Retail News July/August 2021

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Retail News JULY / AUGUST 2021

Ireland’s Longest Established Grocery Magazine



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Contents News

Facing the future AS we, hopefully, emerge from the worst days of the pandemic (at the time of writing case numbers are growing again as the Delta variant does its worst), it’s time to look back and count the cost of Covid-19 on our sector, and to look to the future and the challenges and opportunities on the road ahead. There are a host of legislative changes on the way that will impact on the FMCG market, for good or ill. Our Chief News Reporter, Pavel Barter, discusses these in detail on Page 2. Meanwhile, Retail News Editor John Walshe talks through the big issues with the CSNA’s Chief Executive, Vincent Jennings, and National President, John Paul Lonergan, in a wide-ranging interview that covers the impact of the pandemic on the retail trade, the new-found acknowledgement of the importance of the local shop and the challenges coming down the line for Irish retailers (Page 18). We also report from the Guaranteed Irish ‘Future of Food’ forum, where a top panel of industry experts offer advice on how food and drink companies can prosper in a post-pandemic landscape (Page 58). Also inside, the latest Bord Bia report into the Irish foodservice sector predicts that it will be the end of next year before the majority of the industry will return to something approaching pre-pandemic trade levels (Page 24), Jean Smullen reveals Ireland’s top 20 wine brands (Page 38), the Irish Security Industry Association provide advice on the areas where you are most likely to require security solutions to keep your business, your colleagues, your customers, and your stock secure (Page 50).

Pakman Awards


Storm clouds on the horizon for retail trade.


Love Irish Food and Tesco Ireland announce partnership.


Musgrave achieves Origin Green verification for fifth consecutive year; Coca-Cola HBC reduce plastic use by 5,000 tonnes a year; Aldi open Douglas store. Repak members reduce plastic packaging waste by 18.6%; Lidl Ireland open new Thurles store.


Consumers embracing sustainable diet; Covid-19 impacts on behaviours and attitudes towards alcohol. Shopper spirits lifted by rising temperatures and easing restrictions; Top buyers plan to visit Anuga.


Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association CEO, Vincent Jennings, and National President, John Paul Lonergan, explain why the impact of Covid-19 wasn’t felt equally by all retailers, and discuss the challenges facing the sector in the months ahead as new legislation looks set to increase labour costs significantly.


A new report from Bord Bia forecasts the Irish foodservice market will return to pre-pandemic levels by end of 2022.

Bevella 26

Bevella is a brand new beverages distribution and brand-building business from Primeline Group.

Nivea Sun have a host of products to offer your customers sun protection for the entire family.

On the Vine: Top 20 Wines 38

Jean Smullen looks at the top 20 wine brands on the Irish market.

Security 50

Advice from the Irish Security Industry Association on how best to keep your store secure; as well as the latest news from Premium Cash Solutions and Sigma Wireless.

The Future of Food 58



Duplo is a new hazelnut chocolate biscuit bar from Ferrero, which is set to shake up the category.

Sun Care

Retail News Interview 18

Repak have begun their search for Ireland’s environmental champions with the launch of the 2021 Pakman Awards.

Ferrero Duplo





The Guaranteed Irish forum on ‘The Future Of Food’ saw industry experts discuss the latest trends and opportunities in the Irish food industry and offer tips for succeeding in a post-pandemic landscape.


Cadbury 61

Cadbury are calling on consumers nationwide to ‘Be the Judge’ of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Inventor bars.

Employment Law 62

Advice for retailers on their legal obligations when it comes to absence management, particularly in relation to long-term sick leave, and providing ‘reasonable accommodation’ for an employee’s return to work.

Kathleen Belton Editorial & Marketing Director Regulars & Reports

Retail News

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Ireland’s Longest Established Grocery Magazine


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65 Retail Ireland: Monthly Update 66 Drinks News 68 Forecourt Focus: News 70 What’s New 72 Shelf Life

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Storm clouds on the horizon for GROCERS may have to turn to artificial intelligence to help operate their stores, as a raft of legislation comes down the line that threatens to increase the cost of employment, Retail News has learned. The prospect of a living wage, combined with a mandatory sick pay scheme, and an automatic pension enrolment scheme could add 20% of additional costs to retailers over a short space of time. Business owners might then consider “less intensive employment models”, according to Tara Buckley, RGDATA Director General. “More people will sweep towards technology and labour avoiding devices, such as the self-service till,” said Vincent Jennings, Chief Executive of the Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association (CSNA). “I believe you will have a significant reduction in services as a result. Labour should never be cheap, but making it so expensive that you have to change your model is going to come at a cost.” The Low Pay Commission is presently examining how a living wage - the minimum income necessary for a single adult worker in full time employment, with no dependents, to meet his or her basic needs - might be introduced across the Republic. The national minimum wage is currently €10.20 an hour. Last year, campaigners calculated a living wage in Ireland to be €12.30, although Jennings dismissed this proposed sum. “It’s a figure made up without any input from employers or the state. Whatever figure is determined as being the Irish living wage, which may well be a mix of voluntary and statutory, will be different,” he noted. “We may take a lead from the UK and have different groupings who are entitled to a living wage, subsequent to them being on the minimum wage for a period of time.” RGDATA members fear that a living wage would push other salaries up “because employers will match themselves against starter workers “, added Buckley. The Government’s statutory sick pay scheme will be phased in over four years. In 2022, employers will cover the cost of three certified sick days per year; by 2025 they will pay for 10 days per year. RGDATA is currently conducting a survey on sick pay leave in their members’ businesses. “There is a concern about who would qualify for sick pay,” Buckley continued. “Our members want to ensure their full time, long term workers are

well looked after, but they have concerns about short term workers who don’t have any allegiance to the business. Would they treat mandatory sick pay as extra holidays?” The CSNA, meanwhile, is concerned about the additional costs of covering for someone who is sick. “In the service businesses, someone has to take the place of the person who is sick: so you have a double whammy and you are now paying for two people,” said Jennings. “That’s not the case in many other businesses and we are disadvantaged as a result of that. There needs to be an understanding of how that cost might be mitigated.”

RGDATA Director General, Tara Buckley.

In April 2020, Debenhams announced the closure of their stores in Ireland, leading to the loss of 2,000 jobs. When they did not receive their anticipated redundancy package, workers picketed, during the pandemic, for over 400 days. This led to the impending introduction of the Companies (Protection of Employees’ Rights In Liquidations) Bill 2021, nicknamed the Debenhams Bill, which seeks to protect the rights of workers in the event of liquidation. Grocers are largely supportive of this legislation, which is set for introduction in 2022. “I have no difficulty with that as a concept. None whatsoever,” said Jennings. The introduction of an Automatic Enrolment Pension Scheme by 2022 is a different matter, however, which would see staff automatically enrolled in a pension scheme, with employer and employee matching contributions. This will add to business pressures and “have an inflationary effect,” said Jennings. “Where is the money coming from? Our bottom line? Our own pension contributions?” The Circular Economy Bill 2021 is another legislative challenge facing retailers. The deposit return scheme, currently being designed by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, is on the immediate horizon, but this Bill will ultimately bring about a complete readjustment of supply chains, introducing a world in which every element of waste is removed from the production cycle. Disposable plastics will disappear

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retail trade

Vincent Jennings, CEO, CSNA. and customers will bring reusable containers into shops to refill produce. Retailers are ready to meet this challenge. “We’re seeing record temperatures across the world this summer,” noted Jennings. “We have a collective responsibility.” Yet there remain anomalies in the supply chain. Jennings points out how “two trucks, from two distribution services, arrive in every village in town around the country delivering newspapers” when there could and should only be one. “Someone has to call it out. This is environmental vandalism.” RGDATA has called on the packaging industry to come up with imaginative solutions. “At a recent RGDATA board meeting, one board member said he wanted to source compostable packaging,” said Buckley. “He found that it’s very difficult to find good value, attractive, alternatives to plastics.” Some impending legislation will benefit grocers. Barry Ward, a Fine Gael senator, has published a Bill that aims to prevent bookmakers and other commercial gambling operations from taking bets on the National Lottery. Bookmakers effectively “profiteer” from the National Lottery, said Ward, without paying any of the infrastructural costs that retailers must cover. New alcohol licensing regulations in Northern Ireland will bring the six counties closer in line with the Republic. Progress has also been made with the Gardaí on using CCTV to ban repeat shoplifters from stores, which had previously been difficult due to GDPR legislation. “We’re encouraged by a traders initiative alongside the PSNI in Belfast,” explains Jennings, “whereby they were able to display to the UK data protection commissioner that this was legitimate. The Gardaí are leading an initiative to mirror the Belfast initiative in the Republic.” And the Criminal Justice (Perjury and Related Offences) Bill 2018 will hopefully crack down on exaggerated and false personal injuries claims, imposing up to 10 years in jail and a €100,000 fine on offenders. But despite recent insurance reform, premiums remain high. “Some of our members are seeing a very small decrease, 1% or 2%,” said Buckley. “We should be expecting up to 40% premium decreases following the judicial reforms. Our members, who were probably paying around €10,000 on their annual premium, are still seeing significant increases year on year.” Ultimately, retailers fear that a barrage of legislation to hike business costs will sabotage the Government’s campaign for jobs-led recovery. “You don’t have to be a genius economist to know that you can’t expect to introduce extra costs to business without there being costs to jobs,” said Jennings.

Love Irish Food and Tesco Ireland announce partnership LOVE Irish Food (LIF) recently announced a new partnership with Tesco Ireland to grow awareness of Love Irish Food member products in Tesco’s 151 stores nationwide. Tesco Ireland were the first retailer to sign up to the new retail membership platform, developed by Love Irish Food. Partnering with Tesco Ireland will involve instore activations to help shoppers identify LIF member brand products, helping to bridge the knowledge gap for those who wish to support local and Irish. In addition, the partnership will include supplier development opportunities. Through enhanced engagement with Tesco Ireland, small and medium sized LIF member brands will benefit from additional supports, including advice from the retailer’s buying team, as well as opportunities to network and engage through buyer-supplier forums. “We are very pleased to be partnering with Tesco, the first retailer to join with Love Irish Food in actively supporting shoppers to easily identify Irish produced food and drinks brands in-store, and in doing so helping shoppers make informed decisions about buying local and Irish,” noted Kieran Rumley, Executive Director, Love Irish Food. “This partnership will be of significant benefit to Love Irish Food members as they develop and scale their businesses.” Joe Manning, Commercial Director, Tesco Ireland, said, “Working with over 490 Irish suppliers and supporting almost 14,000 farming families nationwide, Irish food and drink is at the heart of the Tesco Ireland business. We proudly retail over 70% of the Love Irish Food member products and are delighted to come on board as their first retail partner. We look forward to continuing our support for their members sharing insight and expertise and enhancing opportunities for these fantastic Kieran Rumley, Executive brands in our Director, Love Irish Food. stores.”

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Musgrave achieve Origin Green verification for fifth consecutive year MUSGRAVE have achieved Origin Green reverification for an impressive fifth consecutive year, becoming the longest verified retail member of the programme, having become the first food retail, wholesale, and foodservice company to attain membership of Origin Green back in 2016. “At Musgrave, it is our ambition to be the most trusted and most sustainable business in Ireland, making a real difference to people’s lives and creating a positive impact on the planet by working with key partners to make every community sustainable,” noted Noel Keeley, Musgrave CEO. “We are acutely aware of the importance of sustainability on our journey to becoming a world-class food and beverage business, and as such, view Origin Green reverification as a strong endorsement of what

we are doing as a company to grow good business. We remain focused on growing a sustainable business that benefits our people, partners, local communities, as well as the wider economy and society as a whole.” Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, said: “Musgrave’s reverification as an Origin Green member for a fifth consecutive year underscores the business’ genuine commitment to sustainability. From building communities by supporting local producers and keeping towns clean, through to reducing the use of plastics and cutting carbon emissions, Musgrave have achieved a great deal over the past five years as a member of Origin Green. We look forward to continuing to work with Musgrave as they continually seek to challenge and improve their sustainability performance.”

Coca-Cola HBC reduce plastic use by 5,000 tonnes a year COCA-COLA Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) Ireland and Northern Ireland, in partnership with Coca-Cola Ireland, announced that they have reached a key milestone in the journey to a World Without Waste as they reduced plastic use by almost 5,000 tonnes a year since 2019. This move has been facilitated through the completion of a €13m investment in the Coca-Cola HBC plant at Knockmore Hill, Lisburn, Co. Antrim. The investment, combined with other measures across their packs, is a further sign of the Coca-Cola system’s commitment to creating a true circular economy. Miles Karemacher, Coca-Cola also revealed that Coca-Cola HBC Ireland they have moved all multi-pack cans and Northern Ireland within the range to more sustainable cardboard packaging. The move applies General Manager. to all products within the multi-pack can range, including Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite. Larger multi-packs (10, 12, 20 and 24 cans) have been available in cardboard packaging since April 2021. This follows the introduction of new ‘KeelClip’ late last year, that saw smaller multi-packs (4, 6 and 8 cans) transition to an innovative cardboard solution. In total, the move to more sustainable cardboard packaging will eliminate 500 tonnes of hard-to-recycle shrink wrap plastic annually. “We’re immensely proud to be the first soft drink producer in Ireland to move all our multi-pack cans to more sustainable cardboard solutions,” said Miles Karemacher, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland General Manager. “This move helps us to move closer to our vision for a World Without Waste, by eliminating the use of more than 500 tonnes of shrink wrap plastic each year. Combined with our investment in more recycled plastic and our reduction of plastic use overall, we have reduced our plastic use by almost 5000 tonnes annually, since 2019.”

Noel Keeley, Musgrave CEO.

Aldi open Douglas store ALDI’S nationwide expansion continued with the recent opening of a new flagship store in Douglas, County Cork, creating 27 permanent jobs, with 23 staff members recruited from the local area. The store was officially opened by Munster Rugby star, Billy Holland who cut the ribbon with the new Douglas Store Manager Goren Kierse. Located on the old cinema site on the Douglas Road, the new store is Aldi’s 24th store to open in County Cork. Featuring Aldi’s exciting award-winning Project Fresh layout and design, the new store boasts a large shop floor spanning 1,000m², wide aisles and hi-spec fixtures and fittings. There are also 117 free car parking spaces available for customers, along with five bicycle rack stands. Sustainability is ingrained in the design of the new Douglas store, which will be powered by 52 Photovoltaic solar panels located on the roof, along with 100% green electricity. In addition, Douglas shoppers will also benefit from six electric vehicle-charging points at the new store.

Pictured at the official opening of Aldi Douglas are Munster rugby star Billy Holland and Douglas Store Manager Goren Kierse with the new Aldi Douglas store staff.

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Repak members reduce plastic packaging waste by 18.6% DESPITE difficult circumstances created by the Covid 19 pandemic during 2020, Repak Plastic Pledge Members achieved a combined plastic packaging recycling rate of 67%, diverted a total of 23,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste from the Irish market and reduced their plastic usage by an average of 18.6%. That’s according to the findings of Repak’s third report analysing the progress of their Plastic Pledge initiative. The number of businesses signed up to the Repak Members’ Plastic Pledge has now increased to 135 and the momentum in relation to tackling avoidable plastic packaging waste, increasing the recyclability of plastic packaging and incorporating recycled content continues to move forward. “Since the launch of the Plastic Pledge in 2018, this initiative has grown steadily and it shows that the momentum of projects to tackle avoidable plastic packaging, increase recyclability of plastic packaging and incorporate recycled content where packaging is unavoidable, is continuing to grow,” noted Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment, Ossian Smyth TD, at the launch of the report. CEO of Repak, Séamus Clancy added: “Last year was a challenging period for us all, but despite that all Members of Repak’s Pledge on Plastic Packaging Waste made huge strides in achieving the Plastic Pledge five objectives. Together, our Plastic Pledge initiative Members have removed 23,000 tonnes of avoidable plastic waste from the estimated 318,760 tonnes of plastic packaging waste being placed on the Irish market and on average, reduced their plastic usage by an average of 18.6%.” Each member has played a significant role in increasing the recyclability of plastic packaging, achieving an average of 54% recycled content, according to Séamus, which ensures Ireland remains on course to meet EU circular economy requirements by the end of the decade. Repak also launched their 2020 Annual Report, where it was revealed that Repak achieved all EU recycling targets and successfully implemented the legislative change requirements of the Circular Economy Package (CEP) and the Programme for

Government in 2020. Total tonnes recycled and recovered in 2020 increased by 3% to 1,037,782 tonnes (2019: 1,008,130 tonnes), driven by growth in packaging recycled from households. Recycling increased by 25,000 tonnes to 703,000 tonnes and recovery increased by 1,721 tonnes to 335,000 tonnes. All key materials surpassed current EU recycling targets: Glass 87% (EU target 60%) , Metal 70% (EU target 50%), Paper Séamus Clancy, Repak CEO. 79% (EU target 60%), Plastic 29.3% (EU target: 22.5%), Wood 61% (EU target 15%). The 2020 Report, titled Adapting to Change, highlighted the major challenges faced by Repak Members and all key stakeholders during the Covid-19 pandemic. The report commended the Irish waste industry for its exceptional response to Covid-19 conditions in 2020, resulting in Ireland achieving all EU targets and being one of the few countries in Europe to maintain a full waste recycling service throughout the year. “Our recycling and recovery results are a strong indicator that we remain amongst the top nations in Europe for both our intent to achieve future EU targets and our recycling tonnage levels” noted Séamus Clancy.

Lidl Ireland open new Thurles store LIDL Ireland have announced the opening of their brand-new store on Slievenamon Road, in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. The new state-of-the-art store brings an investment of €10m to the locality and up to 10 new jobs with the retailer over the next year. The €10m development boasts a new, bright and airy, state-of-the-art Lidl store, with a spacious interior layout, high ceilings and wide aisles creating a comfortable shopping experience for customers. Abutting the store is a large carpark plaza, serving Lidl and two auxiliary sites, which are yet to be developed. Adjacent to the store is an onsite café which will be occupied by coffee chain, Insomnia, providing a nice nook for post-shopping catch ups. This follows hot on the heels of Lidl’s €6m store in Bagenalstown, Co. Carlow, which opened on June 24, creating 35 permanent jobs with the retailer.

Pictured at the opening of Lidl’s new €10m store in Thurles was Store Manager, Gatis Gribusts, with seasoned LGFA player and Lidl brand ambassador, Aisling Moloney, and Tipperary hurling captain, Seamus Callanan.

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Consumers embracing sustainable diet OVER half of Irish consumers would like to follow a more sustainable diet (61.5%) and would be more likely to do so if clearer sustainability labelling (55.3%) and increased accessibility (50.6%) to these products made this ‘sustainability switch’ easier. That’s the key finding of new national research of over 1,500 Irish adults released by the European Milk Forum (EMF) as part of its ‘Dairy in a Healthy and Sustainable European food system’ campaign. The research also found that consumers strongly believe (83.9%) that Ireland is a suitable place for dairy production, which is a growing issue for consumers, with Covid-19 making them more conscious of the location of where their food is produced (60.4%). The research also detected a significant increase in climate conscious actions by Irish consumers, with recycling (90.4%), reducing food waste (83.3%), choosing regionallyproduced foods (52%) and purchasing Fairtrade products (49.3%) among the most common activities undertaken by consumers this past year. “The voice of the consumer hasn’t always been clearly heard in the recent debates around Ireland’s dairy industry, but this research clearly highlights the high regard in which they hold our indigenous dairy industry – recognising that fresh Irish dairy products deliver essential nutrition (77.4%) and that a climate like ours couldn’t be more perfect for the production of sustainable grass-based milk, cheese and yogurt,” noted Zoe Kavanagh, spokesperson for the European Milk Forum in Ireland and Chief Executive of the National Dairy Council.

Covid-19 impacts on behaviours and attitudes towards alcohol

IRELAND has seen an increase in weekly and binge drinking since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the findings of the annual Drinkaware Barometer, which provides an overview of adults’ drinking behaviour in Ireland. On an average day of drinking in 2021, over one in five (22% v 20% in 2020) of those who drink, report drinking six or more standard drinks in that single setting i.e. binge drinking. Males are more than twice as likely to engage in binge drinking than females, and 18-24-year olds more than other age cohorts; 31% of this age group reported binge drinking in 2021, compared to 16% at the time of the initial lockdown phase in 2020. Consistently across the 2021 and previous Drinkaware Barometer surveys, people report a desire to drink less (circa 30%) and this desire is especially evident in the 2021 Barometer amongst those who are binge drinking (40%), or who have increased their consumption in the past 12 months (50%). An additional and encouraging finding is that more than one third (37%) have already made small positive changes to their drinking behaviour, up from 31% in 2020. Key Findings: • 55% drinking on a weekly basis versus 52% in 2020; • 18–24-year-olds weekly consumption has seen the largest increase from 38% in 2020 to 51% in 2021; • Year-on-year increase in binge drinking among men from 27% in 2020 to 31% in 2021; • Increase in binge drinking among 18-24-year-olds (16% in 2020 to 31% in 2021); • 49% of drinkers indicate binge drinking in the past 30 days versus 46% in 2020 (36% 2019 pre-Covid-19); • 30% of people state they would like to drink alcohol less often (24% in 2020); • 37% of people said they had already made small positive changes to their drinking habits (31% in 2020).

