Before I start this post, I’m going to be completely transparent myself. I actively reached out to Spinneys with my questions and they were more than obliging to answer and invite me in store to show me around. I did not receive any payment or discounts.
I’ve mentioned before that since becoming pregnant, I’ve been taking a renewed interest in my health and wellbeing, particularly what I eat, what I cook at home and where I source my food. In Dubai, we’ve got quite a bit of choice in supermarket chains, delivery grocery companies and we can have access to produce from around the world at any time of year. So with this, how do we know what the retailers are doing to provide us, the consumers, with the best products that are available and for competitive prices?
Spinneys Supermarket has always been my go to; I grew up in the UAE, so I have early memories of shadowing my mother and helping her gather all the items on her shopping list on a weekly basis. It was natural that I started to make more and more visits to my local Spinneys and began to notice a change in appearance and products on offer. From SpinneysFOOD to no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives in the bakery section, to individually packed meat and a renewed sense of customer engagement by staff.
I was eager to understand the reason behind this evolution so contacted Spinneys Marketing and PR team and the more than obliging Colette Shannon, Head of Communications, took me around their Mercato branch and answered my three big questions.
You’ve introduced the SpinneysFOOD range of products including eggs, pasta sauces, coffee and tea, vegetables and fruit to name a few. What’s the motivation behind lunching your private label products?
The Spinneys ranges of products matched to what we as consumers need regarding formulation, price and quality. What typically happens is that most of the largest Brands in the world produce products with lower specifications to be distributed in the Middle East to maximise their margins on what they think is a less demanding consumer than in their home markets. Spinneys, however, was local born but with an international heritage and thus we view our customers as highly demanding and produce the best products to serve those demands.
You introduced the ‘Naturally imperfect’ vegetable range this year. What’s been the reaction?
Fruit and vegetables can grow unevenly for many reasons, including unusual and sometimes unpredictable weather conditions. They are still every bit as delicious, however, and we have decided to show this produce some love by welcoming it into the spinneysFOOD fruit and vegetable displays. It helps to reduce local food wastage and retails at the cost of around 20 per cent less than conventional produce from the same sources. Most of our selections of naturally imperfect items are sold out by midday!
Finally, consumers do have a choice in the UAE of where to shop. What is it about Spinneys that customers don’t know about sourcing products that you think they should?
Spinneys is the first retail member of GLOBALG.A.P. in the Middle East. It’s an internationally recognised set of farm standards dedicated to Good Agricultural Practices (G.A.P.), which ensure safe and sustainable agricultural production, that benefit farmers, retailers and consumers throughout the world. That includes providing full traceability of all our produce from our growers’ farms to your table and the conservation of water, soil and ecosystems are essential for our future generations.
We are also committed to improving the working conditions for the people who grow our crops around the world. From safeguarding our growers from pesticide risks to ensuring they are paid a fair price for their crops to help them maintain sustainable farming practices and drive worker welfare.
We guarantee that our fresh produce is not genetically modified. This commitment helps us to assure biodiversity for future generations and by sourcing from organic farms is one way to help preserve the planet’s natural resources and ensure fresh produce for you.
Finally, we have selected a group of growers who follow sustainable farming to form the Spinneys Farmer’s Club, UAE. They harvest and deliver their fresh produce within 24 hours with minimal travel. This helps us reduce carbon footprints by reducing food mileage and bring you the freshest fruits and vegetables.