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Retail News JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2020

Ireland’s Longest Established Grocery Magazine

Nielsen, Total Scantrack ROI (excl. Dunnes & Discounters), 16 weeks ending April 21/2019, value sales, top manufacturers


Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie|1

Contents News

Good Governance? AT the time of writing, the results of General Election 2020 are only really sinking in, and speculation is rife about the possible make-up of the next Government. Whatever happens, the retail and FMCG market will endure, as we have proven ourselves one of the most resilient and resourceful business sectors, despite all the challenges that regularly form up in our path. One hopes that whatever format the new Government takes, that it will address some of the key issues facing retailers, suppliers and indeed most businesses across Ireland. These include making real progress on insurance reform, a nationwide overhaul of the archaic and oblique commercial rates system and the regeneration of our towns and villages so that they become more attractive place for consumers to shop, for businesses to operate and for people to live. The other big concern is the shortage of labour, which is massively connected with the prohibitively high rents across the country. If the incoming Government can deal with the housing crisis effectively, it will be a large step towards making Ireland a more affordable and attractive place to live and work. With the trade deal still to be done between the EU and the UK (see page 2), there are plenty of issues to be dealt with in the months and years ahead for whoever is in charge. Kathleen Belton Editorial & Marketing Director


UK-EU negotiations a big deal for Irish retailers. BWG Group acquires Heaney Meats.


Election impacts customer confidence as grocery growth slows.


New regulations on alcohol sales introduced; PwC joins forces with FMCG Directors Network.


Limerick scoops top prize at Musgrave MarketPlace awards; Aldi staff to plant 100,000 trees over five years.


Golden Bake wins €85,000 advertising award from Love Irish Food; Nestlé invests in foodgrade recycled plastics.


Arnold Dillon takes up position as Retail Ireland Director; Retail Ireland Annual Lunch 2020; Positive economic backdrop to Christmas trading.


As Stonehouse celebrates its 20th birthday, CEO Tom Shipsey looks back over the last two decades in the Irish wholesale

Centra announced record sales of €1.7 billion in 2019, along with plans to open 20 new stores in 2020. Jus de Vine in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, was named National OffLicence of the Year at the NOffLA Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2020, where NOffLA called on the next Government to prioritise Minimum Unit Pricing.


Irish consumers spent €8.55 billion on foodservice in 2019, with that figure set to rise again this year, according to the latest Bord Bia report.

The Future of Grocery 42



Some of the foremost Irish technology innovators in the retail sector showcased their retail solutions to a host of international retailers at Enterprise Ireland’s Store of the Future event.

Regulars & Reports


Published by: Tara Publishing Ltd,

Kathleen Belton


14 Upper Fitzwilliam Street, Dublin 2.

Editor: John Walshe


Tel: 00353 1 6785165 Fax: 00353 1 6477127

Sales: Brian Clark


Web: www.retailnews.ie Email: kathleenbelton@retailnews.ie

Sales: Aaron Stewart


Subscription to Retail News: e95 plus VAT Email: ciara@tarapublications.ie Reproduction without written permission is strictly prohibited.


Steve Gotham, MCA & HIM Market Insight Director, examines the potential implications of five major trends on the grocery store over the next decade.

Store of the Future

Retail News Interview 16

The most significant evolution of Coca-Cola’s can offering for 70 years, the new Sleek Can will be introduced across all Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite variants.


Retail Ireland: Monthly Update

Editorial & Marketing Director:

Printed by: W&G Baird


Tesco and ESB announce nationwide roll-out of vehicle charge points.


Graphics: Catherine Doyle




Managing Director: Patrick Aylward

Production: Ciara Conway


NOffLA Off Licence Awards

Centra Dame Street wins Store of the Year award; Pest control warning for retailers from Rentokil.

Ireland’s Longest Established Grocery Magazine

Wine Correspondent: Jean Smullen




Retail News Chief News Reporter: Pavel Barter

business and predicts that the coming years will bring even greater change.

10 24 36 44 50 52 55 56

Industry News Easter Treats Vaping Paper Products Drinks News Forecourt Focus What’s New Shelf Life

2|Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie


UK-EU negotiations a big deal for Ir A CLIFF edge of December 31 is not enough time to ensure a comprehensive future trade deal for food and drink between the UK and the EU, according to retailer and supplier representatives in Ireland. Boris Johnson, the British PM, has set an end of year deadline for a trade deal with the EU. But this deadline is not feasible in the context of negotiating a complex deal, Paul Kelly, Director of Food Drink Ireland (FDI) told Retail News. "When you look at the full range of what needs to be covered - food, goods, security, air travel - most people accept it will be impossible to get all that done in 11 months. Business needs clarity. The risk of a no deal has not gone away," said Kelly. The topic of a post-Brexit trade deal was on the agenda at the recent Retail Consultation Forum, conducted by the Department of Enterprise, and attended by business and retail bodies that included RGDATA, ISME, and Retail Ireland. JP Kennedy, Commercial Director of Retail Excellence, came away from the Forum "with the sense there is no taking for granted that there will be a quota-free or duty-free agreement. It is on a knife edge." Despite avoiding the worst case scenario - a customs border in Ireland - the stakes are still high around the UK's departure from the EU. A long-established and tariff-free supply chain between Ireland and the UK is under threat. The

UK accounts for around 34% of all food and drink exports, including almost half (47%) of our beef exports. FDI have called for food and drink to be front and centre of negotiations. The organisation wants a focus on customs and regulatory co-operation to ensure a continuation of established trade flows, without major changes. "The EU's revised political declaration, which is going to the general counsel for approval at the end of February specifically says the ambition is a free trade agreement that ensures no tariffs, fees, charges or quotas. That is the starting point from the European side," said Kelly. Whatever the outcome, retailers are likely to be impacted. The UK is the main source of Irish imports, accounting for 20.1% of all products brought into the country, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO). "You are going to see a different trading relationship between the Union and the UK. That will reflect itself at shelf level," explained Kelly.

BWG Group acquires Heaney Meats BWG Group has completed the acquisition of Heaney Meats Catering Co. Limited, a large supplier of premium quality meat products to the foodservice sector in Ireland. This follows clearance of the acquisition by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on January 10, 2020. “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of Heaney Meats, which will expand and enhance our meat offering and further strengthen our market leading position in the +€2 billion foodservice sector,” noted Leo Crawford, Group CEO, BWG Group. “Heaney Meats is very well regarded, delivers a great service to its customers across Ireland and we now look forward to working with them to further grow our combined business.” Galway-based Heaney Meats specialises in the preparation and distribution of premium quality beef, lamb, poultry, pork and bacon to the foodservice sector, with annual sales of approximately €24m. The business has been the recipient of multiple industry awards and has developed well-invested supply chain operations that include a fleet of 25 refrigerated vehicles. Generations of the Heaney family have been master butchers stretching back over 300 years, and Heaney Meats will continue to be led by its current Managing Directors, Shayne and Kenneth Heaney.

Leo Crawford, Group CEO, BWG Group.

Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie|3


ish retailers "It's unclear what bigger multinational manufacturers will do," said Kennedy. "Many of our brands are now international, so perhaps the impact may not be stark. Cornflakes is no longer a national brand: it's global, and they will find different supply chains to move around in." But Retail Excellence recommends that retail companies should plan ahead. Even in the event of a no-tariff agreement, the logistics of moving goods and transporting food will require change. "Even in an ideal scenario, there will be cost implications to the supply chain, which will feed down to the consumer," said Kennedy. "The best case scenario will still mean elongated delays. If a 40-foot container comes into Dublin Port, and it has high risk goods, it will be put into quarantine and checked. That could take up to 72 hours. You can't have a frictionless border if you're importing foodstuffs, in case there is contamination or food scares in the supply chain. We have to remember the Foot & Mouth issue in Ireland and the UK. That was a complete lockdown." Kelly advised suppliers and retailers to work with their representative bodies to make sure their voices are heard. "Retailers need to keep their preparations for a no deal alive," he added. "It might need to be activated quickly as we head towards the end of the year." The clock is ticking, but without an extension beyond December 31, a no-tariff deal might be unachievable. "Suppliers and retailers, are very dynamic and able to adapt to new situations," said Kelly. "But if we end up with a big shock at the end of the year, we are concerned that businesses won't be able to adapt.”

Election impacts customer confidence FOLLOWING a record-breaking festive season for the Irish grocery market, the buzz around Veganuary and Dry January failed to outweigh falling consumer confidence in the post-Christmas trading period. Figures from Kantar for the 12 weeks to January 26, 2020, show that growth slowed to 1.3%, the slowest rate recorded since March 2017, as shoppers tightened their purse strings ahead of the General Election. However, the market found a bright spot in increased sales of plant-based products as many shoppers pledged to make healthier choices at the start of the year. “Retailers embraced Veganuary, which brought plant-based foods to the fore,” noted Matthew Botham, strategic insight director at Kantar. “Sales of alternative milks grew by 20%, while meat, fish and poultry dropped by 3%. “Though shoppers reduced their consumption of meat and dairy, households didn’t turn their backs on animal products completely. This points to an increase in flexitarian lifestyles, as people look to cut back rather than go cold turkey.” Dry January also made its mark on supermarket sales, with the number of households abstaining from alcohol purchases increasing to 22%, up from 19% this time last year. The only retailer to buck the trend was SuperValu, which grew its alcohol sales by 7.6%. Overall, Lidl was the strongest performing retailer this period, increasing its market share by 0.4 percentage points to 11%. “Lidl’s growth was driven by increased basket sizes as shoppers added three more items to their shop than the market average. More and more people are picking up their groceries at the retailer and 71.4% of households chose to shop at Lidl at least once over the latest period,” Botham explained. SuperValu was the only other retailer to accelerate growth over the 12 weeks as its market share grew by 0.1 percentage points to 21.7%. At the other end of the market, Tesco’s sales were unchanged from last year as the grocer conceded 0.3 percentage points of market share. “As the General Election loomed, falling consumer confidence meant a decline in shopper frequency for the market as a whole. While Tesco bucked this trend and shoppers visited the retailer more often, it wasn’t enough to boost sales and growth fell to 0.0%,” Botham noted. “Part of Tesco’s response was to take action by addressing consumer demand for sustainable packaging. The retailer made headlines with the announcement that it’s removing plastic wrap from its multipack tinned items, while still offering the multi-buy deal to customers. Given that shoppers bought over 59m packs of tinned goods over the past year, this is a significant step towards reducing plastic waste and is bound to be popular with eco-conscious consumers.” Aldi also continued to press home its sustainability credentials by removing the polystyrene trays from its pizza range. The retailer again posted strong growth this period, increasing sales by 5.4%. Meanwhile, Dunnes had another formidable 12 weeks, with sales rising by 3.3%. However, that was a slower increase than in recent months, as falling basket sizes and lower prices impacted growth at Ireland’s largest retailer. Grocery market inflation stands at 0.9% for the 12 weeks period ending January 26, 2020. MARKET SHARE - TOTAL GROCERY

Includes expenditure across Food, Beverages, Alcohol, Household and Health & Beauty categories

Total Take Home Grocery - Ireland Consumer Spend Total Grocers Total Multiples SuperValu Tesco Dunnes Lidl Aldi Other Outlets**

12 Weeks to 27/01/19 %*

12 Weeks to 26/01/20 %*

change** %

100.0% 88.3% 21.6% 22.1% 23.1% 10.6% 10.9% 11.7%

100.0% 89.5% 21.7% 21.8% 23.6% 11.0% 11.4% 10.5%

1.3% 2.7% 2.0% 0.0% 3.3% 5.6% 5.4% -9.4%

*= Percentage Share of Total Grocers **= Includes stores such as M&S, Boots, Spar, Centra, Greengrocers, Butchers And Cross Border shops Source: Worldpanel FMCG

4|Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie

News New regulations on alcohol sales introduced THE Government has signed in new regulations that ban loyalty card programmes which reward alcohol purchases. The regulations also outlaw short-term price promotions on drink products, and multi-buy promotions that include alcohol. Former Health Minister Simon Harris TD introduced in the regulations last month as part of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act, but extended the deadline to January 11, 2021, to allow businesses time to prepare. "The legislation prevents supermarket chains from doing ‘Buy six pizzas and get a free beer’," JP Kennedy, Commercial Director, Retail Excellence, told Retail News. He said that having consulted with independent off-licences such as Molloy’s and O’Brien’s, "the three day, short-term, ban on promotions wasn’t a major issue for most of our members, but bulk discount promotions do trigger additional sales volumes.” Loyalty cards are commonplace in retail chains, but they are not a significant part of business around alcohol sales, according to some retailers. “Our members find them an effective way of communication and letting consumers know what is available,” said Kennedy. “But in terms of driving business, wine is probably a face-to-face transaction. Supermarkets use loyalty cards more for understanding what the customers are buying. Talking to our members, it’s more about generating information and communication than revenue.” SuperValu welcomed these latest additions to the Alcohol Act: “As a community retailer, SuperValu understands the role it has to play in society with regard to the responsible sale and promotion of alcohol and is a member of the Responsible Retailers of Alcohol in Ireland (RRAI). We adhere to all

legislation and will fully comply with the Act.” Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland, the representative group for drinks manufacturers and suppliers in Ireland, concurred: “Overall, we support measures to tackle alcohol misuse that are proportionate, effective and evidencebased. This includes alcohol sold at a discount. The drinks industry is committed to tackling alcohol misuse and underage drinking and has demonstrated significant leadership over the years in helping to achieve this.”

PwC joins forces with FMCG Directors Network PWC has announced its new partnership with one of Ireland's leading industry groups, the FMCG Directors Network, part of the Executive Institute. This joint collaboration aims to provide a peer-to-peer platform for discussion on industry challenges and opportunities, while sharing practical insight for success in this important industry. “Through this important partnership, PwC will bring its Irish and international thought leadership on important industry trends, helping companies in the FMCG industry be fit for a digitally enabled sustainable future,” said Owen McFeely, Director, PwC Retail & Consumer Practice. Conor Morris, Managing Director, The Executive Institute, added: “We are very excited that PwC will be partnering with The Institute on The FMCG Directors Network in 2020. The PwC Retail & Consumer Practice will bring a level of insight and expertise to the series that can only enhance the network member experience throughout the year. We are looking forward to having a very successful partnership.” The partnership with the Executive Institute will include PwC's sponsorship of the FMCG Directors Network key events scheduled throughout 2020.

Pictured launching PwC's new partnership with one of Ireland's leading industry groups, the FMCG Directors Network, part of the Executive Institute, are (l-r): Conor Morris, Managing Director, Executive Institute; Owen McFeely, Director, PwC Retail & Consumer Practice; and Grace McCullen, PwC Retail & Consumer Practice.

Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie|5

News Limerick scoops top prize at Musgrave MarketPlace awards MUSGRAVE MarketPlace Limerick was named ‘Region of the Year’ at the eighth annual Musgrave MarketPlace Region of the Year Awards, which took place recently at Farnham Estate & Spa, Cavan. This year’s event saw 14 award categories in total, with 160 Musgrave Wholesale Partners staff in attendance. The Limerick branch received the top award due to its continued remarkable sales performance, QA audits, mystery shopper scores and employee engagement results over the course of 2019. “This is a tremendous achievement for all of us here at Musgrave MarketPlace Limerick and we are honoured to be recognised as Region of the Year,” said Jim Bourke, General Manager of the Limerick branch. “Our team is committed, hardworking and focused on the common goal of Paul Kerrigan, MarketPlace Director at Musgrave MarketPlace, is pictured driving sales and wholesale excellence. I wish to presenting the Region of the Year Award to Jim Bourke, General Manager, thank each and every one of our team for their Musgrave MarketPlace Limerick, and staff from the Limerick branch, at the dedication and passion in providing a first-class eighth annual Musgrave MarketPlace Region of the Year Awards. customer experience.” • Region of the Year Runner-Up: Ballymun Also speaking about the Region of the Year Awards, Paul • Central Support Colleague of the Year ROI: Ann Quirke Kerrigan, MarketPlace Director at Musgrave MarketPlace, said: • Commercial Colleague of the Year ROI: Colin Noonan “I would like to congratulate Jim and his hardworking team at • Warehouse Operative of the Year ROI: Dario Pocuca Limerick, as well as all our winners across the country on their • Warehouse Operative of the Year NI: Adam Dodds achievements. The Region of the Year awards are a great way • Driver of the Year ROI: Aiden Gennery to celebrate a strong year, as well as the teams and individuals • Driver of the Year NI: Dariusz Kaczmarek that work so hard towards our goal of leading the future of food • Gossip Success Winner: Erkan Aydemir wholesaling and convenience retailing.” • Sales Person of the Year Runners Up: Kenny Dowling, Alan Other awards announced on the night recognised best Doran employee initiatives for improving efficiency in the workplace, • Sales Person of the Year: Jonathan Newman best customer service champion, as voted for by Musgrave • Perfect Attendance ROI: Pawel Pabian MarketPlace customers, and best central support and • Customer Service Winner: Troy Kelly commercial colleagues. • Customer Service Champions: Elaine Kearney, Kieran Doyle, Joe Bosonett, Karen Callaghan, Larry Hawe, Luke The full list of winners on the night included: Davis, Gallina Poskrobko, Kathleen Clark, Lyndsay Lindsay. • Region of the Year Winner: Limerick

Aldi staff to plant 100,000 trees over five years ALDI staff were joined by former Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Patrick O’Donovan TD, in Rockfield, Limerick, recently to plant 16,000 trees to launch Aldi’s commitment to planting 100,000 new trees over the next five years. The initiative is the latest step in Aldi’s Carbon Reduction Pledge, which saw Aldi achieve Carbon Neutral status at the beginning of 2019. The new plantation of native Irish woodland will help to encourage local flora and fauna while aligning with the Government’s aim to plant 22m trees a year until 2040. Aldi Ireland has also increased its minimum rate of pay for 2020 to €12.30 per hour since February 1. Aldi was the first Irish retailer to implement The Living Wage Technical Group’s rate for its employees, reaffirming its position as Ireland’s highest paying supermarket. Aldi Store Assistants now earn up to €14.10 per hour.