Zoe Kavanagh, spokesperson for the European Milk Forum in Ireland and Chief Executive of the National Dairy Council.

“We know through our research and our extensive engagements with the public, that people want to drink differently,” noted Drinkaware CEO, Sheena Horgan. “What is really striking this year is the important recognition of their unhealthy consumption by those who binge drink and those who say their drinking has increased in the past 12 months, because these are among the key groups saying they want to drink less.”

Stock up now

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News Shopper spirits lifted by rising temperatures and easing restrictions THE latest figures from Kantar show MARKET SHARE - TOTAL GROCERY Includes expenditure across Food, Beverages, Alcohol, Household and Health & Beauty categories that grocery market sales declined by 5.7% year-on-year during the 12 weeks Total Take Home Grocery - Ireland Consumer Spend to June 13, 2021. Sales were down 7% in the most recent four weeks as % Change % Change 12 Weeks to 14/06/20 12 Weeks to 13/06/21 (year on year) (vs. 2 years) warmer weather and outdoor hospitality returned and the market continued to %* %* % % annualise against the extraordinary Total Outlets 100.0% 100.0% -5.7% 17.6% supermarket spending of the first Total Multiples 89.0% 90.1% -4.5% 18.7% lockdown. SuperValu 22.9% 22.3% -8.1% 24.2% “Grocery sales may be lower than last year, but we are still a far cry from Tesco 21.5% 21.4% -6.4% 14.4% normal life,” noted Emer Healy, Retail Dunnes 20.5% 21.2% -2.2% 12.9% Analyst at Kantar. “Spending in the Lidl 12.2% 12.9% -0.5% 29.0% latest 12 weeks was an incredible 17.6% higher than before the pandemic and Aldi 11.9% 12.3% -2.2% 17.8% the average Irish household spent €218 Other Outlets** 11.0% 9.9% -15.6% 7.8% more on groceries than 2019. That being said, there are early signs of newfound * = Percentage Share of Total Grocers freedoms in Irish shopping baskets. ** = Includes stores such as M&S, Boots, Spar, Centra, Greengrocers, Butchers and Cross Border shops “With outdoor hospitality returning Source: Worldpanel FMCG on June 7, people have finally been able to enjoy a night away from the kitchen. SuperValu remained the largest grocer during the past 12 Sales of home cooking ingredients like oils, herbs and spices, and weeks with a 22.3% share of the grocery market. The retailer ready-made sauces declined by 14.9% in the latest 12 weeks and benefited from shoppers visiting stores more often than this time shoppers spent €94.4m less on alcohol in the supermarkets as last year, adding an extra €75.4m to its takings. “SuperValu’s they returned to pub gardens. It’s clear that we’re edging back to phenomenal growth during the past year will mean some eating and drinking out, but sales of take-home alcohol are still a tough comparisons in the next few months,” Emer revealed. whopping 36.4% higher than before the pandemic and, now that “However, we shouldn’t lose sight of the longer-term context; the people can visit friends at home, some of their spending will have supermarket has grown by 24.2% since 2019, well ahead of the been redirected to on-the-go purchases, which are not captured overall market at 17.6%.” in this data.” Tesco maintained its second position in the table with a The reopening of hospitality coincided with a spell of warmer market share of 21.4%. Its performance was boosted by new weather after an unseasonably cold May. “Summer definitely shoppers, which contributed an additional €29.2m to its overall took its time this year, but Irish shoppers have now embraced the performance. Dunnes, which accounted for 21.2% of grocery sunshine and stocked up on summer essentials,” Emer revealed. sales this period, also welcomed new shoppers during the latest “Sales of sun care products soared by 58% compared with the 12 weeks and encouraged existing customers to return to store previous month, and shoppers splashed out €948,000 more on an additional 1.8m times. ice cream and €566,000 more on burgers and grilling food than Both Aldi and Lidl benefited from the return to stores and in May.” slight shift away from online shopping this period. Lidl held 12.9% Confidence is gradually returning in Ireland as the vaccine of the market, 0.7 percentage points higher than last year, and rollout continues. “Warmer temperatures and vaccine numbers Aldi’s market share was 12.3% during the 12 weeks. Aldi and Lidl mean many of us are feeling happier to pop to the shops and are also major players on a global level, and their solid domestic make more frequent, smaller trips – visits were up 1.7% this performance this month is backed up on an international scale month and basket sizes shrank by 8.1%.” by Kantar’s recently published BrandZ report, which measures The tide may also have turned on one of the biggest trends the value of global brands. Aldi’s brand is now worth over $17.5 of the past year – online sales declined by 4.4% in the past four billion worldwide, while Lidl’s is valued at $11.7 billion. weeks, the first drop since March last year. Retired households Grocery market inflation stands at -1.2% for the 12-week are driving this trend and spent €2.4m less online than last year period ending June 13, 2021. – a clear indicator of rising confidence, according to Emer.

Top buyers plan to visit Anuga THE prospects for this year’s Anuga are very promising, with exhibitors from 94 countries set to attend the world’s largest trade fair for food and drink in Cologne, from October 9-13, 2021, along with the commitment of top international buyers to visit. Anuga 2021 is treading new paths and will be staged as a hybrid format for the first time, whereby the physical trade fair will be additionally enhanced by the digital element Anuga@ home. A current visitor survey on Anuga carried out among over

4,000 top buyers worldwide revealed that 88% are planning to visit Anuga in October, 54% of whom intend to exclusively participate physically, with 34% planning to engage in a mixture between a personal and digital participation. Over 80% of the buyers stated that they are looking forward to finally being able to visit physical trade fairs like Anuga again and 73% are totally convinced that visiting physical trade fairs is necessary in the food and beverage category and that they are irreplaceable. For more information, visit



FOR OVER 100 YEARS AND COUNTING Made The Irish way Since 1912

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Industry News Irish brands secure access to Spar International chain TWO of Ireland’s most exciting food brands, Fulfil and Mude, have secured potentially highly valuable commercial agreements with Spar International, as part of the group’s Challenger Brand Programme, which connects the Spar network across the world with pioneering food brands that have strong international growth potential. Through these commercial agreements, Fulfil, based in West Dublin, and Mude, based in County Kildare, will gain access to selected buying teams across the 48 countries in which Spar operates worldwide. “From working closely with the teams in Fulfil and Mude and having observed how they have successfully disrupted the Irish market in their respective categories, it’s clear that these brands have significant potential for international growth. Their brand propositions are closely aligned with the wants, needs and expectations of today’s increasingly savvy consumer and I’m delighted that we in BWG Foods have the opportunity to help accelerate their international growth trajectory,” noted Simon Marriott, Chief Operations Officer, BWG Foods, pictured (right) with Catherina Butler, Founder, The Naked Collective (owner of Mude), and Barry Connolly, Managing Director, Richmond Marketing, distributor of Fulfi.

NDC launch new foodservice advertising campaign THE National Dairy Council are launching a new advertising campaign designed to support the foodservice industry in Ireland, which has suffered considerably during the Covid-19 Crisis. The EU- funded campaign is supporting the foodservice industries impacted in Ireland, France, Denmark, Belgium and Northern Ireland. The campaign will be a mix of outdoor, print and online media and is designed to reinforce the impact and to restore the consumer confidence in dairy products. As part of the campaign, NDC specially selected seven high profile cafes and food producers across Ireland who were each photographed by renowned food photographer Mike O’Toole, including Deboragh and Nicola Hughes from Minetta Deli, Sutton, Dublin 13 (pictured).

Daybreak going ‘Around the World’ for Irish Heart Foundation DAYBREAK have launched a new Around the World Challenge in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation. Over 300 Daybreak employees, representing 96 Daybreak stores, embarked on a month-long active challenge to travel a combined 40,075km, by walking, running, and cycling the distance around the world during June. Each store asked customers, family and friends to sponsor employees along their journey to help achieve their fundraising target. “We care about people in our communities across Ireland, and understand and respond to their everyday needs. We are proud to support the Irish Heart Foundation in its mission to save lives by eliminating premature death and avoidable disability from cardiovascular disease and ask customers to support our challenge,” said Vasco Vilas, Assistant Brand Manager with Daybreak, pictured (centre) with Mary-Anne Sweeney, Corporate Partnerships Manager, Irish Heart Foundation, and Sarah Coy, Corporate Partnerships Executive, Irish Heart Foundation.

New Chairperson at Carbery Group CARBERY Group, the West Cork based international ingredients, flavours and award-winning cheese producer, have announced that Cormac O’Keeffe, current Chairman of Lisavaird Co-op, will succeed TJ Sullivan as Chairman of the company. In addition, Dermot O’Leary, Chairman of Bandon Co-op, has been appointed Vice-Chair of the organisation. “Being appointed Chairperson of Carbery Group is a great honour,” Cormac noted. “The company is essential to the farmers of West Cork and we are also now a significant global business. I am excited about working with my fellow board members and the management team as we continue to focus on growing the business and securing a stable future for the farmers of West Cork and the 900 Carbery employees worldwide.”

Price increases for Irish Sun and The Times, Ireland edition RETAILERS were recently informed of a cover price increase for two newspapers from News Corp. UK & Ireland. The Irish Sun and The Times, Ireland edition both saw their cover prices increased from June 28, but retail margins remained the same. The Irish Sun, Monday to Friday, increased to €1.30 from €1.20 with margin being increased to 32.8c per copy, representing a 27.5% margin. The Irish Sun, Saturday increased to €1.40 from €1.30, with margin being increased to 35.3c per copy, representing a 27.5% margin. The Irish Sun on Sunday increased to €1.40 from €1.30 with margin being increased to 32.1c per copy, representing a 25% margin. The cover price of The Times, Ireland edition increased from €2.20 to €2.30 Monday to Friday and from €2.70 to €2.80 on Saturdays; margin per copy is 58c per copy Monday-Friday and 70.6c on Saturdays, representing a sustained percentage margin of 27.5%.

12|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Industry News Spar team up with Seamus Coleman for Better Choices campaign REPUBLIC of Ireland and Everton captain, Seamus Coleman, recently launched Spar’s Better Choices summer 2021 campaign, available now in Spar stores nationwide. Spar have extended their Better Choices range for summer 2021, bringing healthier food and refreshment options into Irish homes, gardens and parks in this season of outdoor dining. Created in partnership with dietitian Ellen Roche in 2016, Spar’s Better Choices programme has evolved yearon-year to carefully select the finest products and give customers guidance on choosing the best foods for their lifestyle while on the move. “As someone who is always on the move, I understand that it can sometimes feel hard to make healthy choices when dining on the go,” said Seamus. “Spar’s Better Choices range is the perfect solution to this, making healthier food and snack choices available across Ireland, without sacrificing on taste.” For more information, please visit

Scally’s SuperValu achieve Bord Bia butcher accreditation SCALLY’S SuperValu Clonakilty have achieved certification for their butcher’s department under the Bord Bia Retail Butcher Assurance scheme, which ensures that all meat for sale at the counter is fully traceable through every stage of the supply chain, reassuring the customer of the integrity of the product they purchase. “Our fantastic butchery team, with over 160 cumulative years of experience, work tirelessly to bring the finest quality meat to our customers. This Bord Bia Quality Retail Butcher Mark is testament to their hard work and passion for their craft,” noted store owner Eugene Scally, pictured (left) with Eoghan Scally, and John Coleman, Head Butcher. The store was congratulated by Ian Allen, Managing Director, SuperValu, and Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia for its achievement.

Kellogg’s to roll-out cereal boxes with world-first technology KELLOGG’S are adding new world-first technology to all of their cereal boxes in Ireland to make them accessible to blind and partially sighted people, following a successful trial. Important information on food packaging, such as allergen details, can often be in print that’s difficult for blind or partially sighted people to read. The new boxes allow a smartphone to easily detect a unique on-pack code and playback labelling information to the shopper with sight loss. The company will change all its cereal packaging, beginning in 2022, with the first accessible boxes of Special K appearing on shelf in January. Kellogg’s also hope that by sharing their experience with other brands, there is an opportunity to make the supermarket shelves more accessible for people with sight loss so they can shop more independently and access information from a range of packaging.

Aldi to upgrade Galway store ALDI Ireland have announced plans to extend and fully revamp their Galway Retail Park store in a move that will create 10 new permanent jobs at the store. The extended store will offer customers a larger shopping space as it receives a full Project Fresh award winning makeover, including new hi-spec fixtures and fittings. Aldi submitted a planning application to Galway County Council and hope to begin construction in early 2022. “Creating a larger Aldi store featuring our award-winning Project Fresh format will provide an even better shopping experience for shoppers,” said Colin Breslin, Regional Managing Director, Aldi Ireland. “The store team are hugely excited by this announcement and are looking forward to the store receiving a state-of-the art upgrade.”

Midlands millionaire: Roscommon player wins top prize A WELL-KNOWN family run service station store in Roscommon town has been confirmed as the winning location a recent Daily Million top prize worth €1,000,000. The winning Quick Pick ticket was sold on June 16, the day of the draw, at Casey’s Service Station on the Athlone Road in Roscommon. “We’re absolutely blown away with the news that one of our customers came into our store on Wednesday and essentially left as a millionaire,” said site manager Jim McCausland. “It’s just brilliant.” Jim and Maria Casey (centre left) celebrate with staff John Haughey, Marie Morris and Donna Broderick from the National Lottery.

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14|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Industry News Spar to introduce contactless Moy Park breaks the ice in new deal MOY Park have secured a deal donations for Make-A-Wish with Iceland Ireland to supply

SPAR are currently trialling an innovative digital ‘Smart Poster’ collection solution in their nationwide estate of more than 400 stores that allows customers to donate to Spar’s official charity partner, Make-A-Wish Ireland, via their mobile phones. The new technology, Strikepay, is a portable personal payment tech designed to make paying convenient, safe and easy for all. Using this contactless technology, customers in Spar stores across Ireland can now simply tap their smart phones on the special posters and a web page is opened on their device. The customer can then choose to donate directly to Make-A-Wish using the Apple or Android Pay capability on their phone or input their debit/card details directly. “Over the last 15 months we have seen a big decline in the number of people carrying cash in our stores and this has impacted the charity sector particularly badly. As Spar’s official charity partner, we are passionate about supporting the Make-A-Wish mission and are delighted to trial this innovative technology in our stores, which is a great example of how technology is playing a role in helping society one tap at a time,” noted Colin Donnelly, Spar Sales Director, pictured (left) with Oli Cavanagh, Co-Founder, Strikepay, and Susan O’Dwyer, Chief Executive of Make-A-Wish Ireland.

Athletes draw 70,000 to Fyffes children’s fitness programme OVER 70,000 young people and parents answered the call of Irish world boxing champion Kellie Harrington and track and field Olympian, David Gillick, by tuning in to their 12-week online Fyffes Fit Squad programme, aimed at encouraging children and families to adopt a more healthy and active lifestyle. Launched in March, and created so that teachers and parents could also participate, the series of interactive videos saw Kellie and David demonstrate new workout routines whilst giving advice on overall wellbeing and healthy-eating. Last year, Fit Squad went online when schools were forced to close. With hundreds now awaiting visits, Fyffes says it is looking forward to resuming live sessions in schools ‘once it is deemed safe to do so’. For more information, visit

12 of their branded products to 27 of the retailer’s stores across the Republic of Ireland. The new lines incorporate BBQ and coated chicken products, including Moy Park’s signature garlic & herb kievs, southern fried mini fillets and Cajun chicken sizzlers, as well as ready to eat roast chicken breast fillets. “To secure a supply contract with Iceland Ireland for the first time is an important milestone in the growth of the brand,” noted Estelle Robinson, Commercial Manager at Moy Park. “Providing families across Ireland with a variety of high quality, tasty options for mealtimes is so important to us. These new listings with Iceland will give more people the chance to try our range of branded lines, possibly for the first time, and we’re confident they will become weekly shopping staples.” Estelle Robinson is pictured (left) with Emma Murphy, Marketing Manager, Iceland Ireland.

New look for Dubliner Cheese DUBLINER Cheese have launched brand new packaging for their Mature, Lighter and Vintage ranges. The distinctive taste will always be the distinguishing feature of Dubliner Cheese but their new smart packaging stands out from the crowd, encouraging consumers to enjoy the traditional, delicious cheese in their favourite way. The new look launch is supported by an integrated ‘Distinctively Dubliner’ campaign. Launched into the Irish market over 20 years ago, Dubliner Cheese has established itself as a household name in Ireland. This new packaging will tie the Dubliner range together to give a consistent, fresh look to the packaging of the well-loved brand across an extensive range of block, sliced and grated offerings.

Entries open for Naturo SuperDog Awards COUNTY Armagh based natural pet food manufacturers, Naturo are the headline partner of the Naturo SuperDog Awards 2021 with Touchpoint Live Media. The new awards will celebrate the UK and Ireland’s most inspiring canines. Nominations are now open, with dog owners invited to share stories of how their dogs make a difference to their lives, from carrying out extraordinary feats of bravery to those providing companionship through lockdown. Entries close on July 31, followed by a judging process with winners picked across seven categories. The Naturo SuperDog Awards will be hosted by Stacey Dooley and take place at a celebrity-hosted evening in London this November, with shortlisted nominees and their owners invited to the red-carpet event. John Mackle, Managing Director, Mackle Petfoods, described the award sponsorship as “the perfect fit with our Naturo values and beliefs”. For more information, visit








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18|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Retail News Interview

Counting the cost of Covid Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association CEO, Vincent Jennings, and National President, John Paul Lonergan, explain why the impact of Covid-19 wasn’t felt equally by all retailers, and discuss the challenges facing the sector in the months ahead as new legislation looks set to increase labour costs significantly. THE last 16 months have been amongst the most unprecedented and most unpredictable in the history of the State, with no aspect of our lives left untouched. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on life as we knew it, including the grocery industry. “It’s not a case that it has treated everybody in our industry equally,” stresses Vincent Jennings, CEO of the Convenience Stores & Newsagents Association (CSNA). “There are people who, by virtue of where they are geographically located – those in city centres, close to technology parks, in office-land, who were in big holiday areas – were seriously impacted, and they still are. If it wasn’t for the Government supports, they wouldn’t be in business today. Although they were open and stayed open throughout the pandemic, in the vast majority of cases, they were operating a skeleton service with a skeleton staff.” New CSNA National President, John Paul Lonergan owns a Spar store

Vincent Jennings, CEO, CSNA.

Retail News|July / August 2021||19

Retail News Interview in the shop, and I think a lot of retailers are running to stand still, while others have seen their turnover hugely affected by the pandemic. No matter what side of the coin you are on, it has been challenging in different ways.” The nature of consumer John Paul Lonergan, CSNA National President and owner of purchasing Spar, Philipsburgh Avenue, Fairview, Dublin 3. patterns changed radically, as the in Dublin’s Fairview and has been a vast majority of the country’s workforce member of the organisation for more switched to remote working, and were not spending their days in offices and than 18 years, and part of the executive committee for the last few years. He colleges etc. “Their purchase habits were very different; their times of visiting were served as National Vice President in 2020 different; their spends were different; and and had “wonderful plans to go out and all of that has an effect on the bottom meet members across the country but line,” Vincent reveals. “Every retailer to then Covid hit”. He is optimistic that as our economy and society opens up, he whom I have spoken has experienced a drop in their profit margins as a result of will finally be able to get out and meet the changed consumer habits.” fellow retailers: “It can be a lonely place

The collapse of foodservice The foodservice sector collapsed overnight in March 2020, including a sudden fall-off in deli sales in convenience outlets to a tiny fraction of what business was there pre-Covid; in many cases, the in-store deli closed completely. “For many stores, the deli is a driver of profit and a driver of footfall into those stores, and yet many of the fixed costs relating to the category remain in place,” Vincent notes. “Sure you can cut back on food, but your refrigeration is still running constantly; you still have to have staff; and you also had additional costs related to Covid, including signage, screens etc.” As an organisation, the CSNA are “much appreciative of the various State supports that were put in place”, according to the CEO, but he believes that Revenue could have been more accommodating in understanding the nature of convenience retailing when it came to applying strict criteria which he feels “wasn’t really in the spirit of the response to the pandemic”. “I know it’s not easy when you have tens of thousands of businesses looking for assistance, but for our

The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t treated every retailer equally, according to the CSNA, but every single retailer has experienced a drop in profit margins as a result of changed consumer habits.

20|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Retail News Interview

The high cost of doing business in Ireland means that retail margins are constantly being squeezed. members, while their drop in sales may not necessarily have equated to 25% of turnover, the drop in profits and profitability was way in excess of that. That in itself should trigger assistance,” he says. “These retailers are providing an essential service, but it is not simply a social service; they are doing it for the purpose of earning a living. If the smaller retailer and convenience store wasn’t around and it was being left to only the large multiples, there would have been a very considerable level of additional difficulties during the pandemic. You would have had much greater levels of panic buying, putting additional pressure on supply chains; you would have had much bigger levels of queuing; you would have had fewer home deliveries. So we were providing an essential service, but it was at a cost to ourselves.”

the store stocked up and then to serve and limit the amount of customers in the shop. It was a surreal time, but I was blessed with the team I have, who were flexible and adaptable, who put in extra shifts when needed.”

