Above: Eugene Scally, owner of Scally’s SuperValu pictured with Rosanna Davison, former Miss World and coeliac and Mary Twohig, Chairperson of the Coeliac Society of Ireland at the launch of the designated in-store gluten-free bakery and food production facility at Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty
A large crowd turned out to welcome Rosanna Davison, former Miss World and coeliac, who was in West Cork on Thursday, August 28 to launch Ireland’s first in-store gluten-free bakery and food production facility at Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty. Scally’s SuperValu, located in the heart of Clonakilty in West Cork, has become the first supermarket in Ireland to launch a designated in-store gluten-free bakery and food production facility. The new facility, with an investment of €500,000, will create five new jobs at the store.
The ‘Clonakilty Gluten Free Cuisine’ range, which consists of a selection of almost 30 gluten-free products certified for coeliacs, will be available at Scally’s SuperValu Clonakilty and Scally’s SuperValu Blackrock in Cork city, with future expansion plans expected. As this innovative range is prepared in a separate bakery and kitchen, coeliacs can be assured that the range is 100 per cent gluten-free, with all products independently tested and certified by Alpha Analytics.
Speaking at the launch, Eugene Scally, owner of Scally’s SuperValu said, “one in 100 people in Ireland are thought to have coeliac disease, with many as yet undiagnosed. The decision to develop this range was made after market research highlighted the lack of choice for coeliacs and the high cost of gluten-free products; research showed that a coeliac’s basket of goods is 87 per cent more expensive than a non-coeliac basket. We wanted to offer customers a diverse gluten-free range that was keenly priced and of exceptional quality. Our customers’ feedback has been instrumental in developing the range and the response from shoppers has been extremely positive.”
“This will make a huge difference to me…to have a variety of products to choose from and at a reasonable price is just brilliant,” said Celia O’Neill from Rosscarbery. Celia was first diagnosed with Coeliac disease 23 years ago.“
Teresa Hurley from Ballinascarthy, also present at the launch, said she is “delighted to finally have a normal loaf of brown bread to slice.” Four members of Teresa’s family, including herself, are coeliacs.
The launch highlights SuperValu’s community retail model as stores are independently owned and retailers can tailor their offer for the local area. The state of the art production facility means that the gluten-free range can be produced locally in West Cork and adds to West Cork’s reputation for food leadership. The launch of ‘Clonakilty Gluten Free Cuisine’ follows the launch last year of SuperValu’s FreeFrom range, which consists of over 300 gluten and dairy-free products, already in all SuperValu stores.
Chairperson of the Coeliac Society of Ireland, Mary Twohig said: “We are delighted that Scally’s has developed this facility in Cork, giving coeliacs more choice in their search for gluten-free foods, on a local basis. It is important to coeliacs that they can access a range of products that are affordable and good quality. With 15 per cent of our membership being from Cork, it is fantastic to see local businesses, and a national retailer, rising to meet the needs of people whose only medicine is a gluten-free diet.”
SuperValu serves over 2.6 million customers every week and now has 222 stores nationwide. Seventy-five per cent of everything on SuperValu’s shelves is sourced or produced in Ireland. SuperValu continues to source locally wherever possible and purchases almost €2 billion worth of goods from Irish suppliers which help to sustain 30,000 jobs in the Irish economy.