Furious shoppers hit out at Tesco over decision to remove Irish food section from stores

Furious shoppers hit out at Tesco over decision to remove Irish food section from stores

THERE has been a huge backlash from shoppers over Tesco's decision to remove the Irish food section from its World Foods aisles.

By the end of July the Irish section, which currently stocks 58 Irish products, will be removed from over 200 of its British stores.

Just nine products will be kept and integrated into the store's main aisles when the special Irish food sections go on July 31.

Scroll down to see what's going and what's staying

The supermarket giant has already begun phasing out Irish products by not replenishing stock as it runs out.

Bord Bia, the Irish food agency which promotes sales of Irish food at home and abroad, said it was very disappointed by Tesco's decision.

A spokesperson said: "We are very disappointed with the announcement by Tesco to remove their Irish food section from the World Foods Aisle considering the number of Irish people living in the UK and the growth of this sector has been enjoying over the past number of years.

"We often get queries from first and second generation Irish living in the UK asking where they can buy their favourite Irish brands. Tesco risk alienating these loyal shoppers who could switch to other retailers who are offering this choice."

What's going:

  • Bolands Jam Mallows
  • McCanns Barm Brack
  • McDonnells Curry Sauce
  • Barry’s Tea Irish Breakfast Teabags 80s
  • Tayto assorted flavour potato crisps 12s
  • Nash’s Red Lemonade
  • Erin Marrowfat Peas
  • Club Lemon cans
  • Bolands Lemon Puff
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Golden Crisp
  • Grace’s Irish Shortbread biscuits
  • Erin Thick Country Veg Soup
  • Seery’s Porter Cake
  • Fruitfield Old Time Irish orange marmalade
  • Bolands Coconut Creams
  • Cidona Sparkling Apple Drink
  • Cidona Apple cans
  • Oatfield Emerald Chocolate Caramels
  • Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramello
  • Tayto assorted flavour potato crisps 6s
  • Flahavans Microwave Quick Porridge Oats
  • Barry’s Tea Classic Blend Teabags 80s
  • Club Rock Shandy cans
  • Silvermints mints
  • Bewleys Gold Roast Instant Coffee
  • Club Rock Shandy 2 litre
  • Erin mealtime Irish Country Stew Mix
  • Grace’s Irish Oatmeal Biscuits
  • Odlums White Soda Bread Mix
  • Bolands Lincoln Shortcake Biscuits
  • Ballymaloe Country Relish
  • Chef Brown Sauce
  • Grahams Fruit Loaf
  • Erin Irish Potato Soup
  • Seerys Whiskey Cake
  • Seerys Luxury Tea Brack
  • Bolands Polo Golden Coconut Biscuits
  • Healys 100 per cent Pure Natural Honey
  • Club Lemon Soft Drink
  • Whites Toasted Oats Apple & Cinnamon Crunch
  • Fruitfield Old Time Irish Whiskey Marmalade
  • Whites Toasted Oats Wild Fruit Crunch
  • Pop Notch Sweet & Salty Popcorn
  • Chivers Strawberry Jam
  • Bewleys Drinking Chocolate Indulgent
  • Chivers Lemon Curd
  • Bryan Lynch Taco Mayonnaise
  • Cadbury Snack Sandwich

What's staying:  

  • Bolands Fig Rolls
  • Bolands Kimberley Biscuits
  • Bolands Chocolate Kimberley teacakes
  • Club Orange soft drink, two litre
  • Barry's Tea Gold Blend Teabags 80s
  • Flavahans Irish Porridge Oats
  • Tayto Cheese & Onion crisps six pack
  • Cadbury's Dairy Milk Tiffin
  • Cadbury's Dairy Milk Mint Crisp

TescoIrishAisle-n One of Tesco's Irish food sections

Irish sections were rolled out by Tesco in 2011 and at their peak they featured around 160 products.

Now the supermarket’s Irish products are also said to be disappearing from its online platform tesco.com.

The shock decision by the retail giant to axe its Irish offering comes despite Tesco’s Irish consumers being the biggest basket spenders of all of the supermarket’s World Foods categories.

It has been estimated that every £5 spent by a customer at the Irish section is worth a total of £100 at the checkout.

Sinéad O'Sullivan from the Kerry Association London, also expressed her dismay at the news.

"As an Irish person living in London for the last five years, I find it mind-numbing as to why Tesco would make such a move," she said.

"I have especially relied on the supermarket to provide access to Irish products as shops and outlets around North West London have slowly shut down.

"We no longer have the likes of Eddie's in Cricklewood or Mandy's in Willesden to sell us these products.

"One could even say that the introduction of Irish products in to these massive supermarkets resulted in the demise of these well known Irish institutions.

"I strongly suggest that Tesco rethink this decision and support the Irish community in the UK."

A similar outcry was heard all over the internet and social media as shoppers questioned whether they would continue shopping at the retailer, which also has stores in Ireland.

When contacted by The Irish Post, Tesco described the planned changes as “simplifying their ranges”, adding that “a number” of the most popular Irish lines will be going into their main ranges across Britain.

“We review our ranges to deliver the best possible shopping experience for customers.

“These changes will ensure that we continue to offer great availability on the most popular Irish products at affordable prices,” a Tesco spokesperson said.

Here's what shoppers had to say about the changes:

Angela Cannon, via irishpost.co.uk: "Is there a petition that we could sign to object to Tesco on this? If it was any other countries food there'd be an uproar...?

Breeda Ojo, via email: "It originally gave me great joy to have Tesco stock all my favourite foods.  My 3 children also loved spoiling me with little treats.  I will now be forced to shop elsewhere.

Teresea Kelly, via email: "I shop regularly at Tescos Highams Park and Edmonton and always buy Irish products, tea, biscuits, flour, bread etc. as do many of my friends. I am so surprised and disappointed as they have stocked lots of Irish products for many years. Why on earth are they doing this?"

Tracey Hopkins, via email: "We see all different nationalities of food, which makes our foreign visitors feel at home being able to buy their products, so why would you remove the Irish produce and not others?"

Una McCrory, via email: "If Tescos can remove Irish products from their shelves, l can remove myself from Tescos and go to Asda."

Mary McDaid, via email: "I will be very disappointed, the Irish section was the main reason I shopped in Tesco. I will be shopping in Morrison's & Asda from July."