Aldi Ireland staff are pictured with former Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Patrick O’Donovan TD, in Rockfield, Limerick, recently to plant 16,000 trees to launch Aldi’s commitment to planting 100,000 new trees over the next five years.

6|Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie

News Golden Bake wins €85,000 advertising award from Love Irish Food GOLDEN Bake has been named the winner of the Love Irish Food Brand Development Award for 2019 and awarded a fully funded €85,000 advertising campaign. The award is run in conjunction with Exterion Media, Owens DDB Advertising, Innovate Solutions, and Designbank MBD. The award win will provide Golden Bake with €75,000 in advertising space, scheduled across Exterion Media’s retail portfolio and retail digital network. The extensive out-of-home campaign will appear nationally for two weeks and includes print production and digital animation. Additionally, Owens DDB Advertising Agency will provide the winner with up to €10,000 creative bursary to create and develop the outdoor advertising campaign. Golden Bake will also receive a €5,000 bespoke product sensory research package from Innovate Solutions. The second award this year went to west Cork company Spice O’Life who receive €17,000 media and promotions support. Golden Bake, based in Coolock, Dublin, employing 70 people, has been producing frozen puff pastry products of the highest quality since its opening in 1987. “Winning the Love Irish Food Brand Development Award has been a huge achievement for the entire team at Golden Bake,” said Robin Jones, CEO of Golden Bake. “It is important for our brand to be aligned with Love Irish Food and the work they do to support and highlight local food brands that are made in Ireland.” Kieran Rumley, Executive Director of Love Irish Food, said: “2019 was a strong year for Love Irish Food and we are proud to have helped all of the Love Irish Food brands increase their

Pictured are (l-r): Kieran Rumley, Executive Director, Love Irish Food; Robin Jones, CEO, Golden Bake; and Antoinette O'Callaghan, Marketing Manager, Exterion Media (Ireland). brand exposure and drive sales. We had the highest level of entries for the award, a reflection of the importance of the award and the benefit to Love Irish Food members, especially during the uncertainty of Brexit. I’m delighted to congratulate Golden Bake on their award win and am looking forward to seeing what the brand will accomplish in 2020.”

Nestlé invests in food-grade recycled plastics NESTLÉ is set to invest up to €1.9 billion to lead the shift from virgin plastics to food-grade recycled plastics and to accelerate the development of innovative sustainable packaging solutions. Building on its 2018 commitment to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, Nestlé will reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third in the same period, whilst working with others to advance the circular economy and endeavor to clean up plastic waste from oceans, lakes and rivers. Most plastics are difficult to recycle for food packaging, leading to a limited supply of food-grade recycled plastics. To create a market, Nestlé is therefore committed to sourcing up to 2m metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and allocating more than €1.4 billion to pay a premium for these materials between now and 2025. Nestlé will seek operational efficiencies to keep this initiative earnings neutral. Packaging innovation, including new materials, refill systems and recycling solutions, is another key challenge on the path towards a waste-free future. In addition to its significant inhouse research through the Nestlé Institute of Packaging Sciences, the company will launch a €232m sustainable packaging venture fund to invest in start-up companies that focus on these areas. “No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” said Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That

is why in addition to minimising plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable. We are taking bold steps to create a wider market for food-grade recycled plastics and boost innovation in the packaging industry. We welcome others to join us on this journey.”

Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestlé.


20 T H



All flavoured cigarettes and cigarettes with flavour capsules will be banned from this date. In effect, this means a ban on menthol cigarettes.

W HAT ’ S HA P P E N IN G N OW ? It is business as usual until the ban comes into effect. Continuing to sell through until the last day will ensure that you do not lose any potential sales.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Speak to your JTI contact, call 01 404 0240 or email customerservices.Ireland@jti.com

“JTI Ireland will support you at every step to manage these changes in your business”


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.

8|Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie

News Centra Dame Street wins Store of the Year award CENTRA Dame Street in Dublin was named Centra Store of the Year at the Centra National Conference, which took place at the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney. Centra Dame Street also won the High Convenience award at the event. Store owners Paul and Ger Thornton received the awards from Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra, Dan Curtin, Centra Sales Director, and JF Michel, Account Director of Three Business, competition sponsors. As part of the competitive process, retail consultant Dr Alan Collins audited Centra stores throughout Ireland, with each participating store Pictured at the Centra National Conference in Killarney where Thornton’s Centra Dame assessed for its range, quality, Street received the award for Store of the Year and the High Convenience Store Award are customer service, hygiene, (l-r): Dan Curtin, Sales Director, Centra; store owner Paul Thornton; JF Michel, 3; store owner service offering and local Ger Thornton; and Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Centra. community involvement. Street on this great achievement”. Store owners Paul and Ger Thornton paid tribute to the Dan Curtin, Sales Director, Centra, commended all Centra team at Centra in Dame Street and acknowledged that their retailers for their contribution to redefining convenience enthusiasm and dedication were determining factors in the shopping: “Centra stores, such as Centra Dame Street, are Dublin store being selected as 2020 Centra Store of the Year perfect examples of independent retailers working hard in and High Convenience Store of the Year. their local communities to ensure their customers have the “It is a great honour to accept these awards on behalf of best experience in their store. They provide choice, value all our hard-working and dedicated staff members at Centra and excellent service within their locality on a daily basis. Dame Street,” they said. “Receiving this recognition would not Congratulations to the team at Centra Dame Street, who have have happened without our team and it is great to see their gone above and beyond to achieve top class standards right efforts rewarded. They are a super team of professionals who across the store.” constantly strive for the best service, healthy convenience offering and value of money to our customers.” The Winners of the Centra Store of the Year Awards are: Commenting on the double award winners, competition • Centra Store of the Year: Thornton’s Centra Dame Street, judge Dr Alan Collins said: “You can sense passion as soon Dublin as you step foot in the door at Centra Dame Street. There’s • High Convenience Store of the Year: Thornton’s Centra something about the store that makes it so special. Perhaps Dame Street, Dublin it is how it is always a delight to engage with owners who are • Convenience Store of the Year: Dunne’s Centra Ardee, Co. passionate about their stores, colleagues, customers and Louth communities, which is in abundance at the Dublin store. It • Neighbourhood Store of the Year: Shanahan’s Centra is the type of store everybody should have and want in their Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary communities. Congratulations to everyone at Centra Dame

Warning for retailers from Rentokil on pest control RENTOKIL, one of Ireland’s leading pest control providers, is alerting retailers to be aware of a recent change in national rules regarding pest control. Permanent toxic baiting, the use of bait and toxic pest control solutions, is no longer permitted unless in specific situations where all other alternatives have been considered by qualified pest control experts. As a result, businesses will need to focus on integrated pest management techniques including non-toxic pest control solutions. “Businesses need to be aware of the new rules regarding toxic and non-toxic pest control solutions,” noted Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager for Rentokil. “With

so many regulations to keep on top of today, businesses often overlook the area of pest control, but it is just as crucial to be aware of as rules relating to privacy or health and safety. Businesses, particularly those in the food and beverage, hospitality, retail, and pharmaceutical sectors, will have to start utilising alternative types of pest control, such as digital solutions.” Rentokil has developed innovative digital pest control solutions which do not involve toxic baiting, including PestConnect, a system of technological devices that detect and capture or humanely kill a variety of pests using traps, bait stations and monitoring units.

Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie|9

News Tesco and ESB announce nationwide roll-out of vehicle charge points TESCO Ireland, in partnership with ESB, has announced the rollout of dual outlet electric vehicle chargers which will be installed at 52 of its store carparks, spanning 18 counties nationwide. The new electric vehicle charging sites will allow Tesco customers to easily charge their EVs conveniently whilst shopping, positively contributing to a cleaner environment. Under this partnership, ESB will supply, install and operate the charge points. The 18-county roll out will commence in early 2020 with completion expected by the autumn. The new ESB chargers will be 22kW dual chargers, providing charging capacity to two vehicles simultaneously. The chargers will be capable of providing up to 145km of driving range in 60 minutes. “At Tesco, we recognise that a growing number of our customers who visit our stores are using electric vehicles,” noted Kari Daniels, CEO, Tesco Ireland. “With all our electricity already coming from renewable sources across our network, we want to support our customers with convenience-based charging. Partnering with ESB installing these charging sites nationwide will help the Government’s Climate Action Plan and our aim as a business to become a zero-carbon retailer by 2050.”

To Another Great Deal! Internationally unrivalled. Uniquely professional. ProWein 2020.

THE WORLD’S NO.1 Pictured are (l-r): Marguerite Sayers, Director of Customer Solutions, ESB Ireland, and Kari Daniels, CEO, Tesco Ireland, at Tesco Liffey Valley, one of the 52 sites across the country to provide electric vehicle charging on the Tesco store network. Marguerite Sayers, Director of Customer Solutions, ESB Ireland, said: “ESB is proud to work with Tesco Ireland in delivering this charging infrastructure for its customers. The electrification of transport is a key element of our Brighter Future Strategy and our partnership with Tesco Ireland reaffirms our commitment to this. Since 2010, we have rolled out a nationwide public EV charging network, with plans to launch our first high-powered charging hubs in 2020, with support from the Irish Government’s Climate Action Fund. The addition of these chargers at Tesco stores ensures more customers will have a reliable, accessible network for the benefit of all users.”

15-17 March 2020 International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits Düsseldorf, Germany www.prowein.com

pwe2002_Anz_Besucher_104x301+3_IE.indd 1

German-Irish Chamber of Industry and Commerce 5 Fitzwilliam Street Upper _ Dublin 2 _ Ireland Tel. +353 (1)64 24 300 mary.levey@german-irish.ie


13.01.20 08:45

10|Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie

Industry News Spar supports Daily Mile initiative AS part of Spar’s partnership as Official Retail Partner of Athletics Ireland, they will support a number of different Athletics Ireland initiatives including the Daily Mile. A primary school programme which sees children run or jog at their own pace for 15 minutes every day, making them fitter, healthier, and more able to concentrate in the classroom, The Daily Mile was launched by Athletics Ireland in 2018. The initiative is fast approaching the magic number of 1,000 primary schools signed-up, equating to more than 180,000 students engaged with the programme daily across 26 counties. Spar have teamed up with Irish international athlete Rhasidat Adeleke (pictured) as a Spar ambassador for The Daily Mile. Rhasidat will encourage teachers and students around the country to participate in The Daily Mile. For more information on The Daily Mile, log onto https://thedailymile.ie/.

Aldi revamps Ballincollig store ALDI’S ‘Project Fresh’ store on Main Street, Ballincollig, has reopened its doors following an extensive renovation project which has seen the store completely refurbished as part of Aldi’s €160m investment in its Irish store network. Featuring the new layout, the Ballincollig store offers a wide selection of fresh food at the front of the store, hi-spec fixtures and fittings and new signage that provides a more efficient and hasslefree shopping experience. The car-park has been extended to include 20 bicycling spaces and 14 additional car parking spaces, making a total of 103 spaces available for customers. The store will be powered by 100% green electricity. Aldi has invested heavily in improving its energy management systems and its entire store network is now powered by 100% wind generated energy.

Fyffes fitness initiative wins European marketing award THE efforts being made by Fyffes to help combat childhood obesity through its fitness-based Fit Squad initiative were recognised at the IMC European Awards for Integrated Marketing Communications, held in Brussels recently. The Irish-based fruit importer was honoured with the Silver Award in the ‘Small budget campaign’ category by a panel of almost 40 leading industry professionals across Europe. Developed by Titan Experience, in conjunction with Irish health and fitness expert Tom Dalton, the main purpose of Fit Squad is to demonstrate to young people in schools throughout the country how they can increase their physical activity. Since its inception last year, Fyffes’ fitness initiative has visited some 145 schools and seen over 14,000 children participate in 290 interactive sessions across 29 counties throughout Ireland, north and south.

Christmas FM raises €412,021 for Barretstown CHRISTMAS FM, the popular radio station generously sponsored by Cadbury, Coca-Cola and An Post, raised €412,021 for Barretstown, its chosen charity for 2019. The money raised allows Barretstown to ‘press play’ on over 1,400 days of life changing programmes for seriously ill children. The 2019 fundraising figure brings to over €2.25m the total amount of funds the radio station has raised for a range of charities since its inception in 2008. Pictured are Daragh O'Sullivan, Paul Shepherd and Walter Hegarty, co-founders of Christmas FM, with Ria Rianti, Brand Manager - Chocolate, Cadbury, and Garvan Rigby, co-founder, Christmas FM.

Lidl Ireland to remove cartoon characters from cereal packaging LIDL will stop displaying cartoon characters on its own-brand cereal ranges by spring 2020, to help parents tackle pester power in the supermarket aisles. “Promoting and providing healthier food options for our customers is something we are passionate about at Lidl Ireland and we are proud to be leading the way in the Irish retail market with our significant commitments,” noted Ciara Sheehan, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Lidl Ireland. “We want to help parents across Ireland make healthy and informed choices about the food they buy for their children. This latest move underpins our commitment to helping customers lead healthier lives.” The removal of cartoon characters from all own-brand cereals builds on Lidl’s existing work, which has seen the supermarket commit to reducing the sugar content in own brand products by 20% by the end of this year.

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Industry News Aldi and the IRFU announce ‘fresh’ four-year deal ALDI Ireland has extended its partnership with the Irish Rugby Football Union in a new four-year deal, which sees Aldi continue as the IRFU’s Official Fresh Food Partner until 2024. The new contract sees Aldi extend its commitment to the Aldi Play Rugby programme, a national initiative for primary school children, and the return of the Aldi Play Rugby Sticker Competition. “Our long-term partnership with the IRFU has been a huge success for everyone involved. Aldi Play Rugby has made a massive impact in schools across the country, encouraging thousands of children to get active and lead a healthier lifestyle,” said Giles Hurley, CEO for Aldi UK & Ireland. “Working hand in hand with the IRFU, we look forward to making the programme available to even more children over the next four years, as well as adding to the €1.2m investment in primary schools during this time.” Pictured are John Curtin, Group Buying Director for Aldi Ireland, with Nicholas Comyn, President of the IRFU.

Musgrave partners with The Happy Pear MUSGRAVE has announced an exclusive partnership agreement across the island of Ireland with The Happy Pear, the leading vegetarian and vegan food brand in the country. Under the terms of the agreement, Musgrave will have exclusive rights to the production, distribution and marketing of all Happy Pear retail products – i.e. packaged products sold in nationwide retail channels. The agreement also includes a framework for both companies to co-operate in developing and activating international markets for Happy Pear retail products. “The Happy Pear is an excellent strategic fit for Musgrave and will strengthen our existing vegetarian and vegan offer to the market,” noted Noel Keeley, Musgrave CEO. Dave and Steve Flynn of The Happy Pear (pictured), said, “Musgrave gives us the scale we need and is a like-minded partner with a team of retailers who believe in helping people to live healthier lives.”

Gala Retail renews Special Olympics Ireland sponsorship GALA Retail has announced its commitment to continue its partnership with Special Olympics Ireland for a further four years. The deal sees Gala invest a six-figure sum in continuing its platinum sponsorship of Special Olympics Ireland for the next four-year cycle of Olympic activities. “Gala retailers, stores and staff members have shown great enthusiasm and support for this partnership and are extremely proud that Gala Retail will be continuing to support Special Olympics Ireland,” said Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail. Pictured at the announcement are (back row, l-r): Gary Desmond, CEO of Gala Retail; Special Olympics Ambassadors Michéal Ó Mhuircheartaigh and Keith Wood; and CEO of Special Olympics Ireland, Matt English; (front row, l-r): Special Olympics athletes Emma Johnstone, Laoise Kenny and Thomas Caulfield, who will all be competing at the upcoming Ireland Winter Games in March.

Lidl Ireland introduces compostable potato bag LIDL Ireland, together with supplier Meade Potato Company, has announced the introduction of its 100% compostable form fill potato bag. Meade’s 2kg White Potatoes are packed in a 100% Seedling certified compostable bag that uses FSC certified sustainably-sourced paper, strengthened with starch and printed with water-based ink. The window of the bag is made with corn-starch based netting. This innovative solution has eliminated all conventional plastic from the packaging, making it 100% compostable and suitable for disposal in all consumers’ brown bins for industrial composting. In addition to this, the new bag uses 34% less paper than traditional paper bagging machines. Pictured are Ciara Sheehan, CSR Manager, Lidl Ireland, and Philip Meade Jr, Commercial Manager, Meade Potato Company.

