At Free Range Camping we are proud of our association with IGA, and there are quite a few reasons we chose to partner with them. Not only to bring our members benefits through discounts while travelling, but we really like the direction they are going as a Supermarket Chain.
A big part of travelling around Australia is the excitement of discovering new places, and with this can come the experience of trying the new foods that in some cases are unique to these regions or locations.
Stop off and discover local unique local produce
With IGA having over 1300 stores Australia Wide, they are certainly coming to the fore as a contender in the Supermarket arena. Some of the main reason for this are
1.They have some amazing new and refurbished stores
2.Their produce is Fresh & Local
3. They give back to their local community
4. They Price Match and offer FRC Members Discounts
Our story starts at Murwillumbah, which is where we are currently based. We recently met with the owners of the IGA Murwillumbah, Brett & Leanne Bugg, who have just completed an extensive renovation of their local town store. According to Brett, the store was dated, and they wanted to bring it into line with the Food Revolution currently sweeping through IGA as a whole.
IGA Murwillumbah – Wider aisles & more range
It’s more than just groceries. We want to provide a better experience for food lovers.
Due to the increasing standards customers are expecting, IGA store owners are realising they need to provide a better shopping experience. The trend is nationwide with the adoption of the IGA Diamond Store Accelerator program. The DSA program will see well over 100 stores transformed into modern grocery stores, providing;
– Extra wide aisles
– Better shelving and displays making it easier to find things
– A wider variety of choices
– Fresh hot food, ready to eat meals & hampers for campers
– In house bakeries with fresh brewed coffee
– Speciality sections such as gourmet butchers & wet fish markets
Try fresh bread at the In-house bakery @ Atherton Supa IGA
Some of the stores having already undergone these transformations include the newly opened Whites IGA Peregian Beach Store on the Sunshine Coast, and the award winning SUPA IGA @ Atherton with its own in house bakery. Both stores incidentally are currently offering Discounts to our members.
Experience fresh local produce @ Whites IGA Peregian Beach
Fresh & Local
The good thing about being an independent grocer is that each IGA store has the benefit of being able to source produce locally. This means that in most cases, when produce is in season, they actually get it direct from their local farmers. They are not obliged to buy from larger markets or dictated to as to the source of their suppliers.
I asked Brett about this further and he tells me that he has a direct line to the farmers. In many cases, they ring him just before picking and ask how much stock he actually needs. An example is his case is local bananas. The Murwillumbah and surrounding regions are strong banana growing areas, so the preference when in season is for bananas to be supplied from these local farms, rather than imported from all around the countryside where they are packed green and left to ripen during the trip up.
Michael & Roz White – Sourcing lettuce direct from a local Bli Bli farmer
The other benefits of this is being able to experience foods from different regions. As we travel, we will come across regions that have a particular food that is either grown or produced specifically in that region. Once again at Murwillumbah for example, you can have access to Mount Warning Bacon, a specialty line produced in the area and exclusive to the local IGA. Or for example on the Sunshine Coast, Michael & Roz White source their lettuce fresh and direct from local Bli Bli farmers.
Stores are tailored to their local community, which means you get a feel for the local community and the foods they are eating, a great example of this is Sunny bank with a distinct Asian feel to its food lines, including a huge wet fish market.
Giving back to the community
I have often heard about IGA giving back to the community but wanted to know more about how this works.
IGA actually have two ways in which they give back, the first is through their nationwide program called IGA Community Chest. The program works by purchasing products with an IGA Community Chest logo on the label or ticket. When you purchase one of these products a percentage is credited to that store’s IGA Community Chest account which they then distribute to their local community, charities or other worthwhile causes. To date, nationwide, there has been over $80 Million donated back into communities across the country.
The IGA Community Chest Logos
Then on a more personal note, many independent store owners are in most cases also locals and appreciate the value of their community. They therefore choose to give back from their own pockets in the form of direct sponsorship and donations.
Brett from Murwillumbah & Tweed Valley IGA says,
It’s a way for us to give back, we survive by the community supporting us and see it as an opportunity to give back when we can.
We witnessed this first hand ourselves after the devastating floods in Murwillumbah in April this year. For five days after, the Tweed Valley IGA provided free lunch to volunteers and workers who had been helping with flood relief. This was personally funded by Brett & Leanne who, incidentally lost their own house in the floods, yet still gave to the community when there were able.
It is a common misconception that IGA is often more expensive to shop at than some of the larger grocery chains.
But with the introduction of IGA Price Match, it means that IGA are onto it. Each week, they have a team that check competitor prices and match hundreds of everyday products to make sure you get the lowest price. So, for example, if the price at Woolworths is $2.00 and Coles is $1.80, IGA will choose the lower of these two prices for their stores. The prices are matched on the most common grocery lines based on everyday shelf prices, excluding specials and promos.
IGA Price Match Promise
Now, if we add to this the benefit of being a FRC member, you can not only take advantage of the price match, but by simply showing your Digital Member card, you can save a further 5% – 10% discount on your total bill** depending on what each store is offering our members.
So, with more IGA stores currently joining us at Free Range Camping and offering all of the above, plus member benefits, we would encourage you to stop in and check out a local IGA store when you pass through your next town.
Check out some of the IGA Stores offering FRC Member Discounts
**Excludes items currently on Special, Cigarette Lines or Epay