better Choices in January of this year, found that 98% of Irish people plan to make better choices when it comes to looking after themselves in 2022. While the dawning of a new year always brings a renewed focus on health and wellbeing, the study nevertheless reflects how this drive has increased over the years for Irish society, particularly within on-the-go options. The report found people’s main reason for wanting to make better choices was to improve overall health and quality of life, with 44% saying they would prioritise making changes to their diet and eating Packed full of wholesomeness

For a wholesome plant-based alternative to meat, Irish company Thanks Plants is expanding its range of vegan meat substitutes. As well as a range of flavoured sausages and Everyday Roast, Thanks Plants recently introduced a NoMoooo Burger “When making this burger, we’ve put in as many great ingredients as possible while still keeping the meaty bite,” says Thanks Plants founder, Aisling Cullen. “The recipe includes black beans, pearl barley, fresh carrots, beetroot, mushrooms and habits, while a further 44% were planning to increase physical activity levels and 12% say they would prioritise their mental health. The better choices that people intended to make in 2022, include exercising more (73%), eating less treats and snacks (61%), eating more fresh food (54%) and eating more fruit and vegetables (53%).

Previous Bord Bia Periscope data from 2015 showed almost nine out of 10 (87%) of Irish consumers regard their diet as fairly or very healthy and this figure is the highest for all eight countries surveyed Ireland and Great Britain, four Continental European markets, the US and China. be happy to serve to my own family,” adds Cullen. “The Frankfurters are also a winner with kids and the ingredient list is very easy for our customers to understand.”

Of course, all parents want what’s best for their children and eating right is essential for their health, both now and in the future. Sometimes eating well can be difficult for busy families. But the habits children learn at a young age will stay with them for life.

The Thanks Plants range of vegan meat substitutes includes flavoured sausages and an Everyday Roast, as well as the NoMoooo Burger

Breakfast Healthy Living Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) Healthy41 Living CATEGORY FOCUS | ShelfLife August 2022

Mash Direct has scooped a 1-star Great Taste Award 2022 for four of its popular family dishes Mash Direct has now received a total of 29 Great Taste Awards for its ‘field to fork’ vegetable Award-winning family favourites Mash Direct (, the award-winning ‘field to fork’ vegetable accompaniments brand is delighted to announce it picked up four Great Taste Awards for its vegetable side dishes at this year’s prestigious Great Taste Awards 2022. Mash Direct has been named among the top food and drink producers this year, picking up a 1-star Great Taste Award for four of its popular family dishes including: Beer Battered Onion Rings, Chilli Baby Bakes, new Skinny Fries and popular traditional dish Champ “We are absolutely delighted to continue receiving Great Taste awards for our products, bringing our total to 29,” says CEO Jack Hamilton. “Winning this award is a testament to the hard work our team puts in throughout the year to master our products’ taste and provide more options for our gluten-free customers to choose from in stores.’’ Mash Direct brings a family face to a product people can rely on and trust. From the initial dream of producing ‘Ulster’ Champ for convenience in 2004, the sixth-generation Hamilton family have grown Mash Direct into a national household brand supplying over 50 farm fresh products that are 100% glutenfree These award-winning side dishes lead the market in their sector and have won over 200 accolades.


Utilising six generations of the Hamilton family’s farming expertise, Mash Direct’s products are created on its farm in County Down. The vegetables are gently steam cooked and packed on the farm, delivered fresh to your store. Mash Direct helps individuals and families to save time in the kitchen and easily incorporate fresh vegetables into daily life. The brand produces unique and premium quality prepared vegetable side dishes which are a great addition to any mid-week meal or perfect as part of a ‘fakeaway’ meal at home at the weekend.

The delicious range of benefit-led overnight oats are expertly made with carefully selected ingredients, giving your body the right NutriQuick High Protein Power Pots are available in six great-tasting flavours

Seafood satisfaction Ireland’s leading white fish processor Green Isle Foods has launched a new range of Irish white fish with Musgrave MarketPlace under the Green Isle Seafood brand. An Irish-owned company, Green Isle Foods employs 104 people across two sites. Headquartered in Naas, Co Kildare, its BRC approved primary fish processing facility is located in Gurteen, Co Sligo and has been in continuous operation since 1984. In fact, Green Isle Foods is the largest purchaser of white fish from the Irish catching sector and processes over 20% of Irish landed haddock, whiting and hake.

Kevin Clarke, head of commercial, Green Isle Seafood and Keith McDonagh, business development manager, Musgrave Foodservice

Healthy43 Living CATEGORY FOCUS

The launch of the new range took place in Austies Pub & Kitchen in Rosses Point, Co Sligo, with the focus of the event being on Irish white fish products such as natural haddock and hake. “Green Isle Foods is delighted to launch a new range with Musgrave MarketPlace,” said Kevin Clarke, head of commercial, Green Isle Seafood. “We have a wealth of experience in white fish sourcing and processing across a number of fish species, including Irish haddock, whiting and hake,” Clarke continued. “Access to fish is a particular strength and we work with the leading Irish fishing co-ops. In addition, Green Isle Foods has breading and battering coating capabilities and we are channel specialists in foodservice, so this is an excellent fit for both ourselves and Musgrave MarketPlace.” Green Isle Foods has an important role to play in the sustainable development of the Irish fishing industry and the protection of our waters. To that end, the company is participating in the Bord Iascaigh Mhara backed Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) to improve fishery sustainability for Irish white fish. The FIP is a five-year plan and covers fishing practices, onshore handling and data collection for marine scientists. Green Isle Foods procures fish from Irish co-ops and fishermen who are members of the FIP Green Isle is also a member of Origin Green, a sustainability initiative led by Bord Bia.

Pots of power NutriQuick, Ireland’s leading brand of healthy, nutritionally balanced ready-made meals is continuing to strengthen its offering with the addition of its new High Protein Power Pots

The Happy Pear Sticky Soy Noodles and Tasty Thai Noodles retail at €5.25 each, available in SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide 40 years of plant-based With 63.8% MAT value share, Alpro is number one in the plant-based drinks and yogurts category

(Important Notice: Little Steps Plantygrow Plant-based Growing Up Drink is suitable for young children from 1-3 years, as part of a varied and balanced diet and is not a breast milk substitute. ZTC5852 06/22).

all the

Proud to be the pioneer of plant-based eating and drinking, Alpro has been creating delicious plant-based drinks, alternatives to yogurt, cream, custard, and desserts for more than 40 years. The brand’s mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible and Alpro knows that in real life, healthy comes with an (ish) because life happens. Leading the food revolution and making plant-based a positive choice for the planet and its people, Alpro is number one in the plant-based drinks and yogurts category with 63.8% MAT value share* Made from either non-GM soya beans, coconuts, almonds, hazelnuts, rice, or oats, the Alpro range gives Irish consumers the widest choice in plant-based dairy alternatives. 2022 has been an exciting year for Alpro with the successful launch of ‘This Is Not M*Lk’. The closest tasting product to dairy, this has pushed Alpro to a whole new audience who are eager to grab a creamy milk-like experience but is 100% plant-based. In 2023, Alpro will bring even more exciting news to drive growth into the plant-based category Nielsen Total Scantrack

Last month, McCormack Family Farms, the award-winning producer of baby salad leaves, herbs and edible flowers welcomed the first harvest of organic Irish spinach at its farm in Boycetown, Kiltale, Co Meath. This development sees the brand build on its position as the largest grower of salad leaves in Ireland to also become the largest Irish producer of organic spinach, and it marks a new venture for the company into organic farming. The company will continue to produce its existing range of unwashed salad leaves to retail and foodservice outlets, which naturally provides a longer shelf-life and keeps the produce at peak quality McCormack Family Farms Organic Irish Spinach can be found in Lidl stores nationwide, as well as under private label in other retail chains. “McCormack Family Farms is an impressive business embedded in its local community of Kiltale, which is making a real impact in the food production sector in Ireland,” said local TD and Minister for State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English. “They are part of a very talented and progressive SME community in Meath that are driving employment opportunities and economic activity in the county.”

■ *(Source:

nutrition to support everyday wellbeing. With everyone leading increasingly busy and hectic lives, these NutriQuick Power Pots are an easy and tasty addition, high in protein, rich in fibre and ready to eat, making them a perfect option for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert on the go Much more than just overnight oats, from a small pot of inner strength to a reviving breakfast with friendly bacteria or a luscious energising guilt-free treat with added vitamins and minerals, consumers can enjoy a NutriQuick Power Pot with added benefits. new shoots

There are six great-tasting flavours to choose from, including: • Berry Burst Immune Support • Bischoff Vitality • Banana & Peanut Butter Performance • Tropical Summer Revive • Oreo Focus • Rocky Road Boost The full range of Power Pots will be available in retail stores starting from 30 August. Fresh

The Happy Pear are on a mission to bring plant-based food to the masses. The benefits of incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet are endless, and The Happy Pear are making eating plant-based the easiest and tastiest option.

High in protein, rich in fibre and ready to eat, NutriQuick Power Pots are a perfect option for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert on the go

SMA Nutrition is introducing a new yummy plant-based drink, Little Steps Plantygrow Plant-based Growing Up Drink that is nutritionally designed for toddlers from 1-3 years of age as part of a varied and balanced diet. This tasty plant-based milk alternative is a great and versatile choice for parents looking to diversify their toddler’s diet. It can be mixed into a toddler’s favourite breakfast, added to yummy smoothies and shakes or just as a drink in a toddler’s cup It’s great for tots because it has no added sugars*, is a good source of Vitamins A, C, B2, B12 and iron and has been enriched with iodine and Omega 3 and 6. The drink also contains calcium and Vitamin D which are needed for normal growth and bone development in children. “Consumers are increasingly choosing plant-based milk alternatives for themselves and looking for options that contain the added nutrients their growing toddlers need,” says Andrew Quinn, category manager at Nestlé Nutrition Ireland. “We know that every day toddlers are growing, learning, doing something new and overcoming little challenges. We want to help support toddlers’ development, as part of a varied and balanced diet, while they have fun and get on with living their best life! Setting them on the right track to a bright future.”