Fisherman’s Friend sponsors Run A Muck 2020 FISHERMAN’S Friend has been announced as the title sponsor of Run A Muck, one of Ireland’s largest and most popular obstacle mud run challenges, with a partnership that will include naming rights, branding and sampling opportunities at the 2020 event. The mud run, which returns to Coolcarrigan Estate in Kildare for 2020, will be known as Run A Muck with Fisherman’s Friend, and it’s anticipated that over 5,000 mud run enthusiasts will attend this year’s event. An integrated campaign including PR, radio, sampling and a brand association with TV presenter, Deric Ó h'Artagáin, is planned to amplify Fisherman’s Friend’s sponsorship of Run A Muck 2020.

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Industry News Repak and Panda raise €20,000 for Focus Ireland ENVIRONMENTAL not-for-profit organisation, Repak, and leading waste recovery operator, Panda, have raised €20,000 in aid of Focus Ireland, through a joint plastic recycling initiative that was supported by Dublin city businesses. The initiative launched in June 2019 and encouraged commercial businesses across Dublin city to collect their plastic recyclables in specially commissioned recycling bags, which were provided free of charge and collected by Panda staff daily. A significant number of businesses got involved over the sixmonth duration of the initiative, filling a total of over 2,300 bags with seven tonnes of plastic materials. Pictured are (l-r): Siofra Kelly, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Focus Ireland; Elaine Phillips, Head of Marketing and Communications at Repak; and Eddie Moloney, Commercial Sales Manager at Panda.

Tesco Ireland sponsors youth camogie TESCO Ireland has signed a two-year deal to become Youth Development sponsor of the Camogie Association until the culmination of the 2021 season. The sponsorship will see Tesco support the All-Ireland Post-Primary Camogie Schools Championships as well as the All-Ireland Minor Camogie Championships. Additionally, the sponsorship will see Tesco support the Association’s Camán to Croker and Hurl With Me development initiatives. Under the partnership, Tesco aims to engage with its network of stores in the communities that it serves and partner with local camogie clubs to activate their initiatives over the lifetime of the agreement. “We look forward to helping to inspire and empower young women and girls as they progress through the game’s life cycle,” said Tesco Ireland CEO, Kari Daniels, pictured (centre) with Kathleen Woods, Camogie Association President, and Sinead McNulty, Camogie Association CEO.

Innocent seek dairy free chefs INNOCENT have teamed up with the darling of dairy free, Roz Purcell (pictured), to seek out the nation’s best dairy free chef. With creativity high on the agenda, innocent and Roz will be on the hunt for delightful dairy free dishes that make the taste buds of innocent fans all over the country do somersaults. Dairy free cooks were asked to submit their tastiest dairy free recipes for a chance to join Roz at Ireland’s first ever Dairy Free Cook-Off on February 29 in Airfield Estate, Dundrum. A panel of judges led by Roz and the team at innocent will select the five finalists and declare the winning dish.

Aldi to open new Kanturk store ALDI confirmed its plans to open a new store in Kanturk, Co. Cork, as part of its €160m Irish store network investment programme. Located on Percival Street near the centre of the town, the new development will see a substantial investment into the local area. Up to 80 jobs will be created during the construction period, with 20 permanent positions to become available upon opening. The 1,315 square metre store will be constructed in Aldi’s award-winning Project Fresh design. The store will be powered by 100% green electricity, with 84 free car parking spaces available for customers. It is expected to open in April 2022.

Kinetic announces Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland Ltd as competition partner KINETIC has announced Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland Ltd as its partner for this year’s TU Dublin, Tallaght Out of Home (OOH) Advertising competition. For the sixth consecutive year, Kinetic Academy, Kinetic’s training arm, has teamed up with TU Dublin, Tallaght (formerly IT Tallaght) and Mindshare to challenge marketing and advertising students to devise an eye-catching and engaging Out of Home campaign. Students from the BA in Advertising and Marketing Communications programme will be briefed to devise an Out of Home campaign for Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland Ltd using technology. To bring the campaign to life, students can utilise a range of different technologies including augmented reality, gaming, mobile and Dynamic Digital Out of Home (DOOH).



Outers must be removed before retail sale. Packs in this outer are Plain Packaging compliant. compliant *Nielsen Extended Scan Track, 69.4% RYO SOM December 3rd 2019. Correct at the time of printing. This advertisement 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.

Toradh caithimh tobac – bás. Smoking kills.

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Retail Ireland: Monthly Update ARNOLD DILLON TAKES UP POSITION AS RETAIL IRELAND DIRECTOR ARNOLD Dillon has been announced as Director of Retail Ireland. Arnold joined Ibec in 2003 as European Affairs Executive in the Brussels office. After working for a period in London as a Policy Adviser with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), he returned to Ibec and worked as Press Officer and then as Ibec's Head of Press and Public Relations in the Dublin Head Office. In recent years, Arnold was to the fore in developing Ibec’s campaigning capability and as Head of Strategic Campaigns, working extensively on Ibec's response to Brexit.


Arnold Dillon, the new Director of Retail Ireland.

THE Retail Ireland Annual Lunch will take place on Friday, May 22, at The Marker Hotel, Dublin. This flagship social event for the sector is a great opportunity for you, your colleagues, clients and guests to come together, discuss key industry issues and network in a relaxed environment. To book your place, please visit our website www.retailireland.ie. For members, seats cost €130 plus VAT or a table of 10 costs €1,200 plus VAT. For non-members, seats cost €160 plus VAT or a table of 10 costs €1,500 plus VAT. Further details, including our guest speaker, will be announced shortly. If you have any queries please contact events@ibec.ie.

Positive economic backdrop to Christmas trading RETAIL Ireland has published its Christmas Retail Monitor 2019, which suggests the Irish household spent an average of €2,800 in shops in December, approximately €940 more than any other month of the year and roughly 3.4% more than Christmas 2018. Consumer spending over the 2019 Christmas season is expected to have topped €4.9 billion, up from €4.75 billion in 2018. Irish retailers are also expected to have continued to grow their share of the online market during the period, with continued significant investment in online platforms. While Brexit concerns weighed on consumer sentiment throughout last year, this did not translate into a fall in sales. With the risk of an imminent ‘no deal’ Brexit gone, Christmas 2019 looks set to deliver a broadly positive performance for the retail sector, although challenges remain in certain categories. Rising disposable incomes, record numbers at work and falling prices have all combined to give consumers greater spending power than ever before. The Christmas period remains crucial for the sector, with many retailers recording over 30% of their annual trade over the six-week period. Black Friday fell nearly a week before the end of November, with some of the bounce carrying through into December.

Key indicators point to retail prices remaining low, due to intense competition between retailers. Other insights from the monitor include: • • •

Consumer goods prices fell by 1.7% in the first 10 months of 2019. Retail sales in the first 10 months of 2019 were up 2.8% in value terms, with volume up 5%. Overall employment in the sector grew by 45,000 in the year to the end of September 2019. The total number employed is now in excess of 2.3 million. There are now more people at work than at any time in the history of the State. Central Bank statistics show that total e-commerce spend was likely to exceed €21 billion in 2019. This would represent an increase of over 100% since 2015, highlighting the increasing number of Irish consumers shopping online. Growth in the online sales channel is running at six times that of traditional bricks and mortar outlets.

Tel: 01-6051558 www.retailireland.ie 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 www.retailireland.ie.


100% Dependable Support


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Retail News Interview

Stonehouse celebrates 20th birthday The year 2000 saw the merger of two of Ireland’s foremost independent cash and carry groups, AND Keencost and National Wholesale Grocers Alliance, to form Stonehouse. Stonehouse CEO Tom Shipsey looks back over the last two decades in the Irish wholesale business and predicts that the coming years will bring even greater change. WHILE it was in the year 2000 that two of Ireland’s best-known independent wholesale groups, National Wholesale Grocers Alliance (NWGA) and AND Keencost, merged to form Stonehouse, the seeds for that alliance were sewn two decades before that, according to Tom Shipsey, the CEO who has steered Stonehouse through the intervening years to the point where it is about to celebrate 20 years in operation. Both AND Keencost and NWGA had been “doing the exact same thing and fighting for the same patch of turf” up to that point, the CEO admits. Tom was fortunate to have worked with both parties, so when they finally agreed to join forces, he brought a level of trust and calmness to proceedings. Getting the balance right between the two former rivals was a challenge, he admits: “We had four members from Keencost and four from National Wholesale on the board. We even set a rule that you couldn’t mention either Keencost or National Wholesale for the first two or three years, unless it was said in a positive manner, because we didn’t want people looking back with rose-tinted glasses. But we were fortunate to have people on both sides who really knew the time was right, and they were willing to make it happen for the betterment of all members.” The Stonehouse logo, featuring a

Martello tower, was an important part of the new company: “The Martello towers were designed as lookouts around the coast, mostly looking for foreign invaders. Around that time, we had Tesco getting stronger and the discounters coming into Ireland, so we felt it was appropriate that these cash and carries all over Ireland needed to look out for each other. There was and still is, thankfully, a huge need for a unified grouping when you have such a small part of the market.” The most immediate advantage the creation of Stonehouse gave its members was in terms of increased buying power, but the CEO is quick to stress that “it also gave suppliers the confidence that this was a group that had a future and they were willing to support us. It gave us better buying power and probably cost suppliers money but I think they also believed that we were doing the right thing. I have always found that when it comes to suppliers, if they can see what you are doing and why you are doing it, they will support you. Even though we are a small entity, I have always felt we boxed way above our weight because of our relationship with suppliers.” Flexibility & resilience When Stonehouse formed 20 years ago, it had 12-13 former Keencost cash and

carries and more than 30 mostly smaller depots that had been part of NWGA. Today, Stonehouse has 22 members with 27 cash and carry depots. “We are probably where I thought we would be at in terms of numbers by 2020, but it is a different set of members,” Tom confesses. “I thought some of the smaller members might not survive but they are the ones who are still there, and some of the bigger members have either closed their doors or been bought out by BWG or Musgraves. That shows the power and resilience of small family businesses.” The CEO believes that the primary reason why most of these smaller family businesses survived, while other bigger companies didn’t, is primarily down to prudent business practices: “None of the smaller, family Stonehouse members had over extended themselves in either personal or business debt. They weren’t the people buying apartments in Poland or Croatia. A lot of them are second, third or fourth generations of the same family running the business and they understood the value of money and weren’t going to run away with themselves. That certainly helped us through the batten-down-the-hatches time.” Of course, the independent wholesale sector wasn’t immune to the overall economic recession: “Our

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Retail News Interview members had to cut costs, sometimes by reducing staff numbers, or by becoming even more efficient. But sometimes smaller businesses are the ones who can rise to the challenge. I think that is how Stonehouse has been able to survive not just that serious depression but also the growth of the

The relevance of traditional grocery for us today is smaller compared to what it was. Our reliance on peas and beans, jams and marmalades, has disappeared. I remember buying containers of those type of products, but we are not selling them to any scale anymore. We are now in a different product category.

discounters and the push by the multiples evident through the year but most pronounced at every Christmas, Easter and Bank Holiday. We have been able to weather that storm. But we have also had to change.” The rise of foodservice The biggest change in the way Stonehouse members operate has been the rise of foodservice as a crucial element of their sales mix. “We have become far more foodservice oriented,” Tom admits. “The relevance of traditional grocery for us today is smaller compared to what it was. Our reliance on peas and beans, jams and marmalades, has disappeared. I remember buying containers of those type of products, but we are not selling them to any scale anymore. We are now in a different product category. “Our retail element has changed and is now far more about convenience and fresh. It has become all about deli, fresh food, coffee. The growth of Costcutter and Gala in that 20 years has been phenomenal. We are far more educated into the needs and demands of progressive retailers than we were in those early years. Our other business, selling to pubs and restaurants, has gone through the roof.” One area of growth, and a fairly new category for Stonehouse, is frozen food for the foodservice and retail trade. Pioneers in the area of frozen foodservice include M&P O’Sullivan and Dublin Food Sales, according

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Retail News Interview A Concerned Citizen

to the CEO, but other members are now starting to enter the category. Stonehouse members have started with the “low hanging fruit”, he laughs, the most reliable and popular frozen foods, including chips, burgers, chicken and prawns. “The area of frozen is relatively new for us,” Tom reveals. “We had two or three members who dabbled in frozen five or 10 years ago; now, we have two or three very serious frozen foodservice operators and another eight or nine who are entering that category.” That means a big investment in frozen distribution. “A lot of our members have started to invest,” Tom stresses. “They have maybe put a frozen 40-foot container in the back yard, giving them 12 pallet spaces.”. The bigger members have a dedicated frozen unit within the cash & carry and a fleet of multi-temp vehicles to service the market. It also meant finding new suppliers, “explaining who we are and starting

all over again,” he maintains. “People around the country will know our members but we’ve never pushed the Stonehouse name because our ethos is all about being local, whether it be Barry’s or Leydens etc. But now we are explaining to these new suppliers that we are also Stonehouse and we have group buying power. That has been a new venture for us and it’s quite exciting, because to survive we need to have a presence in both retail and foodservice, with a service to match. While Stonehouse’s biggest retail members, Gala and the Barry Group, remain successful in the retail sphere, via the Gala and Costcutter symbols and the Carry Out off licence chain, the smaller members have had to diversify out of grocery, primarily into foodservice. “The way forward for some members is in foodservice, incorporating frozen,” Tom maintains, “because it is an area where the market is a little more diverse and a lot of the big competitors can’t deliver the type of service that we can.

OUTSIDE Stonehouse, Tom Shipsey is very active, having spent a decade on the board of Concern and just taken up a similar position on the board of Repak. “I’ve always had an interest in development in Africa, because I worked in Africa during my college days and it gave me a lifetime of feeling that it is important that we help. So Concern has been a big part of my life for the last 10 years; I’ve been fortunate enough to visit probably the 20 poorest countries in the world in very difficult times, whether it is earthquakes, war, Ebola or famine. I’ve been in tents and shelters where there has been bombing overhead. But it has given me a different perspective on life. I set the governance rules in Concern and part of that was my own exit, because all entities need to move-on boards to ensure good governance, so I’ve ended that chapter and I’m starting a new chapter with Repak. “The next five years will be all about sustainability and climate,” he continues. “It is something I am interested in and passionate about and I am looking forward to learning about it and to contributing in Repak. I also believe that on behalf of small wholesalers and small family businesses, it will be important to have a voice at the table because we are going to have to change how we do things if we want to have an environment that our kids and grandkids want to live in. And that is going to come with some pain. It’s going to cost, but to be part of the decision-making process on that is very exciting.”

They can all be, for example, in Kenmare in the summer months, but not a lot of them want to be in Kenmare every day in January and February, and not many can provide the almost-daily service that Stonehouse offers. Our niche is that our members are nimble enough and flexible enough to offer a service that is almost daily countrywide; that’s probably why we are still successful.” He highlights the deep discounting of the multiples, such as five Easter eggs for €5 or the massive alcohol promotions in the run-up to Christmas, as huge challenges for the independent

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Retail News Interview wholesale and retail sector, who just cannot compete with these offers, no matter their buying power. “Seasonal was always very strong in both Keencost and National Wholesale, and in the early years of Stonehouse,” he explains. “But we have had to change from seasonal because we have found it almost impossible to compete with the loss leaders in the multiples.” He expresses his delight that the Northern Ireland Executive is back up and running in Stormont, and is hopeful that the entire island, north and south, can implement Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol, which would effectively prohibit retailers from using alcohol as a loss leader to entice customers into their shops: “Hopefully, the Government can now impose a little sanity back on the alcohol business now. When beer is cheaper than water, you have to start asking questions.”

still there. So Homestead has survived all these years but it now occupies a different place in the market.” Stonehouse have developed another brand in recent years, the White Hat foodservice range, which has proved hugely popular. “White Hat has been particularly successful in getting us into state contracts,” Tom reveals. “We have a very strong presence in the HSE and White Hat has enabled us to really target that business.”

Homestead: still bringing value home The Irish consumer has changed too during Stonehouse’s lifespan, particularly after the global recession. The once brand loyal consumer has mostly disappeared, replaced by one who seeks value and fairness, is aware of the environment and isn’t afraid to shop around to get it. Did this benefit Homestead, the own brand that has been part of Irish life since 1983, when it was initially launched by National Wholesale? “When Homestead launched, there was almost no other own labels. Then Yellow Pack came along and Dunnes launched theirs. But Homestead was never in that category; Homestead was always a premium brand but at a slightly cheaper price than the branded equivalent. So we went to Jacob’s to produce our fig rolls; we went to Odlum’s to produce our flour; we went to Barry’s to do our tea and Batchelors to produce our peas and beans. We didn’t have to do the manufacturer’s marketing on it, so we were able to take a smaller margin. “But what happened as own label has grown and most of the multiples and discounters have entered that field, is that the quality of own label has risen over the years. Homestead is still a premium product but we cannot command a premium price due to the other own labels out there. So why is Homestead surviving? It’s probably surviving because we are still giving retailers a brand they have confidence in with substantial margins. We may be no cheaper than Jacob’s biscuits, for example, but the retailer can get a substantial margin on Homestead biscuits and they know the quality is

The Brexit effect The other spectre on the horizon, forever on the edge of view, is Brexit. The Stonehouse CEO is bullish about the prospect, however. “As much as you can be Brexit ready, we are,” he says. “For our smaller members, a lot of them aren’t importing directly from Britain but are buying from a third party. For our bigger members, it is an issue, but they have set up the mandatory regulatory licences etc. they need to do to import goods from Britain and all of them are looking at other sources outside the UK for products. They are as ready as they will ever be, but whatever type of Brexit we get will still have an effect on the market here.” What about the assertion that some Irish suppliers could actually gain business from Brexit, by supplying products to Irish wholesalers and retailers that were traditionally imported from Britain? While not averse to the idea, he isn’t overly optimistic: “Sadly, there aren’t as many Irish suppliers out there as we’d like. I’d love to be buying more Irish produce than I can. But there will be opportunities, possibly, for Irish suppliers to step up. However, I feel that for a lot of categories, we will be supplied by European rather than British companies; that is happening already with a lot of our bigger suppliers, who are changing factories from the UK to continental Europe.” Packaging and labelling issues start to become a concern when it comes to goods produced in countries like France or Germany in terms of language – where it could prove prohibitively costly

to produce a pack in English just for the Irish market. Multilingual packaging, however, could solve that problem. “Brexit has put everybody on the back-foot,” Tom notes. “Import levies are placed not on product but on components, so you could have effectively the same chocolate bar range with three or four different prices, depending on whether it has nuts, sugar, caramel etc, so it becomes extremely complex.”