The silver lining Some good things have emerged from the Covid months, however, chief among them a renewed appreciation for local retailers. “As a local store, we have been busy during the pandemic,” John Paul notes of his own store’s experience of the pandemic. “More people have been working at home and have come to the shop. I also think that people have realised the value of a good local shop, as shops like ours really stepped up and served their local communities over the last 18 months, with click-and-collect, A functioning supply chain home delivery etc.” One of the big challenges facing the “Local matters,” states Vincent. retail business during the pandemic was “Being local and servicing your local ensuring that the supply chain worked, community matters. There is certainly something which John Paul was very appreciation for local retailers and what cognisant of: “I have to give kudos to the they have done but we need to build team in BWG because without the supply upon it. People have re-engaged with chain remaining open, we wouldn’t have local businesses, not just in convenience been able to provide that essential service retailing, but in other aspects. One of to our community.” the aspects of so many people working John Paul pays particular tribute to his from home was that they spent much staff, who went above and beyond the call of more time in their locality, probably got duty, like those in retail outlets right across to know their neighbours a lot more, the country, to ensure that deliveries were and understand the importance of taken in, shelves stocked and customers community, and of maintaining a safe and served. “My staff and myself were coming clean community. So I think there will be in at 6am to take in early deliveries, to get positives to come from this.”

The impact of Brexit As if dealing with a worldwide pandemic wasn’t enough of a challenge, Ireland also had to come to terms with Brexit, with negotiations rumbling on until the 11th hour, and even though a deal was signed, there have been significant repercussions for the supply chain. “In the UK in particular, and not just in Northern Ireland, there are still very serious structural difficulties throughout the supply chain that are affecting people,” says Vincent. “As a nation, we understood the import of planning far more than our neighbours and we did a huge amount of work. I know there have been difficulties and delays, and that some companies have chosen not to supply into the Irish market or the European market because it is proving too problematic for them. But by and large, I think we have done pretty well.” However, the CEO feels that the legacy of Brexit will be with us for some time: “Structurally, there will be some difficulties and on a year-by-year and incremental basis, we will have to get used to these difficulties. Because we are working in an unusual fashion due to Covid, it’s hard to know sometimes when you have delays like those that were experienced by the meat industry if they are Brexit-related or Covid-related. Our agri-business hasn’t seen the full impact of Britain’s removal from the European Union yet and that will continue to have an effect on the whole of the business world and rural Ireland as a result.” Challenges ahead Aside from the twin issues of Covid and Brexit, which have rightly taken precedence over recent months, there are a host of other challenges facing store owners in Ireland, not least among them the high cost of doing business here. Pre-pandemic, the issue of labour was a serious one as the Irish economy hit Celtic Tiger-esque levels of employment, making it extremely difficult for the service industry, including retailers, to attract and retain staff. Combined with an ever-increasing minimum wage and a tightening of margins, the cost of labour is proving to be the biggest cost challenge facing the trade. “Finding staff and the cost of labour are going to be real problems for people who have rigid cost bases and models that require substantial numbers of workers,” Vincent insists. “The convenience store model depends on considerable numbers of store workers per square metre. It’s not just that there will be progressive increases in the National Minimum Wage

Retail News|July / August 2021||21

Retail News Interview and the expected introduction of a new Irish living wage model, but there will also be additional costs that will come from the proposed introduction of autoenrolment insurance, which will over the course of time add a 6% additional cost onto an employer’s wage bill.” Auto-enrolment is a scheme which automatically signs staff up to a pension programme, in addition to the State pension, for those who don’t already contribute to a private pension, with employer and employee contributing equally to the fund. It will begin life as a 1% levy but will increase to 6% over a period of time, according to the CEO, who also points to the forthcoming legislation which will introduce 10 days per annum of statutory sick pay, to be phased in over a four-year period. On the issue of sick pay, John Paul feels that ensuring all sick pay is certified is crucial to the working of the scheme. He also points out that the CSNA has partnered with a company called Spectrum Life to provide mental health and wellbeing supports for members and their staff nationwide. “It covers everything from mental health to life coaching, counselling, nutrition advice,” John Paul notes, while also pointing out that BWG Foods brought a similar plan to market called the BWG Be Well programme, a digital health app for staff. “This is an area that is important for staff and can also help retailers by reducing stress on staff and potentially reducing staff days missed,” John Paul says. “If your staff are coming to work happy and healthy, hopefully they won’t miss as many days.” However, the combination of all this new legislation - the National Minimum Wage, the living wage, the autoenrolment pension and statutory sick pay – will place significant additional costs on employers who have a high reliance upon workforce numbers, according to Vincent, who warns that some employers will be forced to reduce staff numbers.: “Within a short space of time, you will find that a store owner who could previously earn a reasonable living will see their earnings reduced considerably. In some cases, in the models I have studied, without significant price increases, stores will be working on a break-even basis and nobody goes to work simply to break even. So we have to try to exert some control on labour costs, but that has to be done in a fashion that is fair to your staff.” The maths are simple; if a store employs 10 staff with an average salary, including PRSI etc, of €25,000 per year,

only be when we get our renewal notices that we can see if premiums are reducing. If insurance companies are being spared money because awards are going down, because there are fewer claims going in, and because the Personal Injuries Assessment Board is doing its job, we have an expectation that our premiums would go down. It is up to the State to ensure that the benefits do filter through in terms of reduced premiums for policy holders.” Rates & Rents The commercial rates waiver “has to continue while we are in The resilience of the retail sector is this restricted business model”, extraordinary, with doors remaining open through the CEO believes, but he also unprecedented times as shops provided an argues that the rates valuation essential service to their customers. model needs reform. the store’s annual labour costs are “There is a substantial amount of €250,000, which is far and away the business being done online, with huge biggest single cost. “As an expense item, sums being made by companies outside your wage costs are the most important, the country who are not making any and every percentage of that, up or down, financial contribution to the country, makes a significant difference to your as the bricks-and-mortar retailers are. annual costs,” Vincent reveals. “If I get a I would call on the State to review the 1% cut in my insurance premium, it will entire valuation process and see if in this make some difference, but if I get a 1% 21st century, the model that was born difference, up or down, in my wage bill, it of the 19th century is fit for purpose,” is a significant amount.” Vincent says. “A lot of the assumptions The CEO worries that the consumer that formed rateable valuation have desire to source goods as cheaply as disappeared with modern business possible will be “put to the test” when practices. We really need to see if there these new costs drive retail overheads is a fairer way of forwarding monies to up: “Coming out of this pandemic with the local authorities, who don’t seem bruises and new business models, it is to be accountable in how they spend not going to be an easy time for people to that money. Considering how much the be in business.” business community funds the local “Rising labour costs are going to be authorities throughout the country, a challenge,” John Paul admits. “There perhaps businesses should have a isn’t an unlimited pool of money to draw greater say in how that money is spent.” from to pay staff.” Rent too is an area that may prove problematic as businesses attempt to Insurance reform get back to some form of normal trading Both the National President and the CEO practices. believe that there has been “significant “There have been a lot of Government progress” made on insurance reform. supports in terms of commercial “It appears that there is finally light rates and wage subsidies to help keep at the end of the tunnel in terms of businesses afloat,” John Paul notes. “It insurance. I’m cautiously optimistic, but seems crazy that having kept all these the proof will be in the pudding when businesses going, they are suddenly met you open that renewal notice,” says John with a huge bill for rent arrears. I would Paul. “Bringing the costs of claims down be hopeful that something can be done is a massive help, because some of the at a State level to support businesses or awards have been way out of line with the rent arrears could be the death knell for rest of Europe.” some businesses, which would be a huge Vincent agrees: “This particular shame when we are nearly out of the government grasps what the difficulties woods in terms of the pandemic.” are and is making significant progress. The CEO argues that “protecting a But the devil is in the detail, so it will small business from eviction is equally

22|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Retail News Interview as important from a social protection point of view as protecting a family from being thrown out of their house. We live in a capitalist society, but it doesn’t mean that we have to have one born on greed. There are responsibilities that go with being a landlord; it is not fair that you will continually increase rents, not taking cognisance of downturns. It is time that the State gives very serious consideration to removing what they see as the restrictions on their getting involved in the constitutional right to own property. They can manage to do it in the private rental sector, so why not in the commercial sector as well?” Breakthrough on retail crime? Crime against retailers and antisocial behaviour have been huge issues for retailers and their staff. The CSNA Crime Survey from late 2020 found that a massive 80% of the retailers reported that they or a member of their staff had experienced an incident involving aggressive, violent and threatening behaviour within the previous three months. “The majority of people coming into the store are fine. But there is a percentage who cause issues,” John Paul admits. “Customers not wearing masks has become a big issue in recent months, and it is upsetting and uncomfortable for retailers and their staff. I know of one store where a customer told another shopper to wear a mask and it almost turned into a fist-fight. These things shouldn’t be happening. A little bit of calmness is needed.” Shoplifting is a perpetual problem for most convenience store owners. John Paul cites the example of a recent case in his own shop, where the shoplifter was identified by CCTV and subsequently arrested and charged. The store owner had to take a day off work to attend the court hearing, along with two Gardaí, and just before the case was to be heart, the youth involved changed his plea from ‘not guilty’ to ‘guilty’. “It’s very frustrating, because I wasn’t just at the loss of the items that were shoplifted, but I lost a day of work, and I brought another staff member in to cover my absence for that day,” John Paul says. “Surely there has to be a better way to deal with this kind of crime because some retailers may decide not to bother reporting these crimes, as they end up losing a staff member for a whole day, which could be 10 times the value of the product which was stolen in the first place.” That said, the CEO reveals that the

Association is close to a “breakthrough” in potentially operating a shared information system amongst retailers, in a manner similar to a pilot project in Belfast, which has operated to considerable success. “We have been dealing with the Gardaí, the PSNI and Dublin Town on the initiatives that have been successfully used in Belfast on issuing bans to people from shops on a civil basis, backed up by the police services,” Vincent reveals. “Initially, any plans to use CCTV images to identify and ban certain persons from shops were being thwarted by the Data Protection Commission, but we have found a way of working within the law but also meeting our needs. We are very excited about the possibility of finding a The CSNA is close to a “breakthrough” in potentially breakthrough on this.” operating a shared information system amongst As a retailer, John Paul is delighted by the possibility retailers, in a manner similar to a pilot project which has operated in Belfast to considerable success. of collaborating with other stores on trying to stamp out crime: “It would be nice to be able evidence as possible to fight a fraudulent to communicate with my fellow retailers or exaggerated claim.” for the greater good of the area, to swap information on repeat offenders. These Facing the future shoplifting cases can happen in seconds Despite the challenges facing grocery and you can find yourself up to €50 down retailers in the months ahead, both in the blink of an eye.” President and CEO are cautiously There has been a rise in recent years optimistic for the future, as society begins of individuals very obviously picking up to open up to pre-pandemic levels. products in store and either concealing “There are some cost issues and them on their person or in bags etc; other challenges coming down the they subsequently return said item road but I think the gains the local and surreptitiously and then when they are neighbourhood shops have made with challenged by a staff member, they local consumers will be here to stay,” become affronted and a defamation John Paul says. “I think insurance charge follows swiftly after. reform is going in the right direction. “It’s effectively a set-up,” says John From a retail view, I am optimistic about Paul. “A lot of it comes down to training the future, as shoppers realise the your staff not to jump the gun, but when importance of their local store and I think individuals are deliberately trying to make that will help us in the long run in stores it look like they are shoplifting so they are right across the country.” challenged, they often receive a payout Vincent believes that as a country and and the retailer’s insurance premium a society, “we will be learning the lessons rises as a result. As retailers, all we want from the pandemic for long periods of to do is protect our business. We don’t time. But the resilience of our sector is want to be accusing people in the wrong.” extraordinary. The value of the local shop John Paul advises retailers to has gone up in people’s estimation, and document every incident, to keep CCTV also the importance of our staff, which footage, witness statements, to ensure cannot be taken for granted; we are very that the evidence is there to fight any appreciative of the incredible work done spurious claims: “You want to present by our staff to create and preserve safe your insurance company with as much environments for our customers.”

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24|Retail News|July / August 2021|


New report predicts foodservice revival

A new report from Bord Bia forecasts the Irish foodservice market will return to prepandemic levels by the end of 2022.

THE Irish foodservice market is set to grow this year, although prolonged lockdown has resulted in a slower than anticipated recovery, according to a new report launched by Bord Bia. The report predicts that the Irish foodservice market will grow by 11% on last year to reach almost €5 billion by year end, with an additional 56% (€2.8 billion) growth predicted for 2022. Last year, following eight years of consecutive growth, the foodservice market fell by a stark 47% (from €8.5 billion to €4.5 billion) and Bord Bia believes it will be the end of 2022 before the majority of the industry could return to close to the prepandemic levels of trade. Previous Bord Bia reporting on the impact of Covid-19 provided preliminary forecasts for the Irish foodservice industry’s recovery in 2021, but the ongoing restrictions have been more longstanding and impactful than originally estimated. In response to the

ongoing impact of Covid-19 on Ireland’s foodservice industry and the knock-on effect on Irish food and drink producers, Bord Bia has published revised outlooks and a new report charting growth forecasts for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, as the industry moves towards a full reopening from early July onwards. The ‘Outlook on the Irish Foodservice Industry Post-Pandemic’ report, co-authored by global foodservice research specialists Technomic, has been developed to equip the industry, and Irish food and drink suppliers servicing this market, with up-to-date data and insights as they plan for the period ahead and includes key trends and recommendations for businesses across the sector. Resilience in the face of lockdown “Our end of year Market Insights report published in November 2020 documented the huge hit that the industry had taken

as a result of Covid-19,” explained Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist, Bord Bia and report co-author. “At that stage, we estimated that even in a worst case scenario, 2021 would see growth rates of 16%. However, we had not anticipated the length nor depth of the lockdown that was to follow. This has resulted in a lowering of the overall expectation for growth in 2021 to 11%, lower than the ‘worst case scenario’ laid out late last year. “That being said, foodservice in Ireland has displayed resilience in the face of the most prolonged shutdown in modern memory. The industry has shown adaptability, perseverance and tenacity to survive, and with the assumption that the worst part of the crisis has passed, will begin to emerge and grow again in 2021 and beyond,” Maureen continued. “We are forecasting a strong second half to 2021 as the vaccine roll-out continues at pace, coupled with pent-up demand

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Foodservice and foodservice operator survival and success during the pandemic, David reveals, noting that, “Further investment in this space will move forward at an accelerated pace, while the importance of sustainability, particularly in packaging, but also in food waste, local sourcing and other critical areas, is expected to return and accelerate. Many of these changes are here to stay and we would encourage all foodservice operators and suppliers to remain informed, and use these insights to refocus and reboot the foodservice aspect of their business in order to best service their customers as the market reopens.”

and consumer savings and we remain confident on the longer-term viability and resurgence of the industry. As the economy recovers and consumers grow more confident living in the age of Covid-19, this will see a parallel recovery in the Irish foodservice market.” Key trends and recommendations In the face of this outlook, the latest Bord Bia report outlines trends and recommendations for businesses as they forward plan and adapt their positioning, products and services, including: •

Taste will continue to be the most important driver for consumers, and crave-ability should be a focus for product innovation and menu design; Continued elevated growth in offpremise: even as dine-in reopens, there will be a need for offerings that can easily transition from onpremise to off-premise occasions and provide a great experience; Need for skilled labour: this was a concern pre Covid-19, now further exacerbated due to job uncertainty experienced by many during the pandemic. Labour saving solutions will continue to be sought after by foodservice operators; Safety, including items that offer a lower touch/contactless experience, will continue to be important. Technology developed now will remain, and new products will evolve accordingly.

Prolonged and significant changes David Henkes, Senior Principal, Technomic, and report co-author, believes that Ireland’s foodservice

Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist, Bord Bia and report co-author.

industry, and the Irish food and drink suppliers servicing this market, are facing prolonged and significant changes due to the global pandemic, and many of these shifts will be permanent. “This report highlights the key trends that have been identified and/or accelerated over the past 12-14 months,” David noted. “For example, with the strong demand for off-premise food (including delivery, takeaway and drive-thru), restaurant models are adapting to accommodate what is widely expected to be elevated demand, even as the pandemic ends. Seating areas are being re-thought, with more outdoor space being added. For some quickserve restaurants, dining areas are being reduced in size or eliminated altogether.” Meanwhile, technology has been a key enabler for restaurant

The strong demand for off-premise food (including delivery, takeaway and drivethru) is expected to continue, even as the pandemic ends.

Bord Bia remains confident on the longer-term viability and resurgence of the Irish foodservice industry.

Looking ahead Bord Bia offers a range of bespoke supports and services for foodservice operators and the Irish food and drink companies who supply the market. Some of the upcoming activities include a virtual Meet the Buyer event taking place at the end of September and the annual end-of-year foodservice seminar, taking place in early December. A full 2021 Irish Foodservice Market Report will be published in December, with plans to include a section on consumer insights and changing customer behaviours as a result of Covid-19.

26|Retail News|July / August 2021|


Bevella: adventures in beverage

Bevella is a brand new beverages distribution and brand-building business from Primeline Group. PRIMELINE Group, one of Ireland’s largest independent providers of logistics, sales, and marketing services, has launched Bevella, a beverages distribution and brand-building business servicing the island of Ireland. Bevella will champion new and existing brands, particularly Irish developed alcoholic beverages, in accessing the local market and developing on-trade and off-trade sales channels, where it can be difficult to achieve a national footprint given the challenging route to market. Launching in Q2, the independent brand led distributor will focus on key business areas such as industry knowledge, customer understanding, trade, and trends. Partnering and planning with brand owners is a priority, nurturing reliable, supportive revenue and driving interdependent relationships with publicans, wholesalers, and retailers. Key retail groups Bevella, described as a new and adventurous offspring of Primeline, will work with top quality innovative beverage brands, seeking out

Paul Mc Inerney, Bevella Director.

opportunities for compelling Irish and international brands to enter and grow within the Irish marketplace. Early engagement with key retail groups has been very positive and has confirmed the desire for more choice and on trend innovation, according to Bevella Director, Paul Mc Inerney. “The vision is to be Ireland’s best independent brand-led distributor, bringing new and exciting brands to customers, while keeping a close eye through international alliances on global trends and emerging alcohol categories,” noted Paul. Connacht Whiskey Company, Blood Monkey Gin, the Muff Liquor Company, Two Stacks Whiskey, VIvir Tequila and Xoriguer Mahon Gin are among the first key partners to be announced as part of ambitious expansion plans, designed to bring diversity, energy, and new consumer experiences to the sector, with many more impressive and exhilarating brands coming on board. Championing new experiences “Bevella will exude Primeline’s 30 years of experience, as well as an enhanced determination to bring diversity and new experiences to the Irish alcohol industry,” outlined Paul. “Our experience, capability, imagination and resources are at your disposal, whether you have a brand to distribute, a bar to fill, or an off-licence shelf to stock.” Active recruitment is currently underway for skilled and ambitious regional sales team members focused on both the on- and off-trade; please get in touch if you would like to join the adventure! For further details please contact +353 87 332 6783 / +353 (01) 835 3000 or email

JOIN THE ADVENTURE Bevella is more than an independent, exciting and consumer engaging range of beers and spirits, it’s a new way of doing business, driven by a passion for quality and innovation, and an eye on future trends. Whether you’re in the on-trade, off-trade or want to establish an alcohol brand nationally in the Irish market, we should talk about taking the adventure together.

Our Experience, capability, imagination & resources are at your disposal.

Head Office T: +353 (01) 835 3000

Sales Enquiries M: +353 87 332 6783 E:

28|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Back to School

Looking forward to going back?

