This year, Checkout commemorates its 40th anniversary and with this in mind, every week, Retail Intelligence is going to ‘reel in the years’ and publish a story from our extensive archives. This feature from October 1999 looks back at the announcement by former Musgrave group managing directior Séamus Scally that retail turnover at SuperValu-Centra had topped £1 billion.
September saw retail turnover top £1 billion at SuperValu-Centra for the first nine months of the year, representing a 17% increase over the same period last year and ahead of forecasts for the 1999 trading period.
Details were announced by Seamus Scally, Musgrave group managing director, at the retailers’ first annual Food and Drink Showcase at the RDS in Dublin.
Over 1,500 SuperValu-Centra retailers and staff attended the two-day trade show, which highlighted new product development in the fresh, chilled and frozen food sectors, and the latest advances in display, merchandising and marketing. The 120 fresh food suppliers represented at the event heard how 70% of Musgrave SuperValu-Centra purchases are from Irish companies. The group lists over 400 individual Irish suppliers including Kerry Group, Glanbia, Green Isle, Cuisine de France, Golden Vale and Dairygold, with the four main dairy companies alone supplying in excess of £115 million of produce annually.
Seamus Scally used the showcase to address the need for Irish food manufacturers to take advantage of the huge potential of changing customer eating patterns, not just in the Irish market but throughout Europe.
“Home meal replacement is the new buzzword in the grocery retail sector, as consumers shift more and more away from preparing food at home to buying meal solutions in their local store," he said. "We have to be in a position to satisfy this demand and to do that, we need reliable local supply. There is a huge market potential for Irish suppliers who can produce a quality product to meet this emerging new market.”
Lorcan Burke, An Bord Glas development marketing executive, who attended the Musgrave SuperValu-Centra showcase, says the introduction of central distribution has brought an increased focus on quality, hygiene and safety issues within the fresh produce sector. “Central distribution has contributed significantly to improving the year-round consistency of fresh produce being offered to the customer. Key retailers, such as Musgrave, are very aware of the benefits of sourcing produce locally, not only because Irish consumers are demanding it, but also because crop programmes can be given growers to provide fully traceable fresh produce to central supply points, allowing produce to be delivered fresh into stores.”
Fresh food now represents over 30% of all produce sold in an average SuperValu outlet.
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