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Weekly Round Up, April 15, 2014

Published on Apr 14 2014 2:03 PM

Weekly Round Up, April 15, 2014

Total Produce is trialling NFC-enabled fresh produce retail units, which enable consumers to download customised fresh produce videos by tapping the NFC symbol on the side of the unit with their smartphone. Two different themed stands will be trialled: TOP 'Love Local' stands, which will profile the “people behind the produce”, namely the growers supplying the fixture; and TOP 'Fresh n Ready', which is orientated towards convenience outlets with quick, simple produce recipe videos uploaded daily for busy consumers 'on the go'. “We can upload a new video to these units instantly to respond to opportunities; a barbecue-themed video on a sunny afternoon, a pumpkin carving video for Halloween or a recipe video to complement an in-store Price Promotion," says Vincent Dolan, European Marketing Manager with Total Produce. "Similarly, we can update grower videos to reflect changes in product range at any time”. For more information, visit www.totalproduce.com 

Nielsen held its annual conference at the Tony Ryan Academy in Citywest Business Campus last Thursday. Speakers included Leo Meakin, Advanced Analytic Consulting; Matt Clark, Ireland Commercial Director; Elaine Wade, Ireland Business Unit Director; Louise Hawley, Client Business Partner; James Llewellyn, Shopper Research and Mark Walledge, Merchandising Services. The event covered many topics relevant to today’s retailers including ‘Ireland: State of the Nation’, ‘E-Commerce Opportunities for Growth’, ‘Category Marketing to Drive Loyalty’ and ‘The Future of Space Planning', highlighting Nielsen’s upgrade of its Spaceman software. To close the conference, Meakin discussed the brands that have weathered the recession well, and how to apply analytics to survive and thrive in a tough economy. The conference also introduced the new Commercial Director of Nielsen Ireland, Matt Clark, who replaces Maureen Mooney. 

Aldi has had its planning permission for a major extension to its regional offices in Naas extended for another five years. The permission is for an expansion to the existing two storey office and distribution centre in County Kildare and was originally granted a number of years ago. Permission was due to expire in September of this year, however it has now been extended until September 2019. The building hasn’t commenced as a result of “economic circumstances” says Aldi, despite a continuing upward growth in market share in Ireland. Aldi currently hold 7.9% of the market share according to the latest Kantar Worldpanel data (12 weeks to March 30, 2014).

Dairygold posted an increase of operating profit of €27.3 million last year. The dairy co-operative’s turnover also increased by €116 million to €847 million in the year, while earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation rose 19% to €45.4 million. Dairygold reportedly recorded its highest annual milk intake of 959 million in 2013, a continuation of the upward trend for the company over recent years. Jim Woulfe, Dairygold chief executive said, “Our strong financial position, combined with a thought out expansion strategy ensures that the Dairygold business is ready for growth. This will be achieved, both organically in a post quota environment and with strategic acquisitions as appropriate.”

A new Bord Bia study has revealed that Aldi stocks the largest supply of fresh Irish meat products labelled with the Bord Bia Quality Assurance Mark. Aldi were found to stock 78% of quality assured fresh meat, compared to Tesco (72%), Dunnes Stores (69%), SuperValu (67%), Centra (65%), Lidl (63%) and Spar (36%). Aldi Group buying director Rob Farrell told the Irish Independent, “We source all our fresh meat exclusively from farms in the Republic of Ireland that are certified under the Bord Bia scheme. We're working all the time on increasing the amount of Irish product in our fresh meat range, and we're really concentrating on rashers and sliced meats as a next step." The Bord Bia survey was carried out in March this year. 

The Irish Whiskey sector is to invest €1 billion in Ireland over the next 10 years, according to the newly launched Irish Whiskey Association. There are 15 distilleries in development across the country, which the group brings together to boost the trade. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney said at the launch last Wednesday, “The launch of the Irish Whiskey Association is a sign of the industry’s shared vision. Irish Whiskey is a star of the Irish food and drink sector and I’m proud to be here today as a mark of support for the sector. Export expansion, at least 15 new distillery projects and planned investment of €1 billion over the next 10 years is a significant mark of confidence in our economic future.” The Association will aim to promote the Irish Whiskey category in Ireland and internationally, working with Government agencies (North and South) and the European Commission, and support new market entrants. It also plans to ensure the legal protection offered by the Geographic Indication is applied in Ireland and internationally, and ensure public policy supports the sustainable growth of the Irish Whiskey sector.

Tesco Galway has won the Gradam Sheosaimh Uí Ógartaigh award, which recognises companies and organisations in Galway City that demonstrate a “visible, genuine and creative use of the Irish Language within their business impacting on their staff and the bilingual image of the city.” The Tesco Galway store has embraced the Irish language with signage across the store and Irish language self-service checkouts. Each of the stores’ 200 colleagues are being introduced to the language through bilingual phrases and notices in all staff areas, as well as participating in Irish language classes to enhance the shopping experience for Irish-speaking customers. As well as winning the overall award, Tesco was named as the winner of the ‘Retail Category’ sponsored by Galway Bay FM. The awards were held last Thursday in the Galway Bay Hotel. 

Data from Kantar Worldpanel has revealed that shoppers are buying smaller packs of potatoes in order to minimise waste. The value of the potato market rose to €185 million last year, mostly due to price increases, although lesser volumes being bought per trip has taken value out of the market, with shoppers buying into smaller pack sizes. Shoppers said that convenience, pack size, and promotion influenced their choice when buying potatoes. Horticulture specialist for Bord Bia, Lorcan Bourke, said, “In total, 105 million packs of potatoes were sold in 2013, meaning that potatoes were bought once every 0.6 seconds in Irish retailers, which translates into 1.58 million households purchasing potatoes annually.” Roosters showed the strongest performance overall, with increased buying frequency over other varieties. Roosters accounted for almost 50% of sales in value share and over 50% in volume terms. However, volumes of potatoes sold were down across the whole category.

Unilever UK & Ireland has appointed Sarah Newbitt as VP Supply Chain for UK & Ireland. Succeeding David Sprent, Newbitt will be responsible for the supply chain of Unilever's UK and Ireland operations, comprising more than 10 facilities that manufacture consumer goods across four categories: foods, refreshment, home care and personal care. Newbitt said of the new opportunity, “Having worked for Unilever for a number of years, I am looking forward to returning to the UK and Ireland business and overseeing our supply chain. We are building a new personal care factory in Port Sunlight, our historic home, this year, so it is a particularly exciting time to take on the role.” Newbitt has worked with Unilever since joining the company as a graduate trainee 20 years ago. Former VP Supply Chain for Unilever UK & Ireland, David Sprent, has moved to become VP Supply Chain – Foods of Unilever North America.

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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