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Weekly Round Up, June 4, 2014

Published on Jun 3 2014 11:01 AM

Weekly Round Up, June 4, 2014

This year's 'Show Me ID - Be Age OK' Awareness Week takes place from June 30th to July 6th, and retailers are encouraged to sign up to the scheme to ensure that they maintain good practice when it comes to preventing the sale of age-restricted products to minors. The 'Show Me ID - Be Age OK' initiative was introduced in 2010, and to date, over 1,276 retailers and retail staff have signed up to the programme and undergone the training module at www.showmeid.ie. The programme is supported by some of Ireland's leading trade associations, including RGDATA, CSNA, NFRN, VFI, NOffLA and business organisations Retail Excellence Ireland and South Dublin Chamber. For more information, visit www.showmeid.ie 

A study by Amárach Research has found that members of Tesco's loyalty programme typically spend 80% more in store than non-members, with SuperValu loyalty members spending 62% more. The findings were revealed by Amárach's Gerard O'Neill, at the Sales Institute Annual Conference, held last week at the Ballsbridge Hotel. Dunnes loyalty members spend 40% more on average, the study found, while Applegreen members spend 34% more and Topaz members spend 32% more. During his presentation, O'Neill also suggested that while consumer spending is projected to increase in the coming years, much of this recovered spend will be spent online. Nine in ten Irish internet users purchase a product every month for delivery to their home, he noted, while as many as 58% of consumers have engaged in ‘showrooming’, viewing available products in-store, and then purchasing online.

Enterprise Ireland held an event to highlight the opportunities for investment in Ireland in the food industry in London last week. Hosted by the Embassy of Ireland, London, the theme of the event  ‘Accelerate Your Business in Europe’, focused on the role the Irish food sector can play in driving business growth. Over 75 key decision makers from the UK and other international companies attended, along with strategic UK experts and leading investment institutions. Over €87 million was invested by European companies in the Irish agri-food sector in 2013, and almost 50% of this came from the UK, making it one of Ireland's most important sources of investment in the sector. Michael Cantwell, Enterprise Ireland Head of Food, said: "Enterprise Ireland is proactively in the market looking for new projects for Ireland as well as working together with the international food companies already in Ireland. We help our partners to grow their business from Ireland, creating value for them and enabling them to create new jobs in Ireland".

Ardagh, the Irish-backed multinational glass and packaging group, is likely to go ahead with a planned stock market launch in the second half of next year. The company, chaired by Irish stakeholder Paul Coulson, shelved plans to float on Wall Street in 2001, due to market volatility, but it has now decided to proceed with plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of its shares in 2015. The group hopes the move will help raise profit to pay down its debt of over €3 billion and invest on acquisitions. Reportedly, the group will opt to sell its shares in New York, due to its strong foothold in the American market and following its completion of the formal application process with their stock market regulator in 2011. Luxembourg-based Ardagh, which supplies bottles to Coca Cola, Budweiser and Heineken, began as the Irish Glass Bottle manufacturing business, founded in Dublin in 1932. 

The income of dairy farmers has increased by 31% from last year due to high milk prices and strong growth in output. According to Teagasc, the average dairy farm income in 2013 (€64,371) was more than double the national farm average of €25,639. This surge of income came despite an 11% increase in production costs. Teagasc said that although the average income on Irish farms overall increased by 1% in 2013, the stability in the average level masks the increasing income gap between dairy and other types of farming. “The largest increase in average family farm incomes occurred in Cork and Kerry, where they rose by 24%, while incomes in the midlands region, where drystock farming and tillage dominates, slipped by 16%,” said Gerry Boyle, Teagasc director. In addition, the average Irish farm received 8% less in direct payments last year due to reductions in single payment receipts, agri-environment payments and the ending of the suckler cow welfare scheme.

Bombay Pantry, the Wicklow based Indian food producer, is developing and extending its Irish chilled supply chain service with support from specialist operator Oakland International. Bombay Pantry engaged Oakland International to provide direct DC distribution in both Dublin and Cork, and the company now plans to further develop its working relationship with Oakland to support additional retailer contract expansion nationwide. Emma Sheehan from Bombay Pantry said, “The fact that Oakland has a proven track record was important to us as we needed to hit the ground quickly to get deliveries up and running, whilst also supporting our transition to this new phase of distribution.” Oakland International general manager, Richard Hill, added, “We are delighted to be working with and supporting Bombay Pantry, a multi-award winning company. Oakland International is skilled at developing growth partnerships with food producers across Ireland, the UK and Europe and we look forward to further extending our relationship with Bombay Pantry as they develop category offer and market share.”