Little Steps Plantygrow Plant-based Growing Up Drink comes as a ready-to-drink liquid with no preparation required, just shake it. It is available in convenient on-the-go 200ml or 1 litre resealable cartons that are easy to pour and can be kept in the fridge (5°C or below) after opening for up to 24 hours for 200ml and 48 hours for 1 litre. The 200ml format is now stocked in Tesco. *(contains naturally occurring sugars.

individual’s recommended five portions of daily veg. Available in two delicious flavours, Sticky Soy Noodles and Tasty Thai Noodles, the Noodle bowls are a convenient and healthy option to be enjoyed mid-week or are perfect for when you feel like reaching for a weekend takeaway treat. The Happy Pear Noodle bowls are the ideal ‘fakeaway’ option, coming in at just €5.25 and under 400 calories each, stocked in SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide “Everyone can benefit from incorporating more whole foods into their diet,” say founders Dave and Steve. “We want to make it es easy as possible for everyone to make the right choice. Our new Noodle Bowls couldn’t be more convenient, just pop them in the microwave and in five minutes you have a healthy meal ready to go They’re perfect for when you want that tasty treat meal, but still want to eat something wholesome and nutritious. They’re ready to go in a few minutes, with minimum effort.”

New plant-based milk alternative for toddlers

The team’s latest launch, The Happy Pear Noodle Bowls are tasty, ready-to-heat and eat complete meals that deliver two of an

A second-generation family farm that has been in business for almost 40 years, McCormack Family Farm’s range of baby salad leaves and fresh-cut herbs is available from supermarkets nationwide For more information, visit or join the conversation on Instagram @mccormackfarms. Use your noodle!

ending 16 June 2022) Healthy Living Breakfast Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) 44 CATEGORY FOCUS Healthy Living ShelfLife August 2022 |

Reduce your running costs with an energy efficiency upgrade Cash for Kilowatts is our funding scheme for energy efficiency projects that gives you back up to 20% of the capital cost. Invest in the latest energy efficient machinery, heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology. Take your energy efficiency to the next level and you will see the reduction in your energy consumption immediately.

Healthy Living Breakfast Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) 46 CATEGORY FOCUS Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) ShelfLife August 2022 |

New look, same great taste! The refreshing taste of Southern Comfort is now available in a convenient, ready-to-drink format with Southern Comfort & Lemonade Southern Comfort & Lemonade takes one of the world’s most called for drinks and places it in the palm of your hand; ready to drink, and ready when you are. Your customers can simply enjoy it with ice or from the can straight out of the fridge Refreshing and sessionable above all else!

All good to go!

stories to tell. Today poitín is an exciting craft spirit, driven by fierce and fearless poitín pioneers on the island. Little & Green dares to bring poitin back with a bang with this range of ready to drink cocktails made for a ‘no invitation required’ good time Little & Green was created with the award-winning team at Bar 1661, home to the world’s largest selection of poitín and the palates behind the bestselling Irish brand Craft Cocktails. The name Little & Green references the corner where Bar 1661 is located, at the intersection of Little Britain Street and Green Street in Dublin 7, where the idea for the brand was born to bring poitín to the people with an Irish statement that won’t blend into the background. Made with two of Ireland’s leading poitín brands, Mad March Hare and Bán, the range launches with a pair of big on flavour sparkling cocktails. Sneaky Orchard is a refreshing Collins, a harvest festival of ripe pear, crisp apple, and elderflower flavours. Shady Bramble is inspired by Ireland’s deep, dense hedgerows and is bursting with flavours of wild juicy blackberry, raspberry, and violet. Little & Green is proud to be the first range of canned cocktails to be made with poitín. They contain no artificial sweeteners and are vegan and gluten free with an ABV of 5%. Distributed by Intrepid Spirits, Little & Green is available from in 12 packs of 300ml cans priced at €42 with free shipping. Follow @littleandgreen on Instagram to stay in the know. Sessionable above all else!

There are few things in life less lip-smackingly refreshing than a quality cocktail or spirit mixed with that just-right, Goldilockseffect accompaniment. With ready-to-drink beverages (RTDs), it’s easier than ever for shoppers to enjoy a taste sensation.

Thanks to the innovative brands displayed here, today all they need do is crack open a can, writes Gillian Hamill

Little & Green is made with two of Ireland’s leading poitín brands, Mad March Hare and Bán

Little & Green’s Sneaky Orchard is a refreshing Collins, while Shady Bramble is bursting with flavours of wild juicy blackberry, raspberry, and violet

We’ve all seen the influx of new ‘ready to drink’ (RTD) products that have hit Irish shelves in recent years. Considering the popularity of RTDs today, it can be hard to believe hard seltzers as a category did not exist in Ireland in 2019 RTDs are unique in that they resonate with consumers across all demographics, thanks to their convenience, refreshment, and flavour Now that RTDs have firmly established themselves in the market, they are beginning to evolve to include a wider array of more experimental and sophisticated spirits based RTDs and hard seltzers. New figures compiled by Drinks Ireland Bring poitín to the party Straight from the heart of Dublin, Little & Green is a new Irish drink that dares to bring poitín to the party with a bold approach. Inspired by local flavours tailored to an Irish palate, Little & Green’s sparkling canned cocktails are proudly made with poitín, created with the drink innovators at Bar 1661 and Craft Cocktails, for bold moments, on the go, cold from the can. Ireland’s native spirit has a rollercoaster reputation the drink of the people has a few show the RTD spirits category, which includes hard seltzers and RTD cocktails, took the global market by storm during the pandemic, with the volume of sales up by 14% in 2021 and 26% in 2020 A trend mirrored here in Ireland where last year, sales of cocktails and long drinks grew by 60% and hard seltzers were up by 46%. The majority of sales were imported RTD products, but a number of local producers have entered the market, with sales of Irish RTD brands up by 7.4% between 2020 and 2021. For retailers, it’s certainly worth checking out the different brands and ranges available to ensure you don’t disappoint customers on the hunt for no-fuss premium refreshment.

Breakfast Healthy Living Cash

Ready-to-Drink47 Beverages (RTDs) CATEGORY FOCUS | ShelfLife August

Southern Comfort is a unique blend of sweet spice and fruit notes with American whiskey

Action: License to engage shoppers at shelf. They will browse this category. 0% 20% 40% 60% shop ‘Want to spend time browsing 0% 20% 40% 60% Spend Driving: Promos, NPD and Displays (buy b/c I feel like it)

Created in 1874 by legendary bartender M.W. Heron, Southern Comfort is a unique blend of sweet spice and fruit notes with American whiskey The brand has been perfecting the recipe for over 140 years, so knows it tastes good! Southern Comfort originates from the city of fun itself, New Orleans, a place like no other; a city of optimism, creative selfexpression, and togetherness where everyone is welcome and there is a party around every corner Crafting Southern Comfort for over 140 years, the team have been perfecting the recipe to create the unique blend of whiskey, fruit, and spices. Southern Comfort & Lemonade is one of four great flavours including Apple, Peach & Cola. Offering something X-tra WKD, the number one ready-to-drink (RTD) brand in Ireland, is launching WKD X, a new 7% ABV drink, containing caffeine, guarana and taurine Available in two variants, WKD X Blue and WKD X Gold, WKD X draws on the success of the energy drinks category, presenting a credible alcoholic option to 18 to 24-year-olds. With energy drinks currently the fastestgrowing segment of the soft drinks category**, SHS believes that WKD is perfectly placed to bring a highly regarded brand to the fledgling ‘enhanced RTD’ category “WKD is synonymous with delivering great flavours and even greater times,” says Brendan Loughran, head of Business Unit (Ireland) at SHS Drinks. “The brand has always been about delivering for different consumer moments and needs across a spectrum of usage occasions, and WKD X will take our offering to another level. “WKD X is where the WKD brand meets the lust for life; it’s an energetic fusion of the best of both,” he adds. “Consumers are already well versed in mixing alcoholic drinks with energy drinks what WKD X delivers is the convenience of a pre-mixed format, in a 500ml can, from a brand that consumers know and love For wholesalers and retailers keen to focus on where incremental RTD category growth will come from, WKD X marks the spot and is available in trade cases of 12 x 500ml single cans.” Cash and carry displays, off-shelf in-store features, extensive influencer activity and consumer PR will support the launch.

THE IRISHE RTDRTD SHOPPER 3 insights in a nutshell Browsers… A Spend Driver… But not easy to Shoppers are actively engaged in RTD and is one of the top ‘browsing categories in the store (ranked #11 of 128).

Data from survey of 25,017 Irish shoppers Nov 2021-March 2022. Shopper insights available for 128 FMCG categories in 2022i Rank: #17 Rank: #107 79% 86% RTD Total Store RTD Total Store RTD Total Store Rank: #11of 128 categories 34% 20% 60% 40% Available from Noreast Beers, the Shake Baby Shake cocktail range is an exciting new option. Inspired by the most loved cocktail liquids being served in the coolest bars, Shake Baby Shake delivers high quality cocktail liquids in an easy to drink, on the go sleek 25cl can with four fantastic flavours. Perfect for meeting with friends in the park or beach or garden parties with BBQs, it’s available in Passionfruit Martini, Raspberry Mojito, Tropical Daiquiri and Watermelon Daiquiri varieties, which are all a must for the summer & Carry (RTDs) 2022

• Hooch Lemon: With very little change from the liquid that rocked the world of drinkers back in the 90s; Hooch Lemon gives a big sharp citrus hit followed by some sweet lemony goodness. This sparkling alcoholic lemon brew is made with real lemons and natural lemon flavours. Outrageously refreshing, it can be enjoyed ice cold or as the foundation for a lemon-based cocktail.

RTD shoppers are easy to disrupt in-store. This is a ‘spend driving’ category (#17 of 128). Tempt with Promos, NPD + Visibility Action: More in-store POS, secondary displays and promos in RTD. Despite browsing/ spend driving opportunities, RTD shoppers do not find this category easy to shop. Missing an opportunity with RTD? Action: Review layout/navigation Give shoppers the experience they want 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Shopper SAT with ‘Navigation’ Colm Rooney Country Manager Ireland

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack NI Take Home RTD volume (L) & value (£) MAT to 26.02.22) **(Source: NielsenIQ soft drinks context report 14.08.21)

Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages

Shaking things up! Back with a bang! Also available from Noreast Beers, the legendary Hooch is back! Hooch has created what some have called ‘the beverage of the people’. An easy going, smooth drinking, no nonsense, boisterous alcoholic lemonade It’s available in two varieties:

Hooch is a smooth drinking, no nonsense alcoholic lemonade

• Hooch Pink: A satisfying sweet alcoholic raspberry lemonade with that signature Hooch citrus kick. Made with real lemon juice and natural raspberry flavours. Deliciously, zesty, and tangy, Pink Hooch is a badass addition to the Hooch family, and the brand is confident it’s an absolute winner in the RTDs space. ■ A new 7% ABV drink, WKD X draws on the success of the energy drinks category, presenting a credible alcoholic option to 18 to 24-year-olds

A trusted proposition

For those looking to fulfil consumer demand for choice, quality and familiarity in the food-to-go space, franchises have become part and parcel of the convenience offering in recent years. A busy forecourt can accommodate multiple franchises under the one roof to create a food court effect that boasts everything from coffee to salads to fast food options. Many standalone convenience stores across Ireland have also demonstrated just how well they can thrive within the foodservice space, Pita Pit

Opening in Ireland in late 2018 Pita Pit now has three stores open here two in Dublin and one on the M8 in Cork. The brand is confident that the market loves its offering and that strong revenue and profit goals are achievable for the right people while also being and a franchise offering with fantastic flavours that offers something a little different from the norm can really help a store to attract new ‘foodie’ customers, and those who are keen to spice up their day with a fresh and tasty yet inexpensive meal. For retailers looking to kick start a new business venture, a franchise model with a respected brand could therefore be the perfect solution, and really help create a name for a store locally Franchises offer a number of important advantages for entrepreneurial retailers. an active and positive contributor to the community Pita Pit is now ready and looking to grant sub franchises in Ireland.

