Irish Food,  Opinion

SuperValu & The Great Irish Event

Supervalu are running the Great Irish Event to coincide with Seachtain na Gaeilge.  I decided to take a look at it in-depth, comparing to my own criteria for a family on a budget and a balanced diet.

The idea is to eat only Irish for a week and they’ve published a very helpful menu plan, entitled the “Eat Irish Challenge”.  The boffins in this supermarket chain (which is part of the Musgraves Group) reckon that a family of 4 can eat only Irish for a week for just under €100.

Now I’m very lucky, I live within walking distance of a great Supervalu store. I’d shop there, give or take, at least once a week. They were also the first Supermarket in Ireland to launch a true shopping app for mobile phones, a big bonus in their favour.

Obviously I cater for a family of 5, so I did when looking at their menus, take this into account.

The Good

It’s brilliant to see a large supermarket chain supporting the “Eat Only Irish” idea. Supervalu in general have always been forward thinking when it comes to encouraging shoppers to eat local and seasonal produce.  Many of the local producers to where I live are stocked in store and I can be confident that I’m supporting jobs in my area.

The Bad

The proposed menu is very meat-heavy. I’m not the only one to have noticed this.  It is also lacking in variety of fruits and vegetables which if you have a growing family is something you would be very conscious of.  I’m not so sure it would be sustainable in the long run in this case.  If you want to encourage people to eat more Irish produce, you won’t want it to be turned off by the lack of variety.

The Ugly

€100 a week? For a family of 4? Are you kidding me? Seriously? It is, in my experience, unrealistic to expect a family on a budget to pay out €100 a week for food alone before any other grocery costs.

Also, why not make the most of the food that you are cooking? If I cook a chicken, I get at least 2 meals out of it, not 1. Likewise with a ham.

Going Forward

There is no point in me harping on about their menu without taking a look at it myself, using their (very handy) online shopping system and pricing what my menu would be.  I only purchased either Irish made items or SuperValu own brand items, exactly the same as their own shopping methods.

The Results

SuperValu Eat Only Irish

I increased the amount and variety of fruit and vegetables eaten during the week, lowered the amount of meat proteins, but balanced this with other proteins.  I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it is certainly a far more varied meal plan for the week ahead.  There are even more savings to be made, for example if you grow your own fruit or vegetables and have some stored in the deep freeze, keep your own chickens so don’t need eggs etc.

When I challenged SuperValu on their meal plan during the week, they welcomed my comments on their Facebook wall, so rather than create an epic Facebook post that might get lost I’m sharing this meal plan with you here on the blog. I also asserted that I would save up to 25% on their shopping list.  I confess I was wrong to make that assumption.

By my reckoning, this menu plan for the week would serve a family of five for a week for just under €80.

So there you have it, go by the Supermarket’s own menu with less dietary variety or use mine & save money!

Please note, this is not a sponsored or requested blogpost.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Joanna

    Wow! You’ve done some work on this, well done……Em, SuperValu should be paying you to do this for them every week. I agree that there’s no need for so much meat in SuperValu’s plan and it kind of looks like they think that eating Irish means you should have zero variety. Also it would be way above my budget to get food-only for €100.00. Bualadh bos, Caítríona!

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