LIF brushes off Dunnes’ ‘cold shoulder’

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Musgrave CEO, Noel Keeley, signed the LEAD Network CEO Pledge at the annual Musgrave management conference

Love Irish Foods says it is awaiting Dunnes' response on how it plans to support the campaign in 2010.

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15 February 2010 | 0

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The high-profile Love Irish Food (LIF) campaign has said it is “maintaining open dialogue” with all retailers – despite an alleged absence of commitments for 2010 from Dunnes Stores and Musgrave.

The Irish Times reported last month that according to retail sources, Dunnes had given the campaign “the cold shoulder”. Responding to this claim, a spokeswoman for the initiative now supported by 68 brands told ShelfLife: “Following a meeting with Dunnes Stores in December, LIF is awaiting feedback from their buyers on how they plan to support it in 2010.”

She also said campaign representatives were “in the process of scheduling a meeting” with senior buyers at Musgrave to discuss the 2010 plans. “As of yet they haven’t opted in or out of LIF in-store promotional activity in 2010,” she added.

However, according to The Irish Times’ report, “retailers while wishing to be seen publicly as supportive of any initiative to promote Irish goods, have expressed reservations in private”. These included concerns that the campaign’s promotional cycles didn’t fit in with their own promotional cycles and that Love Irish Food essentially favoured member brands over other Irish goods not involved in the campaign.

A spokeswoman for Musgrave said however it did not even know what the timings for the campaign’s promotions were going to be yet, and noted an “intention on our side to work with them again.”

Farmers meanwhile do not appear concerned that the campaign’s focus on member brands could detract from generic Irish produced goods. When ShelfLife inquired if this was an issue, a spokesman for the Irish Farmers Association (IFA) responded it supported the initiative because it “encourages consumers to buy locally-produced, quality food that is underpinned by the highest safety, animal welfare and environment standards”.

Love Irish Food also stressed it had “exceeded all launch objectives”, with 81% consumer comprehension, versus a target of 25%.

 

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