Food retailer SuperValu has forecast sales of €2.5m worth of new Irish potatoes this year while overall potato sales are likely to reach €37m.

Demand for locally produced and sourced variants like Queens and Homeguards is growing this year and SuperValu forecasts that there will be a 10pc rise in new potato sales compared to 2019 figures, which is reflective of consumers increasingly turning to homecooked meals.

SuperValu is expected to source approximately 150 tonnes of new season Irish potatoes during the summer season, and one of SuperValu’s main potato suppliers is K&K Produce, based in St. Margarets, Co. Dublin.

“By supporting suppliers like K&K Produce, customers can also take heart from the fact they are providing a boost to the local economy during these uncertain times”

Founded by Tommy and Deirdre Kennedy, K&K Produce is a second-generation operation, with five family members working across different areas of the business. K&K Produce has been supplying potatoes to SuperValu stores since the 1980s and currently supplies its delicious, locally-grown produce to SuperValu’s Own Brand new potato range.

“Working with SuperValu has allowed us to expand our company and we now employ 80 staff,” said co-founder Tommy Kennedy. “We pride ourselves on sourcing homegrown Irish produce and our partnership with SuperValu is a perfect match, as they are real supporters of local producers and businesses.”

“We have also been quick to respond to evolving consumer trends and we were one of the first growers to introduce baby potatoes to Irish shelves. They have become a firm favourite with Irish shoppers and are now one of our most popular products. This is all thanks to our relationship with SuperValu, who have always supported healthy, nutritious and locally-grown food.”

SuperValu serves over 2.6m customers every week and has 223 stores nationwide. Together with its retail partners, SuperValu employs approximately 14,500 colleagues, making it one of the State’s largest private-sector employers. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible which helps to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.

“As the number one supporter of the Irish food industry, we are delighted to be bringing the best of Irish food to shoppers at a time when people are cooking at home more than ever before,” said Martin Kelleher, managing director of SuperValu.

“By supporting suppliers like K&K Produce, customers can also take heart from the fact they are providing a boost to the local economy during these uncertain times.

“The Kennedys are longstanding suppliers to SuperValu, and we will continue to work with them and other growers to deliver that great Irish staple, the new potato, to our customers. To provide that additional bit of inspiration to show all the different types of meals that can be prepared with the humble spud, we are posting new recipes on a daily basis on SuperValu.ie.”

Supporting local

Eoin Lowry, head of Agri Sector, Bank of Ireland

“By choosing Irish potatoes, Irish farmers and producers are supported which in turn protects local jobs while also providing a healthy, nutritious, traceable, tasty, high quality staple food to Irish consumers”

“Last Autumn was a particularly challenging time for potato farmers with wet weather creating difficult harvest conditions,” said Eoin Lowry, head of Agri Sector, Bank of Ireland.

“The closure of the restaurants and other food service outlets, due to Covid-19 has hit food producers and farmers. It means that more people are eating at home. Enabling consumers to choose fresh Irish produce, supports Irish farmers.

“Supervalu’s continued commitment to support Irish producers and farmers is timely and welcome.”

“As Irish shoppers become more conscious about where their food is coming from, they are looking at authenticity, traceability while minimising their impact on the environment.

“By choosing Irish potatoes, Irish farmers and producers are supported which in turn protects local jobs while also providing a healthy, nutritious, traceable, tasty, high quality staple food to Irish consumers,” Lowry said.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 8 June, 2020

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