Established: 1995, in Ireland since 2018 Offering: Pita Pit is a healthier, better for you, lifestyle brand. The brand offers an impressive choice of Mediterranean style “fresh grilled flavour filled” pitas, salads, rice bowls, Egg’d and baked wedges. It also offers a delicious range of Yogen Fruz smoothies and frozen yoghurt treats. Tasty, hot, healthy food prepared by a friendly crew in a cool bright environment. Pita Pit provides convenient, quick service with all food prepared right in front of the customer Dine in, click and collect, takeaway and delivery friendly Brand story: Pita Pit was established in Canada in 1995 and now operates in 13 countries with over 600 restaurants worldwide Pita Pit is now focused on development in Europe with restaurants in France, Sweden, Croatia and Ireland. The business is on a mission to make fast food healthy and bring its “Fresh Thinking, Healthy Eating” concept to a consumer market who are craving fresh, tasty alternatives to the traditional offerings.

Brand future: Now firmly established in Ireland, Pita Pit’s plan is to have 60 to 80 restaurants across Ireland over the next seven years by developing a franchisee network across the country Pita Pit is looking for high energy, passionate, customer focused people who want to be engaged in the full-time, hands-on running of their own business and being an active, positive member of their community

Pita Pit is currently focused on development in Europe with restaurants in France, Sweden and Croatia, as well as here in Ireland

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Number of outlets: 640 internationally; three in Ireland Headquarters: Kingston, Canada

A successful franchise means that the business model is proven, and consumers know what to expect making them more comfortable with the proposition and likely to pop in when in a rush. Offering everything from salads to sushi, there are a myriad of food franchises available to retailers today that can enhance their businesses if they are the right fit. Here, we outline some of the most dynamic, profitable opportunities on the market at present advises that franchisees don’t have to build the brand or set up the systems and processes to run the business efficiently Consumers also expect and receive certain quality levels because of the adherence to the franchise agreement. Training, procedural, process and managerial support are all ongoing, while operating under an established brand with a strong reputation makes profileraising easier Here, we highlight some of the most successful franchises on the market today to help you find the best fit for your business.

Abrakebabra: ‘Discover Magic Food’ Opening its doors for the first time in Rathmines, Dublin in 1982, Abrakebabra is one of Ireland’s leading quick service restaurants known for its magical range of Kebabs, Loaded Fries, Burgers, Baguettes and more. From classics such as the Doner Kebab and Taco Fries to newer innovations like Loaded Fries and Flatbread Kebabs, Abrakebabra has been creating bold, flavourful food for 40 years.

Established in 1988, O’Briens Irish Sandwich Cafe is an iconic Irish brand with over 100 locations across Ireland, the Middle East and Asia. O’Briens’ renowned reputation has been shaped by its famous menu of handcrafted made-to-order signature sandwiches TripleDeckers, Toasties and Shambos. The brand’s extensive offering also includes a range of seasonal soups, signature salads, breakfast, barista espresso coffee, speciality teas, frappes and a wide selection of freshly baked treats, scones, muffins and patisseries.

Brand future: This year, each of AIL Group’s brands continue to grow and increase their category market share. The company is continuing to open new locations, tailoring each location with solutions that meet the needs of the local consumer AIL Group says it is always developing new products and concepts that resonate with customers and reliable production methods to keep operations efficient. AIL Group continues to support its network of franchisees and current retail partners including Musgrave Group, Daybreak, Maxol and Londis. AIL Group’s retail food hall platform, Oasis Of Taste, combines its quick service brands under one retail space, sharing customers, costs and and profits, and has proven itself a hit among customers and franchisees since its introduction in 2017 AIL Group celebrated the successful launch of Oasis Of Taste Dundrum Town Centre earlier this year and the subsequent launches of Oasis Of Taste Northside Shopping Centre and Oasis Of Taste Clarehall Shopping Centre in recent months. AIL Group reports it plans to continue to lead the way in restaurant franchising and looks forward to the next chapter in an incredible journey.

Bagel Factory’s extensive menu features many popular bagels, including instant-favourites like the All Day Eggworks, Chicken Caesar, Stars N Stripes and Turkey Club served on a selection of all-natural bagel varieties. The Bagel Factory range also includes barista-style coffee, freshly made juices, delicious soups, and a choice of sweet treats.

O’Briens: ‘The Moment Makers’

AIL Group Number of outlets: Over 100 locations in Ireland

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK): ‘Best Burger In Town’ Back in 2001, three Kiwis from New Zealand, along with world renowned chef Peter Gordon established the very first GBK location in London changing the burger scene forever. Today Gourmet Burger Kitchen continues to grow with five unique restaurants across Leinster. GBK still prides itself on serving up a signature variety of hand-crafted chargrilled burgers, using 100% Irish prime beef with the freshest ingredients and sauces made from scratch every day in each kitchen.

Breakfast Healthy Living Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) Franchise49 Opportunities CATEGORY FOCUS | ShelfLife August 2022

GBK prides itself on serving a signature variety of handcrafted chargrilled burgers

Founded in 1997 on Endell Street in London, Bagel Factory now has over 50 locations in Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Abrakebabra has been serving up bold, flavourful food for 40 years

Bagel Factory offers favourites like the Chicken Caesar bagel served on a selection of all-natural bagel varieties

O’Briens is famous for its handcrafted made-to-order signature sandwiches

Headquarters: Rathmines, Dublin Established: 1982 Offering: Abrakebabra, Bagel Factory, Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) and O’Briens Wholesale partner: Musgrave Group Brand story: Bagel Factory: ‘All Round Goodness’

Established: 2006 in Australia, 2016 in Ireland Offering: Fresh, healthy, modern Mexican food Wholesale partner: BWG Zambrero is Australia’s largest Mexican restaurant franchise Globally it has opened over 230 restaurants throughout Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK and America. Zambrero produces healthy Mexican inspired food which also helps stop world hunger For every burrito or bowl purchased within any of its stores, Zambrero then donates a meal to someone in need. This is done through its Plate 4 Plate initiative, via distribution partners ‘Rise Against Hunger’. It’s a win for your body, mind, soul and taste buds: ‘Feel Good Mex’. Zambrero has the ambitious plan to donate 1 billion meals by

Number of outlets: 42 in the Republic of Ireland and 14 in Northern Ireland Headquarters: Dublin 2 Established: 1986 Offering: A truly authentic pizza experience, using freshly made dough every day and only the best ingredients Four Star Pizza’s new CEO Colin Hughes has revealed plans to open 45 new stores and create 900 new jobs on the island of Ireland over the next three years. The Irish-owned pizza chain, established in 1986, currently operates 42 outlets in the Republic of Ireland and 14 in Northern Ireland but Hughes, and a new senior management team, have set their sights on bringing the total number of FSP stores to more than 100 by 2025. Four Star Pizza is aiming to open an additional 27 stores in the Republic and a further 18 in the north. The proposed timeframe includes the opening of four new stores this year with a further 16 in 2023 and 25 more in 2024 “Our ultimate goal is for virtually everyone in Ireland, north and south, to have access to a local Four Star Pizza outlet, and the road to achieving that has already started,” Hughes said. Four Star Pizza enjoyed its best year to date in 2021* and 2025. Thanks to its customers, Zambrero has donated more than 59 million meals around the world since it was founded in 2005 by Dr Sam Prince. Since opening its first restaurant in Ireland in 2016, Zambrero Ireland now has 12 restaurants open across the country with some more additions due to the Zambrero network before the end of 2022.

Brand story: What started as one Mexican restaurant in Canberra Australia, has grown into an international franchise that is more than just a restaurant. Zambrero not only serves fresh modern Mexican food, but also gives customers the feel-good karma of donating a meal to someone in need with every purchase of a burrito or bowl through the Plate 4 Plate programme

interested parties do not need any previous pizza experience as the brand will provide all the necessary training in food preparation, accounts, customer service, delivery and marketing.

Established: 1978 Offering: A range of brands including Supermac’s, Papa Johns, Supersubs and the Moo Parlour Brand story: Supermac’s is Ireland’s largest and fastest-growing indigenous fast food restaurant group The first Supermac’s opened its doors in 1978 in Main Street, Ballinasloe, Co Galway Since then, Supermac’s has gone from strength to strength employing over 4,500 people nationally, as well as helping to establish over 60 selfemployed franchisees. With over 120 restaurants throughout Ireland and aggressive expansion plans, Supermac’s is looking forward to an exciting future! The company’s success is built on a unique menu, ideally suited to local tastes, using real food and food ingredients sourced locally wherever possible and enhanced by quality in every aspect of the operation. The quality of service is underwritten by Supermac’s staff, who give the restaurants their unique, friendly atmosphere. It is for these reasons that Supermac’s has become the great success story it is and the great franchising opportunity it offers.

Number of outlets in Ireland: 12 Headquarters: Sydney, Australia

Brand future: Continuous change and innovation in every business aspect has been the key ingredient of Supermac’s success The brand’s ‘always fresh never frozen’ fast food product offerings have been a key differentiator to global fast-food competitors while also allowing Supermac’s to contribute significantly to the agriculture industry in Ireland. The menu has developed greatly over the years but from inception Supermac’s has tried to be different to the normal offering, appealing directly to what customers wanted. The menu is developed by its experienced chefs and tasters and has changed significantly in recent years with the introduction of healthier alternatives, salads and allergen friendly options.