When beer is cheaper than water, you have to start asking questions.

The Irish retail and wholesale market has weathered a number of storms in the past, however, and the Stonehouse CEO feels that it will deal with Brexit too, whatever form it takes. “We are resilient,” he avows. “We find ways. We have managed to cope with every piece of legislation that has come at us, from cigarettes to sugar taxes, and I am under no illusion that we won’t have a problem in fixing whatever needs to be fixed with this one.” Indeed, Tom is reasonably confident about the future for the Irish wholesale sector and Stonehouse in particular. “In 20 years’ time, I am pretty sure that there won’t be the same number of Stonehouse members,” he admits. “A number of our members have indicated that there will not be a next generation of their family taking over the business, while with others, the next generation already have their feet firmly under the desk. The business will change, however, and I believe the next five years will see even more change than the last 20. But we are a ‘people business’; we are very close to our suppliers and our customers and pride ourselves on those relationships. I am confident that Stonehouse will continue to succeed and a big part of that is because of our ethos, both of our members and of Stonehouse central office, that close relationships with suppliers and customers are vital.”

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Coca-Cola launches Sleek Can

The most significant evolution of Coca-Cola’s can offering for 70 years, the new Sleek Can will be introduced across all Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite variants. COCA-COLA Ireland, and its bottling partner Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland, have announced plans to launch a new Sleek Can in response to consumer needs for a more premium pack. The taller, more stylish, 330ml can is being introduced to the market in February, across all Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta variants. The Sleek Can launch marks the most significant change in Coca-Cola’s can offering for more than 70 years and is a first for the soft drink industry in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The island of Ireland will be among the first markets in Europe to launch the new can.

Premium pack format When considering new pack innovations, Coca-Cola’s market research confirmed that consumers are seeking more premium pack formats (Source: Qualitative Research - Focus Groups in January 2017) and the Sleek Can provoked an immediate positive reaction when tested. The shape was considered ‘sleek’ and ‘stylish’ and was found to be easy to carry and nice to hold. The new Sleek Can will also contribute to Coca-Cola’s journey towards a World Without Waste, by enabling the introduction of more sustainable secondary packaging for multipack cans. Keel Clip, an innovative,

minimalist paperboard packaging solution for four, six and eight pack Sleek Cans, will be introduced in April 2020. A cardboard wrap for 10 to 24 packs Sleek Cans will also be rolled out later in the year. These design changes will eliminate 620 tonnes of shrink plastic from circulation annually. A significant milestone “The launch of the Sleek Can marks a significant milestone in the evolution of our pack offering,” said Miles Karemacher, General Manager, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. “It also furthers our journey towards a World Without Waste by

The new Sleek Can, a taller, more stylish, 330ml can, is being introduced to the market in February, across all Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta variants in Feburary.

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Keel Clip, an innovative, minimalist paperboard packaging solution for four, six and eight pack Sleek Cans, will be introduced in April 2020.

enabling the transition to cardboard solutions for our multipack cans. We’re very proud to report that this move alone will eliminate 620 tonnes of shrink film plastic annually. We look forward to working with our retail partners to bring this campaign to life in stores across the island.” Petre Sandru, Country Manager, Coca-Cola Ireland, said, “Cans are one of the preferred packaging types across our portfolio, and we want to make that experience even more special with the introduction of the Sleek Can. The new taller can is stylish, sophisticated and contemporary. It received an overwhelmingly positive reaction when tested with shoppers. “We have an exciting campaign planned for March that will ignite love for the brand by tapping into the nostalgia of Coca-Cola and its evolution throughout the ages.”

Evolution of can The introduction of Coca-Cola’s Sleek Cans to Ireland and Northern Ireland will be supported with a significant marketing investment, to celebrate the ‘Evolution of Can’. The advertising campaign will reinforce the message that the new Sleek Can offers the ‘same great taste of Coke’ in a ‘taller, sleeker and better looking’ package, while celebrating the transformation of the soft drink can throughout the decades. Marketing will include out-of-home advertising, PR, social and influencer activity, to drive talk-ability and excitement around the pack changes. Soft drinks in cans account for €149m in value across the island of Ireland (Source: Nielsen IOI Value MAT July 2019). Cans also drive the growth of the soft drink category, delivering 39% of total value (Source: Ibid). As the primary supplier of cans in the market, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland accounts for 57% of that value (Source: Ibid). For more information, visit www.Coca-Cola.ie | https://ie.coca-colahellenic.com/

See those energy bills fall Energia’s Cash for Kilowatts scheme offers you a grant of up to 30% on an energy efficiency upgrade for your business. The grant is based on the annual kWh savings achieved from the upgrade and you’ll see the savings on your bills for years to come. To learn more see energia.ie/business

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Centra records new sales milestone Centra announced record sales of €1.7 billion in 2019, along with plans to open 20 new stores in 2020. CENTRA cemented its status as market leader in the Irish convenience sector, recording sales of €1.7 billion in 2019, a 4% year-on-year increase on 2018. Building on this strong commercial performance, Ireland’s leading convenience retailer plans to open 20 new stores this year, adding over 480 jobs to the Centra network in 2020. Centra retailers have also committed to further invest in revamping stores as part of an investment of €27m. Centra’s continued success stems from its 2016 brand repositioning to redefine the traditional convenience store experience with a healthier, more innovative offering across its network. The increase in sales has been largely attributed to increased demand for its innovative healthy food-to-go offering, capitalising on emerging consumer trends by offering new vegan, vegetarian and prepared evening meals, as well as increased footfall to the newly designed internationally award-winning store format. Inspired by Centra Centra’s ‘Inspired By’ gourmet range was recognised as the number one convenience range at the prestigious Great Taste and Blas na hÉireann awards this year. The ‘Inspired By’ Centra premium range saw sales spike by double digits during the course of the year, helping the brand to attract more customers to do top-up shopping and purchase items for dinner or entertaining at home. The overall hot food-to-go category fared particularly well for Centra in 2019, increasing by 13%. Centra has continued to invest in new product development. Frank and Honest coffee, which has established itself as the number one coffee brand

Pictured at Centra's annual conference at the Great Southern Hotel, Killarney, Co. Kerry, are Bernard Lynch, Centra Council Chair; Dan Curtin, Centra Sales Director; and Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Centra. in Ireland, having seen sales increase by 19% in 2019. Centra rolled out a number of new brands, including Moo’d, an in-store ice cream kiosk. Customers voted with their feet leading to over three million Moo’d cones sold during the course of the year. Transforming the convenience store experience Speaking at Centra’s annual conference at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, Centra, said: “Centra continued to go from strength to strength in 2019, benefiting from the brand repositioning a number of years ago to transform the convenience store experience. “People increasingly view Centra as a destination shop, so we’re seeing increased footfall as groups of consumers eat together in-store or do top-up shops for dinner. We continue

to surpass shoppers’ expectations by rolling out new innovative and healthy ranges and working hard to ensure our customers have a great experience in our stores. “We could not deliver any of this without our retailers, who are some of the best entrepreneurs in Ireland. They have embraced our new ideas and also shared their own innovative solutions with us to spread across the network. As a result, Centra continues to lead in the convenience market.” With a total of 473 stores, Centra employs almost 11,000 people and serves over three million customers per week. Centra invests more than €240m in local communities per annum, which is the equivalent of €4.5m per week, through a combination of payments to local suppliers, acquisition of local business services, wages, charitable donations and local sponsorships.

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Easter Treats

Easter Eggstravaganza

Easter means a huge surge in confectionery sales, with Irish shoppers spending €44m on Easter eggs last year.

IT’S well known that Irish people have a sweet tooth, particularly when it comes to chocolate. In fact, Irish consumers spent a total of €44m on Easter eggs leading up to Easter Sunday in 2019, according to figures from Kantar for the 12 weeks to April 21, 2019. Retailers across the country set about promoting Easter eggs early last year, with sweet toothed consumers stocking up on these seasonal treats long before Easter Sunday itself: two weeks before Easter weekend in 2019, more than half of Irish households had stocked up on Easter Eggs, many as part of multi-buy promotions. Cadbury Cadbury has unveiled its Easter offering for 2020, with plenty of returning favourites, as well as some new products that will be sure to get shoppers eggcited for the Easter Bunny to arrive this year. The traditional Cadbury

treats are available in gifting tins, perfect for sharing with family and friends. The 409g Cadbury Creme Egg tin contains eight Cadbury Creme Eggs and one Cadbury Mini Creme Egg Bag (RRP

The 409g Cadbury Creme Egg tin contains eight Cadbury Creme Eggs and one Cadbury Mini Creme Egg Bag. Creme Eggs and Cadbury Mini Eggs are making a comeback; however, this year, Cadbury is introducing something egg-stra special. These egg-shaped

The 319g Mini Egg gifting tin contains 10 Cadbury Mini Eggs treat size bags.

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Easter Treats mature taste in chocolate! Also new for 2020 is a giant Cadbury Dairy Milk Choca-Latte Inventor egg. Voted by the public, this egg is based on the winning Dairy Milk Bar designed by Irish teenager Callum Clogher. Callum, from Roscommon, won the Cadbury Inventor competition, which saw 220,000 chocolate lovers in Ireland and the UK try to create a new Cadbury’s chocolate bar.

versus 14 Weeks to April 1, 2018) and are once again proving a must stock item for retailers as consumers look to trade up and give a premium Easter gift.

Lindt The Lindt Easter Egg range continues to be a key sales driver for retailers at springtime. Lindt Easter Eggs have been growing six times faster than the category since 2016 (Source: Nielsen Scantrack to April 21, 2019, MAT - Easter Period = 17 weeks to April 21, 2019,

The Lindt Gold Bunny is hopping back into stores nationwide this spring.

This Easter, Cadbury are introducing the brand new Cadbury Darkmilk chocolate egg with three Cadbury Darkmilk bars. €10) and The 319g Mini Egg gifting tin contains 10 Cadbury Mini Eggs treat size bags (RRP €10). 2019 saw the introduction of Cadbury Darkmilk, the richest, creamiest chocolate Cadbury has ever made: a brand new type of chocolate made with 40% cocoa solids and smooth and creamy milk. This Easter, Cadbury are introducing the brand new, Cadbury Darkmilk chocolate egg with three Cadbury Darkmilk bars (RRP €13). The perfect gift for someone with a more

New for 2020 is a giant Cadbury Dairy Milk Choca-Latte Inventor egg, based on Callum Clogher’s winning Dairy Milk Bar.

New for 2020 comes the Lindor Easter Egg 140g range, certain to delight shoppers this Easter.

This year, Lindt is bringing more exciting new news to the category. From the relaunch of the magical and endearing Gold Bunny Easter Egg Range to the introduction of the new Lindor Easter Egg 140g range, Lindt continues to delight shoppers with an exquisite array of Easter egg creations to choose from. The Lindt Gold Bunny is hopping back into stores nationwide this spring. Delivering over €800k in sales, the Lindt Gold Bunny is the clear market leader in Easter hollow figures in Ireland (Source: Nielsen Scantrack to April 21, 2019, MAT - Easter Period = 17 weeks to April 21, 2019, versus 14 Weeks to April 1, 2018). Made by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers from the finest Lindt chocolate, wrapped in exquisite gold foil packaging and finished with the iconic red ribbon and ringing bell, the Lindt Gold Bunny is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of your shoppers and their loved ones. This Easter, retailers can expect to see a heavyweight support plan behind the Gold Bunny brand. This year the Make Yours Personal campaign allows customers to choose from four different ribbon messages in-store for their Gold Bunny or go even further and completely personalise their Gold Bunny at various pop-up shop locations across the country in the run-up to Easter. The Lindt Gold Bunny is available in a variety of sizes and formats and is available in all good retailers nationwide.

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Easter Treats

The Lindt Gold Bunny Easter Egg, sure to prove popular with Irish chocolate lovers. Lindt Lindor has strengthened its position as the number one boxed chocolate brand in the Irish market. €1 in every €6 spent on a box of chocolates in Ireland is spent on a Lindor box (Source: Nielsen, Total Scantrack ROI + Discounters Data to December 29, 2019), proving that Lindt Lindor continues to be a must stock for retailers in 2020. With a wide range of exciting and delectable flavours as well as formats, Lindt Lindor is the perfect chocolate gift for any occasion. From the classic Lindor Milk recipe to the new Mint Edition, the Lindor Cornet range is sure to excite and engage your customers. Supported by a strong national campaign, Lindt Lindor TV advertising will return to screens this spring with increased support and activity both in and out of store. Nestlé Confectionery Nestlé Confectionery’s Easter 2020 range will focus on offering consumers its big brands such as KitKat, Aero, Quality Street and Smarties in bestselling formats, and features mini eggs, large eggs, giant eggs and premium eggs. What’s more, all of the Easter range from Nestlé Confectionery contains no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. In 2020, the Easter season will be shorter than in 2019, and therefore retailers need an early start to capitalise on mini eggs sales, which are popular throughout the full season and attract

New KitKat Bunnies are hopping into stores this Easter. repeat purchases right up until Easter Sunday. 2020 will see family favourites Smarties mini eggs and Milkybar mini eggs once again at the heart of the range, and new for 2020, combining the ultimate chocolate indulgence with the lightness of Aero, there is the newly launched bag of Aero milk chocolate mini eggs. Other new additions hopping into the range are the KitKat Bunnies. With an original take on the classic KitKat flavours, the bunnies have a rich chocolatey centre filled with crispy wafer pieces, all encased in a smooth milk chocolate shell. They are vegetarian and gluten free, and come in a variety of different formats, including singles, a mini bunny sharing bag, multipacks and large and giant eggs. Smarties also launches a new range of cute milk chocolate bunnies, each filled with mini Smarties inside and these colourful additions to the range come in many different sizes and formats, from singles right through to multipack and gift box solutions. Big, well-known brands are also key when it comes to stocking large eggs as shoppers are looking for the recipient’s favourite. Nestlé’s extended large egg range for 2020 gives shoppers a greater choice of trusted, quality brands in a popular size format, ideal for sharing

with friends and family and at an accessible price point. Making a welcome return this year are Nestlé's range of Incredible eggs, each containing a chocolate egg with something special included in the shell. From flagship brand KitKat is the KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge Incredible egg, which contains a caramel flavour chocolate egg with soft salted caramel fudge pieces in the shell, as well as three full-size bars of KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge. The Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Incredible egg is a milk chocolate egg with crunchy biscuit and juicy raisin pieces in the shell, plus three full-size bars of Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit. The Smarties Mini Eggs Incredible egg is a milk chocolate egg with crunchy mini Smarties in the shell plus a Smarties mini eggs sharing bag.

The Smarties Egg Hunt packs will prove a winner with shoppers again this year.

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Easter Treats larger Kinder Surprise 220g eggs will receive a Marvel Avengers update. The Kinder Maxi Surprise 150g, the number three kids seasonal Easter egg in Ireland (Source: Nielsen Scantrack, Seasonal Confectionery, Sales, 13 weeks to Easter 2019, 21.04.19), will also receive an update, with the addition of two new licences - Frozen 2 and Spiderman. Thorntons will also be adding two new products to its range. Sitting alongside its bunny Easter egg designs, the new Dinosaur and Unicorn eggs (151g) will feature fun and eye-catching designs to bring the popular creatures to life. In adult eggs, Thorntons will also be revamping the The Quality Street giant egg is sure to prove design of three of its smaller hugely popular this Easter. Easter eggs, featuring an Premium eggs also feature more updated packaging design that reflects indulgent offerings such as the After Thorntons’ established heritage in Eight premium egg, which features a premium chocolate craftsmanship. large mint flavoured dark chocolate egg, A new Mint egg (197g) will now sit complete with a 300g box of everyone’s alongside the returning Classic (207g) favourite after dinner mints. and Toffee, Fudge & Caramel (203g) The wider Nestlé range includes eggs. a giant egg range with offerings from Thorntons is also expanding its Smarties, Aero, KitKat, Yorkie and range of premium gift eggs, perfect for Quality Street, and kids’ added value shoppers to give as a treat to someone packs from Smarties and Milkybar. Egg special. With an improved luxury look hunts continue to be a growing trend and feel to boost appeal in store, the and both the Smarties and Milkybar Egg Hunt packs will also prove popular with shoppers again this year. Ferrero Ferrero is launching new seasonal lines to complement its strong core range. “We expect to see shoppers planning in advance and being more considered in their purchasing decisions for Mother’s Day and Easter,” explains Levi Boorer, Customer Development Director at Ferrero. “We would, therefore, encourage retailers to stock up early to make sure they meet the demand for those shoppers looking to purchase in advance.” Eggs remain a firm nostalgic favourite. “This year we’ll be bolstering our eggs range with an array of products to appeal to shoppers throughout the Easter period,” Boorer continues. When it comes to kids’ eggs, the Kinder range will be strengthened with the launch of two new Kinder Surprise eggs that include bigger toys and relevant licenses. The new Kinder Surprise 100g will see Justice League and Trolls toys featured, while the

Thorntons new Dinosaur egg features fun and eye-catching designs to bring the popular creatures to life. the Ferrero Collection Egg (240g). Featuring a milk chocolate shell, the egg is complimented with six Ferrero Collection chocolates (Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rondnoir and Raffaello).

