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Weekly Round Up, March 11, 2014

Published on Mar 10 2014 3:22 PM

Weekly Round Up, March 11, 2014

Joanne Dineen, Shopper Marketing Manager Europe, Coca-Cola; Dena Walker, Brand Planner, Irish International; and Ken Hughes, Consumer & Shopper Behaviouralist, Glacier Consulting; will be among those presenting at the ECR Future Trends Forum 'Shopper Marketing Symposium', taking place at the Ryan Academy, Citywest Business Park next Tuesday, 18 March, from 8.30 to 10am. The symposium is the first of three, with future forums scheduled for April 17 and May 21. The event is presented by Glacier Consulting, and sponsored by Visualise. Checkout is the media partner for the event. Attendance is limited, and registration is just €10. Click here for more information.

Aramark Ireland have teamed up with ‘Grow It Yourself’ (GIY) for the Celebrate Irish Food Campaign 2014 as part of a three year agreement. Together, the two groups will promote the use of locally sourced products and awareness and understanding of the impact that food has on our health and wellness. Donal O’Brien, Chief Executive of Aramark Ireland said, “At Aramark, we understand that consumers today are very conscious of the need to buy Irish and support local producers. They want high quality, local ingredients that are also healthy, nutritious and sustainable. This is why we place locally-sourced food at the heart of our business. We are committed to serving the finest and freshest local produce to our customers and spend €60 million annually with Irish suppliers.” Michael Kelly, CEO of GIY added, “Growing even just some of your own food can greatly improve your appreciation of food and where it comes from. We are therefore delighted to partner with Aramark Ireland for this year’s Celebrate Irish Food campaign and to work together to spread the message of the value of nutritious, healthy and locally sourced produce.” This year’s campaign will run from March 10th to 14th. 

Thousands of beef farmers protested outside the Department of Agriculture last week to voice their concerns about cuts to beef prices paid to farmers in recent months. Irish Farmers Association president, Eddie Downey called the Food Harvest 2020 plan a 'failure' to farmers, as they could lose up to €175 million this year if beef prices are not restored. At the protest, Downey said, “The Minister (for Agriculture) must reject the factory cuts and specification changes and act immediately to address labelling and live export issues that are curtailing competition and the movement of stock to our key markets, including Northern Ireland and the UK.” He added that the sector needs stability and confidence to be restored without any further delay. Many bull beef finishers are currently facing price cuts of 50c per kg or more, which range from €200 to €300 per head. 

According to the latest index from KBC Bank Ireland and the ESRI, Irish consumer sentiment was recorded at its highest level in seven years last month. Sentiment increased from 84.6 in January to 85.5 in February, the highest result since May 2007. In addition, the three-month moving average increased for the tenth consecutive month to 83.3, from 78.5 in January. The report said, “We don’t think a dramatic pick-up in spending is already underway even if the trend should improve through the coming year. This means there is a risk that the buying climate element of the survey weakens significantly in the near future. The speed and scale of any pull-back may give some clues as to whether Irish consumers are starting to plan for a notably healthier economic and financial future.” Austin Hughes, KBC Bank Ireland economist said that the February reading should be seen as consolidating recent gains in the sentiment index. He says it suggests that consumers are increasingly confident that the Irish economy and the outlook for jobs are improving and, at the margin, pressure on household finances may be easing slightly.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said that he is "not unfavourably disposed" to the introduction of a tiered licensing system for off-licences, to ensure that supermarkets pay more for their annual licence than smaller, independent off-licences. Minister Noonan was responding to a question from Fine Gael Kerry South TD Brendan Griffin, who asked whether "he will consider linking the licence fee paid by large off-licences to their annual turnover; his views that supermarket giants could afford to pay more than they are currently paying in view of the huge sales that they are making." The Minister replied by saying he believed "a number of issues need to be taken into consideration. Any change to the arrangements in place for large supermarkets would also have to be applied to smaller outlets such as the off-licence on the corner." In addition, he noted that "On the face of it, it would seem unreasonable to apply the same turnover definition to a supermarket whose core business is groceries and household goods but sells alcohol as an added service." Currently, a typical off-licence pays a licence fee of €1,500 per annum, regardless of size. The Minister added that he has "asked my officials to examine the proposal in the context of this year's Finance Bill."