“In just a few months you could own a brand-new business, built around a highly successful model and with all the support you need from a team of business experts to help you to recruit, manage, grow and thrive in your chosen town or city,” Hughes said. Anyone interested in finding out more about becoming a Four Star Pizza franchisee can do so on franchisee-opportunity/ or by sending an introductory email to, or calling the company on 01 7037300 ■

Number of outlets: Over 120 Headquarters: Ballybrit, Galway



*(Source: 2021 was a record year for Four Star Pizza in Ireland with a year-on-year sales increase of 21.5%, driven largely by a jump of 25% in online orders made via the company’s own website and app). Four Star Pizza CEO Colin Hughes says the Irish pizza chain is targeting 45 new stores and 900 jobs in the next three years Supermac’s is proud to be Irish and proud to works with over 500 Irish suppliers, as well as supporting over 500 community clubs, events and charities nationwide

Brand future: Zambrero plans to continue to grow its franchise network in Ireland by engaging with enthusiastic and ambitious franchise partners. In addition, Zambrero International has very ambitious growth plans throughout America and the UK over the next 12-18 months. To become a franchisee with one of the most exciting and recognisable brands in Ireland, contact franchising manager Jarlath Connolly (

Healthy Living Breakfast Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) 50 CATEGORY FOCUS Franchise Opportunities ShelfLife August 2022 |

Four Star Pizza

Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

Combining proven public relations strategies with retail marketing can help brands improve customer engagement and increase sales in the long run. From learning how to position themselves in their local community, to leveraging social media to gain access to new markets, these agencies are there to help their clients find success While reliable PR and marketing are essential to help a brand achieve its goals, what’s all the more vital is that a brand aligns with an agency that best fits its unique approach and philosophy. Here, we dive into the dynamic sector, shining a light on the reputable and knowledgeable organisations operating today.

Established: 2003 Contact name: Kathryn Mason Phone: 01-9065331 Email: Website: Social media: @masonrydotie on all platforms Client list: Powerscourt Distillery, Irish Podcast Awards, restaurants including Bresson and Crow Street, IMRO Radio Awards.

Connecting with your target audience

Julie Blakeney, founder, Jailbird Communications & withA Kathryn Mason, founder, Masonry PR & withA

Masonry PR Fact file

In a crowded marketplace, an inspirational story that communicates your brand’s core values is essential. While the traditional press release remains king for many, there are in fact many innovative, fun ways to capture your audience’s attention and the professionals are on hand to do so in a manner that perfectly encapsulates your ethos. Read on to find out more about which agency is the best fit for you

Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

A: Our work particularly with Powerscourt Distillery has shown the move to widespread recognition. The profile raising and continual brand awareness has resulted in sales across its range

A: Jailbird is a communications company that delivers PR and social communications without faff or marketing jargon. Founded in 2020, the company offers clients hardworking, creative communications solutions with heart and passion behind its ideas. Jailbird’s mission is to work with partners to break free from boring

Jailbird Communications Fact file

Established: 2020 Contact name: Julie Blakeney Phone: +353863420794 Email: Website: Social media: @hellojailbird Client list: Hendrick’s, Tullamore D.E.W., Insomnia, Fulfil, Fleadh Cheoil, Other Voices, Ballet Ireland.

Breakfast Healthy Living Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) PR51 and Marketing CATEGORY FOCUS | ShelfLife August 2022

Julie Blakeney Kathryn Mason marketing campaigns using creativity and culture to solve business problems. In a world where news and content is consumed across myriad diverse channels, developing content that is compelling, eyecatching and relevant is integral to making an impact. Jailbird has devised standout campaigns for top brands including Hendrick’s Gin, Insomnia Coffee and Tullamore D.E.W. with a ‘content first’ mindset, resulting in outstanding reach and engagement.

Sonia Harris PR Our approach is hands-on and results oriented and we take our role as brand and reputation custodians seriously Our team of experts are always on hand as an extension of our clients’ marketing teams. We believe in working in close collaboration and building long term relationships for best results and thrive on responding to a meaty brief With strong media and influencer relationships built up over many years and a proven track record of success, brands can be assured of a safe pair of hands and a creative approach. In 2022 we’ve welcomed several new clients to the Harris PR stable and we look forward to telling their stories.

A: Our comprehensive PR plan now will nearly always include digital content creation, and we are always ahead of the curve in this area. We work in tandem with our sister agency The Collaborations Agency to create compelling digital campaigns that speak directly to our brands’ target audience. We sit with our clients and really listen to what their aims and objectives are for each campaign and tailor a unique plan for each project. We don’t just create content for the sake of it, we’re always thinking of the viewer

Sonia Harris PR Fact file

Society PR Fact file Established: 2018 Contact name: Avila Lipsett Phone: 0868180190 Email: Website: Social media: Instagram: wearesocietypr and Twitter: SocietyIreland Client list: Clients include Mother Reusables, Abrakebabra, O’Brien’s Sandwich Cafes, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Bagel Factory, Lough Eske Castle, Titanic Hotel Belfast, Magee 1866, Thriftify, Redcastle Hotel, Dorian Restaurant, Fire Restaurant, Sole Seafood and Grill and CAYO womenswear Lynn Hunter Avila Lipsett and what it brings to them aiming for ‘use’ and ‘joy’. We’re also experts at pairing the brands with the right creator for their audience. There’s a science to it, and it isn’t just a numbers game We look at the whole picture, working with creators who have engaged communities that really buy into what they’re selling. We pride ourselves on being our brands’ eyes and ears on the ground and make sure we meet their audiences where they are. In the last year we’ve worked with artists of the moment Fatti Burke and Hephee for Tayto, really tapping into the zeitgeist and bringing Tayto to their audiences, making Tayto relevant with a younger, clued-in audience. message out there. Creativity is a must in order to capture the public eye. We design effective PR campaigns around what will get people talking about a new product. Society PR has helped launch many FMCG startups to the market in the past year such as Mother Reusables, CAYO Thriftify and Teeth Whitening Fairies, with curated brand building campaigns and profile building for the founders. The events part of PR took a beating in the pandemic, so we relied on traditional and digital media, as well as influencer engagement to build these brands and the outcomes were hugely successful.

A: Established 13 years ago, Harris PR is an Irish agency with over 60 years’ combined experience in marketing and publicising consumer, lifestyle and FMCG brands. We have helped dozens of brands, both domestic and international, connect with consumers and media in innovative ways to build brand awareness and generate sales. From product launches to events, and influencer marketing to media relations we offer a full PR service.

Client list: AYA Supplements, Bunq, Capitalflow, Dingle Gin, Dingle Vodka, Dingle Whiskey, Domino’s, Gourmet Tart Co., Holland & Barrett,, Irish Haemochromatosis Association, Irish Heart Foundation, Kaliedy, Kärcher My Expert Midwife, NUK, Porterhouse Brew Co., Púca Festival for Fáilte Ireland, Skin Sapiens, Uniphar, United Drug, Vital Baby, The Wicklow Escape

Phone: 01-9056350 Email: Website: Social media:

Sonia Harris Pope, MD, Harris PR & withA

Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

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PR agency: Harris PR Established: 2009 Contact name: Sonia Harris Pope Phone: 087 7979703 Email: Website: Social media: @harris_pr on Instagram,,

A: Society PR has worked with many brands in the FMCG space since launching four years ago We get to know the brand and what the company really wants out of a PR campaign before we begin, and then we discuss realistic deliverables. The target PR must be aimed at the right demographic and Society PR believes in enhancing traditional PR campaigns with fun activations such as influencer engagement, celebrity photocalls and events to get the Hunter huntercomms TikTok @huntercomms Client list: Tayto Snacks Tayto, Tayto Occasions, Popchips, O’Donnells, KP Nuts; Boyne Valley Boyne Valley Honey, Lakeshore, Greenaware, Killeen, McDonnells Curry Sauce, Bonne Maman; Musgrave Frank and Honest; Musgrave Future Brands Caramico, Box Burger, Happy Pear; Golden Bake; Moonpig; Whiteclaw.

Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

Lynn Hunter, founder Hunter Communications & withA Avila Lipsett, founder, Society PR & withA

Hunter Communications Fact file Established: 2009 Contact name: Lynn

A: Over the past year, we have developed creative campaigns for FMCG brands including Alpro, Lily O’Brien’s and Schweppes. Each strategy focuses on connecting the brand to their tribe by launching new products in a creative way For Alpro, we reached a toe-dipping plantbased audience for the launch of Alpro’s This is Not M*lk and My Cuppa through Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

A: Central to our business, is the critical expertise we deliver for our FMCG clients in understanding their audiences, what’s important to them, what delights and challenges them and how our client’s brand can make a difference to their lives. We passionately believe in telling the story of our food clients’ businesses through the media and other channels to build connections with consumers, communities and retailers. We give the target audience a reason to believe in the client’s product over a competitor Working with well-targeted social influencers delivers positive impacts for food brands. It’s an ongoing process no jumping on the influencer bandwagon we continually review new influencers to assess the right fit for our clients and we build

Maeve Governey, deputy managing director and food PR strategist, Walsh:PR & withA

Elevate PR Fact file

Burrell Marketing and Publicity Fact file

A: As an agency who have built up solid relationships with relevant media/ influencers in the whiskey and gin arena, we have managed to secure ongoing coverage /engagement for the Grace O’Malley brands, targeting relevant consumers via editorial/ social posts, and direct marketing. One of the highlights was achieving a Rebecca Burrell significant feature on RTÉ News, reporting on a stunning street art mural depicting Grace O’Malley, the Pirate Queen, including an interview with brand manager Heather Clancy on the reasoning behind the whiskey brand supporting the arts in Ireland.

Claire Feely Maeve Governey innovative media drops and influencer marketing. For Lily O’Brien’s the campaign connected with modern pacers through a brand ambassadorship, competitions, and a targeted press office We work with Schweppes by supporting big-brand festival activations with influencer marketing and press outreach and media drops, as well as highlighting direct to consumer interactive events in bars across Ireland. We measure success through reach and media and influencer engagement, as well as traditional press coverage solid relationships with them to achieve strong deliverables for our clients. We are on top of current trends around content delivery For example, wellexecuted recipe development drives serious engagement for an ingredient brand. The style of the photography or video creates that ASMR “I want to see that again” level of engagement. Brand trust is huge and increasingly built on social media content delivered but also crucially through community management. Understanding where audiences are on their journey in life and where the world is economically and socially ensures we respond appropriately in a way that is insightful and helpful. We may be on the right side of the pandemic but there are lots of challenges ahead for Irish consumers. Delivering that reason to believe has never been more important. ■

Established: 1984 Contact name: Maeve Governey Phone: 01 661 3515 Email: Website: Social media: Instagram: @walshpr Twitter: @WalshPRireland Client list: Flahavan’s, Mash Direct, Linwoods, Avonmore, Kepak, Kilmeaden, Bord Bia, as well as clients in health, NGO and sustainability sectors.