The Kinder Maxi Surprise 150g egg sees the addition of two new licences - Frozen 2 and Spiderman. existing Classic Premium Egg (264g) and Continental Premium Egg (256g) will be joined by a new Continental Dark Premium Egg (256g). Ferrero will also introduce a new premium adult option with

The Ferrero Collection Egg has a milk chocolate shell and six Ferrero Collection chocolates (Ferrero Rocher, Ferrero Rondnoir and Raffaello).

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Easter Treats footprint in the self-treat impulse sector with the introduction of a Thorntons Bunny (29g) and Thorntons Chocolate Caramel Egg (36g). “We’d always recommend that retailers focus on the core all-year range first and foremost, as shoppers trust and recognise the well-known brands for their quality,” Boorer continues, highlighting Ferrero’s boxed chocolate range. It’s no surprise that shoppers spend more to show their affection towards loved ones in the lead-up to the spring occasions. 57% of early Easter season (the first 5 weeks) sales come from self treat and seasonal sharing in Ireland. (Source: [Nielsen IE Total Scantrack 12 weeks to Easter 2019 vs 12 weeks to Easter 2018). The Kinder Joy Easter range will undergo a revamp in 2020, which will see 16 different toys launched in what will be the range’s largest selection. The Kinder Joy Easter range will undergo a revamp in 2020, which will see 16 different toys launched in what will be the range’s largest selection. Kinder Joy is valued at €160k, up 18% vs Easter 2018, making it one of the top three selftreat brands in Ireland (Source: Nielsen IE Total Scantrack 12 weeks to Easter 2019 vs 12 weeks to Easter 2018), and the updated range will encourage early seasonal sales. The Kinder novelties range will also expand with the launch of a new Kinder Chocolate Fluffy Leopard toy (73g), that joins the bunny and sheep novelties. Thorntons is also expanding its

The Kinder novelties range will expand with the launch of a new Kinder Chocolate Fluffy Leopard toy (73g).

Marks & Spencer The M&S Easter range is guaranteed to egg-cite. With eggs starting from only €1.50, loveable new characters including Seth the Sloth, and M&S’ iconic Percy and Colin taking centre-stage, there’s a chocolatey sweet treat for everyone. Highlights include the brand-new Easter Sundae eggs – two milk chocolate eggs overflowing with yummy treats and finished with a chocolate “straw”. The Jumbo Chocolate Button from their Christmas collection has had an Easter makeover, topped with mini speckled eggs, and customer favourite, the

Percy Pig Milk Chocolate Egg and Sweets from M&S is bound to be a winner this Easter.

M&S’ Colin the Caterpillar Milk Chocolate Hollow Egg includes a whole bag of Colin the Caterpillar fruit gums! Extremely Chocolatey Biscuit has been transformed into the new extra-thick Extremely Chocolatey Egg! Available in-store from January 28, the full-size Easter Eggs are joined by a host of treat bags and minis, including new Bunny Tin filled with foiled milk chocolate farmyard characters, Fried Egg Chocolate Whips and limited-edition Percy Pig Meets the Easter Bunny sweets.

M&S Fruity Easter Sundae is a hollow milk chocolate egg overflowing with freeze-dried raspberries and jelly beans.

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NOffLA Off Licence Awards

Jus de Vine wins off-licence award Jus de Vine in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin, was named National OffLicence of the Year at the NOffLA Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2020, where NOffLA called on the next Government to prioritise Minimum Unit Pricing. JUS de Vine in Portmarnock, Co. Dublin was named National Off-Licence of the Year 2020 at the annual Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2020, which took place at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns recently. At the event, the National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) called on all political parties to make a commitment to commence Minimum Unit Pricing as a matter of priority following the General Election. Now in their 24th year, the Awards recognise and showcase excellence in the independent off-licence sector, which represents 315 specialist businesses throughout the country. “The annual NOffLA Awards highlight the expertise of the independent off-licence sector, showcasing the benchmark of personal service in our industry, as well as the top-quality products offered by our highly trained, specialist members,” said NOffLA Chairman, Gary O’Donovan. Minimum Unit Pricing NOffLA members have expressed concerns regarding the scale of deep discounting by supermarkets during the Christmas period, as well the delays in commencing Minimum Unit Pricing more than 14 months since the Public Health (Alcohol) Act became law. “As socially conscious independent retailers, NOffLA welcomed the Public Health (Alcohol) Act in 2018. Despite the passage of more than a year, however, we have seen little action to address the critical issue of deep discounting by supermarkets,” O’Donovan noted. “Our members are concerned by the failure of this Government to commence Minimum Unit Pricing, and the serious health risk this poses to consumers. “In light of this fact, we are calling on all political parties to make a clear commitment in their manifestos to immediately commence Minimum Unit Pricing and honour the spirit of the Public Health (Alcohol) Act by ending reckless alcohol retailing”. The winners The awards, which included 37 finalists, saw Jus de Vine awarded National Off-Licence of the Year 2020; O’Donovans Off-Licence Group win Responsible Retailer of the Year 2020; and Derren Green of Molloys Liquor Store, Ballyfermot, win RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2020. All 37 finalists were awarded certificates of either Merit or Excellence and a Customer Service Award based on their performance. Other awards on the night included:

NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan pictured (left) presenting Tommy Cullen, Paul McKenna and Julie Cullen from Jus de Vine, Portmarnock, with National Off-Licence of the Year 2020 Award. • • • • • • • • • • • • •

The NOffLA Best First Time Entrant 2020 – Carry Out OffLicence “The Reeks”, Killarney The Peroni Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2020 – Shiel’s Londis Off-Licence The El Coto Customer Service Award of the Year 2020: Gibneys Off-Licence The Redbreast Spirit Specialist of the Year 2020: Deveney’s of Dundrum The Guinness Beer Specialist of the Year 2020: McHugh’s Malahide Road The Dona Paula Wine Specialist of the Year 2020: Mitchell & Son CHQ The Hennessy Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2020: Galvins Carry Out Carrigaline The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Connacht/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2020: Dalys Drinks, Boyle, Co. Roscommon The Vina Los Boldos & Finca Flichman Leinster OffLicence of the Year 2020: The Wine Centre, Kilkenny The Bombay Sapphire Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2020: James Redmond & Sons The NOffLA RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2020: Derren Green, Molloys Liquor Store Ballyfermot The NOffLA Responsible Retailer of the Year 2020: O’Donovans Off-Licence Group The NOffLA National Off-Licence of the Year 2020: Jus de Vine

30|Retail News|January / February 2020|www.retailnews.ie


Taking a bite of the foodservice market

Irish consumers spent €8.55 billion on foodservice in 2019, with that figure set to rise again this year, according to the latest Bord Bia report. THE Irish foodservice market continues to grow, with Bord Bia revealing that Irish consumers spent €8.55 billion on out-of-home food & beverage in 2019, up 4.5% on the previous year; €6.32 billion was spent in the Republic of Ireland and €2.23 billion in Northern Ireland. The Bord Bia Irish Foodservice Insights Report shows that everyday foodservice occasions continue to drive growth and are less likely to be affected by changes to consumer sentiment. Foodservice is closely tied to economic growth and tourism. Industry executives commented how the past several years has seen growth unlike any other time in

recent past, and 2019 growth has been “good”, but not as robust as in previous years. Industry observers note that there are some cautionary tones starting to appear as we head into 2020. Many of these relate to Brexit -the uncertainty around sourcing and the impact on tourism, and some of the impact is already being felt on the numbers, as visitors both from the UK and other parts of the world are starting to taper off (and spend fewer nights in the country). The restoration of the special 9% Hospitality VAT back to 13.5% in ROI has also created an additional challenge to an industry that is striving to remain

competitive. The report also states that the industry should expect some maturity and deceleration over the next three years through to 2022, with overall island of Ireland growth forecasted to be 4.2% per year (4.5% in the Republic of Ireland and 3.4% in Northern Ireland). It is important for food and beverage suppliers to the industry to stay close to the needs of today’s consumers and think about how their product can be part of a final solution that meets those needs. Bord Bia’s 2019 report includes detailed feedback from a range of individuals that shared first-

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Foodservice solutions away from the home. These ‘context-driven’ functional foodservice occasions appear resilient to changes in consumer confidence, as consumers display fixed behaviours and rely on foodservice for the fulfilment of basic daily needs. 2. Consumers articulate a different decision-making process and value equation for pleasure-related occasions Consumers tend to be less price sensitive in pleasure-related occasions outside the routine of everyday life. In contexts like ‘date night’, carefree spending becomes a part of how consumers differentiate these experiences to take a break from ‘real life’. Consumers cite a tendency to stick to the same operators for indulgent occasions as they tend to be more reliable and pose less of a risk when it comes to ‘return on investment’.

hand insights into what is important to them when eating out and where they feel the industry could be doing better. Ireland’s foodservice industry is heavily oriented toward the commercial sectors; 91% of all consumer spending is found in venues such as quick service restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and cafés, full service restaurants and pubs. The non-commercial (or institutional sector) represents the other 9% and consists of business sectors such as business feeders, education and healthcare, among others. There remains three tiers of success within foodservice. Overall, Dublin is seen as a market unto itself, with continued strong growth as employers and tourists flock to the city. Secondary urban markets also appear generally healthy, but perhaps not as robust, and these areas are still seeing positive growth in foodservice. Rural areas remain more challenged, and restaurants and pubs in outlying areas are not sharing in the same strong growth as other parts of the country. Northern Ireland’s growth remains slower, but has seen strong urban performance (particularly in Belfast, which continues to see benefits from investment and tourism growth). 35% of consumer spend in the commercial channel is found in Limited Service Restaurants (LSRs), with 12% attributed to Full Service Restaurants (FSRs). Pubs account for

17% of commercial foodservice spend (excluding alcohol). The fastest growing segment in the commercial space is Coffee Shops (up 5.9% in ROI and 5.3% in Northern Ireland). While overall growth is still relatively strong, these figures show a deceleration compared to growth rates from previous years. Macro Consumer Findings 1. Lifestyle-based needs drive a growing consumer reliance on functional foodservice occasions In consumer bulletin boards and ethnographies alike, consumers demonstrated how the logistics of everyday life can determine and undermine meal planning, resulting in an increased need for reliable, convenient meal

3. Consumers are accustomed to using technology to discover foodservice options and place orders online and inside the restaurant Consumers are amenable to the idea of more technology in the front of the house and back of house as long as it doesn’t detract from the experience. At the same time, whether at the office canteen, fine dining or a sandwich bar, consumers note that positive human



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Foodservice interaction provides value as part of dining out. 4. Customer service is a differentiator Service was cited again and again as a differentiating factor. Instances where consumers were most loyal were service-driven operators, where hospitality included reciprocity and respect. Achieving a human connection with the customer can lead to greater loyalty than any item can generate. 5. Little effort to prepare for uncertain times ahead While Brexit was top of mind for all consumers contacted for the Bord Bia report, few were actively making preparations on how it would affect their daily lives, citing a three-year build up with little action. The sentiment among some consumers is that a recession may be coming, but that it was unlikely to be as extreme as the last and they felt unlikely to impact their lifestyle. Others accepted that saving up for a downturn would be the responsible thing to do, but the realities and expenses of daily life make it difficult to act with this type of intentionality. Unmet Consumer Needs So what more can the foodservice sector do to meet consumer needs?

Foodservice Product Trends 1. Margin pressure remains a challenge for operators of all types Food costs tend to make up about one third of the cost of a menu item, and while the costs continue to see increases, particularly items sourced from outside Ireland, other costs such as labour and rent are rising faster than the operators’ ability to raise prices. Coupled with the ROI VAT increase at the beginning of 2018, operator profitability continues to be under pressure. 2. Vegan/vegetarian options growing in importance Operators of all types continue to see the need for offering vegan options. While many acknowledge that strict veganism still only accounts for a small percentage of consumers, it is important to cater to those consumers looking for wider choices when eating out. 3. Beverages remain a driver for growth Beverages, especially hot beverages, remain a solid strategy for growth, and operators continue to invest in high quality coffee and tea programmes. 4. Alternatives to sourcing from UK being sought Uncertainty remains regarding Brexit and our future trading relationship with the UK, but operators and distributors both acknowledge that they’ve been actively working to identify alternatives to sourcing products from the UK, including Irish, European and even North American goods 5. Chilled foods remain on trend The continued demand toward fresh by consumers has meant that chilled items continue to exceed overall industry growth, and chilled items now represent 59% of total purchases made. Frozen space remains limited back-of-house and operators have switched over to chilled wherever possible. Grocery/ambient products are growing slower than average.

Coffee remains an extremely popular and growth-oriented beverage.

1. Healthy options for all ages Respondents across all life stages indicated an increased awareness and desire to eat healthier foods. For some, this amounts to following a restrictive diet that excludes certain ingredients or calorie thresholds. For others, health relates to good tasting, correctly portioned kids’ meals that are easily consumed. There are also those that think of health in terms of moderation. These consumers want their food to be fresh, and while they will indulge in the occasional fried food or routine treat (e.g. specialty coffee), the norm is to find betterfor-you options for day-to-day occasions. While there are concepts

in the marketplace that satisfy this need, the availability of ‘good tasting’ and ‘good for you’ options at an everyday affordable price remains a consumer pain point. 2. Customisation Consumers cite a desire for increased customisation in their foodservice options. The ability to prepare a meal the way they want it represents a level of control that consumers associate with at-home meals, and remains a white-space for foodservice offerings. 3. Access to authentic global flavours Primarily in foodservice moments of indulgence, consumers reported

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Foodservice Broadly, occasions can be separated into “entertainment” and “convenience” driven usage, and while convenience will always drive large parts of foodservice, it is the “entertainment” portion that is more discretionary and may be more at risk. 2. Contingency planning is key While our future trading relationship with the UK is still an unresolved issue, many companies have created contingency plans for alternative sourcing and cost control. More broadly, having an understanding of cost drivers and strategic alternatives should be a priority for all companies involved in the industry. The focus in the food-to-go sector over the past several years is to bring a renewed focus on freshly prepared items. a desire to explore global flavours, including newer, more ethnically authentic cuisines, as well as flavours that have been largely normalised to the Irish consumer palette. 4. Perceived goodwill from operators Consumers expressed a desire to visit operators that they feel good about. This good feeling can be the result of elevated hospitality, transparent practices or mutual respect; the most common response to why consumers are brand loyal was ‘because of the service’. 5. Reliable and competitive delivery services While first and third party home delivery services have grown rapidly in popularity and reach, delivery remains a challenge for many who cite issues related to address, pricing and wait times. Despite these challenges, consumers tend to use third party websites as a tool for brand discovery, exploring options in the area before ordering first party for take-away. This highlights the importance for operators to develop a presence on third party platforms. Food-to-Go The Food-to-Go segment includes convenience stores, supermarkets, and petrol stations with forecourt convenience stores. Traditionally, the food offer in this channel have been prepackaged, but the focus over the past several years is to bring a renewed focus on freshly prepared items.

• • •

Forecourt convenience continues to position itself as a destination for both breakfast and lunch occasions. Motorways are a big focus area for key players. Supermarket prepared foods are still a small part of this segment, but continue to grow at above average rates. Coffee and other beverages are a huge driver for “grab-n-go” and represent a large share of overall visits. High levels of competition are reported in most markets, with saturation in city centres and many players looking for new avenues for growth.

Coffee remains an extremely popular and growth-oriented beverage. Some operators have been experimenting with delivery services such as Deliveroo. Sustainability initiatives are front and centre as single-use disposables, especially coffee cups, fall out of favour. Planning for the future The Irish foodservice industry has been growing at robust levels for several years, but warning signs are on the horizon and industry participants should be examining options and alternative strategic plans in the event of a possible slowdown. The following are imperatives for companies involved in the foodservice industry: 1. Keep the consumer front and centre The consumer is the ultimate driver for the foodservice industry; as conditions evolve in Ireland, there may be some shifts in how consumers utilise foodservice.

