Reflecting on 20 years!

Fionnuala Carolan looks back on the changes that have taken place within the FMCG marketplace over the past 20 years


Blog - Fionnuala Carolan

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16 September 2014

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As you may have noticed from our subtle front cover, this is ShelfLife’s 20th anniversary issue. It’s worth noting that some of the ShelfLife staff, I won’t name names (Ian Mulvaney and Mark Morgan), are with the magazine almost as long! All jokes aside we are thrilled to be celebrating this milestone and hope you enjoy our special anniversary issue.

Before we get too caught up in ourselves, we are not the only ones celebrating a big birthday this year. Londis is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, which they plan to celebrate in style at an anniversary banquet next month; well-known Dublin grocer, Morton’s of Ranelagh is celebrating 80  years in business (which you can read about on page 20); and our research partners FMI are also celebrating 20 years this year. CEO Margaret Lyons recounts FMI’s story on page 37.

As has been well documented, the greatest game-changer for the grocery industry over the last 20 years was probably the arrival of Lidl and Aldi to Ireland. Discount shopping has become the norm and it has changed the marketplace irreversibly. The greatest change for us as a monthly magazine is the advent of the internet and social media. A monthly magazine is a different beast today than it was in 1994. For example, it is difficult for a printed magazine to break a news story anymore as in the time that it takes to get printed and distributed, the information will surely have made its way online and is considered old news. What we do continue to do, is offer analysis and comment on this news and offer a broader view of a situation than what you might get from the 140 characters you read on Twitter. While we cherish the printed version of our magazine we also know the importance of being a source for daily news and only last month we launched our new website This means that our readers can stay up to date with grocery related news and being smart phone compatible means you can read ShelfLife anytime, anywhere.

An anniversary is a good time to reflect on what has gone by so grab a cuppa and take a few minutes to leaf through this issue and reminisce about the past 20 years with us. Many of the industry’s well-known faces have kindly taken the time to write about the events that they have witnessed over this period, both good and bad.

We love to get feedback and to hear people’s gripes or bits of gossip so please continue to keep in touch as we embark on the next 20 years of reporting on the Irish grocery retailing sector.

We would like to thank you all for your continued support and wish you a great month ahead.

Fionnuala Carolan




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