Capitalising on the Back to School period could bring a welcome sales surge in-store, as life hopefully gets back to some kind of normality for both schoolchildren and their parents in the coming months. THE Back to School period is a busy one, with the overall spend on school items for primary school students estimated at €1,123 in 2020, up €174 from the previous year, while in secondary schools, parents’ average spend was €1,467, up €68 on 2019, according to the annual Republic of Ireland school-costs survey commissioned by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) from 2020. Over two thirds (69%) of Irish parents pay for their children’s back to school supplies from their general monthly income, with 20% using their credit card, up from 13% in 2019. The use of savings grew from 27% to 34% in 2020, while 6% took a credit union loan, down from 9%, with those turning to moneylenders remaining at 3%. The results of the survey also revealed that 66% of parents shop online for school supplies, a rise of 15% from 2019, with respondents citing convenience (59%), saving money (59%) and the availability of better deals (56%) as the main reasons for doing so. There is an opportunity to bring some of these online sales back into your store, however, if you actively target the

Back to School season and market it appropriately in-store. Back to School shopping can bring a pronounced upturn in consumer spending and it often starts earlier than you might believe, with many shoppers beginning their Back to School planning two months before school restarts. The pandemic has changed everything about our lives, from the way we shop to the way schools run, and that has an impact on Back to School. Consumers want brands that are in tune with their needs and recognise the ‘new normal’, the changes that the pandemic has wrought on our lives. What was once a familiar process has changed, with the new requirements in the classroom and the school grounds impacting on the way our children interact with fellow pupils and staff. But children still need the things that go into making their school experience pleasant, from tasty and nutritious lunch-box products to comfortable and durable school clothes, and everything in between. Brands that connect with parents and kids will obviously reap the rewards,

even in these unprecedented times, so stock up on those brands who are actively targeting the Back to School season, with demand sure to surge in-store for those products investing in high-profile campaigns. Having a dedicated Back to School area in-store can help to boost sales across categories, from stationery supplies to lunch-box fillers. As the vaccine roll-out continues apace, we will hopefully return to a more normal way of living, and a more usual 2021/22 school year. This would be good news for consumers, from schoolkids to parents and teachers, as well as the brands that serve them. Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut ‘Nut Butter Bars’ Cereal giant, Kellogg’s are expanding their Crunchy Nut offering with the introduction of a new range of Nut Butter Bars. Made with 40% nuts and real nut butter, the new bars come in two variants – Cocoa Hazelnut and Almond. The new bars are landing on shelves this month at an RRP of €1.99 per 45g bar in a number of stores, including Centra, Spar, SuperValu, Tesco and Dunnes.

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Back to School snack bars will be welcomed by anyone who loves cheese!” Kilmeaden cheddar snack bars are available in multipacks of 5 x 20g bars (RRP €2.70), or as single 20g bars to eat when on-the-go (RRP 70c). Stock up on these ideal lunchbox fillers ahead of the Back to School rush.

Made with 40% nuts and real nut butter, new Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut ‘Nut Butter Bars’ come in two variants: Cocoa Hazelnut and Almond.

Marrying the creamy softness of nut butter with the delightful crunch of whole roasted nuts and chocolate, the new Nut Butter Bars offer a taste sensation. The launch from Kellogg’s brings together two favourites, with the much-loved Crunchy Nut and the evergrowing popularity of nut butter within the snacking category. The new range of bars are gluten free, contain no palm oil and no artificial colours or preservatives. Crunchy Nut ‘Nut Butter Bars’ are only available in singles, making them the perfect treat for the on-the-go snacking occasion. “Knowing the popularity of the cereal, launching Crunchy Nut ‘Nut Butter Bars’ allows us to meet a wider range of consumer occasions and tap into the growing trend of nut butter,” reveals Neil Rogers, Brand Activation Manager, Kellogg’s Ireland. “The cereal already has a huge fan base so we’re confident Crunchy Nut lovers will like this delicious snack as much as we do.” Kilmeaden Cheddar Snack Bars Kilmeaden cheddar 20g snack bars are the perfect solution for lunch boxes naturally high in protein, filling and satisfying, with no sugar. Made with just one natural ingredient, cheese, these snack bars are high in calcium (perfect for growing bones) while containing no additives or preservatives. Kilmeaden Marketing Manager, Cara Millaney, says, “We are proud of the Kilmeaden 20g Snack Bars, available to purchase in single bars for 70c, or in a multipack of 5 bars for €2.70. These bars have been designed to help Irish consumers make healthier snacking choices, for both themselves and their family. Cheddar cheese is the perfect snack: high in protein, low in sugars, satisfying and very tasty. We’re sure these

Kilmeaden cheddar snack bars are available in multipacks of 5 x 20g bars or as single 20g bars to eat when on-the-go.

Yazoo Yazoo, the iconic flavoured milk drink, continues to be a popular choice amongst Irish consumers. The brand continues to meet consumer demand for taste, which remains a key factor when purchasing

Yazoo Kids have a high profile digital marketing campaign throughout the summer across Facebook and YouTube, highlighting the brand’s onpack promotion and partnership with Universal’s Minions, with superb on-shelf impact for the Minions-branded products.

flavoured milk. Health is the other great purchase driver and Yazoo have recently reduced the added sugar in their core range by 20%, along with relaunching their Yazoo Kids no added sugar and no artificial sweeteners range. With its calcium, protein and vitamin B12 health credentials, and containing the same natural sugar levels as a semi-skimmed glass of milk, it is an essential product in any healthier eating and drinking offering. Back to School is a key occasion for milk drinks. Available in Strawberry, Banana and Chocolate 200ml bottles, Yazoo Kids fits perfectly in a lunchbox and lasts all day out of the fridge. With just enough yummy milk to settle rumbling tummies, Yazoo Kids is the perfect refreshing treat! Yazoo Kids are excited to launch a digital marketing campaign in the summer months across Facebook and YouTube, highlighting their onpack promotion and partnership with Universal’s Minions. The unmissable Minions character design will have great shelf impact and be sure to attract families to the Yazoo Kids range throughout the duration of the promotion. GM Marketing are delighted to be Yazoo’s new distribution partner in Ireland. With a focus on core grocery categories and a continuously growing team, GM Marketing collaborate with partners to build impactful brand presence across Ireland and the UK. With over 21 years of building brands, the Belfast based company can be contacted for further information and stockist enquiries across the Yazoo range. Back to School at Aldi ALDI have announced the return of their popular €5 School Uniform Bundle. Aldi’s great value uniform package is returning at the same low price as last year and now comes with a full school year guarantee. The items are available in store from July 29, meaning parents can prepare for the new school year and kit kids out early without worry. The uniform bundle is suitable for children of all primary school ages (3-11 years), and this year’s top-quality bundle includes two polo shirts, one round neck sweater and either trousers or a skirt. Savvy parents will be pleased to learn that the bundle is part of Aldi’s highly anticipated Back to School range, also launching in stores from July 29, which includes everything needed to dress little ones in style, from shirts and trousers to PE kit and shoes – all offering top quality and value. This year’s range sees the

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Back to School

Aldi’s €5 School Uniform Bundle is back in-store from July 29.

continuation of Aldi’s partnership with ‘Cotton made in Africa’ (CmiA), which guarantees that only the highest quality, sustainably sourced cotton is used. The range also uses recycled materials, promising to be kind to shoppers’ bank balances and the planet. M&S Kids M&S have launched their 2021 Back to School campaign ‘Uniform – for kids who are anything but’ (uniform). The campaign communicates to M&S customers the trusted-quality value and sustainability credentials of the

2021 range and kickstarted with 20% off the entire offer, which as ever includes the parent-friendly innovations M&S is known for - from permanent pleats in skirts to “easy to iron” shirts. Sustainability has been at the heart of M&S Kids’ thinking for over a decade –2006 saw M&S became the first major retailer to sell kids’ clothes made using organic Fairtrade cotton. During the pandemic, consumers have become even more conscious of the impact of clothing on the environment and over 50% of M&S customers surveyed say they have become more aware of sustainable

M&S’ 2021 Back to School campaign is based on the theme, ‘Uniform – for kids who are anything but’, and the campaign communicates to M&S customers the trustedquality value and sustainability credentials of the 2021 range.

clothing options during this time. Responding to this, M&S’ Back to School offer for 2021 is ‘more sustainable than ever’ and ‘kinder to the planet’, claims backed up by robust evidence compiled by M&S’ expert Plan A team, including individual certification claims for specific product call outs throughout the offer, so parents can shop with confidence at M&S. New for the uniform offer this year, M&S are switching to organic cotton across all knitwear, jersey, and sweats. Organic cotton is grown without the use of pesticides or synthetic fertilisers and all garments meet M&S’ Organic Materials Sourcing Policy, meaning items are certified to third party standards. M&S are also introducing both sustainably sourced viscose, sustainably sourced trims (including sewing thread, buttons, and interlining) and more recycled polyester than previous years. M&S sell 2m polos a year so have selected this as the hero item of the range, creating their most sustainable polo ever, using organic cotton fabric with interlining, threads and buttons containing recycled material. As ever, the entire range has been created to pass the “hand-me-down” test, including coats that have space for three names in the label, so a 2021 purchase can be used by siblings or friends in years to come. Across the market, Back to School is the third biggest retail event of the year and following more than a year of disruption, this Back to School season will be an important moment for many families. Alongside shining a spotlight on sustainability, this year M&S are focused on making the range easier to shop both online and in-store. The retailer is launching new visual category filters on M&, making it even easier for customers to shop the entire range, while in-store customers will benefit from helpful “checklists” as well as M&S’ expert clothing colleagues who are always on hand to help. “We’re really proud to serve little ones who we know care about the big things, and as a major uniform retailer, we have a responsibility to keep working on making our offer more sustainable and kinder to the planet,” noted Alice Duggan, Head of M&S Kids. “This year, we’ve got more recycled items than ever before, and we’re really pleased to be moving to organic cotton. With so much for parents to think about, we want to give them the confidence that our offer is more sustainable than ever, whilst making it even easier for them to shop both in-store and online.”

32|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Pakman Awards

Pakman Awards launched Repak have begun their search for Ireland’s environmental champions with the launch of the 2021 Pakman Awards. THE search is on for Ireland’s environmental champions, with the 2021 Pakman Awards, recently launched by Ossian Smyth TD, Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment. Now in their seventh year, the National Environmental Awards honour organisations, businesses, community groups and individuals across Ireland, who demonstrate excellence in recycling and waste management. A Pakman Award is the most prestigious accolade that an organisation, community group or individual can win in Ireland’s environmental sector.

Highlighting our environmental achievements “The Pakman Awards pay tribute to the people and businesses all across Ireland whose sustainability efforts have resulted in a much improved environment for us all,” said Minister Smyth at the launch. “From local community group efforts to improve recycling, to corporate schemes that prioritise prevention of waste and innovation in waste management, the Pakman Awards play an important role in highlighting and acknowledging these achievements.” Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak, added: “Our National Environmental Awards offer a fantastic opportunity for any business, organisation or community group to demonstrate their environmental leadership and how they are making a difference for future generations. Despite difficult conditions, most businesses and organisations have continued to implement exemplary waste management, sustainability, and recycling practices and we want to highlight these efforts. “The Pakman Awards give nominees and winners the chance to enhance their reputation and showcase their sustainability credentials,” Séamus concluded. “We’re delighted to be back with a full programme of awards this year, so from recycling bins to batteries, environmental education to packaging waste, there is a category for everyone committed to a sustainable future in Ireland.” Awards categories The Pakman Awards 2021 categories are:

New category Like many businesses and organisations across Ireland, the • Business Recycling Champion 2020 Pakman Awards were impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, • Community Recycling Initiative • Environmental Education and Awareness Initiative but this year will see the return of 12 categories in the National Environmental Awards, including the Overall Pakman Award. • Innovation in Waste Resource Products or Service This year, category entrants are invited to submit examples of • Online – Green Packaging Award • Plastic Pledge Award their environmental efforts from the past two years, rather than • Tyre Champion 12 months. • Waste Prevention Business Award This year sees the introduction of a new category, the Online • Waste Recovery Operator of the Year – Commercial and Green Packaging Award. This Award is open to producers and Household retailers of e-commerce packaging, recognising innovation in • Waste Recycling Facility of the Year sustainable packaging with an emphasis on reduce, reuse and • WEEE & Battery Champion recycle. The significant increase in online shopping as a result • Overall Pakman Winner of Covid restrictions has given rise to an opportunity for online For more information, see @PakmanAwards on Twitter sellers to produce eco-friendly sustainable packaging that and demonstrates CO2 reduction impacts across the supply chain. Winners of all categories will be announced at this year’s Pakman Awards, which will be held on October 29 in The Shelbourne Hotel, subject to Government guidelines. In 2020, Aldi were named the overall winner for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to the Repak Members’ Plastic Pledge objectives, including the removal of 600 tonnes of Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment, Ossian Smyth TD and Repak plastic from their CEO, Séamus Clancy, are pictured launching the 2021 Pakman Awards. packaging.

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Ferrero Duplo

Ferrero launch new chocolate biscuit bar, Duplo Duplo is a new hazelnut chocolate biscuit bar from Ferrero, which is set to shake up the category. FERRERO are reinvigorating the chocolate biscuit category with the launch of a new hazelnut chocolate biscuit bar, Duplo, available now. Capitalising on the success of Ferrero’s previous biscuit brands – Nutella B-Ready and Kinder Cards – Duplo contains 100 calories and is available in a variety of pack formats, making it the perfect treat for shoppers to enjoy at home or on-the-go. Heritage & expertise Ferrero Duplo is set to disrupt the category with a more premium option when compared to current products available, thanks to Ferrero’s heritage and expertise in creating highquality chocolate. This is evidenced by the chocolate bar being a best seller in Germany since its launch in 1964 (Source: sortiment/classic/), with early consumer testing in the UK and Ireland showing a wide appeal across age groups, particularly amongst adults aged 24-45 (Source: CPT Research), due to its distinctive nutty taste and flavour, and its creamy texture.

Ferrero’s new Duplo chocolate biscuit bar scored really well in early consumer testing in the UK and Ireland. purchases return, as well as larger multipacks that allow people to manage their treating ahead of time and around the working week. “Duplo is the go-to snack for when shoppers have that five-minute break and want to enjoy the perfect at home or on-the-go treat.” Pack sizes and listings Duplo will be available in single and multipacks – one, two, five and 10-packs – and has been rolling out across retailers nationwide since June 1.

Top tips for retailers •

• Consumers are really loving Duplo for its distinctive nutty taste and flavour, and its creamy texture. Positive consumer testing “The initial positive consumer testing on taste, flavour and texture already shows a strong opportunity for retailers to shake up their chocolate biscuit fixture with this new launch,” reveals Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director at Ferrero. “The varied product formats and pack sizes give Duplo appeal across a number of different shopper missions, both enabling retailers to offer something new as on-the-go

Drive excitement among shoppers by stocking regular NPD launches from leading suppliers such as Ferrero; this will support in increasing footfall and sales in-store. Stock them in prominent locations in stores or within POS units such as FSDU or dumpbins to draw attention to the product. As restrictions ease and shoppers begin to buy into impulse and on-the-go purchases again, retailers should ensure they have a wide range of appropriate products available. Ferrero’s single formats of Duplo are ideal for this. Online shopping is expected to remain popular; if you don’t already, consider offering a delivery service direct or through a third party. It’s a great way to attract younger shoppers looking for convenience and to secure more sales. Despite the Government’s plan to ease restrictions in the summer, the ‘big night in’ occasion will remain popular, so retailers should ensure their offering caters for this. Dedicate a section in-store where customers can stock up on their favourite drinks and snacks via a bundle deal; Ferrero’s Duplo packs of five and 10 are perfect for those sharing occasions with family and friends.




1. What is the EU Single Use Plastics Directive? The Directive was adopted by the European Union in 2019 and aims to prevent and reduce the impact of plastic on the environment. As a company committed to sustainability, reducing our environmental impact is a priority for JTI. Tobacco filters are in scope of the Directive, along with other products including wet wipes, sanitary products and beverage cups.

5. Do retailers need to remove older products without the new marking from sale? No. In this case there is no clean market deadline, so it is business as usual. Products without the new marking, supplied to the first distributor in Ireland before 3rd July 2021 can be sold until stocks are depleted. Stock should be rotated as usual. Retailers can be assured that any tobacco products without the new marking received from JTI either before or after 3rd July 2021 may be sold.

2. What is changing? Over the coming months, the outside packaging of many cigarette and Roll Your Own tobacco products will change to include a new marking to inform consumers about the presence of plastic (natural plant polymer) in filters and filters marketed for use in combination with tobacco products, as well as provide guidance on disposal.

6. When will retailers receive the packs with the new marking? That will depend on the rate of sale in any given store and will take place gradually over the coming months. Packs with the new marking will be distributed as older stocks are depleted and stores re-order.

3. What is on the new marking? The marking is composed of two equal-sized red and blue boxes, which are placed next to each other, and a rectangular black box containing the information text ‘PLASTIC IN FILTER’ placed underneath, or as close to the box as possible, in both English and Irish, ‘PLAISTEACH SA SCAGAIRE.’ 4. Where will the new marking appear? This will vary depending on the particular product, but the marking must be placed on the back or lateral side of the pack. For some products, the placement of the tax stamp will change to accommodate the new marking.

7. Will the quality of JTI’s tobacco products change? Absolutely not. JTI’s blends are not changing and will continue to provide adult smokers with the highest quality tobacco products. 8. Is this the only change to tobacco packaging retailers should be aware of? Due to the size of the new marking, the packaging of a small number of JTI products will be changing to ensure the new marking can be accommodated on pack. Your JTI Business Advisor will inform you of these specific changes well in advance of impacted products arriving to stores. 9. Do these new rules impact tobacco products in other countries? Yes. These changes are part of the EU Single Use Plastics Directive and impact all EU Member States.

For more information please contact: JTI Ireland Limited, 1st Floor 4-6 Riverwalk, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin 24 Telephone: +353 (0) 1 4040200 This communication is for tobacco retailers only and should not be made available to the public nor should it be displayed in any area where it is visible to the public.

36|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Sun Care

Stay safe in the sun with Nivea Nivea Sun have a host of products to offer your customers sun protection for the entire family. SUN safety is just as essential in Ireland as when you are abroad. The sun emits damaging UV rays year-round, even on cloudy days. As up to 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate the skin, it’s important that your skin is always protected from the sun’s UVA/UVB rays. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen every day, even in cloudy Irish weather, yet 17% of school children (Source: some-17-of-schoolchildren-never-usesunscreen-1.4280722) and 28% of adults (Source: do not use sun cream in Ireland. Stock up on Nivea Sun, Ireland’s number one sun care brand (Source: Nielsen, 52 w/e Dec 27, 2020), to offer your customers essential sun protection for the whole family:

wherever they go. With its child-friendly colourful handy roll-on format for easy and playful application, it is simple and quick to apply on the skin. Nivea’s innovative formula works immediately and ensures reliable, highly effective UVA and UVB protection. A fast-absorbing, non-sticky formula also makes applying sunscreen fun for kids and the extra water-resistant feature ensures it will stay on. Your number one summer essential Make Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion SPF 30 / SPF 50+ (RRP: €16.99) your ultimate summer essential. It contains highly effective UVA/UVB filters for immediate protection and is suitable for all skin types.

Roll it on Nivea Sun Kids Protect & Care Coloured Rollon SPF 50+ (RRP: €9.99) provides children with highly effective UVA/UVB protection

Nivea Sun Kids Protect & Care Coloured Roll-on SPF 50+ has a child-friendly colourful handy roll-on format for easy and playful application.

Spray away Nivea Sun Kids Trigger Spray SPF 30 / SPF 50+ (RRP: €21.59) makes sun cream application easy and fun for kids. The fun spray application is a simple and quick way to apply lotion to a child’s skin. They will be wellprotected from the sun’s harmful rays as the gentle, yet effective formula provides immediate high UVA/ UVB protection and is extra water resistant.

Nivea Sun Kids Trigger Spray provides a simple and quick way to apply lotion to a child’s skin.

On-the-go Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Pocket Size Sun Lotion SPF 30 (RRP: €6.99) provides highly effective UVA/ UVB protection and protects immediately against sun exposure and long-term UVinduced skin damage. It’s important to reapply every two hours when spending time outside, so consumers can carry this pocketsize product in their handbag or pocket for easy on-the-go top ups!

Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Pocket Size Sun Lotion SPF 30 provides highly effective UVA/UVB protection on-thego. Nivea Sun products are available in Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Sun Lotion is suitable for all skin types.

pharmacies and grocery stores nationwide. For more information, please visit

38|Retail News|July / August 2021|

On The Vine: Top 20 Wines 20th position, shortly after its launch on this market in 2016, and since then, sales of this Argentine brand have gone through the roof! The second brand to make its top five debut for the first time is [yellow tail], 14 years after it was first launched onto Irish shelves, up from sixth place the previous year.

Top Cellars!

The top five wine brands on the Irish market for 2021 are now: 1. Santa Rita 2. Concha y Toro

Jean Smullen looks at the top 20 wines on the Irish market.