The second consecutive regional Spanish Wine Fair was held in Cork last week with over 75 wine professionals from the Munster area in attendance. 16 Irish importers showed their top wines from their Spanish portfolios, representing over 103 wineries, at the Radisson Blu Hotel. The trade event displayed over 160 wines from over 32 different Designations of Origin for tastings and discussion. César Saldaña, the General Manager of the Designation of Origin in Jerez gave two seminars on the wide range of Sherry wines. Spanish wines now account for 14.6% of the total wine market in Ireland, up from 5.5% nearly 10 years ago. 

Valeo Foods is appointing financial advisers in order to prepare for a public offering. According to the Sunday Business Post, no details of the flotation have been released yet. The Irish food company bought the UK company Rowse Honey last week, for an undisclosed amount, which will involve a restructuring of some of its group companies in Ireland, as well as the creation of new companies in the UK. Valeo Foods is believed to have a turnover in excess of €280 million per year and employs approximately 400 people in Dublin and Laois. 

Lidl Cork has reportedly received angry responses from local inner-city residents over nighttime deliveries to its new store in the Cornmarket Centre. Residents in the area told the Irish Examiner that the noise from such deliveries are making their lives "a misery". Details of the deliveries include a truck unloading from 1.40am to 4.54 am, followed by another truck arriving at 5.45am. Cllr Mick Finn is looking into the planning conditions of the site to see if the night time deliveries were agreed upon before approval. He said, “The potential for this problem to arise was flagged by residents. They warned us that this was going to happen. The worry is now that if a delivery routine has been established, it will be difficult to change.” A Lidl spokesperson has said that they have no record of any complaints in relation to deliveries, however a condition of its planning stated that deliveries can only be made between 9pm and 5am, because trucks have to use a one-way street. 

Tesco's Terenure store in South Dublin has been bid for by a private investor, for more than €3 million. This bid is more than €70,000 above the guide price, with a yield of 5.25%. The store is let to Tesco Ireland on a 25 year lease from last September when it first opened. Annual rent is €150,000, but is due for review every five years. The lease also allows the option to break the lease after 10 and 15 years. Last year the store, formerly a bar called Quinlans, was remodelled to become a supermarket for Tesco Ireland. Its ground floor retail area covers 675sq m (7,265sq ft), with a further 360sq m (3,874sq ft) of ancillary space at first floor level. The overall site extends to 0.179 of a hectare and can accommodate 33 cars. 

Yellow Door Deli has won the contract to supply a number of food outlets in Dublin Airport. The Northern Irish food supplier, based in Portadown, County Armagh, has been targeting the Republic for fast growth over the past five years. Yellow Door will initially supply food outlets at the airport with traditional Northern Irish delicacies such as traybakes using ingredients from other producers in Northern Ireland including bramley apples from orchards in county Armagh and Old Bushmills Irish Whiskey from county Antrim. Simon Dougan, Yellow Door’s founder and managing director, says, “This is a tremendously important and exciting contract that gives us a huge opportunity to showcase our products and expertise at one of the most significant travel centres in the Republic. What we are doing is bringing the tastes and flavours from Northern Ireland to travellers using the airport.” The artisan deli, bakery and catering business supplies high-end hotels, such as The Merrion in Dublin city centre, and leading restaurants and cafes in the greater Dublin area. Sales in the Republic grew by around 25% last year.

Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union, has said that the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 1.6% in the Eurozone (EA18) and by 0.9% in the EU28 in January this year. However, retail trade fell by 1.3% and 0.7% respectively in December 2013. According to Eurostat, the 1.6% increase in the volume of retail trade in the Eurozone in January, compared with December, is as a result of rises of 1.9% for the non-food sector, of 1.5% for automotive fuel and of 1.1% for Food, drinks and tobacco. The report states that in the EU28, the 0.9% increase in retail trade is due to rises of 1.4% for automotive fuel, of 1.3% for the non-food sector and of 0.3% for Food, drinks and tobacco. The highest decreases were in the United Kingdom (-1.5%), Ireland and Malta (both -1.0%), Denmark (-0.9%) and Latvia (-0.6%), while the highest increases in total retail trade were registered in Portugal (+6.7%), Estonia (+4.6%), Germany  (+2.5%), Romania and Slovenia (both +2.4%). 

© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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