Rebecca Burrell, MD, Burrell Marketing and Publicity & withA Q: In the past year, how has your company demonstrated your expertise in enabling FMCG brands to get their message across to their target audience?

Breakfast Healthy Living Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) PR53 and Marketing CATEGORY FOCUS | ShelfLife August 2022

Claire Feely, director of client services, Elevate PR & withA

Established: 2001 Contact name: Claire Feely Phone: 01 662 56 52 Email: Website: Social media: @ElevatePR, LinkedIn Elevate-PR Client list: Retainer clients include Alpro, Bosch, Bumble, Charlotte Tilbury, Design and Crafts Council Ireland, Kildare Village Lily O’Brien’s, Nokia, Regatta, Schweppes.

Established: 1990 Contact name: Rebecca Burrell Phone: 087 2239377/01 6761711 Email: Website: Social media: burrell_pr/ @BurrellPR Client list: Grace O’Malley Spirits, J&J (Neutrogena/Aveeno/OGX), Procter and Gamble (fabric care), Tommy Hilfiger, Karen Millen, Oasis, Coast,, Pretty Little Thing, Oxendales/Simply Be, KLM/Air France, Eccles/Staunton’s/Number 31, Abundance and Health, Sculpture clinics. Walsh:PR Fact file

Healthy Living Breakfast Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) 54 CATEGORY FOCUS Cooking Sauces ShelfLife August 2022 |

Abrakebabra’s range currently includes its Legendary Taco Sauce, and its Famously Garlic Sauce

The Cali Cali Gold Edition range includes a Kimchi Ketchup, a Chipotle Ketchup, a BBQ Sauce and a Tomato Ketchup; all four of which have won Great Taste awards

The range includes a Kimchi Ketchup, a Chipotle Ketchup, a BBQ Sauce and a Tomato Ketchup All of them are equally balanced in texture, sweetness and acidity to give a richness and texture which is remarkable considering their healthy benefits and lack of sugar compared to the norm. The range is stocked across the country in all Avoca, Fresh, Dunnes Stores, Tesco and SuperValu stores. To stock the ketchups, contact your local Boyne Valley representative. Key ingredients Since its launch in 2019, Abrakebabra’s range of sauces has continued to grow and capture a further share of the at-home sauce market. The range currently features Abrakebabra’s Legendary Taco Sauce, a key ingredient in the brand’s Taco Fries dish, and its Famously Garlic Sauce, another original that has helped to shape the Irish food industry since its introduction on the first Abrakebabra kebab in 1982. Abrakebabra has two more flavours launching over the coming weeks; its Ultimate response to the rising cost of living, with Kantar reporting a 54% global increase in home cooking. With strong competition in the segment and constant innovation, it is important for retailers to know where the tastes and trends lie With that in mind, we’re highlighting some of the most interesting offerings out there currently Chilli Sauce, which is coming back by popular demand, and a Secret Sauce. The range is currently available for purchase from SuperValu, Centra and internationally through

For great taste and added convenience, consumers need look no further than the vast cooking sauces market for the beginnings of a hearty meal. A December 2021 study from Euromonitor titled ‘Sauces, Dressings and Condiments in Ireland’ had a positive outlook for the future of cooking sauces. While it noted that there was Gold Edition is the gold standard! Cali Cali Foods launched its Gold Edition Ketchup and Sauces range late last year in a small number of retailers. Following very positive consumer feedback and rotation, the range was launched across the trade in Q2 of 2023. Sales and feedback on the flavours of all four variants have again been strong to date, culminating in all four of the products being awarded Great Taste awards. The range, like the rest of the Cali Cali portfolio, is not only plant-based and gluten free, but also contains 60% less sugar than the market leading ketchup

For further details/orders, contact Bringing out the best For more than a century, Maggi has been helping cooks worldwide to prepare fresh food they love With Maggi, consumers can cook the best meals for them and their loved ones, using a range of products that add greater flavour to everyday favourites bringing out the best in fresh ingredients to deliver great taste in an effortless way The Maggi range of spice and herb mixes will take your customers on a culinary journey around the world with irresistible sweet flavours, mouthwatering smoky twists, and delightful gingery sensations in the comfort of their home Shoppers can choose from its Italian seasoning mixes, go for Mexican spices and herbs that will not disappoint, or let Asian spices work their magic. From household names to new additions, it can be hard to keep up with the innovation in the sauces category today, so Julia O’Reilly takes a look at some of the latest offerings

The Cali Cali range of great tasting and better-for-you cooking and snacking products was co-founded by Niall McGrath and Tom Gannon (who previously co-founded Fulfil a slight fatigue in the home-cooking trend, local consumers surveyed stated that they are likely to continue preparing meals from scratch at home Indeed, despite the easing of pandemic related restrictions, consumers are continuing to cook at home to save money and brush up on their cooking skills. Meanwhile, consumer habits have changed in Nutrition). The duo’s latest venture sees them utilising an ‘umbrella brand’ to signify to consumers across a wide portfolio of products that they can trust in the taste credentials of these plant-based, gluten free products which also have many other healthy benefits. “To win awards for all four ketchups and eight SKUs across our wider portfolio is a testament to the hard work our team has put in to deliver our core value of offering consumers a guarantee of a great tasting as well as betterfor-you products always,” says co-founder Niall McGrath. “The Gold Edition range has been three years in the making to get these products up to this taste standard while also having 60% less sugar than the market leader on top of being plant-based and gluten free That’s no mean feat.”

Secret’s in the sauce

School’s back. Dinner’s sorted. ©MARS 2022 56 CATEGORY FOCUS Cooking Sauces

Dolmio, Ireland’s number one sauce brand*, provides a tasty quick, and easy meal solution that parents can prepare despite the hectic after school schedule safe in the knowledge that children will love it. Try one of Dolmio’s new pasta sauces; Dolmio 7 Veg. Each serving contains two of an individual’s five a day. Choose from three different flavours: Tomato and Basil, Mediterranean Roasted Veg, and Tomato and Chilli. Find your favourite Dolmio products at: ■

Uyema’s unique recipes help busy home cooks easily create wholesome replicas of classic Asian dishes, but without any artificial preservatives, additives, MSG or refined sugars. Thanks to Fused’s varied selection of sauces, customers will never be stuck for dinner ideas again. In a matter of minutes, they can take a trip to Japan, China, or Thailand with Fused’s award-winning stir fry sauces, from the 2022 Great Taste-winning Chow Mein to fragrant Chinese Curry a Quality Food Award gold medal winner Fused’s new Katsu Ketchup Miso Hot Sauce and Korean BBQ sauces are perfect for drizzling on stir-fries, noodles, rice, eggs, sandwiches, and salads and bringing heat and flavour to a marinade Meals for all the family

Over the years the range has grown from the iconic McDonnells Original Curry Sauce to include Mild, Hot, Slimmers, Chinese and Japanese Style Katsu Curry Sauce. Also available in a microwavable Curry Dip and gluten-free, now the whole family can enjoy the great taste of McDonnells Curry Sauce. McDonnells Original Curry Sauce is available in a ready to eat squeezy bottle, meaning customers can enjoy their favourite curry sauce anytime, anywhere always just one squeeze away from curry perfection. Packed with natural goodness

*(Source: Nielsen Scantrack, YTD w/e 24/04/22) Dolmio is Ireland’s number one sauce brand McDonnells Original Curry Sauce is now available in a ready to eat squeezy bottle

One squeeze away Loved by families for generations, McDonnells the makers of Ireland’s favourite curry saucehas been making food taste great since the 80’s.

From classic Maggi seasoning mixes to exotic spice mixes, consumers can experience their favourite dishes more intensely with Maggi cooking bags and seasoned cooking paper No oil, no mess, and no stress, just Maggi spices and herbs ready to make meals effortlessly delicious.

Dolmio provides tasty Italian food that the whole family loves coming together to share and enjoy. For over 30 years, Dolmio has selected only the finest quality ingredients for all its products to provide the best quality and taste Getting back into the routine after the long summer break can be difficult. Parents are looking for quick and easy solutions to feed the kids after school but are still conscious that they need to provide a nutritious meal.

For consumers who crave their favourite Asian dishes but want something healthy and homemade, Fused sauces tick all the boxes easy to prepare, packed with natural goodness and Great Taste Award-winning flavour at amazing value Fused’s Asian sauces are created by cookbook author and TV chef Fiona Uyema.

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Investing in innovation

Thomas Morrison, head of Retail & Musgrave MarketPlace, highlights developments led by a customer-centric approach

• Quick Order our new quick order function allows you to add products to your basket in one quick file upload. We offer tri-temp delivery nationwide and we have introduced e-billing to reduce paper and support account management efficiencies for our retail customers. In addition to our website, we extended our opening hours in our branches nationwide, so they are now open seven days a week. Customers can shop with us online, in branch, or both, depending on what suits them. Helping retailers to deliver new options

• Our search function is intuitive.


Typical opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am 6pm Saturday 8am 4pm, Sunday 10am 4pm, Late opening Thursday Ballymun & Robinhood 8am 8pm Size-range of outlets: 35,000 75,000 sq. ft.

• Favourite lists functionality

• All financial transactions, POs, invoices and statements available in one location, with the ability to add a PO number to your order

Musgrave MarketPlace Fact file: Number of branches nationwide: 10 Major locations nationwide: Dublin (Ballymun, Robinhood, Sallynoggin), Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Belfast, Derry, Lurgan. Number of lines in product listing: Over 14,000 Ordering options: Online, Collect, Delivered, Click & Collect, Telesales, Business Development Manager

In the demanding retail space, a flexible and convenient cash and carry/wholesale partner is invaluable. Here, the leading players in this space explain their latest developments and service innovations, all in the name of serving you better cash and carry on!

• Accurate delivery lead times at the point of order

To help our Daybreak retailers to stand out in a busy sector we have created sub-brand concepts that deliver an offer that works for the Irish consumer These concepts include our Munch & Co deli, 9 Grams coffee and Lickety Split ice-cream. Our retailers are supported by our fresh food advisors to roll out these concepts and many retailers have seen sales growth of over 32% with Munch & Co, 28% with 9 Grams and 35% with Lickety Split.

• Ability to add multiple users with varying permission levels.

• Real time stock information on all products.

• You can store your orders and save your basket to process it when it suits you.