3. McGuigan 4. Dada (Fincas las Moras) 5. Yellow Tail. The Nielsen MAT scan-track figures for the off trade to March 2021 reveal that from a country of origin perspective, we have seen strong growth in volume sales of brands from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and USA, each led by a dominant brand in the category. The brands in question are: Argentina (Dada), Australia ([yellow tail]), New Zealand (Oyster Bay and Brancott Estate) and USA (Barefoot). This year also saw a brand-new entrant to the chart, with i heart Wine entering the chart in 13th position. Irish Table Wine Off Trade Market Volume Share 2021

THE Top 20 Wine Brands is the annual Retail News wine feature based on the Nielsen Scantrack sales figures. Every year, we compare the overall volume sales of each wine brand in the off-trade on a MAT basis against the previous year’s sales figures. The summary comes from Nielsen Scantrack, which compares March 2020 with March 2021. It is heartening to see that during this difficult period, overall sales of wine on the Irish market in the retail sector showed an increase in terms of both volume and value. A caveat here; the Nielsen figures are based on data received from a selected number of retailers, which includes SuperValu and Tesco, some Spar outlets and the

independent off licences, but not all of the retailers supply their data to Nielsen. Therefore, Nielsen’s data can only give an overview of each brand’s performance from the previous year. Once again, there is no change to the top three; Santa Rita, Concha y Toro and McGuigan remain in the same position they have been in since 2018. The big change this year is the arrival into the top five of two new entrants: Fincas las Moras’ Dada brand has moved into fourth position, up from ninth place in 2020. Dada is a relatively recent entrant on the Irish brand market chart and has been the success story of the last five years. It first appeared in our chart in 2017, arriving in

1. Chile


2. Australia


3. France


4. Spain


5. Italy


6. New Zealand


7. USA


8. Argentina


9. South Africa


10. Germany


11. Portugal


Rest of World


Source: Nielsen Scantrack March 2021 1. Viña Santa Rita - Chile (Bibendum Ireland) Established in 1880, Viña Santa Rita is one of Chile’s oldest and most respected wineries. Santa Rita’s 120 brand remains the top selling wine brand in the off-trade in Ireland for the seventh year in a row. Terry Pennington, Export Commercial Director, EMEA Region, Santa Rita

For details contact Sarah Leahy, Brand Manager, Bibendum Ireland. Email:

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On The Vine: Top 20 Wines

The Santa Rita 120 range, from one of Chile’s oldest and most respected wineries, remains the top selling wine brand in the off-trade in Ireland for the seventh year in a row. Estates, told Retail News that the 120 range continues to perform extremely well in this market. The addition of Shiraz and Pinot Grigio to the varietal range has helped the brand’s growth in terms of its performance in the last year. Sales of the Santa Rita 120 Pinot Grigio were extremely strong, although Sauvignon Blanc continues to be the most popular varietal in the range. Pinot Grigio is now the third biggest selling grape variety on the Irish market and the addition of this variety to the 120 Santa Rita portfolio has been an important factor in terms of driving volume sales. The Santa Rita lower alcohol range has also performed well, in particular the 120 Early Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, which has an ABV of 11.5%. “The lower ABV wines have also had a significant impact on sales,” Terry added, “especially during the last year, and I expect this category will continue to perform strongly in the future.” 2. Casillero del Diablo - Chile (Viña Concha y Toro) Casillero del Diablo is Concha y Toro’s flagship brand and remains Ireland’s second most popular wine brand. Concha y Toro manage their brand directly on this market. In the last year, Drinks International chose Concha y Toro in the top five world’s most admired wine brands, a position it has now held for five years. In recent years, Casillero del Diablo has positioned itself as a partner brand for a number of Irish TV programmes. In March 2021, Casillero del Diablo entered into a sponsorship deal with the thriller

drama series Smother. The objective was to strengthen Casillero del Diablo’s brand attribute of mystery and intrigue with Irish TV viewers. Emilie Biver, Concha y Toro Marketing Manager, Western Europe, explained: “For the past four years, Casillero del Diablo has established itself in the Irish minds and households by ‘owning the night in’. This has been done through a strong presence on a multitude of media channels, the strongest one being TV. By partnering with RTÉ and sponsoring high quality series such as Smother, our objective is Casillero to strengthen Casillero’s del Diablo: brand awareness through Concha y Toro’s flagship brand a wide and impactful and Ireland’s reach. Now more than second most ever, we need to adapt popular wine to our consumer’s brand. behaviour, and given how Covid-19 has increased the demand for home entertainment, we believe that our consistent investment in television will deliver a strong return on investment in the long term.” 3. McGuigan - Australia (Barry & Fitzwilliam) McGuigan remains the number one Australian wine brand in the off-trade. The McGuigan Black Label varietal range includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rosé, Malbec and McGuigan Frizzante. McGuigan also sell a range of de-alcoholised wine called Delight with a

0.5% ABV; the range also has a Rosé and a white made from the Moscato grape. Kate Barry, Marketing Manager at Barry & Fitzwilliam, who distribute the McGuigan range in Ireland, told Retail News that the McGuigan brands have regular offers in all the major supermarket groups on-going throughout the year. 4. Dada (Fincas las Moras) – Argentina (Comans Beverages) Dada is the fastest growing brand on the Irish market and brand new into the top five. Dada is now in fourth place, up from its ninth position in 2020. With an

The Dada brand from Fincas Las Moras has enjoyed phenomenal growth since its launch just five years ago.

McGuigan Zero, the alcohol-free wine range from the number one Australian brand in the Irish off-trade.

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On The Vine: Top 20 Wines overall volume sale showing an increase of +109%, Dada is the clear brand winner for the 2020/21 sales period. The success story of this wine brand, since it was first launched five years ago, is phenomenal. The brand continues to outperform all others, especially during the last 24 months. The range is made up of Dada 1, made from a blend of Malbec and Bonarda, Dada 2 Merlot and Dada 3 Cabernet/Shiraz. The wine brand is owned by Grupo Peñaflor, who are the market leaders in the Argentine wine industry. The wineries owned and managed by the group include Trapiche, Finca Las Moras, Bodega El Esteco, Navarro Correas, Mascota Vineyards, Santa Ana, Bodegas La Rosa and Andean Vineyards. Dada is produced by Finca Las Moras. As the Irish consumer’s growing love affair with this brand continues to show no sign of abating, look out for Dada Chocolat, a blend of Malbec, with a little chocolate essence added. This new wine style product is bound to appeal to the Generation Z wine drinkers, or indeed anyone who enjoys the richness of the Dada wine style. 5. [yellow tail] – Australia (Bibendum Ireland) John Casella created [yellow tail] exclusively for the US market in 2001, and the brand named after Australia’s yellow-footed rock wallaby has created a huge niche for itself in the intervening 20 years. In 2005, [yellow tail] became the first varietal wine to sell one million cases in a single year. [yellow tail] was first launched on the Irish market in 2007 and 14 years later, the brand has made it into the top five retail wine brands. Among the top [yellow tail] sku’s on this market are [yellow tail] Pinot Grigio, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Merlot. Launched last year, [yellow tail] Jammy Red Roo, a red wine blend made from mostly Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, also performed well.

[yellow tail] is performing extremely well in the Irish market, breaking into the top five retail wine brands for the first time.

This year [yellow tail] claimed one of the two top spots in the annual Wine Intelligence Global Wine Brand Power Index. The brands are assessed by Wine Intelligence based on feedback from over 25,000 wine consumers in 25 markets, representing over 400m wine drinkers globally. 6. Barefoot (E & J Gallo) - California, USA (Comans Beverages) Philip Lynch, E&J Gallo’s Country Manager, told Retail News that sales of the Barefoot portfolio were very strong and enjoyed increased market share. In the last year, the Barefoot brand increased its volume market share by +58%, the third highest climber in our retail chart. Barefoot is the number one selling Californian brand on this market. Barefoot wines have an easy drinking style and diverse varietal range. Look out soon for the launch Barefoot wines of the Barefoot 1.5 have an easy litre Bag in Box range, featuring two drinking style and are performing key grape varieties, extremely well in Pinot Grigio and Ireland. White Zinfandel. Bag in Box offers great value and is very much on-trend for this outdoor summer. Bag in Box is simply a box which contains a vacuum-sealed bag that prevents air from getting in and oxidising the wine. It can be kept for up to six weeks; which compares favourably to a few days for wine in a bottle. With more outdoor dining and entertaining expected well into this summer, make sure you stock this sought-after brand in Bag in Box range, especially as it is so easy to recycle and easy to transport. 7. Wolf Blass - Australia (Findlater & Co) Wolf Blass is a premium Australian brand that has enormous recognition from the Irish consumer. Michelle O’Sullivan, Trade Director at Findlater & Co, told Retail News that 2020 was another award-

winning year for one of the world’s most successful brands, as Wolf Blass was named International Red Producer of the Year at the 2020 International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). Michelle explained that during 2021, Wolf Blass will launch their eagerly awaited Wolf Blass Makers Project, a range created by iconic Chief Winemaker, Chris Hatcher. Makers’ Project will celebrate expertise and innovation and is a range of wines winemakers love to Wolf Blass, make. The concept of the premium Makers’ Project is to Australian highlight innovative brand, enjoys quirks and winemaking tremendous processes that will success in the make them not only Irish market. tasty, but original and exciting to the consumer. The Wolf Blass Makers’ Project will include a Shiraz/ Grenache pressed from its skins before the end of fermentation. This technique perfectly captures the plush, fresh fruit flavours, creating a soft, juicy wine with a silky-smooth finish. The range also includes a Rosé made from free run juice drained directly from the press. With no squeezing of the pulp, only the fresh vibrant juice is fermented, resulting in a light, fruity wine. Expect to see the new Wolf Blass Makers’ Project wines later this year. 8. Cono Sur Chile (Findlater & Co) Their green credentials help to make Cono Sur much sought after. Look out for Bicicleta Rosé Reserva, made from Pinot Noir; with lots of summer fruit and a salmon pink colour, this fresh juicy wine will be very much in demand with the Rosé consumer this

The Cono Sur organics varietal range is made from organically grown grapes certified by the BCS Öeko Garantie GmbH.

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On The Vine: Top 20 Wines summer. The Cono Sur organics varietal range is made from organically grown grapes certified by the BCS Öeko Garantie GmbH. The range includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Malbec and a red blend. 9. Torres - Spain (Findlater & Co) Torres is Ireland’s favourite Spanish wine brand; and wines such Sangre de Toro and Viña Sol drive the growth of this prestigious producer on this market. Michelle O’Sullivan, Trade Director at Findlater & Co, told Retail News that Drinks International has named Familia Torres as the ‘Most Admired Wine Brand in the World 2021’. This is the fourth time since 2012 that the Torres family have been presented with this award, which reinforces, once again, the positioning of Familia Torres as one of the most internationally recognised wine brands.

Torres: Ireland’s favourite Spanish wine brand now has a new Sangre de Toro DOCa Rioja. Michelle also mentioned the launch of the new Sangre de Toro DOCa Rioja, which given the popularity of this region here, is bound to perform extremely well. Sangre de Toro have also just been appointed official partner of the Spanish national football team and in honour of this celebrated partnership, Findlater & Co will be organising lots of in-store activations, with opportunities for Irish consumers to win jerseys, footballs and a range of accessories. 10. Villa Maria - New Zealand (Barry & Fitzwilliam) Villa Maria continues as the number one New Zealand wine brand on the Irish market. Kate Barry, Marketing Manager at distributors Barry & Fitzwilliam, told Retail

industry is well positioned to capitalise on this trend,” said Matt Deller MW, Villa Maria’s Chief Global Sales & Marketing Officer. “Villa Maria, as one of New Zealand’s first and largest organic wine producers, aims to lead the charge with the Earth Garden range, which is already attracting significant interest from several of the world’s largest retailers.”

The brand new Villa Maria Sauvignon Blush is a Sauvignon Blanc blended with Merlot to create a Provence-style blush wine from New Zealand.

News that this autumn, Villa Maria Private Bin Range will be launching a brandnew label and packaging for the highly successful Private Bin range. Later this summer, look out for the brand new Villa Maria Sauvignon Blush, a Sauvignon Blanc blended with Merlot to create a Provence-style blush wine from New Zealand. The Villa Maria Sauvignon Blush adds the fun-factor to New Zealand’s favourite white wine, and will be made from a blend of 90% Sauvignon Blanc blended with 10% Merlot. This innovative new wine will look like a Rosé but taste like a Sauvignon Blanc. Kate Barry also revealed that after 21 years of growing grapes organically, Villa Maria: the Villa Maria will number one New shortly be launching Zealand wine on the Irish market. their brand new ‘Earth Garden’ range on the Irish market. This will be the first organic wine range to meet the rising global demand for sustainable produce. “The global organic wine market was forecasted last year by IWSR to grow 43% by 2024, and New Zealand’s $2 billion wine

11. Oyster Bay - New Zealand (Delegat Wine Estate) Delegat, the New Zealand owned wine business, are the proud owners of the global phenomenon Oyster Bay, one of the world’s most successful superpremium wine brands. Oyster Bay continues its success story in Ireland, having enjoyed another year of strong growth. Phil Doyle, their European Senior Business Manager, told Retail News that Nielsen data to December 2020 showed that Oyster Bay, one of the world’s the Oyster Bay most successful brand grew by 13% super-premium in volume, with wine brands. value measures performing ahead of that. “It is very pleasing to see the brand going from strength-to-strength in Ireland, and that the appeal for Oyster Bay wines continues to grow amongst Irish consumers,” Phil noted. “Across our full range, as the trend for premiumisation continues, we hit the mark for wine lovers seeking out desirable and trusted wines they can enjoy whatever the occasion, contributing to the growth of the category.” The Nielsen data showed that Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc grew by 9%. Alongside this, other varietals in the range enjoyed an outstanding year, Oyster Bay Chardonnay and Oyster Bay Merlot achieving 76% and 42% growth respectively. Oyster Bay’s newest addition to the range is Oyster Bay Pinot Gris, which will be exclusively available across selected Dunnes Stores this summer. In other news Joe Thompson of Delegat Europe has just been appointed as the Delegat Business Manager for Ireland, and took up the position in June 2021.



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On The Vine: Top 20 Wines 12. Campo Viejo - Spain (Irish Distillers) Spain has a number of key brands, such as Campo Viejo, who perform extremely well in this market and because a number of them feature in the top brand list, sales of Spanish wine continue to perform well both in value and volume terms. Jane Goldrick, Lifestyle Portfolio Brand Manager at Irish Distillers, told Retail News: “Campo Viejo is dedicated to Rioja winemaking. Using the most advanced techniques available, we create modern twists on traditional winemaking methods. We are proud to deliver our range that embody progressive styles of Rioja wines that satisfy today’s discerning palates.”

Campo Viejo embodies the progressive styles of Rioja wines that appeal to the modern wine consumer.

13. i heart Wine – New Entrant (Freixenet Copestick) The i heart brand, was created by Frexinet in 2010 and launched on the Irish market in 2016. The range includes i heart Pinot

Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sinéad Tyrrell, Regional Account Manager at Freixenet Copestick told Retail News that shortly after the Irish launch of the still wine, it was apparent there was a need for a sparkling option and i heart Frizzante Prosecco was added to the portfolio. Since its launch five years ago, i heart has seen very strong growth in both the convenience and grocery sector, with sales of over 2m bottles of the range in the Republic of Ireland during 2020, achieving triple digit growth, according to the distributors. The i heart brand continues to build momentum and is now widely available in retail outlets across all sectors of the off-trade. i heart is distributed here by Findlater & Co. Strengthening brand awareness in Ireland and building a strong customer relationship have been the keys to its success. The i heart brand entered the Top 20 Wine Brands in 13th position. The brand showed growth figures of +77% in the last year and was second only in terms of volume growth to the Dada range. This impressive growth has been achieved through adding incremental category value to the brand, as well as engaging with new and younger consumers via social media. Building in-store activations, increasing social media presence as well as online communications have all played an integral part in the development of this brand. This has culminated in the brand’s entry into the Top 20 after only five years in the market. With its strong sales performance and a lot of investment, i heart looks set to continue its impressive performance in the coming years. Dani McDonald, Brand Manager at i heart, said: “We are striving to continue this journey with even more exciting NPD, increased marketing spend and customer engagement. Watch this space.”

Since its launch five years ago, i heart has seen very strong growth in both the convenience and grocery sector.

14. E&J Gallo - California, USA (Comans Beverages) Philip Lynch, the E&J Gallo Country Manager, told Retail News that the key E&J Gallo brands continued to perform well and during the last year their sales were very strong. Their most prominent brand, Dark Horse, made by winemaker Beth Liston, was re-positioned to a €12 price point, which has certainly helped to sell more wine off-promotion. The varietals in the Dark Horse range include Cabernet

Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Zinfandel, as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and a Rosé. Philip also noted that Gallo’s other key mid-priced brand, Apothic Red, has also had a great year in terms of sales. Apothic Red is a made from a blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Syrah, and they have also recently added Cabernet Sauvignon to the blend, which has added to the wine’s appeal. Apothic Dark, the second wine from the range Longshot, part also performed well. of the E&J Gallo Dark is a fuller, more portfolio. savoury red blend made from Shiraz, Merlot and Zinfandel. 15. Faustino DOCa Rioja - Spain (Richmond Marketing) Bodegas Faustino, located in Oyón, Rioja Alavesa, enjoys international renown earned over more than 150 years of experience in the production and ageing of premium wines. Rioja is located in northern Spain, around 80 miles to the south and southeast of Bilbao. The top three export markets for Rioja are the UK (33%), Germany (15.2%) and the US (9.5%), with Ireland (2.54%) in 11th position globally. Rioja sales are strong on this market and Faustino is the second most popular Rioja The perennially brand. The range popular Faustino Gran Reserva brand includes Faustino I Gran Reserva from Richmond Marketing. (Red), Faustino V Reserva (Red), Faustino V (White), Faustino VII (Red), Faustino VII (White) as well as the

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On The Vine: Top 20 Wines Faustino Art collection, which has a white (Chardonnay), a Rosé and a Red (Crianza). Philip Cullen of Richmond Marketing told Retail News that this year Faustino will launch three new wines into their portfolio: Faustino VII Rosado, Faustino VII Garnacha and Faustino Organic. 16. Blossom Hill - California, USA (Findlater & Co) The Blossom Hill range includes Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, White Grenache and of course the muchloved White Zinfandel, as well as the newest addition, the Sparkling Zinfandel. Michelle O’Sullivan, Trade Director at Findlater & Co, told Retail News that last year they launched a brand-new spritz style brand, Blossom Hill Gin Fizz, in two flavours, Rhubarb and Lemon with Rosemary, to great success. Michelle revealed that Gin Fizz continues to grow exponentially and this year they are launching a brandnew flavour to the range, Gin Fizz Orange. Michelle also revealed Blossom Hill will be launching a brandnew packaging look for the range this year. 17. Brancott Estate - New Zealand (Irish Distillers) Brancott Estate flipped their thinking in 1975, planting the first Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, New Zealand, and opening the first winery in a place that ended up becoming a globally renowned wine

The much-loved White Zinfandel from Blossom Hill.

Brancott Estate are unveiling a distinctively fun and fresh new look across their awardwinning range of wines.

region. Jane Goldrick, Lifestyle Portfolio Brand Manager at Irish Distillers, told Retail News that now that summer is here, leading New Zealand wine brand Brancott Estate are unveiling a distinctively fun and fresh new look across their awardwinning range of wines, inspiring wine lovers to ‘Taste life on the flipside’ and inject a sense of playfulness into their everyday. The new look packaging has an eye-catching shade of blue with a reflective gold disc that represents the globe and features the iconic Kiwiana sheep, representing Brancott Estate’s New Zealand heritage, positioned upside-down, inviting customers to have some fun and look at things a little differently. Brancott Estate’s new look can be found across the brand’s entire range of award-winning wines. 18. Hardy’s - Australia (Bibendum Ireland) Hardy’s is one of the most powerful Australian wine brands in the world. Hardy’s Stamp of Australia is their entry level wine. The Stamp series is a barbeque Hardy’s, one of friendly wine and Australia’s most the varietals are powerful wine perfect for summer brands globally, drinking. Hardy’s has a loyal also have a good customer base range in the midin Ireland. price sector, mostly single varietal and blends sold as the Private Bin. A wellloved visible Australian brand, it has a loyal Irish customer base. 19. Doña Paula - Argentina (Bibendum Ireland) Doña Paula was established in 1997 and is owned by the Santa Rita group. An estate winery, their grapes are sourced from their own vineyards which cover 703 hectares of the best local sites in Mendoza. With 41,301 ha planted, Malbec is the most widely cultivated varietal in Argentina. With exports increasing by 375% in 11 years, today Malbec is globally

the grape now most associated with Argentina. One of Ireland’s best loved versions of this grape is produced by the Doña Paula Estate. Listed below are some of the ranges which are a must stock: 2018 Doña Paula Estate Malbec won a silver medal in both the International Wine Challenge 2020 and the Drinks Business Global Malbec Masters competition in 2020; 2017 Doña Paula 1100 is a luscious blend of 60% Malbec, 30% Syrah and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon; 2016 Doña Paula Selección de Bodega Malbec was winner of multiple The Doña Paula brand is a perennial awards, most favourite with Irish notably a Gold consumers. Medal and Best Malbec Trophy in the International Wine Challenge. 20. Viña Carmen - Chile (United Wines) The distribution in both the north and south of Ireland of the premium Chilean brand Viña Carmen moved to United Wines in 2019. The flagship premium wine from the Santa Rita stable has a very loyal following on this market, especially with the customer who enjoys mid-priced quality wines from Chile. Lorna Rouse, Business Development Manager at United Wines, told Retail News that while Viña Carmen continues to perform strongly in the multiples, with their Insigne and Premier ranges, independent retailers Greenacres, Nectar Wines and Blackrock Cellar have all listed winemaker Emily Faulconer’s award winning DO wines, which includes a Cinsault, a Semillon and a Malbec. Allocations of these wines are very limited and the new vintage will be available at the end of August. Interested parties should contact Lorna at United Wines. Viña Carmen’s Gran Reserva Range continues to offer unparalleled value for single vineyard varietal wines with some bottle age, that are drinking well. The range includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Carmenere, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon, all currently available through United Wines.


