Buy-Irish campaign sees surge in sales

DESPITE price being the number one consideration for recession-hit shoppers, the country’s latest buy-Irish campaign say their brands are recording a upsurge in sales.

It’s nearly six months since the Love Irish Food campaign was first launched, with well-known economist Jim Power as its chairman. The campaign, which has 68 brand members, was aimed at encouraging shoppers to choose Irish brands over international names – and argued that if one third of Irish homes spent €1.67 more weekly on Irish produce it would generate €35 million for the economy in a year.

LIF won’t however have the support of Dunnes Stores this year, with the company refusing to run a LIF promotion this year.

Tesco have signed up again for 2010 and LIF is due to meet with Musgrave, Supervalu, Centra representatives next week to discuss a potential 2010 programme.

A spokeswoman for Love Irish Food, Nicky Crichton, said they are doing research into the impact of the campaign on product sales.

“However, in preliminary feedback, a number of member brands did link Love Irish Food to an uplift in sales. Certain members have also reported another benefit of membership of Love Irish Food has been protection of shelf space and protection of market share in declining categories,” said.

She also argued that the movement had surpassed all its targets on improved consumer awareness, campaign comprehension and change to purchasing intent. The number of brands has also risen from 23 originally to 68.

However, Retail Ireland chief executive David Fitzsimons has said research consistently shows that buying Irish is only a second consideration for consumers and that price is the number one issue.

“If there is a minor price differential between an Irish product and an international competitor, the shopper will buy Irish but if there is any kind of substantial difference, they will pick the cheaper product,” said Mr Fitzsimons.


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