The agri-food shopping landscape in Ireland is changing and changing rapidly. Bord Bia’s latest research indicates technology and innovation is the driving force and it is advising agri-businesses and the agri-food sector to embrace all things digital.

Bord Bia this month published research on Ireland’s changing shopper landscape and behaviour.

Entitled Tomorrow’s Shopper, the aim of the research was to “highlight how Irish food and drink companies can compete and be successful,” a spokesperson for Bord Bia said.

“Technology is a key driver in this changing environment and is continuing to change how shoppers are interacting with brands. Pre-purchase research, shopping or post purchase reviews are increasingly happening via mobile devices or tablets,” she added.

According to Bord Bia, there are four drivers shaping tomorrow’s shopper, money, convenience, trust and technology.

Its report found that economic pressures continue to dominate for consumers in that two in three people are planning their shopping. In terms of convenience its report said this catchment is key, siting growth at Tesco Express up 10 per cent in the past two years and the store is set to grow by 12 per cent in 2015.

It noted a growing desire of shoppers for trust and transparency, with more pre-purchase being undertaken and a rise in local food popularity.

Crucially, the Bord Bia research that technology is now creating a tipping point in shopper behaviour, in that 94 per cent of shoppers in Ireland purchased online in 2012. It found shoppers on average spend €62 per shop online verses €22 in-store.

Bord Bia is advising brands and retailers to develop a multi-channel approach. By 2015, nine in 10 consumers in Ireland will own a smartphone, it said.

“Both brands and retailers need to think outside the confines of the ‘bricks and mortar’ store to build lasting relationships with today’s shopper,” the report noted.

Bord Bia stressed a proactive and comprehensive digital strategy, with multi-channel presence.

A full copy of its report is available here Bord Bia Tomorrow’s Shopper.