Taste lipfeside on the fli

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Security: Irish Security Industry Association

Securing your livelihood

Advice from the Irish Security Industry Association on how best to keep your store secure. EACH retail site is unique, but many retails will have similar security concerns. The Irish Security Industry Association (ISIA) have put together an overview of the areas where you are most likely to require security solutions to keep your business, your colleagues, your customers, and your stock secure. Correctly assessing the security risks to your business will determine the measures you can implement to mitigate against these risks. A Private Security Authority (PSA) licensed contractor will be able to assist you with this but if you need further assistance, you may consider having a review carried out by an independent security consultant. Visit the Irish Security Industry Association’s website ( for a list of security contractors providing the full range of security services you may require, along with details of independent security consultants.

in-transit company. Ensure ATM’s are only filled just prior to opening and never conduct this activity in front of customers. Ensuring response to security breach To allow for an appropriate response to a breach of security, ensure that your alarm system is monitored by a PSA-licensed Alarm Receiving Centre. A trusted electronic security installer and monitoring station will ensure that your premises’ alarm system is periodically tested with your Alarm Receiving Centre. This will identify any potential faults, allow these to be addressed and ensure an alarm response when you need it. Again, you must only employ the services of a Private Security Authority (PSA) licenced alarm company to install and

Securing entrance points Ensure all entrance points to the building are protected with the best security solution, locks, and bolts. If there are roller shutters, ancillary locking devices such as shutter locking ramposts or ground locks should be used. Lighting should be used to draw attention and deter criminals from approaching entrances. Also use signage that states there is a limited amount of cash on the premises when open and that the premises are protected. Securing cash Keeping cash secure on site and in transit is crucial to security. Ensure your cash safe is insurance rated for the appropriate amount. Consideration should be given to building a strong room/ cash office, where the safe, intruder panel and CCTV recorder should also be located. Limit the amount of cash stored on the premises or in ATM’s. You should leave tills empty and open when not in use. Many retailers have ATM’s on site. If using self-fill ATM’s, consider a managed machine or use of a PSA-licensed cash-

To allow for an appropriate response to a breach of security, you should ensure that your alarm system is monitored by a PSA-licensed Alarm Receiving Centre.

52|Retail News|July / August 2021|

Security: Irish Security Industry Association maintain electronic security systems. Also ensure that the intruder alarm system is serviced at least twice a year. Without regular maintenance, your alarm system may not work when it is required. When considering the communication route for your alarm system, dual path intruder alarm signalling should be employed and connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre via IP, GSM (Grade 3 or 4) or radio backup. Always ensure that Security guard and store staff may be equipped with Bodyyour alarm has adequate worn cameras. coverage, particularly in voids above ceilings, where point-to-point beams may be employed. Vulnerable areas such as cash offices and where the intruder panel is located should have secondary devices to ensure a verified alarm is received by the monitoring centre; if possible, install CCTV cameras which can be remotely monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre and allow for the appropriate response should an incident occur. It is also possible to have analytics added to your CCTV. By availing of this technology, you can reduce the potential false alarms you may receive. Analytics will assess the threat, determine if it is a real threat to your business and pass these to a PSA licensed Alarm Receiving Centre, whilst removing any false alarms such as a cat crossing your business’ back yard. On-site security Electronic security solutions are essential to securing your premises, particularly when the premises are shut. However, consideration should also be given, if appropriate, to employing the services of static guards to oversee the security of your premises during operating activities; this is of great benefit when attempting to ensure you minimise stock loss. Procuring the services of a PSA licensed guarding services provider will ensure you have on-site security to oversee the safety and security of your staff, your customers, and your stock. Customer service Any potential shoplifter wants to be able to move freely in a shop without being noticed or approached. Ensuring that all customers are acknowledged when they enter the store and also further engagement during their time in the store is an essential part of any loss prevention strategy, regardless of your size of store or turnover. A simple “Good morning” and “How may I help you?” can be enough in some instances to deter a potential shoplifter. Shoplifters love to be anonymous, so make sure you keep engaging with them! Store layout Dependant on your type of store and the products you are offering, it is important to be aware of your ‘hot items’, products that might attract high levels of theft. Keep these items close to an area where there is likely to be a member of staff, such as a cash desk. If this is not possible, try to ensure a staff member is positioned as close to the area as possible or reduce the amount of product that is out on display. The

aim in loss prevention is to limit the opportunity for loss. If it is not possible to have a strong shop floor presence with staff or security staff, limit your exposure to loss with reduced shop floor volumes. This reduces the opportunity for theft. Know your loss Understanding what level of stock loss that you have is critical. This does not mean that you must do an entire stock-take of your full inventory each week. However, do look at key lines and try and identify if you are losing stock by counting some of them at different points in the day. This information will allow you to not only identify if you have a loss issue, but also, with the help of CCTV, identify the person or persons responsible for the loss. Staff training Including all staff in weekly update meetings is a way to ensure you are all working together to minimise loss. Discussing recent incidents of known theft or anti-social behaviour is key in making your team aware of potential risks If CCTV is in use in your store, ensure that and methods signage is in place and complies with the used by previous requirements of GDPR. shoplifters in the store. If you need assistance with arranging this type of training, please contact the ISIA. Ensuring your compliance and security If CCTV is in use, ensure that signage is in place and complies with the requirements of GDPR. If you have doubts about your security, consider employing the services of an independent security consultant to carry out a review of your security. Your most important asset is yourself and your staff. Do not leave yourself exposed by responding to an alarm activation late at night. Ensure that the Gardaí will be in attendance and consider employing the services of a professional, licensed key-holding company. You may also consider protecting your staff by providing them with a ‘Lone Worker’ solution - this would allow a staff member who finds themself at risk to alert an Alarm Receiving Centre who will be in a position to respond and alert the authorities. You should speak to a PSA licensed Alarm Receiving Centre to discuss the best options available to meet the needs of your business that will help to further protect you and your staff. Your security needs will be determined by addressing and correctly assessing your security risks. A PSA licensed security contractor or independent security consultant is best placed to assess these risks. Your business is valuable to you and protecting this asset deserves the best protection available. Please visit to find a trusted supplier of the security services you need.

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Security: Cash Handling

Market leader in cash security solutions With over 360 Installations across the retail, leisure, hospitality and financial services sectors, Premium Cash Solutions (PCS) are one of the leading providers of cash handling solutions in Ireland. THE Retail Cash Automation Report 2020, produced by independent strategic research and consulting firm RBR, is a global study detailing market sizes and supplier shares for four cash handling terminal types – backoffice deposit, back-office recyclers, point-of-sale (POS) acceptors and POS recyclers. The study highlights Gunnebo as the only provider producing all four of these solutions in EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa), where it has almost a quarter of the retail cash automation market. According to RBR, this is a market which has been growing globally – up 15% between 2017 and 2019, with nearly 100,000 additional installations.

Premium Cash Solutions (PCS) are the exclusive distributor for Gunnebo cash automation products in Ireland and with over 360 installations across the retail, leisure, hospitality and financial services landscape of Ireland, this

cements the company’s position as one of the leading providers of cash handling solutions in Ireland. PCS’ range of products are designed to adapt to any company’s cash cycle and improve the cash management experience for everyone involved in the process. “We design solutions that automate processes and simplify operations. This provides greater security, efficiency and control,” explains Thomas Desmond, Head of Business Development, PCS. “The time and money saved in manual handling is invested in more valuable pursuits, like the customer experience.” PCS have identified the challenges in cash handling today as: Security: Theft is one of the greatest concerns for retailers. It can be threatening for staff and customers and it costs time and money. Having an automated cash management system keeps cash out of reach and increases the store’s overall security “Research has shown that at least one third of shop staff are worried about being robbed at work,” Thomas explains. Shrinkage: When cash procedures are done manually,

they are not tightly controlled. It’s difficult to track down when and where errors happen and costly to investigate. This makes it even more challenging to avoid similar mistakes in the future and detect suspicious behaviour as soon as possible. “Recent surveys show that retailers are losing cash, with almost 33% due to internal theft and a further 20% due to errors,” Thomas notes. Control: “Managing cash levels and cash processes costs retailers time and money,” according to Thomas. Cash management is all about control. Smart cash handling solutions allow cashiers, finance departments and store owners to keep track of every operation and plan liquidity. Time: “Managing cash takes time and uses staff resources but does not generate revenue,” explains Thomas. Having to manually count cash, replenish tills, perform till reconciliation, prepare cash for transportation and order change, are time-consuming tasks. This reduces efficiency and customer experience.

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Security: Cash Handling Tailored solutions PCS provide the following tailored solutions to help retailers with these challenges:

Back Office Recycling: Cash needs to flow efficiently for liquidity and investment return. By optimising your cash flow – minimising the amount of cash kept at the store and maximising the amount that goes into your bank – you also optimise the CIT, insurance, labour and security costs. In turn, this provides a safer and more productive work environment for customers and employees. Deposit Solutions: Gunnebo’s Deposit Solutions reduce time spent on cash management by up to 55%. The cash from the tills is deposited in a smart safe and automatically counted, verified, recorded and placed in a thermally seal bag for added security ready for CIT collection.

90% of time spent on manual cash management can be saved using the SafePay closed cash handling solutions, which are designed to keep cash safe from the point of sale right through to the bank. Point of Sale SafePay: This is a simple and efficient way to manage your business that cuts down on the time-consuming activities, reduces store risk and allows staff and owners to focus on customer experience and other value adding tasks.

Gunnebo’s recycling solutions help retailers reduce the time spent on daily cash management by almost 80%.

CDS Secure Smart Safe. Cash Control: CashControl is a web-based and modular application developed for the management, control, maintenance of all of PCS’ cash handling solutions on a single platform. This allows for full control for all, without having to be physically present in the store. What their customers say: Paul FitzGerald, CEO of The Pelco Group, who operate 14 Centra stores, is one of their extremely satisfied customers: “Having looked at all of the available cash systems in the marketplace, we decided on SafePay as it was the only one that would enable us to fully close our cash processes in-store in a costeffective way. Since installation, SafePay has helped us increase the security and efficiency of our stores by simplifying our cash handling processes and greatly improving the operating efficiency of our business.” His views are echoed by Ronan McDermott, owner of a number of Spar and Maxol stores. “I was concerned about the welfare of both staff and customers in my stores as the rate of targeted robberies was increasing and I needed to do something about it,” Ronan

reveals. “With SafePay installed, I have achieved this by eliminating robberies, automating my cash processes, reducing staff cash handling and enhancing the instore customer experience.” Mark Leavy, who is head of Musgrave company-owned stores, as well as owner and operator of the Leavy Centra Group and Managing Director of ME Retail Consultants, points out that since they installed SafePay, they have seen a dramatic reduction in the time spent on cash handling by cashiers and at the back office with managers when it comes reconciling and preparing lodgements: “By eliminating these administrative tasks, it has enabled my management team to spend more time on our sales floor, focusing on our customer, whilst driving sales and margin. The system has eliminated shortages in cash from cashiers and it has also led to a safer environment for both staff and customers. In short, this system has reduced cash shrink almost entirely, while allowing us to build profitable sales. I would highly recommend other retailers to consider SafePay.” John Eivers, owner of Spar Irishtown, Co. Kilkenny, describes the operational savings as “immense”: “We are saving up to 3.5 hours daily in staff time as staff are not wasting time having to count cash, reconcile tills, get change, do cash lifts etc. In fact, cashiers are only handling cash once and that is at the point of sale. This in turn means they have more the time do other jobs around the store. Every filling station, convenience store, supermarket, multisite operators and indeed any retail business handling large volumes of cash should have SafePay. You will not know yourself in that it will give you great peace of mind and the freedom to focus on other important aspects of your business. This is the way forward. Embrace the technology.” Another manager from Circle K revealed how “the cost of the cash management process has reduced significantly and outweighs the cost of the units entirely”, concluding that “any retail company would be mad not to look at these”. To ensure you get the right solution for your business needs, contact the PCS team to get an in-depth analysis and recommended solution. Call for a no obligation consultation on +353 1 5616000 or email For more information, visit

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Security: Communications

Sigma Wireless: your communications partner Sigma Wireless communications systems can help you to elevate the customer experience, gain customer loyalty and increase security, all at the same time.

AS restrictions are lifted and more people return to their everyday lives, we must look at ways that we can maintain social distancing, keep our staff safe and still improve the customer experience. Unfortunately this ‘new normal’ may continue for many more months and we need to find ways of maintaining clear communications, while keeping a safe distance apart. Whether you work in a small store, a large office complex or a distribution warehouse, two-way radio can provide instant communication across your whole facility. Two-way radios can also assist in making workers more efficient through automated

dispatching via work tickets and locationbased tracking systems. Two-Way Radio is a technology that allows individuals to keep in contact with each other using radio signals. Each user is given a radio handset which sends and receives audio and data sent over these. A two-way radio system can be as simple as two radios connecting directly to each other, or as complex as an encrypted network that covers an entire organisation.

Effective communications in retail In addition to the issues faced with social distancing, we also need to bring the customers back instore and avoid just being a showroom for online shoppers. To achieve this, retailers are tasked with raising the bar in customer service. Addressing this challenge lies in how effective your teams are at communicating and working together to ensure a smooth transition of browser to Using effective communications technology allows buyer. retailers to respond to customers quickly. Whether it’s a

question about a product or a request for a different size, shoppers expect assistants to be able to provide accurate answers and attentive service. Instant communication solutions ensure retailers can respond to customers quickly, create cohesive teams, check inventories instantly and accelerate re-stocking with seamless connectivity. Combining the benefits of technology with strong personal interaction inspires customer loyalty. Safety and security Having an effective communications solution allows you to strengthen security throughout your retail locations and distribution warehouses, keeping your customers and employees safe, and allowing them to react swiftly when situations arise. From two-way radio solutions to CCTV and body-worn video cameras, there are many suitable options available to you today. The Mototrbo Ion and SL2600 radios are part of Motorola’s extensive portfolio and are the perfect choice for your fastmoving retail environment. Differentiate service, exceed expectations The communication needs across retail establishments can differ significantly, Sigma Wireless offer tailored solutions designed to increase staff capabilities based on these needs on the ground. Sigma Wireless have been providing safe secure communications in Ireland for 30 years. As a Motorola Platinum partner, they can design the perfect communications solutions to suit your operational needs. The Mototrbo Ion and SL2600 radios are part of Motorola’s extensive portfolio and are the perfect choice for your fast-moving retail environment. Their integrated portfolio ensures your employees, from stock room to shop floor, check-out to management, can respond rapidly and work productively wherever they go. With durable radios, noise-reducing accessories and flexible systems, you’ll equip your team with the technology that is right for each user. For more information, see

For more information, visit:


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The Future of Food

Key advice for future success The Guaranteed Irish forum on ‘The Future Of Food’ saw industry experts discuss the latest trends and opportunities in the Irish food industry, changes in consumer behaviour and offer tips for succeeding in a post-pandemic landscape.

WHAT is the Irish food and drink market Presented in a Q&A format, the forum Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland; going to look like as we emerge from the offered some very interesting insights into the Brian Lee, Founder of Freshly Chopped; Covid-19 pandemic? What trends will drive latest trends and upcoming developments in and Laura Murphy, Founder of SynerChi growth as we hopefully revert to something the food sector. Kombucha. close to ‘the old normal’? What are the secrets to succeeding in a post-pandemic landscape? These questions and more were tackled by a group of industry experts during the Guaranteed Irish ‘The Future of Food’ forum, held online recently. Guaranteed Irish CEO, Brid O’Connell, hosted the event, which featured an expert panel, including Tara McCarthy, CEO The Guaranteed Irish forum on ‘The Future of Food’ was chaired by Brid O’Connell, CEO, Guaranteed Irish, and included Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia; Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland; Brian of Bord Bia; Ray Lee, Founder of Freshly Chopped; and Laura Murphy, Founder of SynerChi Kombucha. Kelly, Marketing

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The Future of Food focused on; the pandemic has made consumers even more conscious about the supply chain and the origin of the things they consume. Brexit was an event that involved a lot of preparation and it has no doubt been a challenge that has impacted margins. However, while Ireland traditionally has exported a great deal of our food to the UK, we have a new focus on the rest of the EU free market and figuring out the right way to succeed at that is both a challenge and a wonderful opportunity.”

What do you see as the next big trend? Brian: “Healthy eating has grown to more than a trend and it really is a lifestyle now. The consumer focus Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy: “The pandemic massively on health and the origins of accelerated the move to online so it is more important food is a mainstream fact of than ever to think digital.” life. Companies like Freshly Chopped really pioneered that trend and What do you see as the most important newer companies like SynerChi Kombucha trends in food right now and is Ireland are continuing the lead growth in the area. prepared to meet them? The pandemic amplified that focus on health, Tara: “We have spoken to 110 food companies especially among the younger demographic. around Ireland. Despite all of the major The youth of Ireland are focused on the concerns affecting people, including Covid, story and health benefits of the food they Brexit, commodity price changes etc, we are consuming more than ever; it is more found that 82% of the businesses we spoke important than ever to focus on those aspects to are enthusiastic about the future. There of your product now.” is no doubt that Brexit in particular has created increased complexity and costs when it comes to exporting to the UK market and nine out of 10 companies we spoke to are looking to diversify and to reach new export markets. One of the biggest concerns is about finding and retaining the right talent to allow a large number of companies to grow. We are going to see increased competition for companies looking to attract the best talent; if companies are serious about growth, they need to think about how they will find the right people to help them succeed at that.”

What do you see as the biggest challenges Irish food companies have overcome, or will have to face next? Laura: “As a manufacturer of healthy food products, the pandemic refocused our ideas around growth. Our focus shifted to grocery and mainstream retail during the pandemic as we needed to get our product where people could access it, with pubs and restaurants being closed. One thing that really stood in our favour during that shift in focus was the Irishness of our product and our company. The local nature of the product was something that consumers were very

Brid O’Connell, CEO, Guaranteed Irish.

What do you see as the most important trends in healthy eating right now? Brian: “Poké Bowls are huge at the moment and that growth is likely to continue. Despite the fact that we have always been an island nation, we have never had a huge demand for fish compared to other countries. However, that really does seem to be changing now and we are seeing a shift in focus from things like turkey as healthy foods towards fish. The health benefits of fish will see it grow in importance as a product for producers and manufacturers to consider when it comes to any new products.”

What opportunities has Bord Bia identified for Irish food producers? Tara: “Health really is a national interest now, from individual up to Government level. Healthy food, but also natural food, are really well set for continued growth. Consumers are very focused on how their diet impacts their health and how the food they eat is produced. They are making better decisions for their own health and for the health of the planet. “The Origin Green initiative has positioned Ireland very well to lead on this trend as we have been promoting the green nature of our production processes for years now, so be sure to promote the ‘greenness’ of your products. Making it easier for people to reduce their food waste, either through portioning or packaging innovation will also offer serious opportunities for growth. We cannot stress how important online is now; the pandemic massively accelerated the move to online so it is more important than ever to think digital.”

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The Future of Food What trends and changes have SuperValu and Centra identified as most important? Ray: “The pandemic had a huge impact on the food and drink sector and as we come out of it things will change again. SuperValu Centra have identified some clear trends that will be important as we move to a new normal. Firstly, people are much more confident with food and are willing to spend more time cooking food; that is something that will hold true in the new normal. The value for money attitude has changed, with people no longer seeing cheaper as necessarily better but rather they have a focus on quality, costs and methods of production and the ‘total’ value for money in a product. “Secondly, people everywhere are looking to support local. That will be a challenge for products looking to export but it is not a challenge that cannot be overcome by products that position themselves correctly. “The third hugely important change is the focus on sustainability. Reducing plastic usage, minimising waste in production and making it easier for consumers to minimise waste are all increasingly important. Brands and products need to focus on making it easier for consumers to do the right thing.”

What is the best way to get noticed on the shelf? Ray: “People want to buy Irish, so dial up your Irish and local connections. Promote how sustainable your product is, on the product and on social media in particular. If you are planning for growth, never forget your USP; you need to know why you are unique and avoid losing that identity as you scale. If you lose your identity in the pursuit of growth, you will start to get overlooked on the shelf. Plan your growth properly so you can scale accordingly.”

What is the best way to launch a new product or line? Brian: “Freshly Chopped launched during a

lack expertise in a certain area, you need to find someone who can fill that gap for you, so make sure you have the right team together and you will have the best chance at success.”

