Sunday 19 January 2020

Marketing people: Desi Derby

Marketing Director, Musgrave MarketPlace

Desi Derby, Musgrave Marketplace
Desi Derby, Musgrave Marketplace

Having invested nearly €10m in Musgrave MarketPlace, the Cork-based Musgrave Group is looking for corner a big chunk of Ireland’s traditional wholesale market with some new offerings, as Desi Derby explains to John McGee.

Describe your role.

I have responsibility for Musgrave MarketPlace, Daybreak, Chipmongers on the island of Ireland, along with SuperValu, Centra and Mace brands in Northern Ireland. As marketing director, my role is to create compelling marketing strategies and campaigns for this brand portfolio. My key focus is to ensure we maintain points of differentiation for each brand in today’s highly competitive market and that we continue to innovate and provide customers with an unrivalled customer experience.

In a competitive wholesale market, what challenges do you face?

Our goal for the Musgrave MarketPlace business is to disrupt and challenge the traditional cash-and-carry model and lead the way in wholesaling and foodservice in Ireland. We are investing significantly in our branches to transform what was once a traditional cash-and-carry business into a state-of-the-art Food Emporium that now serves both convenience retailers and foodservice providers to the highest standard. 

As part of this transformation we have invested close to €10m so far developing our Food Emporium format in Ballymun, Robinhood and Belfast and we’re currently on-site in Cork, with completion due this summer. Our Food Emporium format offers our customers a bespoke butchery service, an on-site fishmonger, a coffee concession, a ‘food theatre’, with product demonstrations, a gin palace, as well as expert advice in-store and an expanded product range to cater to the changing tastes of our customers. We continue to challenge ourselves to innovate, staying ahead of our competition by looking to best practice internationally.

How does Musgrave Marketplace get cut-through in the wholesale market?

Our in-house team have decades of experience in the food industry. They are passionate about what they do and they ensure that we continue to innovate and bring unique solutions to meet the evolving needs of Irish food service professionals. We are continuing to expand the way that customers can shop with us to improve their shopping experience by offering click-and-collect and online shopping, in addition to our telesales and in-branch shopping.

How big is the foodservice market in Ireland?

The foodservice market is worth approximately €7.8bn (in terms of consumer purchases) in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is expected to grow to €9bn by 2020 with most of the market being made up of restaurants, hotels and pubs, with only 9pc of the market spend coming from business and industry. Approximately 67pc of sales are delivered and this side of the market is continuing to grow strongly.

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