Bord Bia spent 300 hours getting inside the minds and fridges of Chinese consumers

Last year, Bord Bia spent 300 hours visiting Chinese people in their homes, eating with them and looking in their fridges to get inside the minds of consumers in Ireland’s second biggest dairy market to help build awareness and preference ideas for Irish dairy companies.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture Bord Bia’s Aidan Cotter said Bord Bia has focused on understanding and gaining insight into culturally different markets and consumers in recent years.

He said the Bord Bia consumer insight team has visited and stayed in consumers homes, went shopping and eating with them and looking in their fridges.

“The research advances our understanding of these markets.” Research through brand clinics and exploring how Ireland can ideally position itself and build an awareness and preference for Irish products is key, he said.

Ireland, he said, needs to add value to food that is of benefit and desired by consumers in different cultures and regions.

Aidan Cotter said it comes when the sector has been making significant progress in terms of export value.

The value of dairy exports has more than doubled in past decade, he said, and just 2% of dairy exports go to the UK compared to 40% of our total food and drink exports.

Today, Asia, Afria and Middle East account for 80% of international exports in dairy.

The growth of China, he said, has put China as Ireland’s second largest market after the UK. “In 2008 China was 13 in terms of export markets. China is now the world’s leading dairy importer and still less than 1/3 of global dairy consumption.”