• FIR allergen information is easily downloadable

Focus on sustainability We are committed to doing everything we can to build a more sustainable future. This includes buying from local Irish suppliers, committing to our own brand packaging being 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and our branches being run on green electricity Since 2017 we’ve donated over €300,000 to local charities and over 1 million meals through FoodCloud. By 2025 we will have donated over €350,000 to TU Dublin to create the Musgrave MarketPlace Student Training restaurant and to support 48 student bursaries. These are just a few of the initiatives which will see Musgrave reduce our carbon footprint and achieve net zero by 2040

For the past two years, we have been working with our customers and Accenture to design our new website, which was launched in March of this year Our customer-centric approach has meant that we have been able to address customer pain points and build an experience that makes shopping with us more enjoyable quicker and easier Some of the key areas that our customers wanted us to invest in were:

• Flexible order fulfilment delivered or click & collect from any of our seven branches in the Republic of Ireland.

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Delivering value Value continues to be important for both retailers and shoppers. Using insight from our Customer Panel we build our plan to support our customer’s margin with over 500 seasonally relevant monthly retail promotions with the right product mix to support different offers for High–C and Neighbourhood stores, representing key areas of the store from impulse to grocery, to liquor and food to go In addition to our monthly promotions, we run Mega Deals throughout the year and our deepest value cuts are seen in our Wow promotions. Supporting Irish suppliers We are the only 100% Irish owned national wholesaler, so supporting local matters to us. We work with over 815 Irish suppliers, selling over 3,000 of their products to our customers. We support small artisan suppliers through our Foodservice Academy and as part of our online exclusive Extended Range on our new website. Local is in our DNA, we’ve existed for 146 years and are seventh generation family-owned.

A differentiating offer under the Munch & Co deli brand, with delicious signature menu items for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Seriously good coffee under our exclusive brand 9 Grams. Distinctive ice cream brand called Lickety Split. To find out more contact: Terry Donnan 086 7714696 Succulent rotisseriespun chicken, served in delicious signature sandwiches and healthy salad bowls. REAL FAST We listened to what our customers want and designed a completely new shopping experience. This is about surprising and delighting shoppers with a fresher, healthier, more innovative offer. It’s also about bringing independent retailers a dynamic, cost effective retail offer, that delivers above average returns. Visit us at the weekends! NEW Branch Opening Hours 7Now open Days a week. Monday to Friday8am -6pm Saturday8am -4pm Sunday10am -4pm Late opening Thursday Ballymun & Robinhood 8am -8pm

BWG Wholesale Division Fact file: Name: Value Centre, 4 Aces, Better Deal Number of branches nationwide: 21 Number of customers: Over 14,000 Number of lines in product listing: Over 10,000 Tagline: ‘Your Local Wholesaler’ Ordering options: Online, in-branch, telesales, dedicated sales developers

BWG’s award-winning e-commerce platform ‘Shoplink’ can connect seamlessly to EPOS and is fully integrated and live with the supply chain

BWG Foods also invested in a new Fronius battery charging system for its extensive mechanical handling equipment (forklifts, pallet trucks, etc.) fleet that reduces electrical output, thus reducing carbon emissions by 170 tonnes per annum. We also invested in a new fleet of mechanical handling equipment that boasts market-leading energy efficiency technology and continue to rollout LED lighting across the group’s retail estate Additionally, BWG has also adopted Formula One-derived aerodynamic technology across our nationwide network of retail stores to boost the efficiency of refrigeration units. The technology guides cold air down fridges to avoid cold air being lost from units, delivering energy savings of approximately 20% without the need for glass doors. To-date, 1,600 eco blades have been installed across the network, equivalent to 500m of refrigeration space. The group also recently invested in LED lighting across its retail network, Head Office and National Distribution Centre. 4,500 recycled light fittings using fully recycled materials were deployed across the retail network. The business has also implemented a number of operational efficiency projects that have already led to collective CO2 emission savings across the business. This included a re-routing programme, which led to the reduction of more than 2.3 million kilometres travelled annually and an increase of individual delivery vehicle capacity by 15%.

Focus on sustainability As members of Origin Green, BWG Foods is committed to an ambitious sustainability strategy aimed at significantly reducing the environmental impact of our large-scale nationwide supply chain. As part of the new

Supporting Irish producers Through our Trading Team, BWG Foods works closely with all our local Irish suppliers. For example, every year, we provide a unique platform to Ireland’s indigenous suppliers and emerging Irish businesses to showcase their goods and offerings to our vast network of retailers at the aforementioned Trade Show extravaganza(s) This gives local, Irish suppliers access to our full retail estate as well as potentially offering them an introduction to our international colleagues and partners around the globe through innovations such as the Spar International Challenger Brand Programme, which connects the Spar network across the world with pioneering food brands having strong international growth potential.

Typical opening hours: 8am-4.30pm Retail partners: XL Retail Group Size-range of outlets: 12,000 sq ft 60,000 sq ft Convenience of physical outlets As well as our fully online ordering platform, Shoplink, which allows our customers to place their full ambient and fresh orders with us remotely, we are constantly investing in our physical outlets such as in Value Centre Ennis, which is benefitting from major investment and refurbishment currently When completed, this outlet will boast a larger footprint by more than a third with state-of-the-art facilities to facilitate the high walk-in trade catered for in this branch. Offering value We are constantly analysing the market and adapting and adjusting to ensure our customers have access to the best and most competitive offers out there. As well as our regular national promotions cycle, we host a number of ‘Massive Sales Day’ events at key times during the year These sales events offer our customers strong and compelling deals on market-leading products at very competitive prices, which they can then pass onto their customers. Complementing that activity, since 2011, BWG Foods has held an annual Trade Show for all our customers to avail of exclusive offers and deals from our network of 650+ suppliers and these events are tremendously successful. We have also added specific “seasonal” sales days to meet our customers’ needs.

Convenience and fast delivery options

Our award-winning e-commerce platform ‘Shoplink’ can connect seamlessly to EPOS and is fully integrated and live with the supply chain. Our customers benefit from having access to ‘Shoplink’ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year enabling them to do business with us more efficiently With our flexible delivery service, if the customer can’t come to us, we will do our utmost to ensure next day delivery We also offer an emergency top-up service for customers. As Ireland’s largest national network of cash and carry branches, we are always close to our customer base and are constantly evolving to predict and meet their needs. Driving new and appetising options

Paul Bealin, cash & carry sales director, outlines the group’s advantages

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Paul Bealin, cash & carry sales director, BWG Wholesale Division, says the group is “constantly seeking new and innovative ways to meet our customers’ evolving needs” strategy, BWG Foods is switching to cleaner energies and has committed to installing renewable energy solutions across its operations. BWG has a strong tradition of pursuing a “greener agenda” within its business. For example, we were the first FMCG group in the country to launch a fleet of CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles. BWG was also the first FMCG group in Ireland to introduce Heavy Goods Delivery Vehicles (HGVs) fuelled with biogas in place of traditional diesel fuel vehicles to our fleet. The vehicles deliver a 90% reduction in transport related carbon emissions and we have plans to increase our fleet of multitemp vehicles in 2023, as well as introducing solar panels to a further six sites, thereby further reducing our carbon footprint.

Being part of the BWG Foods group means that we are constantly innovating and availing of the supports that come with a larger wholesale partner BWG Foods has a dedicated Food & Beverage Innovation Team and under the direction of head of innovation, Orla Jordan, she and her team are constantly seeking ways to grow and evolve the XL offering. For example, as well as our exclusive premium coffee offering and our delectable exclusive ice cream offering, I-Scream, we provide our XL retailers with award-winning own brand options in fresh food categories, which are proving very popular with customers.

Competitive pricing and promotions

62 CATEGORY FOCUS Cash & Carry Spotlight

We price check against all our wholesale competitors both nationally in Northern Ireland and internationally to ensure that we are bringing the very best prices to our many customers. We work with our supplier base to ensure that if price increases are required, these are minimised, in line with market changes, ensuring that any increases are fully justified.

“Our ability to adapt is one of the real KPIs of Stonehouse,” says Tom Shipsey, CEO, Stonehouse Marketing Ltd,


Stonehouse Marketing Ltd Fact file: Number of branches nationwide: 19 Number of customers: 5,000+ Tagline: Serving the independent Retail & Foodservice Industry Ordering options (website, telephone orders etc): All relevant formats/media Typical opening hours: 08:30 to 18:00 Retail partners: Costcutter, Gala and Carry Out Tom Shipsey, CEO, Stonehouse Marketing Ltd, explains what makes the company stand out within the market Extensive range to fulfil needs Stonehouse carries the full range of ambient and frozen products as required by our customer base We constantly review our offering, discuss customer requirements with our many customers and prompt customers on new products or SKUs we could offer that they may not be currently carrying.

Homestead Brands Limited, 16 Priory Office Pack, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. Tel: 01 2966000, Fax: 01 2966002, E-mail:

Physical outlets Our business model has fundamentally changed in recent years from cash and carry to delivered wholesale We still have some “footprint” in the cash and carry but most of our customers are extremely busy, understaffed and require us to go to them rather than them coming to us. Customers who do arrive on our premises are met with the level of hospitality that Stonehouse is renowned for and our staff on premises ensure that they are made aware of all offers available Flexible ordering and deliveries Our ordering and delivery options are one of the great standouts of the Stonehouse experience. Our members show incredible flexibility in meeting our customer needs. Top-ups and deliveries outside of the normal times are always well catered for from the Stonehouse members. Our ability to adapt is one of the real KPIs of Stonehouse Unique proposition We are local, we serve local, we understand local and our ethos is about serving with care, value, service and range

Key insights Through our bespoke Insight Data Programme, we now have a stronger understanding of the ever-changing dynamics of our customer requirements. We understand the new paradigm of consumer behaviour, consumer location and consumer requirements. We understand that the consumer is not only looking for value but convenience and sustainable products/services. Our team are continually listening and learning: Every day is a learning day. Goals for 2022 Our goals are to maintain the gains made over the last number of years on retail, ensuring that we continue to offer customers the right products at the right price at the right time Continue to help our foodservice customers get back on their feet, being flexible with them as they get up and running again. Understand new customer trends and values. Put the three Ps at the centre of everything we do: Profit, People and Planet. ■

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We all know there’s nothing like a good breakfast to start the day right. Bord Bia research from 2016 found that 87% of Irish people eat breakfast every day, with a slight increase at weekends. Bread and toast came out on top as Ireland’s favourite midweek breakfast for 33% of people, followed by porridge (25%), cereals (19%), eggs (18%) and fruit (17%). For Irish kids, 85% eat breakfast at home with cereal being the top choice as parents know they will eat it. Irish parents also said they want breakfast options that are healthy, low cost and easy to prepare.

of Irish consumers now eat breakfast more frequently Reflecting overarching trends that emerged during the pandemic, weekday breakfasts have a strong focus on health, with cereal, toast and oat-based breakfasts the top three choices. At the weekends, however, more than one in four (27%) consumers choose breakfasts because they feel like a treat, (versus less than one in 10 in the week), and the majority (44%) indulge in a cooked breakfast, with toast (37%) and cereal or granola (34%) taking second and third place.