How have you been able to grow your brand in a sustainable manner? Laura: “We benefited greatly from coming through the SuperValu Food Academy. The programme always has a focus on planning and preparedness for growth and that is something we have taken to heart. It is extremely important to scale at the right speed. Getting our production process internationally certified was a hugely important part of our strategy. Kombucha has been made for such a long time but for us, proving the credentials of how we create our product and take the mystery out of how we produced was very important. Growing sustainably is always about mitigating your weaknesses and playing to your strengths.”

Ray Kelly, Marketing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland: “The pandemic had a huge impact on the food and drink sector and as we come out of it things will change again.”

time when we were recovering from a very deep recession. I still feel that when the chips are down, that can really be the best time to take a chance. We have seen over the last year and a half that the pandemic allowed people to invest in their entrepreneurial spirit. We saw so many horseboxes pop up as coffee shops and other new businesses start up. Find your niche and build your brand in it. That is always the best way to approach any launch. Do not forget the importance of putting the right team together; if you

In closing, what would be your top tips for Irish food manufactures and producers? Brian: “Building the right team to deliver sustainable growth as we move out of the pandemic is going to be a top priority. Identify any areas where you lack expertise, or where you will need them to deliver growth, and move early to build the right team.” Ray: “Foodservice and retail is going to spend some time adapting to the new normal. Brand and culture and job security for your team are all areas to pay special attention to as you begin to open back up and start to look to growing your sales.” Laura: “If you have a newer company, brand or product, do not forget to look to the supports that you can find from the state and private sector. We benefitted greatly from participating in the SuperValu Food Academy, and organisations like Teagasc, Bord Bia and Guaranteed Irish offer great support that you can connect with and take advantage of.” Tara: “With 82% of companies in the sector confident of growth in the short term, I would agree with the sentiment that is absolutely critical to get the right team together to build your brand. So start the process of building that team sooner rather than later.”

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Consumers to ‘Be the Judge’ for Cadbury Cadbury are calling on consumers nationwide to ‘Be the Judge’ of the new Cadbury Dairy Milk Inventor bars. CADBURY are back with one of the most delicious and hotly contested foodie competitions of the year, Cadbury Inventor, and this year they’ve raised the bar. Cadbury are asking chocolate fans to ‘Be The Judge’ of this year’s new Inventor bars and make the final verdict of which flavour remains on supermarket shelves as part of the Cadbury Dairy Milk range. Three bars are going head-to-head, but only one can win over the nation’s hearts and tastebuds, and become the latest addition to the iconic Cadbury Dairy Milk family next year: Roxy’s Cadbury Dairy Milk Fizzing Cherry, Josh’s Cadbury Dairy Milk Banoffee Nut Crumble, and Sophie’s Cadbury Dairy Milk No Frownie Brownie.

Top tasting tips To celebrate the launch, Cadbury have devised Ten Top Tips to teach the nation how to judge like a pro and put their new-found judging skills to the test in the most mouth-watering way: 1. Packaging: Take a look at the wrapper itself; how does it look and make you feel? It should make you go “woah I want a bit of that”. 2. Prepare: Don’t taint your senses with strong tasting/smelling food & drink before trying the chocolate. 3. Smell: Smell the chocolate before tasting it; we can smell approximately 80 flavour compounds but can only taste 20. 4. Eat: Try two chunks per bar to ensure you capture all the inclusions – a portion is six chunks in total! 5. Texture: Note the texture of the chocolate: How long does it last in your mouth? What textures can you feel on your tongue? 6. Taste: Take a moment to really experience the taste. Quiet places are good to allow you to focus on

what you are tasting. 7. Feeling: Does it make you feel naughty, but in a good way? 8. Nostalgia: Does it make you feel happy and at all nostalgic? 9. After-thought: Once you’ve tried, is it so good you begrudge having to share it? 10. Cleanse: Cleanse your palette between tasting the different bars; this prevents any crossover of flavours. Food and drink like cucumber, water and biscuit crackers are good for this.

A fan favourite “We know the Cadbury Inventor competition is a fan favourite because it allows for delicious new ingredients and flavours to be explored and tasted, and this year has really set the bar high,” noted Eileen Leahy, Brand Manager at Cadbury. “We couldn’t be more excited to share the three delicious Cadbury Dairy Milk flavours with the nation - but sadly there can only be one winner. It is time for us to put it to our experts, the fans, to ‘Be The Judge’ and decide what bar is worthy of returning to supermarket shelves next year!” The three limited edition bars are available now in all major retailers across Ireland. Fans can vote for their favourite bar to be crowned the latest Dairy Milk bar to join the iconic range on the www. website until September 5, with the winner announced later that month. Now in its third year, the Cadbury Inventor competition challenged the nation again to come up with new and exciting flavours and received over 180,000 entries from the UK and Ireland, from fans who wanted to be in with the chance to create The three limited edition Cadbury Dairy Milk Inventor bars are available now, and fans can vote for and name their very own their favourite bar at Cadbury Dairy Milk bar. T&C’s apply.

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Employment Law

Absence management: what is reasonable under the law? Aisling Parkinson and Jenny Wakely, specialists in employment law with DAC Beachcroft, advise retailers on their legal obligations when it comes to absence management, particularly in relation to long-term sick leave, and providing ‘reasonable accommodation’ for an employee’s return to work.

ABSENCE management can be a difficult area for employers to navigate, particularly where an employee is out on long-term sick leave. Disputes can arise regarding reasonable accommodation and whether or not an employee is fit to return to work. The key concern for employers in this area is the possibility of a complaint of disability discrimination under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2015 (the Acts). Section 6(1) of the Acts provides that discrimination occurs where one person is treated less favourably than another person is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation and where the difference in treatment is based on one of the nine discriminatory grounds. Disability, including temporary disability, is one such ground. Discrimination can also arise where an individual who does not have a disability is treated less favourably than another individual because his or her employer believes that they have a disability. Occupational health assessment An important step in managing an employee’s long-term absence and in

returning an employee to work, is to obtain an occupational health report regarding the employee’s fitness to work. Typically an occupational health referral will ask the medical practitioner a series of questions, with the primary focus being to determine (i) whether or not the employee is fit to return to work and, if not, when he or she is likely to be fit to return, and (ii) if the employee is not fit to return to work, whether there are any reasonable adjustments/adaptations which may make the employee fully fit to return to his or her role. Reasonable accommodation The Acts require employers to provide reasonable accommodation or to take ‘appropriate measures’ to enable a person with a disability to have access to employment or to participate or advance in employment or undergo training. The term ‘appropriate measures’ relates to practical adaptations to the employer’s place of business and includes the adaptation of premises and equipment, patterns of working time, distribution of tasks or the provision of training. A recent decision of the Workplace

Relations Commission (WRC) indicates that the obligation to provide reasonable accommodation may include facilitating an employee to work from home (Executive Assistant v University ADJ00022851). So what is ‘reasonable’ and how far is an employer required to go in making such adaptations? There is no ‘one size fits all’ and what is considered reasonable depends on a number of factors, including the size of the employer’s business and the employer’s financial resources. The leading case in this area is the Supreme Court decision in Nano Nagle v Daly ([2019] IESC 63). This started out as a complaint to the Equality Tribunal (now replaced by the WRC) in 2013, but went through a series of appeals to the Labour Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and ultimately came before the Supreme Court, the highest court in Ireland. Facts Ms Daly was a special needs assistant (SNA) at Nano Nagle School. She suffered serious injuries as a result of an accident in 2010 which rendered her paraplegic

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Employment Law and, after undergoing rehabilitation, she sought to return to her role in the school. The school arranged for her to be medically assessed, including by an occupational therapist. The occupational therapist determined that Ms Daly was fit to perform nine out of the 16 tasks that were required as part of her role. The school informed Ms Daly that it could not facilitate her return to work and determined that she was unfit to continue working as a SNA in the school. The Equality Tribunal found that the school had fulfilled its duty in considering whether reasonable accommodation could be made to facilitate Ms Daly’s return to work. This decision was reversed by the Labour Court, which found the school ought to have considered whether the work could be reorganised, including by redistributing tasks among the other special needs assistants. The court also found that the school had failed to consult with Ms Daly in deciding that she was not fit to continue working in her role. She was awarded compensation in the amount of €40,000 and the High Court upheld the Labour Court’s decision on appeal. The Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s decision and held that the school had fulfilled its obligations under the Acts. In doing so, it distinguished between ‘essential functions’ or ‘core duties’ of an employee’s role on the one hand, and ‘non-essential tasks’ on the other. The Court of Appeal was of the view that while employers are required to consider the redistribution of non-essential tasks, they are not obliged to consider a An important step in managing an employee’s long-term absence and in returning an employee to work, is to obtain an occupational health report regarding the employee’s fitness to work.

redistribution of essential functions or core duties. Supreme Court decision The Supreme Court rejected the Court of Appeal’s categorisation of ‘essential functions’ or ‘core duties’ which it regarded as an attempt to insert additional wording into the Employment Equality Acts, contrary to the intention of the legislature. The Supreme Court clarified that the only limitation that can be imposed upon an employer’s obligation to adopt appropriate measures (which includes the distribution of tasks) is proportionality. In other words, an employer is obliged to make reasonable accommodation for an employee who has a disability, except where this would involve a disproportionate burden on the employer. It will be for the WRC or the Labour Court to determine, on a case by case basis, whether or not measures proposed by an employee amount to reasonable accommodation or whether the employee is in fact seeking a new role which an employer is not obliged to provide. It will also be for the WRC/Labour Court to decide whether the measures proposed go beyond what is reasonable and proportionate for a particular employer. Awards for disability discrimination In disability discrimination cases, the WRC can make an order for compensation up to a maximum of two years’ pay or up to €40,000, whichever is the greater, for the effects

of the discrimination suffered by the complainant. An award of up to €13,000 can be made in circumstances where the complainant was not in receipt of remuneration at the time of referral of the claim. Awards in discrimination cases are not linked to loss of wages, but can take into account the distress suffered by the complainant. The WRC can also make an order requiring a particular course of action. In cases involving discriminatory dismissal, the WRC can also order reinstatement or re-engagement of the complainant. Sick pay In Ireland, there is currently no statutory entitlement to sick pay. An employee may have a contractual right to sick pay and employers should ensure that they comply with their relevant policies and procedures in this regard. Issues may arise where an employee who is on long-term sick leave has exhausted his or her sick pay entitlement and is seeking to return to work in circumstances where the employer is not satisfied that he or she is fit to return. In those circumstances, there is the potential not only for a complaint alleging disability discrimination, but also for a complaint under the Payment of Wages legislation. Employers should ensure that there is as little delay as possible in arranging for an employee to be independently assessed by its occupational health provider in such circumstances. Depending on the circumstances, it may be advisable to consider paying the

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Employment Law employee for a further, defined, period or to agree to other arrangements that would minimise an employer’s exposure in the event of a complaint to the WRC. Sick Leave Bill 2021 On June 9, 2021, the Government approved the drafting of the General Scheme of the Sick Leave Bill 2021 and the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD, announced further details of the Bill. The Bill, when passed, will introduce a statutory sick pay scheme for the first time in Ireland, for employees with at least six months’ service who are medically certified as unfit to work. The scheme will be phased in over a period of four years. It will commence with three days’ paid sick leave per year in 2022, increasing to five days in 2023, seven days in 2024 and 10 days in 2025. The rate of mandatory sick leave payments will be 70% of an employee’s wage, initially capped at €110 per day. The legislation will not of course prevent employers from offering more favourable sick pay terms. Once an employee’s statutory sick pay entitlement comes to an end, the employee may be entitled to Illness Benefit from the State, subject to the applicable qualifying criteria, including that the employee has sufficient social insurance contributions. Accrual of annual leave while on sick leave Since August 1, 2015, employees now accrue annual leave while on

long-term sick leave. This change to the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 was required in response to the Court of Justice of the European Union’s rulings in respect of a series of cases relating to the interpretation of annual leave provisions and the accrual of annual leave during sick leave. The rulings relate to provisions of the EU Directive on Working Time (Consolidated Directive 2003/88/EC). This must be carefully managed by employers with employees on long-term sick leave. Takeaway for employers Care must be taken by employers dealing with situations involving long-term sickness absence. Generally employers will be keen to return employees to work wherever possible, but employers should be mindful that they have a duty under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2015 to ensure that employees are fit to attend work. Obtaining an occupational health report is typically the first step to be taken in order for an employer to satisfy itself that an employee is fit to return to work or whether there are reasonable accommodations to be made in order to facilitate a return. As the Supreme Court indicated in the Nano Nagle case, it is advisable for an employer to consult with the employee throughout the process, notwithstanding that there is no statutory obligation on the employer to do so. Employers should ensure that their sick leave policies are up to date and start planning and budgeting in advance of the introduction of mandatory statutory sick pay. If you have any queries or require any assistance in relation to any of the above, please contact Aisling Parkinson or Jenny Wakely.

About the authors:

AISLING Parkinson (aparkinson@ and Jenny Wakely (jwakely@dacbeachcroft. com) of DAC Beachcroft (https:// locations/dublin/) are specialists in employment law. This article is for general information purposes only and does not comprise legal or professional advice. You should not rely on any of the material in this article without seeking appropriate legal advice. Twitter: @dacbeachcroft LinkedIn: DAC Beachcroft Dublin.

On June 9, 2021, the Government approved the drafting of the General Scheme of the Sick Leave Bill 2021, which will introduce a statutory sick pay scheme for the first time in Ireland.

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Retail Ireland: Monthly Update CONSUMER SENTIMENT INCREASES AS RETAIL REOPENS RETAIL Ireland’s latest July Retail Monitor points to a positive recovery in those parts of retail that were closed for much of the first half of the year. Notable trends highlighted in the Monitor include a modest monthly decrease in grocery retail sales, as well as sales in household goods. This can be attributed to the easing of restrictions and the return of outdoor dining. People have more options of where to spend their money. More trade is likely to shift from grocery to hospitality over the coming weeks, once a plan is in place for the reopening of indoor dining. There has been an unsurprising and strong pick-up in sales in the parts of retail that have reopened, as can be seen from the data from June in comparison to April. However, these trends may slow if the reopening timeline is delayed. For the time being, however, there is finally a sense of positivity across the sector. The latest data from Google shows that footfall in Irish retail, excluding

grocery and pharmacy, continues to slowly increase. However, Ireland’s more conservative approach to reopening and the lack of indoor hospitality means footfall remains below pre-pandemic levels, in contrast to much of Europe. In response to the reopening of the wider retail sector, consumer sentiment increased again in June. It is positive to see a steady increase in consumer confidence, which now stands at a twoyear high, as restrictions ease and people are becoming less concerned about their current circumstances, as well as less fearful about the future. We are hopeful that this sentiment continues in a positive trajectory with the effective roll-out of the vaccine and the further easing of restrictions. A notable change in consumer behaviour can be seen in the figures relating to online spending, which have plateaued since the ending of restrictions, as expected. This comes after four consecutive months of online accounting

for most of credit and debit card spending. Overall, total card spending rose 10% (€620m) in May 2021 compared to the previous month, while the latest daily data to June 21 shows a further increase in spending compared to May.

RETAIL IRELAND PUBLISHES COMMUNITY REPORT RETAIL Ireland have launched a new report that showcases the crucial role the sector plays in communities nationwide. The retail sector directly employs over 300,000 people and supports many thousands more jobs throughout the supply chain, often in small, family-run businesses. But the positive impact of the sector goes far beyond the economic benefits. Retail plays a crucial role in developing its people and improving the communities in which it operates. It contributes to the vibrancy and prosperity of localities, and plays a major role in supporting sports clubs, community groups and charities. The new report highlights five areas where the sector makes a substantial and meaningful contribution to Irish life, and provides a range of real-life examples and case studies to back this up: 1.


Employment and skills: Employment in the sector is spread right across the country and the economic activity it creates circulates back into communities. Community and charity support: Retailers are the first port of call for community groups and charities when looking for support. Tel: 01-6051558 |




Vibrant towns and cities: Retail is central to the life of our towns and cities, creating jobs but also attracting visitors and tourists. A sustainable environment: The retail sector is taking a lead role in promoting and delivering an environmentally sustainable economy. Informed consumer choices: The sector empowers today’s increasingly conscientious consumer with comprehensive product information and choice.

You can download the full report on our website at

Need more? For more information about what we do and how your retail business can benefit from our unique services and supports, please visit us at

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Drinks News Teeling Distillery celebrate with Lego TEELING Distillery recently marked their sixth birthday with a number of celebrations, including commissioning Lego maestros Dublin Bricks to build a teeny tiny Teeling Whiskey Distillery. The new Lego piece has taken pride of place in the distillery, using 4,137 Lego pieces to capture the iconic outside and also the full experience inside, from the milling and mashing equipment to the pot stills, as well as the tasting bar and gift shop. “We are very proud of reviving distilling in Dublin and our role as the first of a new generation of Dublin distilleries driving the renaissance of Irish Whiskey. Each year we like to mark our birthday with something new and interesting and what Gianni had been doing with Dublin Bricks really caught our imagination,” said Jack Teeling, founder of Teeling Whiskey. “As such we were honoured when he took our request for a commission to bring our Teeling Distillery to life in Lego form for our sixth birthday.”

Beekeepers launch Irish gin A MOTHER and daughter are banking on their new venture being the bee’s knees – after a swarm captured from a farm gate inspired their gin enterprise. Marie Cooney and daughter Sally Anne (pictured) are taking on the spirit world with Silks Gin, named after the jockeys’ silks worn at the famous Bellewstown racecourse in Co. Meath, beside their distillery. The mum-and-daughter beekeepers have their winged friends to thank for producing honey and pollinating the family’s apple trees – two of the key ingredients used in the spirit. Mother and daughter are now aiming for the spirit to replicate the international success enjoyed in March, when the family-run Boann Distillery won World’s Best New Make in the World Whiskies Awards. Silks Gin contains 14 botanicals which are macerated (soaked in liquid) for 24 hours before slow distilling in a 500-litre copper pot still. For further information, visit

Artisan producers join forces Aldi’s wine winning streak continues for super-premium Irish ALDI Ireland are celebrating more award whiskey wins on the international TWO of Ireland’s leading artisan drinksproducing families have collaborated to create a once-off, super-premium Irish whiskey, finished in a rare craft beer cask. The Irishman - Peated Red Ale Cask Finish is a triple-distilled, non-chill filtered, marriage of aged Single Malt and Single Pot Still Irish whiskeys by Walsh Whiskey in Carlow. The whiskey is aged for an additional nine months in a Peated Red Ale Cask from Dick Mack’s Brewhouse in Dingle and bottled at 50.1% ABV. Just 276 bottles were produced of this incredibly rare Irish whiskey, with the majority pre-sold to members of The Irish Whiskey Society, Dublin Fire Brigade Whiskey Club and Carlow Whiskey Society. It will be served to patrons of the legendary Dick Mack’s Pub in Dingle, and a limited allocation of just 120 bottles went on sale from James J. Fox of Dublin from the first week in July.

stage! The latest awards are courtesy of the 2021 International Wine Challenge, with 32 awards in total, across red, white, rosé, sparkling and fortified wines. “Wine awards come in various forms but the International Wine Challenge is actually what the name implies: a competition in which some of the world’s top wine producers go head-to-head in pursuit of the recognition of excellence,” said Aldi’s Wine Ambassador, Tom Doorley. “Aldi have been working with many of these winemakers over many years so, while it’s no surprise to us to receive so many medals and such widespread recognition this year, it still feels good.”

Wild Geese takes bronze at International Spirits Challenge THE Wild Geese Irish Premium Spirits Collection continues to add to its ever-growing awards portfolio, with its Classic Blend Irish Whiskey winning Bronze at the International Spirits Challenge 2021. “We are honoured to accept this Bronze medal for our Classic Blend Irish Whiskey,” noted Andre Levy, Chairman of The Wild Geese Irish Premium Spirits. “The International Spirits Challenge blind tasting process is based on quality alone and this award recognises the outstanding quality of our Irish whiskey, which has beaten off competition from major brands time and again to take its place at the top table of premium liqueurs.” For more information, visit

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Drinks News Bulmers unveil new creative campaign BULMERS have launched an exciting new ATL campaign, ‘When Time Bears Fruit; The Alchemy of the Orchard’, which showcases the craft and innovation dedicated to creating Bulmers Original Irish Cider. Launching to coincide with the reopening of pubs, Bulmers’ new campaign includes digital, TV and OOH, and sees a five-fold increase in spend. Filmed and produced in Bulmers’ own orchards in Clonmel, the campaign celebrates the moment when time bears fruit, the 18-month production process in creating Bulmers Irish Cider. “I’m really proud of the new campaign,” noted Karl Donnelly, Marketing Director at Bulmers Ireland. “It’s a credit to all involved in its conception and execution. It’s exciting times for the brand. We will host consumers and the trade in the Bulmers Orchard for an amazing glamping experience and we have great plans later in the summer to support Ireland’s bee population, without whom we couldn’t possibly do what we do.”

