Health food popularity a boon for SuperValu sales

Pictured at SuperValu Kinsale are, from left: Ian Allen, Sales Director, SuperValu; Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu and Michael Smith, SuperValu Kinsale and SuperValu Retail Chair. Photo: Claire Keogh.

The explosion in consumer interest in health and fitness-related foods has been a boon to SuperValu sales in the last year, the firm said ahead of its €30m investment in new and existing stores.

The Musgrave-owned brand said the health food market was a key driver in sales as it said it was to open three new stores with 210 new jobs, as well as a revamp of 30 more.

The firm said it now has a health and wellness aisle in all stores, with a range of over 1,000 products, as well as 340 vegan products that it said was driven by consumer demand.

It said it was now rolling out dedicated vegetarian and vegan zones across its stores as part of its ongoing strategy to cater for the changing consumer tastes.

At the SuperValu conference in Killarney, managing director Martin Kelleher said the firm planned to "build our momentum" with the €30m investment as well as the rollout of new salad bars and health and wellness aisles.

SuperValu said a key strategy was to reduce packaging and to make its own brand and fresh produce packaging become 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

It said its Signature Taste premium range was a "standout line" in 2018, growing sales by over 10% on the previous year.

The range currently features over 330 products with another 40 expected to hit the shelves in 2019, SuperValu said.

Meanwhile, lender Avantcard said it was creating 40 new jobs at its headquarters in Carrick-on-Shannon and satellite office in Dublin.

The firm, which currently employs 220 people across their Irish offices, said the new jobs will include customer-facing roles as well as a handful of specialist roles.

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