When the curtain was pulled down on the iconic Superquinn brand yesterday morning there was just one word on the lips of many people who heard the news: sausages.
Within minutes it was the top trending topic on Twitter in Ireland as people went online to express concern about the future of the beloved Superquinn product, long considered to be among the best sausages selling on Irish supermarket shelves.
Supervalu was at pains to reassure worried customers – in a number of tweets posted soon after the news broke it stressed that it would continue to sell the sausage under the Superquinn brand, using the same "secret recipe".
It went a step further and said it would now be more widely available, as it could be sold across its entire store network and not just in the stores which currently trade under the Superquinn name.
What Supervalu did not make clear was the fact that the Superquinn sausage has long since stopped being what it once was.
During the 1970s, after visiting Germany, Fergal Quinn set out to perfect a sausage to suit the Irish palate. For more than 30 years it was made in-store by Superquinn butchers and sold fresh to shoppers.
Everything changed when Mr Quinn sold the brand to Select Retail Holdings in 2005 – since then the sausage has been made by the Larry Goodman-owned ABP Meats.
A spokeswoman for Supervalu told The Irish Times that it was still made "to the highest possible standard by one of the most reputable meat producers in the country" and claimed that the recipe remained a closely guarded secret.