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Weekly Round Up, December 9, 2014

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, December 9, 2014

Centra has partnered with Christmas FM for the second time to spread festive cheer everyday in the run up to Christmas Day. This year, Christmas FM will be raising awareness and funds for Age Action, the charity which promotes positive ageing and better services and policies for older people. Martin Kelleher, Managing Director of Centra said, “We are delighted to partner with Christmas FM, and as well as spreading the festive cheer, we are honoured to have the opportunity to support such a worthy cause as Age Action and help those in need during this seasonal period.” The main radio frequencies for Christmas FM are Dublin City and County 94.3FM, Dublin Commuter Belt 88.1FM, Limerick 105.5FM, Galway 89.5FM, Cork 106.7FM, South East 103.8FM, North Midlands 99.4FM, North East 101.6FM and North Wicklow is 99.5FM.

Spar has launched the new Spar Select Range, a premium line of private label products available in Spar and Eurospar networks. The new Select range includes 100 new products and has been developed in conjunction with a number of local producers as well as some international suppliers, to create a high-end range of goods, guided by the principle: ‘for the love of food.’The range includes: freshly squeezed Irish juices, premium breakfast meats including Blas na hEireann gold medal award-winning Irish pork sausages, cooked and sliced meats including ham and turkey slices, and Irish and International fresh cheeses including Tipperary Brie, Smoked Gouda and Vintage Cheddar. There are also chilled ready meals such as Steak and Stout Deep Filled Pie, Superior Fish Pie and a range of quiches and pizzas.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) served eleven Closure Orders and one Prohibition Order on food businesses during the month of November for breaches of food safety legislation, pursuant to the FSAI Act, 1998 and the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010. Three Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on: Curry Hut (Waterford), Mr Kebab (Limerick) and The Arlington Hotel (Dublin 2). Meanwhile, eight Closure Orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on: Moneymore (Louth), The Mekong (Dublin 9), Turmec Teoranta (Meath), “The Kitchen” Chinese Takeaway (Louth), L&M Store (Louth), Pure Green Juices (Dublin 15) Caoch O’Leary (Laois) and Grillish (Tipperary). One Prohibition Order was served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on MJI Meats, (Mayo). Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI, warned that food businesses need to be vigilant in relation to food safety at all times, especially in the busy run up to Christmas, to ensure full compliance with food legislation.

Alltech have announced that O’Briens has joined the Craft Brews and Food Fair 2015 as its official retail partners. O'Briens will operate a “Craft Beer Shop” on site during event. A large amount of exhibitors have been registered and spaces are limited. This year’s Fair will run for three days and boast three live Six Nations Rugby matches, with Hector Ó h'Eochagáin returning for the main stage for the Craft Beer Grand Slam. An Early Bird option (€950) is available to beer producers that register online before January 31st 2015. Irish Pubs Global will host a tradeshow and attendees have the opportunity to avail of free trade talks and network with others on Friday, February 27.

Blackthorn Foods, manufacturer of Melting Pot handmade fudge, is launching a new product aimed at tea houses and coffee shops in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The Northern Irish company has developed a 22g finger fudge, available in three flavours. The company has also launched Luxury Toffees, a caramel product with Belgian Chocolate. Blackthorn Foods was formed in 2004, and has since won a number of UK Great Taste Awards. Jenny Lowry, co-founder, said: “We’ve seen business in Europe grow significantly over the past year […] and hope to explore opportunities developing in new markets like the Middle East.”


ShortCross, a handcrafted gin produced in Northern Ireland, has won its first export sales into the Republic of Ireland. The family-run business, already a supplier to Fortnum and Mason in London, now supplies The Celtic Whiskey Shop and Donnybrook Fair, both based in Dublin, among its developing customer base. The company is investing over £500,000 in the development of the business. Rademon Craft Distillery was established by husband and wife team David and Fiona Boyd-Armstrong in April 2012 and is the outcome of extensive market research in Britain and other international markets into opportunities for craft-based premium drinks. They launched the small batch gin earlier in the year. David said, “Winning business with two such upmarket customers is a tremendous boost for the business and gives a foothold in a market that we’ve targeted for growth […] The launch of our gin has proved an outstanding success over the past 10 months and positions us for faster growth in 2015.”

Pre-tax profits at PJ Carroll were shown to have fallen 27.5% last year to €6 million. The tobacco company’s gross revenue also declined by 7.5% to €234.82 million, with its net of Government taxes falling 5.7% to €31.33 million. PJ Carroll directors attribute the decline to volume reductions “as a result of market contraction in legitimate market.” They said in the report, “We estimate that the illicit market has grown to 29% (up 1% on 2012) based on Eurobarometer independent sources and pack picks in market". Sales of cigarettes have also been impacted by growth in Roll your Own (RYO), up by 14% as smokers cut back on costs.

Tesco expects to sell approximately 5.5 million individual Brussels Sprouts in December this year, approximately 123 sprouts per minute for the month. Tesco Brussels Sprouts are sourced from farms in Navan, Macetown, Garrickstown and Oldtown with some growers supplying Tesco for 17 years. 500g packs of Irish Brussels Sprouts are available now for €1.19 in Tesco stores throughout Ireland. Brussels Sprouts are available all year round but their peak season is from Autumn until early spring.

The Rubicon Centre on the Cork Institute of Technology campus in Bishopstown, Co. Cork is hosting a special day for Irish start-ups planning to expand to the UK market. The 'Accessing the UK Market' event is being held on Wednesday, 10 December, and is highlighting businesses like ICT and the food and drink sectors. It will involve specialists on how to plan and build strategic alliances for easier entry to the market. The number of Irish companies targeting the UK has nearly doubled in the past four years. Paul Healy, general manager of the Rubicon Centre said: “Last year was an extremely positive year for Irish businesses accessing the UK market and with further strategic business advice, market research, and lead generation, it is possible the coming 12 months can surpass this.”

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson and Robert Moloney.

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