3. Identify solutions for the labour crisis Every segment in foodservice is facing labour issues; shortages in qualified help, up to and including culinary and management personnel. New technologies exist and value-added products in the back-of-house that help operators create ‘speed scratch’ menu items are becoming more critical. 4. Keep an eye out for major disruptors Delivery remains one of the fastestgrowing service areas, and third party service providers are often seen as disruptive to the current situation. At the same time, the consumer is the ultimate driver and this disruption will continue to grow in importance. Companies must address disruptors and ensure that their strategies adapt to the industry as it evolves. 5. Don’t become complacent Years of growth have made growth seem inevitable, but becoming complacent and not investing in innovation/ differentiation comes at a price.

ONLINE copies of the 2019 Irish Foodservice Market Insights Report, the 2019 Irish Foodservice Directory and speaker presentations from the annual Bord Bia foodservice seminar are available to download at www.bordbia.ie/foodservice2019










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Vape Crusaders

Vaping is big business in Ireland, with 5% of the population using e-cigarettes, up 25% on the previous year.

IT is estimated that 5% of the Irish population use e-cigarettes, an increase from 4% in 2018, according to the Healthy Ireland Survey 2019, funded by the Department of Health. 38% of those who made an attempt to quit smoking over the previous year used an e-cigarette during this attempt, and use of e-cigarettes among ex-smokers rose by 30% over the year. Indeed, use of e-cigarettes among ex-smokers increased to 13% in 2019, up from 10% in 2018. Use of e-cigarettes among nonsmokers remains extremely low, at just 1%, which was the same in 2018. The Irish Heart Foundation and Irish Cancer Society recently called for a ban on e-cigarette flavours, claiming that certain flavours are aimed at under-18s. However, Vape Business Ireland (VBI) responded by arguing that flavours play an important role for adult smokers looking for a less harmful alternative product. The intention of flavours is to give consumers product choice, and it is not intended for use by those under 18, a VBI statement maintained, arguing that there is no evidence to support the

assertion that vaping is “normalising smoking” or that it is a gateway to smoking. “99% of those who vape in Ireland are adult ex-smokers according to the 2019 Healthy Ireland Survey, released by the Department of Health in November,” the statement continued. Indeed, VBI has continually called on the Minister for Health and the Department of Health to bring forward legislation to prohibit sale by, and to, those under the age of 18. VBI spokesperson Joe Dunne said, “There is no reason why the Minister continues the delay in dealing with this issue. Vape Business Ireland has long campaigned for the legislation what would prohibit the sale by, and to, those under the age of 18. Due to the inaction by the Minister and in the absence of legislative measures to prevent the sale of vaping products to under 18s, VBI developed a Code of Conduct on this matter, which has been signed by all members, to ensure that if in doubt of a customer’s age, the retailer/seller is encouraged to ask for identification. The Code of Conduct covers in-store sales,

online sales, as well as the marketing of vaping products.” It is the view of VBI that vaping products are a product of choice for adults and should never be sold to those under 18. Therefore, marketing and advertising of vaping products should be socially responsible and directed only at adults. Martin Dockrell, from Public Health England, the UK state agency under the auspices of the Department of Health and Social Care has said, “Banning flavours would likely provoke vapers to relapse back to smoking, leading to more adult smoking role models for young people, which we know is the key driver in young people starting to smoke.” Vaping was in the news for the wrong reasons during the past year, when an outbreak of lung-disease in the US hit the headlines. However, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified Vitamin E acetate as the ‘very strong culprit’ for the outbreak of lung-disease. This suggests that the outbreak was

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Vaping linked to people using illegal liquids, predominantly THC oils, which are illegal black-market marijuana products and they have been ‘cut’ or expanded by the Vitamin E acetate additive. Such products are illegal in Ireland. In Ireland, vaping products and e-liquids are highly regulated. All products for sale in Ireland are first notified to the HSE, where detailed submissions have to be made in relation to ingredients. There are strict rules on what ingredients can be used, including the maximum nicotine strength of e-liquids and the maximum amount of liquid per bottle, as well as how products are labelled. This acts as a barrier to any products that do not adhere to EU standards entering the Irish market. Logic Compact The Logic Compact range of e-liquids from JTI Ireland is expanding to include two new flavours, Blueberry and Mixed Berries. From February, your vaping customers will now have even more options to choose from for use with Logic’s newest and smartest device. The two new flavours are available in 6mg and 12mg nicotine strengths and mean that Ireland’s adult vapers can now choose from a total of 10 Logic Compact flavours of different strengths in retail.

really is that simple. This user-friendly approach has clearly worked: Ireland’s vapers have responded by making it one of the leading pod devices on the market since its launch in 2019 (Source: Nielsen YTD Dec 2019), and the launch of Blueberry and Mixed Berries options means there are now two more reasons to choose Logic Compact.

Vype from PJ Carroll, one of the leading vaping brands on the Irish market.

The launch of the new Mixed Berries flavour is another reason to choose Logic Compact. To optimise vaping’s potential in-store, it is important to know the category and know your customer, educate your staff, merchandise correctly and stay stocked up. JTI’s sales force and customer services team is on hand to provide expert support and advice about Logic Compact, the wider Logic range and the overall vaping category. You can order Logic products through the JTI Engage web ordering portal, your local JTI trade marketer, by calling JTI customer services on (01) 4045400, or through your local cash and carry.

The Logic Compact range of e-liquids from JTI Ireland is expanding to include two new flavours, including Blueberry. Logic’s mission is to make vaping simple for Ireland’s adult vapers, and with Logic Compact, things couldn’t be simpler. The pre-filled e-liquid pods click into place magnetically, meaning there is no re-filling, no mess and no fuss. It

PJ Carroll As one of the world’s largest vapour companies, providing high quality products to more than nine million consumers, PJ Carroll takes its consumer safety responsibilities very seriously. “Here at PJ Carroll, we apply industry-leading product quality and consumer safety standards to all our Vype devices and e-liquids because it is vital that we provide a safe product for adult smokers looking for a potentially reduced risk alternative to smoking,” noted a company spokesperson. “Before we put our products out onto the market

and let consumers use them, we must be assured that they’re up to our standards of quality.” Quality and safety testing are a crucial part of the way PJ Carroll develops and manufactures its products and the company has a team of over 50 toxicologists around the world who are responsible for scrutinising the ingredients in these products. So, for example, when they are developing e-liquids, they make sure that the nicotine, vegetable glycerol and propylene glycol going in are pharmaceutical quality.

All Vype products are tightly regulated, comply with Irish and EU laws, and all ingredients are notified to the HSE.

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Vaping The company’s global R&D centre, based in Southampton, has over 1,500 scientists and world-class lab facilities, and is focused on the development of innovative alternatives to smoking, particularly vaping products. All Vype products are tightly regulated, comply with Irish and EU laws, and all ingredients are notified to the HSE. Oils containing THC are not, and have never been, added to Vype products. The flavours of the e-liquids must be food-grade flavours. Eating and inhaling are fundamentally not the same, so PJ Carroll has developed a set of criteria by which the company screens each ingredient that goes into its flavours, to make sure they’re up to standard. “At the end of the day it’s a stewardship, or duty-of-care, process. We also make sure we understand if there are any changes when it's heated,” the spokesperson explained. As found by the Department of Health’s own annual Healthy Ireland Survey 2019, 99% of vapers are ex or current smokers. The same survey in 2018 found that 41% of those smokers who quit used vaping to do so, highlighting the significant role that vaping plays in helping smokers move away from tobacco. PJ Carroll is committed to providing consumers with a range of high-quality products so that Irish adult consumers have access

to, and awareness of, a wide range of potentially reduced risk alternatives to conventional tobacco products. “We encourage our customers to only use the product as intended, not to tamper with it, not to use any substances which are not meant for vaping, and to only buy vaping devices and e-liquids from trusted retailers,” concluded the PJ Carroll spokesperson.

Juul Labs Juul Labs, the leading start-up in vaping technology in the United States, has continued its rapid Irish growth as it announced a new partnership with BWG Foods, which will see Juul products sold in Spar, EuroSpar, Mace, Londis, and XL stores across the country. “We are delighted Pictured are (l-r): Alan Peyton, Director of Sales, to be working with BWG Juul Labs Ireland, and Gareth Smyth, General Foods as we continue Manager, Juul Labs Ireland. our Irish expansion and this partnership highlights the growing most especially youth, should ever try demand there is for our products Juul. Globally, Juul Labs has taken the nationwide,” said Gareth most stringent actions of anyone in Smyth, General Manager the industry to proactively prevent any of Juul Labs Ireland. “Our potential underage use. aim is to be available in Juul Labs’ Irish operations are as many outlets that sell underpinned by its industry-leading cigarettes as possible – as code of practice, going above and beyond long as they adhere to to ensure responsible and restrictive our ‘Challenge 25’ policy advertising, marketing and age-gated – in order to offer adult product access. All retail partners must smokers an alternative comply with Juul Labs’ ‘Challenge 25’ to traditional cigarettes. policy, whereby any customer who looks Furthermore, we fully under the age of 25 must produce ID to support the introduction prove they are over the age of 18, and of legislation to prevent retailers will be regularly monitored the sale of e-cigarettes through an auditing programme to to under-18s, which we ensure adherence, or they will be have been campaigning excluded as Juul stockists. for since we launched in Juul is a simple, intuitive system Ireland in May 2019.” requiring no buttons, leads or wires. Juul Labs welcomes The functional design helps smokers to and fully supports the switch from combustible tobacco, while proposed Public Health the limited range of flavours assist in (Tobacco Products and the switch by including flavours that Nicotine Inhaling Products) move away from the tastes of traditional Bill which will prohibit cigarettes. Irish smokers can now PJ Carroll is committed to providing consumers the sale of e-cigarettes to purchase a full range of Juul products, with a range of high-quality products so that under-18s. Juul products including a starter kit, device kit and six Irish adult consumers have access to, and are only for adult smokers Juul Pod flavours: Alpine Berry, Apple awareness of, a wide range of potentially looking to move away Orchard, Golden Tobacco, Glacier Mint, reduced risk alternatives to conventional tobacco from cigarettes and Mango Nectar and Royal Crème. products. no non-nicotine users,

50 SCIENTISTS, 1000s OF HOURS OF TESTING BEFORE IT REACHES YOU ORDER NOW ON: B2B.PJCARROLL.IE For adult smokers and vapers only. Vype e-cigarettes contain nicotine. 18+ only. Read leaflet in pack. All Vype products comply with Irish and EU law and all our ingredients have been tested for their suitability for vaping.

Designed for adult smokers. Not for sale to minors. NOT FOR SALE TO MINORS: This is an age-restricted product and age verification is required at sale. JUUL is an e-cigarette. Learn more at JUUL.ie TM and © 2020 JUUL Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cuimsíonn an táirge seo nicitín, This product contains nicotine which

The alternative for adult smokers. No smoke No ash No tar

ar substaint an-andĂşile ĂŠ. is a highly addictive substance.

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The Future of Grocery

What will the ’20s bring?

Steve Gotham, MCA & HIM Market Insight Director, examines the potential implications of five major trends on the grocery store over the next decade.

GIVEN that we are at the start of a whole new decade, it’s a good time to consider the trends that will shape the decade ahead in grocery retailing. Foodservice delivery, sustainability, healthier eating, the growth of discounters and plantbased eating are not new trends, but their trajectory cannot be ignored. How will these trends evolve in the 2020s? What impact will they have on grocery retail? 1. Supermarkets will target takeaway The leading supermarket chains are already offering online ordering and delivery. Many already have cafés, restaurants and hot food counters. We expect the foodservice delivery market to continue growing strongly over the next three years. A coming together with existing and possibly new delivery specialists, either via strategic partnerships or acquisitions, appears a natural fit and one that could serve to form an ‘extended life intermediary service’ to help fulfil a wider spectrum of food & beverage requirements of busy

householders. It is also not too much of a leap for this to potentially encompass some form of dark kitchen/virtual brands too as supermarkets look to reconfigure excess, under-utilised superstore space. 2. Meat-free will be the default option The relentless rise of growing consumer responsibility around more personal health, animal and planetary welfare will catalyse further growth in meat-reduction dietary preferences. Vegetarianism and veganism will potentially become sufficiently popular normal practices that a tipping point will be reached whereby the tables are turned and meat dishes will be the versions consumers have to ‘opt-in’ for. This is clearly evident within the Irish market, with the likes of the Happy Pear brothers growing in popularity; they originally ran a small, vegan focused café but now have supermarket ready to go ranges, cook books, and a café in the airport). Another success is the proliferation of operators like Sprout (healthy salad bars), who are growing

Steve Gotham, MCA & HIM Market Insight Director. in outlet numbers, with seasonality as a selling point. While it will be long time before meat-free is the default option, this is the direction of travel. The implications for the farming

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The Future of Grocery industry will clearly be immense, but the strong likelihood is that meat consumption will decrease, and will migrate towards lower quantity, but higher quality, more premiumised product with even higher provenance and sustainability credentials. The MCA Menu & Food Trends Report 2019 identifies provenance as a real opportunity, with 29% of consumers agreeing that operators should put a greater focus on locally sourced products. In addition, product quality is growing in importance to consumers, particularly within convenience. The HIM Convenience Market Report 2019 shows that quality of fresh meat and fish, quality of fresh fruit and veg and quality of fresh bread and bakery were the three store KPIs that returned the highest annual increases in importance. Unfortunately for convenience, they were also the three that saw the largest decreases in customer satisfaction – highlighting a potential threat to the sector moving forward. The sheer volume of plant-based and vegan NPD hitting the sector is gathering pace, and will need skilful demand assessment and shelf-space management. Certainly, demand will be stronger in catchments with higher proportions of younger adults, as opposed to those with a far more elderly skew. 3. Arrival of targeted health specialist products and services Thinking about how healthier eating is going to evolve, a logical next step is with more personalised and prescriptive food & beverage intake. Refill stations in stores are becoming more and more common and provide shoppers the opportunity to purchase products and quantities that are tailored to their needs. The HIM Future of Convenience Report 2020 indicates that 63% of shoppers think refill stations should be available within grocery stores. In many ways, this will be a second coming of ‘functional foods’, but with improved timing through more engaged and better-informed consumer audiences. Younger customers will be more knowledgeable via more widely accessible nutritional and allergy-related information and because of greater understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of plant-based diets. The HIM Convenience Market Report 2019 highlights that 45% of consumers are already actively trying to make healthier choices when it comes to diet. In addition, scientific advances will open-up more prescriptive benefits for

more niche consumer segments with specific conditions, along with targeted advantages for older consumers. Food and drink products specifically developed to improve energy levels, sleep quality, gut health, mental functionality and mobility, and to provide pain relief, will all become more popular. New product categories will emerge in supermarkets, and there will be growing numbers of dedicated health food shops and of more specialised cafés. 4. Discounter expansion drives further grocery consolidation and diversification Over the past decade, one of the most seismic events within grocery retailing has been the rise of the discounters. After significant physical expansion, Aldi and Lidl now have a combined grocery market share of 22.2% (Kantar, 12 weeks to December 29, 2019), which is far higher than in the UK. Certainly a 20%+ share in the UK would have major implications for UK grocers – and hence they have to look at other revenue growth sources. Growing discounter penetration will inevitably further impact sales growth and profit margins at the supermarket giants. In addition, this will mean the attractiveness of diversification outside of core grocery retailing will increase further. Strategy departments will be busy running (and re-running) their slide rules over opportunities in non-food, wholesaling, delivery and/or foodservice. 5. Sustainability considerations acquire business critical importance For many, Greta Thunberg is already an early contender to be the person of the decade, and if that sounds a tad premature, it surely is difficult not to agree that in 10 years’ time, more of

us will be more worried about climate change than is currently already the case. Already, we are in the midst of a consumer-led revolution about the use of plastic, and grocery industry stakeholders are having to become increasingly mindful about their environmental impacts to not only avoid a consumer backlash, but also to better position themselves to capitalise on the gathering momentum behind more responsible consumerism. The HIM Future of Convenience Report 2020 highlights that 65% of shoppers think plastic free aisles make a store more appealing. The 2020s will increasingly see consumers demand values alongside value, meaning that sustainability will increasingly guide business decision-making as companies look to reaffirm their various commitments to the environment, community and to investors. Sustainability audits and reporting will become more commonplace, and more operators will ensure they are not left behind regarding best practices. This is an international/ global imperative and one that would be suicidal for businesses to ignore. Summary In summary, distilling grocery market predictions into a short-list of just five key developments is inevitably open to debate. No reference has been made to the consequences of Brexit, new trade deals or possible supply chain disruption. No inclusion either about the prospect of/need for growing internationalisation, to the rise of CBD or of an insect-led revolution. Come what may, the 2020s are not going to be dull and are only likely to see the pace of change accelerating. Dyed in the wool traditionalists need not apply.

