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Weekly Round-Up, August 18 2015

Published on Aug 18 2015 7:44 AM

Weekly Round-Up, August 18 2015

The 2nd ECR Leaders Congress takes place at the O’Reilly Hall, UCD, on Wednesday 23 September, with a host of high-profile speakers including Martin Kelleher, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Willie O’Byrne, BWG Foods, Sean Moriarty, Retail Director, Topaz Ireland and businessman Ivan Yates. Checkout is the media partner for this event. For more information, click here

Applegreen and Tedcastles are reportedly challenging a decision to grant rival Topaz planning permission to develop service stations in Athlone, Kilcullen and Gorey. According to The Irish Times, the two groups had created a new consortium, Superstop 2, to tender for the three service areas, only for Topaz to be awarded the tender.

A new app that is said to 'take the hassle out of loyalty schemes' has been launched onto the Irish market. Cardtrix allows consumers to store loyalty scheme account information on their smart phones, as well as sign up to new schemes as they shop. The app already supports the loyalty programmes of 13 major retailers, including Tesco, Dunnes Stores and SuperValu.

WEEE Ireland has launched ‘The Great Bulb Exchange’, offering consumers a free flowering bulb when they return their energy saving, CFL bulbs at participating hardware stores, including Woodie’s, Arro and Homevalue. According to WEEE, only 30% of CFL bulbs are recycled, with the rest going into general rubbish or being hoarded in homes.

Heineken is reportedly lining up a full or partial bid for Comans Wholesale, according to the Irish Independent. Reports at the weekend suggested that a full takeover of the firm, which distributes Dutch Gold and Druids Celtic Cider among others, could cost in the region of €25 million.

UniSlim has launched gluten free Gorge Us! Rustic Cut chips, offering a low in saturated fats, salt free and additive free oven chip option. A portion of UniSlim’s chips has only 150 calories, even less than a standard baked potato. The brand also plans to expand the Gorge Us! Range to include soups, ready meals and snacks over the coming months.

A new Grant Aid Scheme has been launched for the organic produce sector in Ireland, which will see grants of up to €500,000 for off-farm processing facilities. Processors will be able to apply for the grant to invest in preparation, grading, packing and storage of organic products with a minimum investment of €3,000.

The EU Commission has reduced the amount of ‘specified risk material’ that needs to be checked under the BSE testing regime, with the aim of reducing disposal costs and opening up new market opportunities. However, as Ireland is still has a controlled risk BSE status, not all of the reductions will be applied.

Glanbia is set to report its half year results this Wednesday, with Davy Stockbrokers expecting EBITA at the dairy group to be up 13.2% to €121.5 million. “While management still expects the Global Ingredients division to generate improved EBITA this year, we eased back our EBITA estimates in May given the combined scale of the dairy price and FX headwinds facing the division,” Davy analyst Jack Gorman told The Irish Times.

Distributor of Buckfast Tonic Wine, J Chandler & Co has announced a new miniature format for the drink as a way to cash in on the wedding and in-flight markets. The new 5cl bottles of Buckfast will retail in British supermarkets at £2, while J Chandler & Co look for other distribution opportunities for the new format.

As the start of college season looms, Aldi has introduced a line of student living essentials including an electric mini oven at €27.99 and double hot plate at €29.99, ideal for student flats with limited space. For the classroom, the discounter is offering a Medion Akoya Notebook for €229.99 and a Multi-Purpose Powerbank for charging electronics on the go, priced at €14.99.

Lakeland Dairies has praised the “exceptionally high quality” of milk from Northern Ireland farms at the Lakeland Milk Quality Awards. The awards recognise the achievements of Lakeland dairy suppliers, with this year’s winners named as John Smith Junior and John Smith Senior from Ballyholland in Co. Down.

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