Midleton Distillery launch Barrel Club

THE magic of Midleton Distillery is set to be delivered to homes across Ireland with the launch of Barrel Club Midleton Distillery, a new whiskey club that connects members to the whiskeys and people from Midleton Distillery. Each member will receive a welcome gift box containing a specially personalised Distillery Edition bottle, tasting glasses and journal. Then, each quarter, a limited-edition whiskey consignment, including a 700ml bottle along with three 50ml samples, will be delivered, each themed and handpicked by Master Distiller Kevin O’Gorman and his team at Midleton Distillery. “I am delighted to share the magic and charm of Midleton Distillery with people across Ireland through our new and exclusive Barrel Club Midleton Distillery,” noted Kevin. “We look forward to welcoming members to our new community where we will discuss, taste and enjoy what Midleton Distillery has to offer, together.” Only 500 memberships will be made available initially, costing €499, at

Lyre’s win big at International Spirits Challenge LYRE’S NonAlcoholic Spirits have picked up a total of 13 medals across the No & Low category at the International Spirits Challenge. The Australian business are committed to creating products that enable consumers to enjoy more of their favourite cocktails, without compromise, like the recently launched ready-to-drink range with three distinct styles; The Classico, the Amalfi Spritz and G&T. The Amalfi Spritz cocktail has already been recognised at the International Spirits Challenge and was the only product to be awarded by the esteemed judging panel with a highly coveted Gold Medal within the No & Low category. Lyre’s have recently appointed their new Irish brand ambassador, Richie Delahoyde, who has several years’ experience as a chef and bartender, working in some of Ireland’s leading bars, receiving some of Europe’s top awards for his skills.

Fanta unleash bright blue mystery variant FANTA have released a limited-edition bright blue variant available now in stores across nationwide. The blue liquid inside the bottle could be one of three exciting zero sugar flavours – it’s up to consumers to discover #WhatTheFanta is for the chance to win a latest games console. By scanning the QR codes on the #WhatTheFanta bottle, shoppers unlock a series of interactive online clues and gain access to a six-part mockumentary content series, ‘Flavours Unsolved’, with the three mystery flavours revealed in the final episode of the series on July 18. The limited-edition blue variant is available now in stores nationwide in both 500ml and 1.75 litre bottles.

Spirits group welcomes suspension of tariffs on Irish liqueurs THE recent agreement between the European Union and United States on Large Civil Aircrafts has been broadly welcomed by the Irish drinks trade, as it resulted in a five-year suspension of all tariffs applied in the Airbus/Boeing dispute, including on Irish Cream and other Irish liqueurs. “This is a positive development for Irish spirits, as the US is a vitally important market for our industry,” noted Vincent McGovern, Head of Drinks Ireland – Spirits. “In 2019, it was the number one market for Irish GI spirits (Irish Whiskey, Irish Cream and Poitín), with 2,385,800 nine-litre cases of Irish cream exported from Ireland to the US that year. Open trade is critical for our sector and we hope that the removal of tariffs will help grow the Irish cream category in that market in the coming years.”

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Forecourt Focus: News Circle K opens on Achill Island CIRCLE K have revealed the latest addition to their franchise network with the opening of Circle K Achill Island in Co. Mayo. The family-run business, currently operated by Margaret Lavelle, has been present on Achill Island for over 35 years, and is well known and highly regarded by the local community and regularly frequented by holiday makers. A grand opening day took place at Circle K Achill Island on June 4, with a host of special offers available to customers on the day. “We are delighted to partner with Circle K and present their impressive product range to the local community here in Achill as well as visitors to the island,” noted Margaret Lavelle, owner and operator, Circle K Achill Island. “We look forward to welcoming visitors to our new store throughout the summer and beyond and provide them with the essential goods and services they need. It has been our great privilege to serve the people of Achill over the past 35 years and we are excited at what the future holds. “While the country is slowly starting to reopen and we are seeing restrictions easing,” she continued, “we are very conscious of the ongoing importance of health and safety and will be placing a big emphasis on ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for those visiting and working at our store.” Derek Nolan, Senior Director of Retail Operations for Dealer and

Pictured are (l-r): Damian Byrne, Senior Sales Market Manager – Franchise, Circle K; Margaret Lavelle, owner, Circle K Cashel Achill, Co. Mayo; and Derek Nolan, Senior Retail Director of Operations Dealer/Franchise, Circle K. Franchise, Circle K Ireland, commented: “We are thrilled to partner with the Lavelle family and would like to officially welcome them all to the Circle K family. Margaret and the team are mainstays of the local community here in Achill, providing essential products and services to help keep people moving over the past 35 years. That is an outstanding retail legacy which we are delighted to be associated with and we look forward to helping them support the people of Achill as well as visitors to the island in the years to come. “At Circle K, supporting communities

across Ireland is one of our key priorities and we hope to increase our footprint further in the years ahead and offer our range of products and services to more customers across Ireland.” The renowned Circle K product offering will be available at the new Achill Island location – including miles fuel, Circle K’s range of K-Freeze drinks and all new ice cream options, gourmet coffee and Circle K’s ‘Grab and Go’ food range, which includes a huge choice of convenient ready-made sandwich, baguette and salad options, as well as hot dog and breakfast products.

Maxol launch Pit Stop Picks campaign MAXOL have launched Pit Stop Picks, a three-month campaign featuring special promotions and in-store offers on products that customers will need for any summer activity they might be planning. Maxol’s Pit Stop Picks, available until September 8, will include family deli deals, Grab & Go meal deals, Maxol’s exclusive Rosa coffee and N’ice cream, a range of convenience meals from Fresh Choice Kitchen, indulgent and healthy treats, car care accessories and lots, lots more. There will also be opportunities to win great prizes such as tickets to Tayto Park and staycation vouchers. Maxol are collaborating with travel, wine and lifestyle blogger, Nadia El Ferdaoussi, who will share her favourite Pit Stop Picks with followers while enjoying her travels, adventures and hikes across Ireland this summer. Nadia will also be asking her followers for their #PitStopPicks suggestions. From the best places to stay, to the best things to do, from well-known landmarks to some hidden gems and of course, their essential snack suggestions for every trip.

Maxol have teamed up with blogger Nadia El Ferdaoussi on their summer Pit Stop Picks campaign.

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Forecourt Focus: News Applegreen meet native tree planting target APPLEGREEN recently invited pupils from O’Growney National School in Athboy, Co. Meath, to a newly-planted native tree forest just outside the town. Applegreen asked the local school children to help with planting the final six birch, ash and oak trees of a colossal 100,000 native trees that are being grown in counties Westmeath, Leitrim and Galway. Applegreen’s forest creation commitment supports the Irish Government’s Woodland Environmental Fund (WEF), which is designed to contribute to Ireland’s biodiversity and climate change goals. Applegreen are now one of the largest Irish contributors to the WEF programme, having committed to growing 300,000 native Irish trees Pictured are Joe Barrett, CEO, Applegreen; Fiona Matthews, MD, Applegreen, and Tom by the end of 2023. Popple, National Capital Partners.

Maxol investing €7m in upgrades to forecourt network MAXOL have announced an extensive €7M investment programme for their forecourt network in the Republic of Ireland, including an investment of more than €1m each for the refurbishment of two high-profile sites: Maxol Ballycoolin, Dublin, and Maxol Riverside in Navan. Since 2012, Maxol have invested over €220m in their 236-strong network across Ireland and are already planning a major investment programme for 2022. “Much like last year, 2021 hasn’t been quite the year we had planned for,” admitted Brian Donaldson, CEO, The Maxol Group. “Our investment programme in Ireland came to a halt on several occasions due to the pandemic, but we remain committed to our plans, and it is great to be back on track and looking ahead to the future with confidence. “The past 10 years have seen us transition from being a fuel centric brand to one that is more known for our food offering. To achieve this, we have been redeveloping existing service stations by introducing more eat-in and seating areas, together with family friendly spaces, wherever possible.” Works have begun at Ballycoolin and include a new Maxol Deli and a drive thru Burger King. The external seating area will benefit from additional benches, screens, lighting, and umbrellas, to enable Covid-friendly outside seating alternatives. In Maxol Riverside, premium artisan burger brand Ross Burger will open at the site. The shop is also being extended and provides for a larger new Maxol deli, a new customer seating area, additional car parking, a new off licence and a new car wash. The company recently invested €3m in Maxol Newbridge, which saw the Kildare service station transformed with an extensive upgrade to the forecourt, as well as the opening of

Maxol Group CEO, Brian Donaldson. the company’s first drive thru Burger King. Work will also commence at other Maxol service stations across the country and depending on the site will include shop extensions, premium fuel, additional car parking spaces, new food franchises, Maxol Deli upgrades, drive thru Burger Kings and car wash upgrades.

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NESTLÉ’S new vegan KitKat has arrived in SuperValu and Centra stores nationwide. KitKat V features smooth chocolate blended with a ricebased alternative to milk that beautifully balances the crisp wafer. The bar was developed by chocolatiers and food scientists in Nestlé’s Research and Development centre in York, the original home of KitKat. “KitKat has been championing breaks since 1934 and while people’s need for breaks hasn’t changed, the way we take them has,” said Maria McKenna, Confectionery Marketing Manager, Nestlé Ireland. “KitKat is such a successful brand because it has evolved throughout its history, and the arrival of our veganfriendly bar means there is now a delicious alternative for anyone looking to enjoy a plant-based break”.

BEWLEY’S have revealed their seasonal beverage menu for the summer months, featuring a selection of speciality drinks to cater for seasonal tastes. The limited edition Bewley’s Summer Beverage Kit is available exclusively for Bewley’s trade partners nationwide and features a selection of carefully curated beverages made for the summer. The Bewley’s Seasonal Beverage Kit includes refreshing summer lemonades in three flavours, Cloudy Lemonade, Zesty Pineapple, and a retro classic, Cotton Candy, as well as two premium summer lattes: the plant-based Pina Co Latte mocktail, and the fun and delicious Cotton Candy Latte. Along with the speciality beverages, the Bewley’s Summer Beverage Kit comes fully stocked with the supplies needed to create each unique drink.

MINCRAFT TREASURE STICKER ALBUM FROM PANINI THE new Panini official Minecraft Treasure Sticker Album is now available! Minecraft is an openended, block-building sandbox game where fans can explore their own unique world and create almost anything they can imagine. With over 139m people playing Minecraft every month and over 200m copies sold worldwide, Minecraft is the bestselling video game in history. The collection of 256 stickers features special stickers which allow fans to see amazing Minecraft videos through the Panini Collectors app. Fans can explore the Overworld, the Nether and the End; interact and create, play, enjoy the art and live the adventure! Starter packs include an album, four packets of stickers and three block cards. Each packet contains five stickers.

NEW MUNCHIES SALTED CARAMEL FUDGE FLAVOUR NESTLÉ Ireland are introducing an exciting new flavour to their much-loved Munchies brand later this summer. The newest Munchies variety features a salted caramel fudge flavour filling and biscuit centre, covered in delicious milk chocolate. It joins the existing range, which comprises of original Munchies, Munchies Cookie Dough and Munchies White. “We know there is always great excitement around the launch of a new Munchies flavour, and we think we’ve come up trumps with our Salted Caramel Fudge,” noted Maria McKenna, Confectionery Marketing Manager, Nestlé Ireland. “A sensational mix of sweet and salty, we predict our newest Munchies will be flying off the shelves this summer!”Available in a 97g sharing bag, Munchies Salted Caramel Fudge will be launching nationally in the coming weeks.

NEW HARRY RAMSDEN’S RANGE FROM ICELAND IRELAND ICELAND Ireland have exclusively launched an iconic Harry Ramsden’s range of frozen chip shop classics across all 27 stores nationwide. Featuring the likes of Harry Ramsden’s two Jumbo Battered Atlantic Cod Fillets (€6.00, 400g), Harry Ramsden’s Jumbo Wholetail Scampi (€4.00, 250g) and Harry Ramsden’s Steak Pie (€5.00, 350g) for the perfect, fuss-free Friday night chipper dinner. Shoppers can choose from classic jumbo sizes of battered fish in true fish and chip shop style and bite-sized options like Harry Ramsden’s Ultimate Cod Fillet Strips (€6.00, 450g). The range also includes Harry Ramsden’s Chunky Maris Piper Chip Shop Chips (€2.75, 1.2kg), Harry Ramsden’s Mushy Peas (€1.50, 2pk) and Harry Ramsden’s Chip Shop Curry Sauce (€1.50, 2pk), as well as battered sausages and Harry Ramsden’s Sticky Toffee Pudding (€3.00, 450g).

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What’s New ALDI UNVEIL HOME COMPOSTABLE TRAYS FOR STEAK ALDI Ireland are launching new home compostable trays made from sugarcane across all their multi-award winning premium Specially Selected Irish steaks range. The new packaging, which was developed exclusively for Aldi and is the first of its kind in Ireland, will see more than 67 tonnes of plastic removed from Aldi’s 145 Irish stores each year. Aldi have been working with their long-term Irish supplier, ABP Food Group, since August 2018 to develop the packaging solution, made from environmentally friendly sugarcane pulp, which is a rapidly renewable resource, as an alternative to traditional plastic trays. This means customers can now place the trays in their compost heap at home or put them in their brown bin. In addition, the trays are fully recyclable, meaning customers can place them in their recycling bins if needed. Aldi are also removing the cardboard boxes, resulting in a 52 tonne reduction of packaging. Pictured are (l-r): Brian Frazer, Key Account Manager, ABP, and Rob Farrell, Buying Director, Aldi Ireland.

PURE PIRAÑA COMES ASHORE FOR SUMMER HEINEKEN’S global hard seltzer brand, Pure Piraña will be reeling in the summer this July & August, showing up when it’s needed most. On Instagram, @purepirana_ ire will run a host of fun competitions giving lucky followers a chance to win purely refreshing prizes, including the opportunity to ‘hook’ a visit from the Piraña Van as it delivers instant refreshment to locations across Ireland. Across the summer Reel in the Summer kits including everything you need to elevate your backyard BBQ or garden party, from picnic tables to firepits, will also be making a splash on Instagram. Coming ashore in three refreshing fruit flavours: Lemon Lime, Red Berries and Grapefruit - all low carb, low sugar, made with a hint of natural flavours and only 92 calories - Pure Piraña is the perfect choice for the conscious consumer. Pictured with the Piraña Van that will be delivering instant refreshment around the country are Marcus Gibbs (Dublin) and Emma Jane Power (Waterford).

ESSITY LAUNCH REUSABLE MENSTRUATION AND INCONTINENCE UNDERWEAR GLOBAL hygiene and health company, Essity have launched a range of reusable menstruation and incontinence underwear, offering consumers a more sustainable alternative to disposable products. The new Bodyform and Tena washable absorbent underwear ranges are available in Tesco stores and online on Their launch comes at a watershed moment when the reusable market is diversifying, and consumers are actively looking for alternative sustainable products. The new ranges of washable absorbent underwear offer eight hours of protection and come in a wide variety of sizes, colours and styles to suit the different needs of consumers.

HINCH DISTILLERY WINS GOLD AT IWSC NORTHERN Ireland’s newest distillery, Hinch, have won a prestigious Gold Medal for their Imperial Stout Finish Irish Whiskey, one of three whiskeys in their Craft & Casks range. The accolade, awarded by the International Wine and Spirit Competition, London, saw the Whiskey receive 95 points from a potential 100, one of the highest scores ever given to an Irish whiskey finished in ex craft beer casks. Hinch Distillery’s Craft & Casks range is a trio of fine Irish whiskeys that up the flavour game in the sector, having been finished using craft beer casks from Whitewater Brewing in Northern Ireland and Kinnegar Brewery in Co Donegal. The range consists of three whiskeys; the Imperial Stout Finish, Irish Red Rye Finish and Rye Export Stout Finish, which have been disrupting the taste profile of the whiskey scene since they launched earlier this year.

NEW IMMUNE SYSTEM RANGE FROM DEEP RIVERROCK SUSTAINABLE water brand Deep RiverRock are introducing their ‘Immune System’ range; new fruity flavours with added benefits of Vitamin B6 and Zinc. New variants include Forest Fruits Sparkling, Lemon & Lime Sparkling and Strawberry Still, all with added benefits that support a healthy immune system and contribute to overall wellbeing. Supported by a 360 degree marketing campaign, the new range will be introduced to consumers with out-of-home advertising, PR, digital, social, influencer outreach and a strong presence in-stores across the island. The launch will also benefit from a significant sampling blitz to encourage trial, through customer partnerships, sponsorship platforms and direct-to-consumer.

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Shelf Life THIS summer, consumers can discover a deliciously sweet and salty break with the launch of limited edition KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Popcorn. The latest addition to the KitKat Chunky line up, the 42g bar features the brand’s classic wafer alongside an indulgent layer of salted caramel popcorn filling, all covered by KitKat’s trademark smooth milk chocolate. “Our newest Chunky is unlike anything else currently on the market, making it a fun and exciting proposition for shoppers to try,” noted Maria McKenna, Confectionery Marketing Manager, Nestlé Ireland. “It not only delivers on taste and texture, but with its retro red and white striped packaging, it looks great too!” HENEGHAN, one of Ireland’s leading strategic communications consultancies, have announced two internal promotions. Fiona Peppard has been appointed as Senior Account Manager and Colm Kearns as Account Manager. Fiona joined Heneghan in March 2018 and takes a leading strategic and tactical role across a range of corporate, healthcare and technology clients. Colm joined the agency in November 2017 and works on a number of different accounts across a diverse array of sectors. THE brewers at St. James’s Gate are excited to unveil new Rockshore Hard Seltzer, the latest addition to the Rockshore portfolio, joining Rockshore Lager, Rockshore Light and Rockshore Apple Cider, inspired by the bracing refreshment of the Irish coast. New Rockshore Hard Seltzer, sparkling water with alcohol and natural fruit flavours, is available in Watermelon, Raspberry and Lime packing all the refreshing taste you would expect from Rockshore with 83 calories per 330ml can of Raspberry and Lime, and 86 calories per 330ml can of Watermelon. The launch of Rockshore Hard Seltzer will be supported by an integrated communications campaign encompassing TV, digital, PR, sampling, media partnerships and in-store activations. It is estimated that the fast-growing seltzer category now accounts for 10% of RTD sales in Ireland.

IT might be the middle of the summer, but Aldi want shoppers to get prepared for the festive season with the brand new Aldi Christmas Savings Card! Consumers can pick up a card at the checkout, register it online and then top up at the checkout, spreading the financial burden throughout the year by regularly topping up their card.

YR are set to liven up the relish market with a totally new gourmet range, as well as a saucy makeover for their original YR Sauce recipe and iconic packaging design. YR Original Tomato Relish, YR Balsamic Red Onion Relish and YR Habanero Spicy Relish will be available in-store this month, and via wholesale and cash & carry channels, in a handy 390g jar format. Packed with the best quality tasty ingredients, the new relishes are made here in Ireland to three healthy original recipes. They will appeal to the health-conscious consumer and to families, as they are gluten free and vegan and vegetarian friendly. The new YR relish can be used within six months, once opened, so there’s no food waste with this cupboard staple either. A robust consumer marketing plan including national advertising, a social media campaign, brand ambassadors, consumer recipes, food festivals and instore sampling is in place for a late summer and autumn launch, to build awareness and engagement with consumers around the innovative new YR relish range – once you taste it YR hooked!! INDEPENDENT family-run supermarket chain Joyce’s Supermarkets have welcomed reuzi, Ireland’s one-stop shop for sustainable lifestyle, to their Knocknacarra location. Galwegians can now shop eco-friendly and sustainable products in-store, from reusable bottles and kitchenware to toiletries and homewares. Pat Kane, owner of reuzi, has curated the products with Joyce’s customers in mind, and it is the first time that reuzi has partnered with a supermarket chain. THE Clonakilty Gluten Free Kitchen, a range of delicious artisan bakery products suitable for coeliacs and those with a gluten intolerance, but with a taste the whole family will love, is now available throughout Cork, with plans underway to expand throughout Munster. Clonakilty Gluten Free Kitchen originated in 2015 as a specialised in-store gluten free bakery (the first of its kind in Ireland) in Scally’s SuperValu in Clonakilty, and has proved so popular that it is now a fully-fledged independent business, which is run by Niamh Scally, and now has 20 stockists across County Cork and edging its way into Limerick and Kerry. The scratch bakery range includes 17 lines including yeast breads like their rustic white loaf, multigrain and white rolls, specialty loaves, oat and yogurt loaf, corn bread and brioche, and confectionery lines including apple tart, tea brack and more. Pictured at Clonakilty Model Village launching the range are (l-r): Gill Brennan, CEO of the Coeliac Society of Ireland; Niamh Scally, MD of Clonakilty Gluten Free Kitchen; and Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia. AVOCA have announced a mouth-watering collaboration with cookie brand, Hot Chip Dublin, with the launch of a brand-new cookie flavour, Caramel, Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt. Hot Chip Dublin is the brainchild of Master Cookie Monster, Dave McSharry. Having sampled every cookie south of the equator and experienced the cookie revolution in full flow, Dave knew he wanted a piece of the pie. Fast forward to his Dublin return, Dave went to work on creating his now popular dough recipe during the first lockdown of 2020.

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