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Paper Products

No issues for tissues

The paper products market continues to thrive in Ireland, with most of the main manufacturers making commitments to environmental sustainability. IRISH consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their paper product choices. Sustainability and flushability are two top features for consumers when considering tissue and hygiene products, according to the latest report into the Irish tissue and hygiene market from Euromonitor International. Private label continues to perform well in this category but multinational brands still dominate. Even though there are a number of significant challenges, the outlook remains reasonably positive for the majority of categories within tissue and hygiene, according to Euromonitor. Despite growing concerns about the environmental impact of retail tissue products, a number of leading brands have started to introduce bigger packs to attract customers, according

to Euromonitor. All the leading brands, particularly in toilet paper and paper towels, have launched larger volume packs. As retail tissue has become increasingly competitive, there has been upwards pressure on the existing brands to maintain their value shares. This pressure has been exacerbated by the fact that the environmental impact of tissue products has generally led to increased manufacturing input costs in the form of levies and regulation. In the away-from-home tissue category, wipes of all kinds are under increasing public scrutiny thanks to a number of high profile cases of environmental damage involving wipes. Although wet wipes have evolved significantly to contain less chemicals and less plastic, pressure still remains through diminished consumer sentiment

for these products, according to Euromonitor. However, growing tourist numbers should help to support growth in away-from-home tissue, they predict. Essity Ireland Limited Cushelle is the number one brand in the market over the last 12 months with 17.3% value share of the toilet tissue category (Source: Kantar Worldpanel MAT Data to December 31, 2019) and has exciting brand plans to continue growing in 2020. Cushelle will run a strong advertising campaign, featuring Kenny the Koala, throughout 2020, beginning with TV and VOD for Cushelle Quilted with a TV tag to help drive awareness of Cushelle facial tissues. Many of you will have watched the upsetting news reports about the devastating bushfires in Australia that have claimed the homes and

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Paper Products

Cushelle will run a strong advertising campaign, featuring Kenny the Koala, throughout 2020. lives of many people and wildlife. “As a responsible business that prominently features a koala in the branding of Cushelle, we felt it was our duty to make a donation to the ongoing relief efforts being carried out by charities in Australia,” noted a company spokesperson. Therefore, Cushelle will be donating an initial Stg£25,000 to WIRES and Vets Beyond Borders. Both charities are working tirelessly to protect the wildlife caught up in the bushfires. Cushelle will also support the longer-term recovery efforts and the preservation of koalas in Australia.

Velvet toilet tissue is a must stock brand in the toilet tissue category with value sales of almost €1.7m (Source: Kantar Worldpanel MAT Data to December 1, 2019). The brand has a strong focus on its product quality, while offering shoppers value across a wide variety of different pack sizes. For instance, to suit all shoppers Velvet has a core range that includes both fourand nine-roll pack sizes, appealing

Data to December 1, 2019). In 2019, Plenty launched New Plenty Hand Towels. With convenient single sheets of kitchen towel, New Plenty Hand Towels are specially designed for quick, onehanded dispensing, no matter where the mess is. This absorbent and strong household towel is always at hand, and with its attractive pack design, it looks great in every room of the house. The focus for the Plenty brand in 2020 is to continue to drive shoppers to store through a strong TV and VOD campaign across the year. Plenty advertising will continue to reach key householders with kids, building on the brand’s heritage as a household hero with the evolution of much loved brand ambassador ‘Juan Sheet’ into ‘Super Juan’! According to Simon Pickering, Country Manager, Essity Ireland Ltd, “We have strong media and brand plans in place across Cushelle, Velvet and Plenty

New Plenty Handy Towels are specially designed for quick, one-handed dispensing, no matter where the mess is.

Cushelle will drive awareness of its facial tissues range throughout 2020.

to both the basket ‘top up’ and trolley shoppers. For those shoppers who prefer to make a larger purchase, Velvet has a range of larger sized packs to cater for them. Velvet shoppers are buying more year-on-year, with a 7.9% volume increase for those shoppers who have purchased Velvet in both 2018 and 2019. Plenty is one of Ireland’s leading household towel brands with value sales of over €5.4m (Source: Kantar Worldpanel MAT

for 2020 to ensure that our market leading brands remain at the forefront of consumers’ minds when shopping the paper category.” Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company dedicated to improving well-being through products and solutions, essentials for everyday life. The name Essity stems from the words essentials and necessities. Their sustainable business model creates value for people and nature. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under the leading global brand Tena and regional brands such as Cushelle, Plenty, Velvet, Bodyform and Demak’Up. Essity has about 47,000 employees and net sales in 2018 amounted to approximately €11.6 billion. The headquarters is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and the company is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. For

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Paper Products

The focus for the Plenty brand in 2020 is to continue to drive shoppers to store through a strong TV and VOD campaign across the year. more information visit www.essity.com. Homestead The Homestead paper range continues to be one of the strongest categories within the Homestead portfolio. 2019 was an extremely competitive year in this category and sales of Homestead Tissue continue to be extremely positive year-on-year. The paper range, which includes a variety of toilet rolls, kitchen towels and man-size tissues, is produced to the highest quality using 100% virgin

The Homestead Toilet Tissue Comfort 16 Roll, price marked at €4.99, continues to prove extremely popular for Homestead. pulp paper sourced from well managed forests. The selection rivals any market leader, while remaining well priced in order to compete successfully in the private label market. 2019 saw the continuation of Homestead’s man-size tissue and Comfort toilet

The launch of Homestead Absorb Jumbo 2 Roll Kitchen Towel introduced a more absorbent kitchen towel to the Homestead portfolio.

Homestead replaced its Soft 2-ply toilet tissue with new Luxury Soft 3-ply quilted toilet tissue to introduce a more luxurious product to the range at the same great price.

tissue four-roll and 16-roll price mark packs, which gives day-to-day value for the consumer. Homestead replaced its Soft 2-ply toilet tissue with new Luxury Soft 3-ply quilted toilet tissue to introduce a more luxurious product to the range at the same great price. The launch of Homestead Absorb Jumbo 2 Roll Kitchen Towel introduced a more absorbent kitchen towel to the Homestead portfolio, which has successfully replaced the Splash Kitchen Towel. “Increasing cost in pulp paper will see changes to paper products across the market,” reveals Homestead Brand Manager Janice Gibney. “Homestead will continue to strive to remain competitive and continue to ‘Bring Value Home’ in what will continue to be a very competitive market in 2020.”

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Store of the Future

Showcasing future technologies in-store Some of the foremost Irish technology innovators in the retail sector showcased their retail solutions to a host of international retailers at Enterprise Ireland’s Store of the Future event. MORE than 20 international retail chains were in Ireland recently to participate in Enterprise Ireland’s ‘Store of the Future’ event, showcasing Ireland’s cluster of retail technology companies who are driving innovation in the retail sector globally in areas such as real-time analytics, efficient energy management, sustainability programmes and reducing operating costs. Showcasing the latest retail solutions across innovative energy efficiency, refrigeration technology, IoT and food waste management, Irish companies presenting at the event included: Novum, delivering game changing innovation in refrigeration; FoodCloud, the social enterprise that links businesses with surplus food with local charities and community groups using a customised tech platform; and Remote Signals, an IoT company, adding

Leap technology. Novum’s Leap technology is a revolutionary new approach to food refrigeration for the retail sector that delivers the highest levels of food integrity, energy efficiency, serviceability, simplicity and presentation. Punching above its weight “I am very proud that Novum is celebrating 60 years in business Pictured are (l-r): Stephen Hughes, Head of Consumer in Ireland,” noted Division, Enterprise Ireland, and Jim Greene, CEO, Novum. CEO of Novum Jim Greene, sensors and connectivity to transform speaking at the retail sector. the event. “Novum continues to punch above its weight on the global stage Major international retailers through disruptive innovation and Major international retailers from global partnerships. Leap technology is Europe and North America were in something that I am very excited about attendance, including: Iceland, the and I believe it is capable of changing international retail brand; Biedronka, the the face of commercial refrigeration largest supermarket chain in Poland; La forever.” Sirena, Spain’s chain of frozen speciality Leo McAdams, Head of International shops; and Southeastern Grocers, the Sales and Partnering, Enterprise Ireland, parent company of BI-LO, Fresco y Más, said, “Ireland has a wealth of leading, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie innovative technologies to support the grocery stores in the US, as well as the international retail industry and has Canadian North West Company. developed a solid global reputation for As well as attending the seminar developing niche, customer-focused event, the international retailers enjoyed solutions. The Store of the Future one-to-one meetings with Irish retail event is key to showcasing Ireland’s innovators and visited Novum’s R&D capabilities to leading international facility, where Novum was launching retailers to support business growth of the next generation of its disruptive the Irish sector internationally.”

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Drinks News Bold new look for Powers POWERS Irish Whiskey, which is made by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery, has unveiled a bold new bottle design for its range of premium Irish whiskeys. The design features a new bottle shape, which has been inspired by the distinctive pot still silhouette from the brand’s historical home at John’s Lane Distillery. Another striking aspect of the new design is the label, which is styled on the iconic Powers ‘diamond P’, one of the first ever trademarks registered in Ireland and a link to the legacy of Powers and Irish whiskey history all over Ireland. In Ireland, Powers Three Swallow and Powers John’s Lane will be released in March 2020, with Powers Gold Label to be reviewed in due course. “We are excited to introduce this new look to the world and inspire a new generation with the unique history and personality of Powers,” said Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers.

Ninth Wave wins gold at World Gin Awards NINTH Wave Gin, produced by Co. Down distillery, Hinch, was awarded a Gold Medal at the World Gin Awards, held in London in January. Ninth Wave is the craft work of Belfast-born Head Distiller Aaron Flaherty and his team, who have a wealth of experience working for some of Ireland and the UK’s bestknown spirit brands. “We are delighted to receive the Gold Award at the World Gin Awards. It marks the perfect start to what will be an exciting year for Hinch Distillery,” said Aaron Flaherty. Hinch Distillery has signed a distribution deal with Barry & Fitzwilliam, which will see a raised profile for its Ninth Wave Gin and Hinch Whiskey brands across the country. “We are delighted to be working with the Hinch team to bring these exceptional products to the Irish consumer,” said Michael Barry, MD of Barry and Fitzwilliam. “The Craft Hinch Irish Whiskey brands and Ninth Wave Gin are already firm favourites on the international stage and we are excited to be at the forefront with them in Ireland.”

Pat Rigney appointed Chair of Drinks Ireland|Spirits Galway Bay Brewery launches new can range GALWAY Bay Brewery, one of Ireland’s most established craft breweries, has kicked off the new year with the launch of a full range of canned beers. Galway Bay Brewery’s core range will now be available in 33cl cans, with all limited edition, seasonal, and collaborative brews available in 44cl cans. The core range includes Of Foam & Fury, a double IPA with big tropical fruit flavour, a bittersweet balance and complex flavour; Full Sail, a simple malt beer with light fruity sweetness upfront, hints of zesty orange and a piney dry finish; Bay Ale, a copper coloured, traditional ale with malt and hop aromas and a smooth and well-balanced flavour; Althea, a modern American Pale Ale which is low on bitterness, yet massively hoppy on the aroma; and Buried at Sea, a chocolate milk stout brewed with milk sugars and chocolate, which gives rich flavour and body, whilst retaining a lightness.

PAT Rigney, the Managing Director and Founder of The Shed Distillery in Co. Leitrim, which makes Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin, has been appointed Chair of Drinks Ireland|Spirits, the representative body responsible for promoting the interests of the Irish spirits industry. “Ireland’s spirits industry continues to go from strength to strength,” said Pat Rigney. “The value of spirits exports from Ireland increased by 10.2% between 2017 and 2018, from c916m to over €1 billion. We also have a dynamic domestic spirits market, driven by the growing popularity of premium spirits products like Irish whiskey and gin. Looking forward, we want to continue to drive this growth, but there are also a number of imminent issues ahead, including tariffs and Brexit.”

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Drinks News Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland to distribute Beam Suntory spirits LUCOZADE Ribena Suntory Ireland Ltd is now an official distributor for Beam Suntory International, a world leader in premium spirits, in the Republic of Ireland. The distribution agreement is a first of its kind between the two companies, who are both part of the global Suntory Group. The strategic partnership will further strengthen and expand the position of Beam Suntory’s premium spirits portfolio in the Irish market. Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland Ltd will distribute Beam Suntory’s premium spirits portfolio, including iconic brands such as Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, Courvoisier, Kilbeggan, Teacher’s, Roku Japanese Gin, and Sipsmith. “I am delighted that LRSI has become the official distributor of the Beam Suntory brands in Ireland,” said Mark Aherne, General Manager, Lucozade Ribena Suntory Ireland. “It is a very exciting opportunity for our company and we look forward to strengthening and expanding the position of Beam Suntory’s premium spirits portfolio in the Irish market.”

Anna Daly launches MiWadi MiWay campaign TV star and mum of three, Anna Daly is teaming up with MiWadi to launch the MiWadi MiWay campaign and is calling on kids and adults across Ireland to create their own MiWadi flavour, using specially curated Emojis or ‘Mi-mojis’. As future tastemakers, MiWadi wants to empower kids across Ireland to explore their favourite flavours and open their imagination to all the delicious and delightful flavour combinations that they would like to try. To really get the creativity flowing, MiWadi is calling on kids and parents to complete their unique three fruit recipe with a unique name and flavoursome emoji combination. Anna is pictured with Ella Caulfield (aged 6) launching the MiWadi MiWay campaign.

BOD launches Guinness Six Nations cultural experiences GUINNESS has teamed up with Brian O’Driscoll to launch a number of exciting events throughout the duration of the Guinness Six Nations that spotlight some of the best cultural experiences on offer across each of the six nations. The experiences in Dublin include: hiking in Howth with Tommy Bowe and Thom Evans, a drop-goal competition with Ronan O’Gara and Shane Williams for Ireland v Wales; a Guinnesstronomie event on the day of the France v Ireland game, which will see well-known Irish and French chefs go head to head in a cook-off. Brian O’Driscoll, launched the experiences by highlighting the warm welcome that visitors from rival nations will experience in his home city of Dublin: “I am really looking forward to meeting up with friends over the next few weeks from across each of the six nations, many of whom were one time on-field rivals and are now firm friends.”

New General Manager at Coca-Cola HBC COCA-COLA Hellenic Bottling Company has appointed Miles Karemacher to the role of General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. Miles will be responsible for driving the continued growth of the company and leading the 760-strong workforce across the island of Ireland. Miles replaces Matthieu Seguin, following his appointment to the role of General Manager for Coca-Cola HBC’s Nigerian Bottling Company. Miles joins the Irish business from Coca Cola HBC Italy where he, as Commercial Excellence Director, played an integral role in delivering sustainable revenue growth and profit; expanding the portfolio and reshaping the price and pack strategy in response to consumer and customer needs. During his time in Italy, he also successfully led the acquisition of Lurisia, a premium natural mineral water and adult sparkling beverages business.

Spirits groups tackle Brexit ON January 31, 2020, the day of Brexit and ahead of the Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland, Drinks Ireland|Spirits hosted the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) in Dublin for their annual bilateral meeting, which was dominated by the challenges and opportunities faced by industries in both countries post-Brexit. Brexit offers opportunities for Irish industry, as Irish whiskey will now be the EU’s largest whiskey category, with the potential to grow in both new and established markets in the EU and in third countries that have trade deals with the EU. Given increased trade disruption, both organisations have agreed to greater cooperation to bolster more open trade for Scotch whisky, Irish whiskey and Irish spirits around the world.

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Forecourt Focus: News Applegreen announces new charity partnerships APPLEGREEN has announced a new partnership with Enable Ireland and Pieta House, who join with the Irish Youth Foundation and FoodCloud to form their corporate charity partnerships for 2020 and 2021. The charities were chosen with the help and input of the Applegreen Ireland customers and staff and have a focus on the areas of children, mental health, disability and continuing to grow the Applegreen Blossom Fund. Joe Barrett, COO, Applegreen plc, said: “We are proud to announce our new charity partnerships and their strong focus on mental health, disability and youth wellbeing. We’re also delighted to continue our partnership with FoodCloud, enabling them to increase their ability to rescue more surplus food across the country. This community focused, sustainable approach is an area we are continuing to develop in order to drive a greater impact and make a positive difference.” Enable Ireland is a charity that provides vital therapy and support services to over 8,100 children and young people with disabilities, and their families. “We are delighted to have been selected as one of Applegreen’s chosen charities,” said John O’Sullivan, CEO of Enable Ireland. “Support from Applegreen’s staff and customers will go towards our respite services and enable us to provide the best possible support to the children and young people in our care.” Pieta House supported nearly 1,000 young people at the risk of suicide and self-harm in 2019 and has developed the Resilience Academy as a result. “The support of Applegreen will ensure that we can expand our programme to reach more schools across the country through our Resilience programme,” noted Elaine Austin, CEO of Pieta House. “Our trained counsellors visit schools, listening to the needs of the teenagers and teaching vital coping skills in the classroom.” Every time a customer makes a purchase in-store, 1c is donated to the Applegreen Charitable Fund at no extra cost to

Pictured are (back row, l-r): John O’Sullivan, CEO, Enable Ireland; Aoibheann O’Brien, CEO at FoodCloud Hubs; Bob Etchingham, CEO, Applegreen; Joe Barrett, COO, Applegreen; (front row, l-r): Vivienne Lawlor, Head of Communications at FoodCloud; Donal Kitt, National Fundraising Manager at Enable Ireland; Sinead Price, Director of Fundraising, Pieta House; and Lucy Masterson, Chief Executive of the Irish Youth Foundation. the customer. Money is also donated through counter-top boxes placed in all Applegreen stores nationwide and from fundraising events organised by staff. In 2018, an impressive circa €750,000 was donated to Irish charities, giving much needed support to the incredible work done by these organisations every day.