New Délifrance research also shows that Ireland’s favourite peanut butter Full or complicated breakfasts have lost their place during the week as convenience and health have returned to the forefront of consumers’ minds. The factors important to consumers are ease and speed of preparation, and to feel fuller for longer, as well as the health benefits of being high in fibre, low in sugar and high in protein*. Brands such as Meridian nut butters high in plant protein and high in fibre are a popular breakfast choice, offering the health and functional benefits consumers are looking for. Additionally, when asked which qualities Ireland’s out-of-home (OOH) breakfast market is picking up, with 22% of consumers now eating breakfast OOH during the week, and 18% over the weekend. The bakery products supplier surveyed 500 consumers from across the country to create its ‘Prove it: Breakfast in Ireland Unlocking the opportunities in the occasion’ report. This shows breakfasts were eaten predominantly at home over the last few years due to lockdowns and the increase in homeworking. Perhaps explaining why breakfast has become more of an institution: the research reveals almost one in four (24%) consumers would pay more for when choosing foods for breakfast, 44% of people are prepared to pay more for natural ingredients and 25% are willing to pay more for ethically sourced ingredients*. These factors play to the strengths of Meridian, Ireland’s number one peanut butter brand**, which has been championing goodness for 40 years with its 100% natural nut butters. Meridian recently launched into the chocolate spreads segment with Chocca. This is palm oil free, has over 50% nuts and has 50% less sugar than the leading brand*** making it a great alternative for healthconscious parents, whilst still delivering on taste *(Source: Kantar Profiles/Mintel, February 2022 **(Source: Meridian MAT value share. Nielsen w/e 02.01.22. ***(Source: Nut content Chocca 53.5%, Nutella 13%, Gü 32%, Cadbury 0%) Full of flavour Cuisine de France is delighted to launch a new two-pack blueberry muffin into the bakery category Made in Ireland and packed full of flavour, this muffin is one of its best yet, ideal for morning consumption. The muffin is light in texture, with blueberries whirled through the crumb, oozing with vibrant colour with a hint of lemon to elevate the eating experience. Injected with a flavourful blueberry puree, it’s topped with biscuit crumb

Meridian is Ireland’s number one peanut butter brand Cusine de France’s blueberry muffin is thaw-and-serve with a seven-day shelf life

Healthy Living Breakfast Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) 64 CATEGORY FOCUS Breakfast ShelfLife August 2022 |

*(Source: Délifrance ‘Prove it: Breakfast in Ireland’ July 2022) Packed in an attractive two-pack acetate, this allows consumers to purchase for sharing, gifting or to indulge themselves. This innovative product is thaw-and-serve with a seven-day shelf life making it a convenient offering for retailers. Enhanced health credentials With more than 3 million portions of Flahavan’s porridge oats consumed each week here in Ireland, the Waterford-based family food business continues to maintain its position as Ireland’s favourite porridge The market leader in the hot oats category*, Flahavan’s produces a range of over 50 oatbased products using locally sourced wholegrain oats. Renowned for its consistent quality and superior taste profile, Flahavan’s Following lockdowns and the increase in homeworking, research shows almost one in four (24%) of Irish consumers* now eat breakfast more frequently. Here, Gillian Hamill looks at the latest trends and brands driving the category Beautiful breakfast!

@meridian food High in protein High in fibre No palm oilHigh in pr ein in fibre No oil *Nielsen 52w/e 02.01.22 * Forsales enquiries contact SHS Sales &MarketingTel: 01 401 6200 Email:

The new Coco Pops Hazelnut Choc flavour combines cocoa with notes of hazelnut perfection

Roast/GroundroundCoffee09 Jams/Spreads07 Eggs01 Sausages/Rasher04 Wrapped Bread (Everyday) apped ead08 Milk Alternatives05 Butter/Spreads /Margarines Butt06 Milk03 Chilled Fruit dJuice t02 Berries & BeCherries Cherr10 At home TOPP10 BREAKFAST BREAKF CATEGORIE CATE Colm Rooney Country Manager Ireland aIreland from survey of 25,017 Irish shoppers, Nov 2021-March 2022. Shopper insights available for 128 FMCG categories in 2022 Data 25, 7 h s, i HealthyyBars09 Bananas07 Cereal Bars/ B'fast Biscuits Bars01 Wrapped Rolls/ Sand Alts apped04 Eggs Eg08 Berries & &Cherries Cherr05 Butter/Spreads /Margarines Butt06 TotallCoffee03 Milk Alternatives Alt02 Exotic ExFruit Frui10 Out of home = significant change in rank vs 2022 Flahavan’s porridge with added benefits range includes High Protein, High Fibre and Immunity Boost variants Granola

Kellogg’s recently launched new Krave Cookies and Cream flavour

Kellogg’s recently launched a brand-new granola as part of its popular Special K range Special K Crunchy Oat Granola’s crunchy clusters, with 30% less sugar*, make the perfect breakfast choice and come in two tasty flavours: for those who like a fruity twist, Mixed Berries with blackcurrants and cranberries, or for those chocolate lovers, Dark Chocolate Curls with 64% cocoa. Special K’s latest innovation has an oat-rich base with puffed grains making it a tasty, light textured granola. It’s also high in oat grain fibre to support gut health**.

*(Source: Special K Crunchy Oat Granola Mixed Berries / Dark Chocolate Curls contains 6.5g / 6.0g oat grain fibre per 100g. Oat grain fibre contributes to an increase in faecal bulk. Enjoy as part of a varied, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle)

New Special K Crunchy Oat Granola are available in two tempting flavours: Mixed Berries and Dark Chocolate Curls

*(Source: 30% less sugar on average than other granolas. IRI UK 2021)

continues to maintain strong performance in its core business with Traditional and Organic Porridge accounting for over 40% of its value sales in the Irish market. It is convenience porridge, however, which experienced the strongest growth in the past twelve months as consumers returned to prepandemic breakfast patterns the Flahavan’s Quick Oats Drum recorded 8% value sales growth during this period, while the Quick Oats pot range achieved double-digit growth. Over the past two decades, Flahavan’s has been at the forefront of driving a dramatic change in the way consumers think about oatbased foods and their compelling health benefits. With its latest launch of porridge with added benefits, the company is responding to the growing interest in food products with enhanced health credentials. The new range, which includes High Protein, High Fibre and Immunity Boost variants, is available in pot and sachet formats to optimise convenience. With health at the forefront of consumers’ minds, the new range is targeted at active, health-conscious consumers seeking fortified food solutions to give their health and energy a boost at breakfast time Flahavan’s is a proud member of Love Irish Food and is a Gold Member of Bord Bia’s Origin Green programme Learn more on

*(Source: Nielsen Total Scantrack Data 27 February 2022) Firm favourite Kellogg’s cereal is a firm favourite among Irish shoppers as it is consumed in over 1.1m households, which is more than any other cereal brand in the market*. Kellogg’s has a 34% share of all cereal category sales in the Irish market and 41% of all ready-to-eat cereals (RTEC) sales delivering more sales value for retailers than any other branded cereal in the market. Kellogg’s continues to innovate and launch new products annually Most recently, Kellogg’s Special K announced its brand-new granola, Special K Crunchy Oat Granola which has 30% less sugar**, making it the perfect breakfast choice. Earlier this year, Kellogg’s Coco Pops got a whole lot nuttier, as it announced the launch of a new flavour of its much-loved chocolatey cereal, Coco Pops Hazelnut Choc Flavour With 30% less sugar than other chocolate flavoured cereals***, the tasty new breakfast option magically transforms milk into a chocolatey hazelnut flavour Kellogg’s Coco Pops experts spent over a year perfecting the new taste which combines cocoa with notes of hazelnut. Kellogg’s also launched a new flavour of Krave this year for the first time two years. It launched Kellogg’s Krave Cookies and Cream flavour which has a dark cocoa shell perfectly complementing the creamy filling, it is everything people love about cookies and cream in cereal form! *(Source: Kantar Total Outlets Latest 52 w/e 17 April 2022) **(Source: 30% less sugar on average than other granolas. IRI UK 2021) **(Source: 30% less sugar on average than other chocolate flavoured toasted rice cereals. IRI UK 2021.

Healthy Living Breakfast Cash & Carry Spotlight Cooking Sauces PR and Marketing Franchise Opportunities Ready-to-Drink Beverages (RTDs) 66 CATEGORY FOCUS Breakfast ShelfLife August 2022 |


• Sunflower & Bramley Apple Granola with fresh apple puree and crunchy sunflower seeds (vegan, high in fibre)

The current Just Live a Little range also includes:

high in fibre, a source of plant protein and suitable for vegetarians.

• Triple Berry Granola with Raspberry, Blueberry & Strawberry pieces (vegetarian, high in fibre)

For further information, contact: ■

*(Source: The Grocer Focus on Cereals: January 2022)

Proper sausages!

Earlier this year, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausage Company announced new deals with Musgrave, Dunnes Stores, and Tesco which will see the brand grow nationally over the coming years. The company now has its product sold across the whole of Cork and Munster, and is available in prominent SuperValu, Centra, and Dunnes stores within Dublin city and the Greater Dublin area. Established in 1921, the O’Flynns are thirdgeneration sausage makers from the English Market in Cork city and the business prides itself on quality service and flavourful food which has been feeding the people of Ireland for over 10 decades. Pudding perfection

• Whole Almond Granola packed full of Whole Almonds, with sunflower seeds and a hint of cinnamon (vegan, high in fibre)

• Chocolate granola with rich cocoa powder and coconut for added crunch (vegan, high in fibre)

Over the past two years, the impact of the pandemic and resulting lockdowns resulted in a spike in home cooking, with many consumers spending their newly-free time in the kitchen testing out new breakfast recipes. The versatility of black and white pudding lends itself to the creative cooks’ imagination and expanding repertoire. Just take a look at the number of foodie content creators and even professional chefs taking to social media to showcase their pudding recipes. Popular recipes include baked eggs with Clonakilty Blackpudding and Turkish Eggs with Clonakilty Whitepudding Clonakilty puddings are made using traditional methods and natural ingredients and are free from any artificial additives and preservatives.

