Retail Intelligence

Weekly Round Up, November 26, 2013

By Publications Checkout
Weekly Round Up, November 26, 2013


Bakery giant Aryzta's Food Europe portfolio, which includes its Cusine de France business here, saw its revenue grow by 17.6% in Q1, according to accounts just filed. Food Europe revenue rose to €377.6 million in the period, helped by a contribution of 18.5% from acquisitions. Underlying revenue growth was up 0.7%, while there was a 1.6% negative impact from currency. Overall, Aryzta posted a 0.4% increase in revenue to €1.1 billion. Commenting, Davy Stockbrokers said that Aryzta "is laying the foundations for the next phase of development, while ultimately creating a more sustainable business model."

The European Commission has told the Sunday Times that many of the graphic images used on tobacco products are 'demonstrations and symbolic images' using models, rather than real people. The images were reportedly sourced from a Belgian marketing company, Synovate, and are approximately 10 years old. The Commission told the paper, "It was considered unethical to depict dying patients. Not all of the models are smokers, but this is irrelevant as long as the image is realistic and the message is clear."

Musgrave Group has issued a statement to clarify that it has "no plans to launch a bank", following claims in the Sunday Independent that it was 'plotting a sensational entry' into the banking sector. In its statement, Musgrave rejected such claims, saying that it is instead "in the early stages of looking at providing services such as insurance products to our customers, but these plans do not include personal or commercial loans. Musgrave is exploring the financial services space after receiving customer feedback that this is one of a number of services they would like to see offered by our retail brands."

The Good Food Ireland Conference and Awards (in association with Kerrygold) was held last week at the Shelbourne Hotel. This years conference theme was ‘Influencing Ireland’s food choices at home and abroad.” Speakers at the event included the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, UK journalist Xanthe Clay from The Telegraph, Dr Maureen Gaffney, Darragh McCullough from RTE’s Ear to the Ground, Padraig O Ceidigh, chairman Entrepreneur of the Year, and Noel Toolan, among others. Good Food Ireland said that it aims to create a forum for new global opportunity, support growth and raise standards within industry to strengthen Ireland’s profile abroad. Winners were awarded by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and included: Innovation Excellence Award: Sage Restaurant; Midleton, Co Cork, Food Shop: URRU Culinary Store; Bandon, Co Cork and Ambassador of the Year: Rory O’ Connell, Ballymaloe Cookery School, for his exemplary contribution to assisting with the Good Food Ireland Food Summit in partnership with the Web Summit.


Nestlé Ireland has announced that it is reformulating its iconic Kit Kat bar with lower saturated fat, following three years of research and development led by the Nestlé innovation team in York. Nestlé have said that the recipe change, which centers on the wafer filling in the Kit Kat, rather than the chocolate, will result in the removal of approximately 200 tonnes of saturated fat from the Irish national diet. The new, reformulated Kit Kat will go on sale from early next year.

Wicklow Rapeseed Oil, a new farm-produced oil, has launched on the Irish market. From a third generation farm based in South County Wicklow, Keith Symes launched two products in the new company’s range, Rapeseed Oil and Rapeseed Oil with Garlic. With a background in sheep, dairy and tillage farming, Symes decided to branch out and focus on harvesting rapeseed, due to its health benefits and the growing consumer needs for new oils. Wicklow Rapeseed oil has 52% mono-unsaturated fat (Omega 9) and 25% poly-unsaturated fat (Omega 3 & 6), and has less than half the saturated fat content (6%) of other cooking oils. Symes said, “I am delighted to be launching at a time when consumers are becoming more health conscious and know how good Rapeseed Oils are for you. I have spent a lot of time cold pressing various seed varieties until the finest tasting Rapeseed Oil was achieved.”

The Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Young Fishmonger of the Year Awards took place yesterday at the Radisson Hotel in Stillorgan, Co Dublin. The winner was James Kirwin from Naas, who was selected from five finalists. Each runner up received a €1,500 cheque for business development and a set of specialist fish knives. The BIM award is a new initiative and is open to anyone aged under 35, employed full-time in fish retail shops or supermarket seafood counters. The winning prize includes a study trip to France, €3,000 for business development, a placement in a top seafood restaurant kitchen and sponsorship in a BIM retail development workshop.

Subway opened its 1,700th store in Ireland and the UK this week. Cork businessman Owen O’Driscoll opened the store in Douglas as part of Subway’s plan to open a further 40 stores in Ireland in 2014. The store openings planned by the Subway development team will create up to 400 new jobs and represent an investment of almost €5 million. The opening in Douglas brings the total store count in the Republic of Ireland to 117 and the Douglas store is the 16th new store to open in the Republic of Ireland this year. All of the stores in the network are operated on a franchise basis.

A Barclays Bank study shows Ireland has found that 80% of retailers believe this year’s Christmas sales will exceed or match sales from last year, as confidence gradually improves in the Irish retail sector. Less than than 20% of retailers anticipate a drop in consumer spend on last year and only 16% of respondents said they felt less confident about Christmas trading this year. Helen Kelly, head of large corporates for Barclays Bank Ireland, commented, “It is encouraging to see that after some time the confidence of retailers is improving, which is in direct correlation with the gradual improvement in consumer confidence in recent months.” Digital platforms are expected to be a major area of growth this year, as 48% of retailers believe online traffic will rise by at least 11% on Christmas Day.


The FDII Skillnet Food & Drink Labelling Seminar will be held next week, December 3 in the Citywest Hotel, Co. Dublin. The seminar aims to provide attendees with an understanding of their responsibilities under the new EU 1169/2011 Regulation. The event will discuss the key provisions and instructions by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), The Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, FoodDrink Europe, FDII, Brandbank, the UK’s Food & Drink Federation and Irish food company representatives. The seminar is relevant to all food business operators and will be of interest to those with a responsibility for labelling, regulatory affairs and package design. For more information, visit

The Union of Students (USI) in Ireland has pulled its support for the drinks industry funded ‘drinkaware’ campaign. The decision comes as a result of concerns over the source of funding for the programme and the controversy surrounding the Arthur’s Day celebrations this year. Drink Aware have responded by highlighting that they have never concealed that its source of funding comes from drink industry groups. A drinkaware spokesperson commented, “MEAS/ does not encourage anyone to drink (indeed it advises there are circumstances where people should not drink alcohol), but we seek to address the realities of alcohol in Irish society as they have developed over time.” The group said that it constantly reviews and researches the effectiveness of its communications strategy and that it is effective without pointing the finger.

Tesco and the Lions Club have launched an appeal to the Irish public in advance of the Christmas season to donate to the National Food Appeal. Collections will take place on Friday, November 29 from 11am to 7pm and again on Saturday, November 30, from 11 am until 7 pm in Tesco stores all across the country. The Christmas Food Appeal 2013 will have over 3,000 volunteers and expects to collect around €250,000 worth of food, which converts into approximately 80,000 meals. All food collected will be distributed to causes in their localities. The appeal was launched in response to a recent Safefood Ireland report, 'Measuring Food Poverty in Ireland', which showed that one in ten people in Ireland are living in food poverty.

© 2013 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson

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