Maxol customers raise €66,000 for Aware MAXOL customers have raised an incredible €66,000 in the company’s Christmas fundraising campaign for its charity partner, Aware. It brings the total funds raised by Maxol to over €100,000 for 2019 and the total since the partnership began in 2016 to an incredible €420,000. Maxol’s Christmas Coffee Cup campaign saw a 10-cent donation go to Aware for every purchase of their exclusive Rosa coffee as well as other hot drinks, during November and December 2019. “We are delighted with the support shown by our customers for our charity partner Aware; it is amazing the difference we can make with a collective effort across the country,” noted Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group. “We are very proud to partner with Aware and we look forward to rolling out more fundraising initiatives in 2020, as we celebrate our centenary year Pictured announcing the results of Maxol’s fund-raising campaign at Maxol. I’d like to thank all of our valued for Aware are Brian Donaldson (right), CEO of The Maxol Group, and customers, retailers and staff who have Drew Flood of Aware. supported this good cause.”

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Forecourt Focus: News Maxol sponsor 2FM’s weekday traffic and travel bulletins RTÉ Media Sales has announced Maxol as new sponsor of RTÉ 2FM’s Weekday Traffic & Travel bulletins. Brokered by Mediaworks and Core Sponsorship, the 12-month sponsorship will feature 10 Maxol sponsored credited stings per weekday. Stings will air in both morning and evening drive on 2FM Breakfast and on both Jenny Greene on 2FM (3-6pm) and Game On (6pm-6:30pm). “This 2FM sponsorship is a brilliant way to kick-start our centenary year, and is just one of a number of high-profile initiatives that we will be launching to mark 100 years of Maxol as a family owned business at the heart of the community,” noted Caroline Burton, Head of Marketing, The Maxol Group. “Maxol’s customers are a community of radio listeners - at home, on the go, in work and in the car. And therefore, it’s really exciting to have this campaign run across the national airwaves, right throughout the year, reaching them wherever they are tuning in. 2020 is a big year of celebration for everyone in Maxol and we want to generate a real buzz right across the country, getting customers and communities involved in the celebrations too.” Sarah Geoghegan, Senior Sponsorship Manager, Core Sponsorship, said ‘’At Core Sponsorship, we are all about

Photographed are: 2FM’s Emma Power, Caroline Burton Head of Marketing, The Maxol Group & 2FM’s Laura Fox. finding sponsorship solutions for brands that access a strong audience base, have impact and are a great fit and the Traffic and Travel sponsorship on RTÉ 2FM is just that. It is the perfect fit for Maxol, reinforcing their message to listeners that they are celebrating their 100th year of service in Ireland as an Irish family-owned business in 2020 and are looking forward to serving communities for the next 100 years.”

Vegan croissant launches at Applegreen APPLEGREEN inspired its customers to try vegan and plantbased food this Veganuary by adding a new vegan croissant to its range. “Following the resounding success of the Vegan Sausage Roll last year, we have listened to our customers and are meeting the growing demand for a broader choice of quality plant-based alternatives,” explained Fiona Matthews, Commercial Director for Applegreen Retail Operations Ireland. “Our branded food partners have come on board in supporting our strategy with the Rebel Whopper launching recently in Burger King, the Meatless Meatball Marinara at Subway, whilst at Freshii you can create your own vegan or flexitarian favourites.” The brand new vegan croissant uses margarine as a butter replacement to create the light, flaky texture usually expected from a traditional butter croissant. January also saw the launch of a new vegan option to their sandwich and wrap range, the limited edition Vegan Massaman Thai Wrap: a tasty blend of potato and butternut squash in a Thai style curry sauce with crunchy slaw and flaked almonds. “We’re continuing to develop our plant-based food range and are committed to bringing our customers more

choices,” revealed Matthews. “We work with the best local Irish producers and suppliers to deliver the most innovative, high-quality, great tasting food to our customers. Furthermore, we are working hard to address our customers’ ever-growing sustainability concerns to close the loop fully on our recycled packaging and offer more sustainably sourced options.”

Circle K fuels emergency services with free coffee CIRCLE K provided free Simply Great Coffee on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve to employees of An Garda Síochána, Fire Service, RNLI, Coastguard and the National Health Service at Circle K outlets nationwide, in recognition of the vital services that the Irish Emergency Services provide to communities across Ireland. “This gesture is Circle K’s way of giving a little something back to the people who work so hard to keep our community safe and protected daily,” noted Judy Glover, Senior Market Director at Circle K Ireland.

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Forecourt Focus: News Circle K announces Play or Park winners CIRCLE K has revealed that Amir Khan, from Co. Meath; Michael Murphy from Kimmage, Co. Dublin; and Sergejus Strebkovas from Citywest, Co. Dublin; are all grand prize winners of Circle K Play or Park. Almost €50,000 worth of prizes have been awarded to the latest Play or Park winners and thousands more have enjoyed instant rewards when they played their points at Circle K. Navan man Amir Khan played his points at Circle K in Ashbourne and, as the August 2019 winner, will soon jet off to experience the jazz filled delights of New Orleans. Amir will head to America’s deep south on an adventure of a lifetime, including return flights for two to New Orleans, five nights’ accommodation in the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel, as well as a high-speed airboat swamp adventure, a behind-the-scenes jazz tour and €2,000 spending money. Dublin based Michael Murphy was the September 2019 winner. Having played his points at his local Circle K in Kimmage, Co. Dublin, Michael won free miles fuel for two people to the value of €3,000 for a year as well as v2,000 worth of insurance cover from the AA. The cover includes AA car insurance, AA membership, AA home membership and home insurance. And finally, Dublin-based Sergejus Strebkovas was recently revealed as the October 2019 winner. Sergejus will

Amir Khan and his wife celebrate winning a trip to New Orleans with Richard Pollock, Loyalty and Insights Manager at Circle K.

travel to Honolulu, Hawaii this year to enjoy 10 nights’ accommodation at the five-star Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki. Whilst there, Sergejus will enjoy a whale watching experience and surfing lessons on the famous Waikiki beach. “I am delighted to announce the latest winners of Circle K’s 2019 Play or Park initiative, all of whom have won truly incredible prizes,” noted Richard Pollock, Loyalty and Insights Manager at Circle K. “We will soon be announcing our 2020 prizes so keep an eye on our Facebook page for more information. As always, to be in with a chance of winning, remember to play your points when filling up at Circle K throughout the year.”

Richard Pollock, Loyalty and Insights Manager at Circle K, presents Michael Murphy with his prize as the September Play or Park winner: free miles fuel for two people to the value of €3,000 for a year, as well as €2,000 worth of insurance cover from the AA.

Dublin-based Sergejus Strebkovas, the October 2019 Play or Park winner of a 10-night trip to Honolulu, pictured with Richard Pollock, Loyalty and Insights Manager at Circle K.

Maxol invests €3.75m in new Rathnew site THE Maxol Group has commenced works on a new greenfield site at Rathnew, Co. Wicklow, leading to the creation of 20 new jobs for the area. The 1.45-acre site is the first greenfield site for the company in two years and is expected to open in April 2020. With a substantial investment of €3.75m, the latest site will offer first class forecourt and convenience facilities, including pay-at-pump, as well as the all-new Maxol Deli with seating for 32 customers, Rosa Coffee, free WiFi, a new car wash and 39 car park spaces. This announcement reaffirms the company’s position of continuous investment in site developments, having recently announced an investment of €5m in upgrading three Dublin service stations, and is part of the company’s ongoing investment strategy in the network. “Today’s announcement is significant for us as it is our first greenfield site since A26 Tannaghmore in Antrim Northern Ireland, which opened in 2017,” noted Brian Donaldson, CEO of The Maxol Group. “It comes on the back of a significant investment programme, introducing our new modern forecourt with premium fuels and in-store offer and we’re happy to be bringing employment to the local area with the creation of 20 new jobs.

Pictured are Colm P Delamere from Mannings Construction and Brian Donaldson, CEO, Maxol at the Maxol Rathew site. “Whilst there have always been multiple reasons to visit your local Maxol service station, more and more of our growing customer base is now popping in for items other than or in addition to fuel. Because of this, we are constantly looking at ways to grow our services, retail and fresh food dining options. We very much look forward to bringing our latest innovative forecourt model to the community of Rathnew in Wicklow.”

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What's New TAYTO HELPS TO KEEP NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS ON TRACK SNACK lovers rejoice! Mr Tayto’s Treble Crunch range is currently on special offer to help keep those new year’s resolutions! Treble Crunch contains less fat than standard potato crisps with no taste compromise. These deliciously light and crunchy potato chips contain less than 100 calories per packet and are packed full of flavour, the perfect lighter snack option! Farmhouse Cheddar & Spring Onion has long been a favourite with snack lovers, but the Salt & Vinegar flavour is growing in popularity since its launch and for a limited time only, both flavours are on special offer nationwide - 6 pack of Treble Crunch is only €2 (RRP €2.89).

VEGAN CAKE RANGE LAUNCHES IN DUNNES STORES A BRAND new range of all-plant cakes is being introduced to the Irish market and stocked exclusively in Dunnes Stores. The Oggs mission is to create affordable, plant-based alternatives to everyday foods with no compromise. Everything from the ingredients in the cakes to the packaging, made from 100% recyclable bottle tops, has been produced with the future of our planet in mind. The cake range is made using an innovative egg replacer developed from the naturally occurring protein in Aquafaba, all cakes are completely egg and dairy free. The cakes come in three different flavours: Zesty Lemon, Chocolate Fudge and Victoria Sponge. Also available to purchase will be chocolate cupcakes and mini vanilla cakes. See www.loveoggs.com.

SADIE’S KITCHEN BONE BROTH RANGE LAUNCHES CREATED by award-winning entrepreneur Sarah Kiely, the Sadie’s Kitchen range of bone broths is perfect for those interested in good food, gut health and great taste. Sadie’s Kitchen Bone Broths are produced using the finest free-range Irish chicken, and grass-fed beef from Irish farms. Fully traceable, the broths are slow-cooked for up to 24 hours to release the maximum collagen and gelatin, both of which contain essential amino acids, which support a healthy inflammatory response. They are the perfect base for soup or stew, ramen or pho, gravy or sauces...or just to enjoy as warming and boosting sipping drink.

MALTESERS BISCUITS HIT THE SHELVES MARS Chocolate Drinks and Treats has announced the launch of Maltesers Biscuits, the first time that the popular, fast-growing confectionery brand has been seen on the biscuit aisle. Each biscuit comprises three delicious malty bobbles, covered in smooth milk chocolate to create a unique snap and crunch eating sensation. “We believe that a combination of the innovative format, unique malty taste and brand strength will drive new consumers to the category, in addition to providing something new and exciting for regular biscuit snackers,” said Michelle Frost, General Manager at Mars Chocolate Drinks and Treats. Maltesers Biscuits will be available market wide from March 2020 from SHS Sales & Marketing. Tel (01) 4016200.

THE TURMERIC CO LAUNCHES INTO IRELAND THE Turmeric Co has officially launched its range of healthy shot drinks into Ireland after seven years of development, and is now available in over 100 Dunnes Stores across the country, as well as selected Spar stores. Created to enhance consumers’ health and boost their immune system, the brand’s three flavours offer a natural blend of fresh and organic ingredients, with each 60ml shot containing 35 whole grams of fresh, uniquely extracted wet Turmeric root. The range includes Nature’s Remedy, Turmeric Fused with Ginger, and Turmeric Fused with Beetroot, and is the brainchild of international footballer Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu.

ICELAND LAUNCH BORD BIA APPROVED BEEF RANGE ICELAND Ireland is delighted to announce the arrival of its new exclusive fresh Irish beef range, Butcher’s Choice. 100% Irish and Bord Bia approved, the exciting new range is available now across all 27 Iceland Ireland stores nationwide. The new range includes a versatile line up of quality Irish cuts to suit every taste, whether it be 4% Fat Lean Round Beef Mince (€3.50), 18% Fat Beef Mince (€6.00), Beef Meatballs (€2.75) or Diced Steak Pieces (€3.75), as well as the 21-Day Matured Beef Striploin Steaks (€7.25) and Sirloin Steaks (€6.25). “At Iceland Ireland, we’re focused on meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs, that is why we are proud to say our fresh Irish beef range is Bord Bia approved,” said Ron Metcalfe, Managing Director at Iceland Ireland. “We are always looking for new Irish suppliers and we’re proud to support local brands”.

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Shelf Life MUSGRAVE has named the winners of its fourth annual Heroes awards, honouring its Overall Superhero and inspirational colleagues across six categories. Brian McGuirk, Regional Transport Planning Manager with Musgrave in Cork, was named as the Overall Musgrave Superhero. Other winners included: Robert Gallagher, Warehouse Operations Manager, Musgrave in Northern Ireland - Magical Thinking Brought to Life; Sarah Faherty, Payments Specialist, Finance, Musgrave - Best Stretch Achievement; Christian Olari and Juan Carlos Goncalves, Online Team, Musgrave - Most Heroic Action; Carley Dennan, HR Manager, Musgrave - Sustainability Champion; and Peter Slevin, IT Program Manager, Musgrave - Leading in the Community. Pictured is Overall Musgrave Superhero Brian McGuirk (centre) with Noel Keeley, CEO, Musgrave (left) and Matt O’Callaghan, Chief Human Resources Officer, Musgrave (right).

CAMILE Thai Kitchen has announced the opening of its first Petite Camile small footprint format in partnership with Circle K, at the Circle K M9 Kilcullen in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. Customers can enjoy a variety of healthy food options including its bliss bowls and dinner bowls, impulse hot snack range, sides and drinks, with the Camile offering sitting alongside Circle K’s renowned food range. “It is fantastic to have Petite Camile join our motorway services site in Kilcullen. For today’s customer, it’s important to provide them with lots of healthy options when they stop off at our service station,” noted Sarah Bradshaw, Commercial Partnerships Manager, Circle K, pictured with Brody Sweeney, founder of Camile Thai Kitchen.

A DUBLIN man who won a €1m Lotto prize for his family syndicate has described his win as a complete act of fate when he bought the winning Quick Pick ticket, after he had allowed other customers to skip ahead of him in the queue in his local Lidl store. “If I had bought that ticket a half a second earlier or a half a second later, it would have been a completely different outcome because it was a random Quick Pick ticket,” said the lucky winner. Lidl staff in Artane, Dublin 5, are pictured celebrating after they sold the winning ticket for the draw.

THOUSANDS of people took part in the Simon Home Run in the Phoenix Park on February 7 to support Dublin Simon Community. The race is now in its 37th year, making it the longest running charity run in Ireland. This year’s run had fun for all the family, with food and children’s entertainment in the tented village.

KEELINGS have announced the acquisition of Las Brisas, a beautiful pineapple farm located in Costa Rica that is highly acclaimed for its product quality and community initiatives. Las Brisas is a significant operation with over 900 hectares of land, 460 employees and a modern pack-house producing over 24m pineapples each year. Keelings have been strategically aligned with Las Brisas for the last number of years and have been successfully producing Zero Residue Pineapples for the last 12 months. “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment at Keelings to both growing and sourcing quality fruit in the best way possible,” noted Caroline Keeling, CEO of Keelings Fruits. GUINNESS and Diageo have announced that Paul Carty is to retire from his role as Managing Director of the Guinness Storehouse, Ireland’s most popular paid visitor attraction and one of the world’s leading brand experiences, after a long and illustrious career. Paul has led the Guinness Storehouse since its inception, joining as MD in its year of opening almost two decades ago. Under his leadership, visitor numbers have increased six-fold from under 300,000 to almost 1.8m in 2019. Paul’s successor will be Catherine Toolan, who will take up the role of MD of the Guinness Storehouse from the beginning of April.

IRISH chicken producer Manor Farm has won the IFSA Best Sustainable Food Product Award 2020 at The Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance awards. Manor Farm was awarded for its ‘Farmers to Market’ Free-Range Chicken Thigh Burgers. Farmers to Market is open to producers and suppliers with food products produced in a manner that simultaneously protects and enhances the natural environment and the local community. “We are incredibly proud to have our efforts recognised at the ISFA’s; it motivates us to continue to strive to have the best quality poultry on the Irish market,” said Matthew O'Gorman, Manor Farm, pictured (left) with Maurice Bergin, MD, Green Hospitality Programme and panel judge; and Charles Smith, Co-founder, Farmers to Market. TESCO Ireland will become the first retailer in Ireland to remove plastic-wrapped tinned multipacks, sold across its 151 stores and online, replacing them with plastic-free multibuys. This will see 1.5m multipacks of Tesco own-label and branded tinned beans, tuna, soup, and tomatoes sold without plastic wrap each year. The move eliminates this plastic film, which cannot currently be accepted in Irish household recycling collections. From early March 2020, tins will be available individually with plastic wrap no longer used to hold them together. They’ll still be eligible for multibuy deals, representing the same great value for customers, just without the plastic. Tesco are working with key supplier partners on the initiative, including Heinz Beanz.

ALDI Ireland is removing polystyrene trays from its multi-award winning range of Specially Selected Irish Pizzas, instead introducing cardboard trays. Arriving in stores this month, the new trays are fully recyclable and will lead to the removal of 3.5 tonnes of non-recyclable packaging each year.


Flood Protection – Enhanced Environment Civic Amenity Comhairle Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath TIONSCADAIL TUILTE AGUS RANNÁN UM CHREAT-TREOIR UISCE, Dublin City Council, Flood Projects & Water Framework Directive Division

 www.dublincity.ie


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Retail News January / February 2020