Wholesome opportunity for growth With health high on the agenda, consumers and retailers are starting to focus on lower and no-added sugar breakfasts that also deliver on taste According to The Grocer*, the only growing segment of the cereals market was ‘natural and wholesome’ which includes granolas. Forest Feast’s Just Live a Little artisan granola range fits this description perfectly, giving retailers opportunity for growth. Just Live a Little Low Sugar Coconut & Chia is less than 4% sugar, but with added coconut, it’s a sweet choice to start the day! Crunchy quinoa and pumpkin seeds make this granola fibre-filled. Packaged in a fully recyclable pack, it is handmade with no preservatives or added salt, as well as being Forest Feast offers a tasty artisan granola range, Just Live a Little Whitepudding are free from any artificial additives and preservatives

Clonakilty Blackpudding and Clonakilty

8. What would you cook if you were to compete in ‘Come Dine With Me’ and would you win? My custom stir-fry. I think the magic is in the order of the ingredients and the spices and sauces!

5. Best ad on telly? After rescuing our little breeding Chihuahua, Amber, during lockdown, it’s definitely the dogs trust cartoon ad “End Puppy Farming in Ireland” that shows the reality of puppy farming.

13. Most annoying public figure? I’m possibly showing my age as much as my LA background, but I’m not sure I fully appreciate the cultural significance of the Kardashians.

3. Top book recommendation? The Prophet Kahlil Gibran. Which social media platform do you use most? Twitter.



1. Best place for coffee? Two Beans or Shoe Lane in Dun Laoghaire (according to my wife!).

11. Greatest achievement to date? Having my album The Letters released on Sony Masterworks it was an unlikely dream that became a reality. 12. Best website? as so much of my discoveries, learning, problem solving and news consumption happen here.

■ WITH CIARAN J. HOPE COO, EY Seren Ireland Ciaran J. Hope

10. If you had to live in another country, where would you choose? Crete (Greece) It feels like a snapshot of 1960’s Ireland at times!

7. Favourite grocery shop? Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt.

2. Favourite movie? Gladiator.


15. Biggest fear? Forgetting to live life. 16. City or beach break? Beach. 17. Top restaurant recommendation? Gavalianos Kafenes Monica's Tavern, Gavalochori, Crete. 18. Pop or rock? Pop-rock. 19. Favourite time of the day? Early morning when the world still sleeps, the air is silent, and my mind has space to breathe.

20. What’s the last compliment you received? Shaving made me look 10 years younger!

6. Worst ad on telly? Nothing stands out in particular.


9. First thing you would do if you were Taoiseach? Assuming it would be my only opportunity to drive change through the Department of the Taoiseach, I would focus on climate action and I’d also aim to highlight the positive impact that creativity can have in our modern, fast paced society!

14. Best piece of advice you ever received? Start afresh.

The product was developed in-house after seeing the treats become a homemade hit on Instagram and Tiktok, as part of the clean-treat trend. “We noticed that people were making their own at home and we knew that with our capability we could crack it inhouse on a larger scale,” said Bronagh Clarke, marketing director at Forest Feast. Forest Feast North African Deglet Nour Dates have a delicious chewy sweetness, which combines perfectly with creamy smooth peanut butter and a generous drenching of Belgian Milk Chocolate for a doubledipped delight. The product has just launched into Tesco Ireland and will be followed by other retailers and fine food wholesalers with an RRSP of €4.00 for 140g. The Forest Feast brand is currently growing 26% YOY.

Forest KerrygoldFeast NiveaTayto

The new product will join the brand’s Chocolate Dipped Fruit line-up of 60% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Sour Cherries, 60% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Figs and 60% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Mango.

Forest Feast launches Double Dipped Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Dates Snacking brand Forest Feast has launched Double Dipped Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Dates, tapping into the growth in premium and indulgent snacks.

*(Source: Tayto is Ireland’s favourite crisps and snacks brand Source Nielsen Value Sales July 2022) Stay safe in the sun this year with Nivea Sun safety is just as essential in Ireland as when you are abroad. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day, even in cloudy IrishNiveaweather.hasa range of products to protect your shoppers and their families including Nivea Sun Kids Protect & Care Coloured Roll-on SPF 50+, (RRP: €9.99) and Nivea Sun Kids Trigger Spray SPF 30 / SPF 50+, (RRP: €21.59) providing children with highly effective UVA/UVB protection wherever they go. Meanwhile, Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion SPF 30 / SPF 50+, (RRP: €16.99) and Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Pocket Size Sun Lotion SPF 30, (RRP: €6.99) makes sun cream application easy and provides highly effective UVA/UVB protection and protects immediately against sun exposure and long-term UV-induced skin damage.

Kerrygold serves up a real butter for real taste Kerrygold is the secret ingredient for every kitchen moment. The full line-up of Kerrygold products includes Kerrygold Irish Creamery Butter (227g and 454g), Kerrygold Irish Softer Butter (454g) and the recently launched Kerrygold Spreadable (454g) and Kerrygold Unsalted Irish Butter (227g). Whether you are a budding chef, a dab hand at baking, or simply seeking that extra edge to up your kitchen game, Kerrygold offers food lovers an abundance of choice to match every occasion. To access the full range, contact the brand directly at and the team will connect you with your nearest supplier. Make the occasion with Tayto Occasions Corn Straws Tayto, Ireland’s favourite crisps and snacks brand*, is delighted to launch its latest product offering to its Occasions Range: Tayto Occasions Corn Straws A spicy flavour on a corn-based snack makes it perfect for every occasion and celebration. The Tayto Occasions range includes a variety of crisps and snacks and the new Corn Straws are the perfect addition to the range. Tayto Corn Straws have a sweet chilli pepper flavour, no artificial colours, no artificial flavours, no added MSG and are suitable for vegetarians. Find them in stores nationwide now.

69MARKET MOVERS | ShelfLife August 2022

The limited-edition KitKat Chunky Caramel 43.5g bar and multipack ranges will be available from early August. Like the rest of the KitKat range, Chunky is made with 100% certified sustainable cocoa. More widely, the KitKat brand is striving to become carbon neutral by 2025; and Nestlé Confectionery UK & Ireland is aiming to halve the carbon footprint of its local fresh milk supply by 2026. This involves helping farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices while continuing to produce the best quality milk.

Earlier this month, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe joined managing director of Pilgrim’s Food Masters Ireland, Richard Irvine and staff to officially open the new Pilgrim’s Food Masters office in Sandyford, Co Dublin.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe opens Pilgrim’s Food Masters Ireland Office

70 MARKET MOVERS ShelfLife August 2022 |

Essity is breaking barriers to wellbeing and that includes the wellbeing of our planet and the communities where we live and work. Essity’s global sustainability strategy is defined by three pillars Wellbeing, More from Less and Circularity In Ireland, Essity delivers this strategy through the four Rs reduce, reuse, recycle and responsible The Cushelle brand is committed to improving its sustainability credentials, without compromising on quality Through innovations in product, packaging and production, Cushelle is committed to becoming a more sustainable brand, and is also contributing to sustainable communities and wildlife conservation. In 2022, Cushelle has been focused on launching Cushelle tubeless into the Irish market, available in all leading retailers since July Cushelle has removed the cardboard tube and instead packed more sheets of irresistibly soft Cushelle toilet paper onto every roll. It has also introduced CO2 reduced packaging* due to the use of recycled plastics and its plastic packaging can be recycled with household recycling collections. The Cushelle brand is well recognised by consumers thanks to effective TV advertising with brand icon Kenny the koala. ■

O’Donnells Crisps are made using home grown Tipperary potatoes, cultivated on Seskin Farm, and owned by the O’Donnells family for over seven generations.

O’Donnells introduces new Sour Cream and Onion flavour

O’Donnells Essity Ireland Nestlé

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe alongside MD of Pilgrim’s Food Masters Ireland Richard Irvine and, Oswaldo Quiros and Julie Ann Twomey, officially opening the new Pilgrim’s Food Masters office in Sandyford, Co. Dublin

Pilgrim’s Food Masters’ stable of brands includes some of Ireland’s most loved, such as Denny, Galtee, Shaw’s and Ballyfree Pilgrim’s also manufactures many private label products for Ireland’s leading supermarkets; sliced cooked meats and breakfast meats from its facilities in Shillelagh, Co Wicklow and frozen ready meals for UK and Irish retailers from Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan. Being the best and most respected food manufacturer in the industry in the ambition of Pilgrim’s Food Masters with its parent company, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation fully committed to continued investment in the company’s factories, brands and most importantly its people Minister Donohoe described Pligrim’s Food Masters Ireland as “a key business and a major employer in the Irish agri-food sector”.

O’Donnells has been making tasty, premium hand-cooked crisps for over 12 years, and now Ireland’s favourite hand cooked crisps brand has a new flavour to join its stellar line-up New O’Donnells Sour Cream and Onion crisps, with an impeccable measure of tangy sour cream and mild onion seasoning, are perfectly balanced to create a taste sensation.

Siblings behind the brand, Ed and Kate O’Donnell told ShelfLife: “We spent a long time perfecting the recipe to ensure we delivered the best tasting sour cream and onion crisps on the market and we think we’ve nailed it.”


O’Donnells Sour Cream and Onion are available in 50g single serve and 125g share bags. All O’Donnells Crisps are gluten free with no artificial colours or flavours and no MSG/GM ingredients. The team at O’Donnells are also working to reduce the environmental impact of packaging waste and are making significant reductions on the amount of film used across all the range

Essity Ireland: Cushelle making sustainability strides with new tubeless format

Pilgrim’s Food Masters Ireland was established in September 2021 following the acquisition of Kerry Group plc’s Consumer Foods Meats and Meals business and now employs over 1,500 staff in the Republic of Ireland. The Sandyford office will serve as the HQ for the Pilgrim’s Food Masters team.

Crisp KitKat wafer meets smooth caramel to create off the chart levels of deliciousness it can only be the brand-new KitKat Chunky!

Launching this month, the latest edition to the Chunky line-up features a thick layer of runny caramel atop the brand’s classic wafer, all covered by KitKat’s trademark smooth milk chocolate “A new KitKat Chunky is always one of the year’s most anticipated confectionery launches, and we think fans will be delighted with our latest innovation,” said Maria McKenna, confectionery marketing manager at Nestlé Ireland.

“When we trialled the newest Chunky flavour, we got a rapturous response, so we can’t wait to hear what everybody thinks!”

*(Source: CO2 reduced: Carbon footprint reduction of the packaging due to use of recycled plastics vs previous packaging made with virgin fossil-based plastics, based on the Life Cycle Assessments conducted by Essity and verified by a third party) It’s one smooth operator – KitKat Chunky Caramel hits Irish shelves

Supporting Irish Retail Begin At Bank of Ireland, we’re here to support the financial wellbeing of your business as it keeps building for years to come. Everyday banking solutions and dedicated business teams when you need them For all your Retail Sector needs talk to Owen Clifford Head of Retail Sector 087 9079002 Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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