The retail chain has also estimated that its Irish Christmas dinner sales will generate over €9.4m in sales of Irish produce. As a result of the huge appetite for Irish food at Christmas, SuperValu’s suppliers have created 177 seasonal jobs to cater for excess demand.
In terms of seasonal potato preferences, SuperValu is predicting that the Golden Wonder will account for 10% of overall sales.
SuperValu managing director Martin Kelleher said that growing the Golden Wonder variety of potato is a specialist operation, with only a few carefully selected growers able to deliver that dry, floury texture for which they are famous.
Mr Kelleher said: “Irish food is never more in demand than on Christmas Day and it’s more important than ever that we buy Irish to help protect thousands of jobs across the country.
“As the Irish food industry’s number one supporter, we are proud to be in a position to offer local, home-grown produce to our shoppers in our 195 stores nationwide.”
SuperValu’s suppliers include Grove Farm Turkeys, IGWT Poultry Services Ltd, Oliver Carty Ltd, K&K Packs Ltd, Total Produce, O’Shea Brothers, and Dunns Seafare. On behalf of these suppliers, SuperValu expects to sell 94,000 turkeys, 150,000 legs of ham, 850 tonnes of potatoes, 110 tonnes of Brussels sprouts, 800 tonnes of carrots, and 92,000 smoked salmons.
SuperValu estimates that one in three hams eaten on Christmas Day in Irish households will come from its stores. All of these are Bord Bia Quality Assured. The supermarket chain’s management believes that Christmas is a time when customers are more conscious of buying quality Irish produce.
Mr Kelleher said: “What makes us different at SuperValu is that our stores are locally based and family owned and we work hard to support Irish jobs, Irish suppliers and Irish communities. The profits made in our stores stay local and help to create a positive economic impact in their local communities, unlike some of our competitors where the profits are shipped to the UK or Germany.”
SuperValu is Ireland’s leading independent food retailer and the only retailer with a store in each county. In 2011 the total purchases of Irish goods and services made by SuperValu was worth over €1.6bn to the economy, serving to both create and protect almost 30,000 jobs in the farm, food, and retail sector.