The Mars-owned chocolate brand Galaxy is tapping into the rapidly growing ‘Swishing’ movement to promote its new Galaxy Style Exchange. ‘Swishing’ involves up-cycling your style by trading quality, unworn items, usually clothing and accessories, with your friends. A big part of swishing is centred on the hosting of parties at which your invitees can exchange goods with each other. Galaxy is appealing to women nationwide to encourage them to take part in this initiative. To support this, Galaxy has created a dedicated website, www.galaxy.ie, and a blog where interested fashionistas can find all the relevant information about hosting their own Style Exchange. This is being heavily backed by a strong OOH campaign, the centrepiece of which are two wrapped bus shelters on Pearse and Camden Street incorporating special Adshel 6 Sheets showcasing outfits from the shop. The website describes the initiative by the chocolate giant as ‘a fun and free way for people to swap clothes, shoes and accessories with each other in a relaxed, party format.

Tesco has formed the largest multi format-retailer in China, in conjunction with China Resource Enterprises (CRE).The supermarket giant revealed plans earlier this year to combine 131 of its branches and its shopping mall operation in China with CRE’s Vanguard business, which has 2,986 stores. Tesco holds a 20% stake in this venture, while CRE holds the remaining 80%. "We're very pleased to have completed this historic agreement," said Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke. "The partnership creates a strong platform in one of the world's largest markets. We can now combine our strengths to build a profitable multichannel business, offering our customers in China the best of modern retail." Tesco hopes that expansion into India and China can offset weakness in European markets.

Scandinavian confectionery firm, Cloetta, has acquired Dublin-based Aran Candy, owner of the Jelly Bean Factory brand, for a reported €15.5 million in cash. Cloetta purchased 75% of the shares in the company, and the remaining 25% will be acquired in 2016, based on 2015 result targets. The acquisition will be financed utilising Cloetta’s existing credit facilities. “The Jelly Bean Factory has shown strong growth over the last years and the acquisition will significantly strengthen Cloetta’s position in the UK market. In addition, we intend to roll out the products in our current core markets over time,” said Cloetta chief executive Bengt Baron. Aran Candy is Europe’s leading producer of gourmet jelly beans, producing around 12 million jelly beans daily in 36 different flavours. With a turnover of €12 million, the company exports more than 98% of its production to 55 export markets around the globe. The firm employs a staff of 70 at its facility in Blanchardstown, Co Dublin.

Agri-services group Origin Enterprises has increased its full-year earnings guidance after reporting "robust activity" on its farms. The company, a spin-off of the former IAWS group, said it's raising its full-year earnings guidance by three cent per share to about 55 cent. Tom O'Mahony, Origin chief executive, said that revenue rose 19.8% to €512.8m. The earning profile in in the second half its financial year accounts for about 90% of earnings. It said its agronomy services business in the UK maintained "excellent momentum" in the third quarter, achieving higher revenues and profits as near perfect growing conditions supported the accelerated development of winter and spring crop plantings.

Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) are worried about their lack of social media performance, with over 55% of them referring to it as ‘average’ or even ‘poor’. Only 2% rate it as 'better than expected'. The findings were made in a survey of Irish SMEs by Mindshare on behalf of Bord Gais Energy, in advance of the Bord Gais Energy Social Media Awards which take place on Thursday June 5. The survey also found that 75% of SMEs don’t measure their social media performance, while 17% don’t even have a website. However, there are some tech savvy SMEs out there and according to the research, over 40% review a person’s social media page during the recruitment process, and one in four admit to firing or warning staff because of their social media presence. Damien Mulley, founder of the Bord Gais Energy Social Media Awards said, "While it's the still the wild, wild west for some on social media, this survey shows that the marshals have arrived in town to bring order. Your boss is probably following you on Twitter under that generic account name and watching what you're saying about the company. So, my advice is, behave on social media as you do in person."

Seventeen Irish food and drink companies participated in the third annual Bord Bia/Tesco Supplier Development Programme last week. Since launching in 2012, a total of 33 companies have completed the programme and gone on to generate €16 million worth of sales to Tesco stores. Over a quarter of this revenue was recorded in the UK, highlighting the export opportunities realised through the programme. Aidan Cotter, chief executive, Bord Bia, said that it is a comprehensive and practical programme, including workshops and mentoring, and access to Tesco's consumer insights, all designed to help Irish food and drink businesses grow to the next level, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Commenting, Phil J. Clarke, CEO, Tesco said "Tesco is proud to partner with Bord Bia to support the development of local Irish businesses.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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