Close to 200 delegates at the annual Checkout Conference, which comprises top-level executives from the retail and consumer goods sectors, were asked, “Which supermarket do you think puts their money where their mouth is, and actively supports Irish producers the most?”
SuperValu topped the poll, with 66.4% of the vote, followed by Aldi (10.9%), Dunnes Stores (9.2%), Tesco (7.6%), and Lidl (1.7%).
More than 40% of delegates said they believe Aldi will experience faster growth this year than Lidl, compared to 7.7% that believe the opposite will be the case. One third believe Aldi’s current advertising strategy to be the most effective, followed by that of SuperValu (22.2%), Spar (18.9%), and Lidl (14.4%).
A total of 23.9% believe the discounters will see a slowdown in growth this year.
Over 55% said they believe the Government’s proposals for plain packaging on tobacco will go ahead, but “not before the next general election”.
In relation to ease of access to credit from the banks, some 37% of delegates said the ECB’s quantitative easing programme announced last week will lead to banks being “more willing to lend”. More than a quarter believe the measures will lead to inflation.
Speaking at the event, which was held at the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin, Rabobank’s consumer foods analyst, John David Roeg, said retailers need to ensure their brands are “online proof” in order to meet the needs of internet consumers.
“When it comes to online sales, you can buy anything at the touch of a button, but nobody will know your product even exists unless you can get exposure through online channels,” he said.
Mr Roeg said retailers will have to invest more in ensuring their brands are as available online as they are in a shop on a high street.
“As online shopping develops, it will impact supplier costs, requiring increased online marketing, new product launches through social media, and greater focus on marketing analytics.,” he said.
“All these aspects will be necessary to drive repeat purchase, and ultimately brand success.”
The conference comes as figures from the CSO found both the volume and value of retail sales grew in December.
Year-on-year sales jumped by more than 5% and were up 0.5% when compared to November.