Six weeks ago we started our 'Think Irish' journey with the sixth class pupils from St Louis in Rathmines. Two of the students took their mothers shopping to our pilot supermakets - Tesco, Stillorgan and Eurospar, Killiney - prior to our 'Think Irish' launch. At the time, they struggled to identify Irish products. We took them back to the shops after the launch and both mums found it much easier, and quicker, to find Irish products.
We are keen to find out if consumer enthusiasm for Irish products will translate into Irish sales. Seamus Banim from Tesco explained that the reaction so far has been positive and they will be monitoring the sales of Irish products over the weeks. Garveys SuperValu in Cobh has also come on board, and hope to bring the Think Irish logo to all the Garveys shops if the campaign goes well. Meanwhile Eurospar may roll out 'Think Irish' across all 56 of their supermarkets.
Since the beginning of the series The Consumer Show has been working hard to try and make it easier for those of you who want to buy Irish products in our supermarkets. We have developed a brand new logo, and the experiment is gathering pace.
Next, the sixth class students of St Louis Senior Primary School in Rathmines got involved in our campaign. We went shopping with two of the children and their mums and both admitted they found it time-consuming and tricky to find Irish products within the shops. We will find out how their shopping habits change once the Think Irish campaign is introduced into supermarkets.
To progress the campaign further, we invited the Irish brand representatives from Guaranteed Irish, Love Irish and Truly Irish to come together to discuss the benefits of a unifying logo.
Finally, we contacted all of the major supermarkets to see if they would pilot our new logo - Tesco and Eurospar have come on board and will roll out the Think Irish logo in their Stillorgan and Killiney shops respectively. 'Think Irish' is up and running as a pilot scheme, now it's time to see how far it can go...
Research has shown that many people want to buy Irish products, but when you're rushing through the supermarket doing your weekly shop, it's often far from easy to establish which products are Irish, and which are not.
Many of the products which can be found on our supermarket aisles contain one or more of the following logos - Guaranteed Irish, Love Irish Food, Truly Irish and Bord Bia's Quality Assurance - but even the people behind the labels admit the variety can be quite confusing. Jim Power of Love Irish Food feels we still need to strive towards one single label that will help consumers make an informed choice.
Keelin called in top branding expert, Pat Kinsley of Neworld Associates, to see if he could devise a single logo which would help alleviate the confusing surrounding the purchase of Irish products. Armed with a number of possible options, The Consumer Show set up a focus group and presented the various ideas to the women. As the group expressed their preference for the "I'm Irish" logo, it became clear that the most important aspect for these shoppers when it came to buying Irish products was the importance of those products creating jobs for Irish people.
As Eddie explained, every product we buy is linked to jobs. The humble sausage can support up to 20 jobs. Damian O'Reilly, DIT lecturer in Retail Management, examined the receipts the Cusack family accumulated in their Buying Irish Challenge, and discovered that while their efforts not only supported jobs directly, there was also an indirect know-on effect of buying Irish, known as the multiplier effect. Essentially this means that if you spent ¤100 in your local shop, 80% of that money will be spent locally, which in turn is dispersed again amongst the local community. Damian's key message is that if consumers can be more aware of what they are buying and make just small changes to their shopping habits by buying locally, this will have a significant impact on employment figures in Ireland.
In a recent survey by Amárach, 75% of Irish shoppers want to buy Irish products in their weekly shop - mostly because they want to support Irish jobs. The Cusack family from Cork are no different, and thought their shopping bill was generally made up of 50% Irish goods. However, when Eddie crunched the numbers for them, they were shocked to discover they were only managing 23% of Irish products. Armed with the Buying Irish Guide, the Cusack family took on Eddie's challenge of dramatically increasing their Irish purchases.
Liam and Eyvonne, with their three children Adam, Lorchan and Lucy, spent a grueling 3 hours at their next weekly shop, examining labels in detail and trawling the shelves for Irish signposts. The family worked hard to try and increase their "Irish" spend, and were delighted to discover that they had achieved a spend of 82% of their total shopping on Irish products.
If you're interested in trying to buy more Irish products like the Cusacks, we'd like to hear from you with any problems you may encounter or top tips you can share. And don't forget to check out the information on our website - we'll be adding information to this guide as the series progresses, all in a bid to make it a bit easier for consumers to figure out what is Irish and what's not.
Consumer Show Test
The Consumer Show always wants to find the best value for money for our viewers. With this in mind, we have invited some well-known "foodies" to take part in our taste test challenges with some family staples. This week Brendan O'Carroll, Eunice Power & Donal Doherty look at lasagne...
Mary from Clare bought a Hotpoint cooker costing ¤529.00 from Ennis Electrical on February 3rd.
From the start the cooker kept burning everything. The gas installer told her that there was a problem with the thermostat in the cooker.
Mary contacted Ennis Electrical on April 3rd who in turn contacted Hotpoint on her behalf. Mary felt that no one was listening to her and dealing with her complaint effectively
On 25th April, Mary contacted Eddie for his help. Eddie contacted Ennis Electrical on her behalf. They stepped in to put things to rights for Mary:
They immediately replaced the oven with a more expensive Electrolux model. They also gave her a free set of saucepans as a gesture of good will.
Under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act:
Statement from Ennis Electrical:
On review of the sale with Mary, I would like to make the following points,
a) Mary's gas oven was a special order, which took two weeks for our store to get
b) the first time we became aware their was a problem with her oven was the 3rd of April, when we then logged the call to Hotpoint for her.
c) we now are replacing the oven for another one. This is a more expensive oven, which we had to source from another supplier. We also be giving Mary a free set of Saucepans, as a gesture of goodwill from Ennis Electrical.
We here in Ennis Electrical pride oursleves in giving our customers the best service at all times, and we would like to thank you for the manner in which this suitation was handled.