Ireland’s foodservice market grew to a record €7.5 billion this year

Ireland’s foodservice market grew to a record €7.5 billion this year, and is forecast to grow to over €9 billion by 2020, according to a new Bord Bia report.

The figures were welcomed by over 300 delegates at Bord Bia’s annual foodservice industry seminar which took place in the Aviva stadium in Dublin on Wednesday, November 2.

Foodservice describes all food consumed away from home, including everything from restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and bars to workplace catering, hospitals, education and vending.

This market segment has benefited from better than anticipated economic growth, buoyant consumer confidence, a strong domestic and international tourist market, according to Bord Bia.

The market has also grown due to the unemployment rate falling to below 8% and the continuation of 9% VAT for hospitality, the Irish food board has said.

It has been a bumper year for foodservice in Ireland, Maureen Gahan a Bord Bia foodservice specialist has said.

Despite the uncertainty that Brexit brings, we are still in the enviable position of being the fastest growing economy within the EU.

“The foodservice market has witnessed an annual growth rate of over 5% per year for over the past number of years, with both consumer and business tourist numbers fuelling major growth in urban centres.”

Source: Bord Bia
Source: Bord Bia

The seminar organised by Bord Bia provided business opportunities for 100 foodservice trade buyers as they met with 40 Irish food and drink producers.

This was the first year that Bord Bia introduced the ‘Producer Showcase’ which allowed the buyers and producers to meet in a ‘Farmers Market’-style environment.

The showcase facilitated business development with existing and potential customers, according to Bord Bia.

It is also one of a series of activities arranged by Bord Bia to help Irish food and drink producers to maintain and grow their businesses in the domestic market.

The seminar represented opportunities for suppliers to make their decisions to grow their businesses, Gahan said.

“The success of today’s event, including a record attendance, is proof that foodservice in Ireland offers major opportunities for suppliers offering innovative products and solutions to meet changing consumer needs.”

It is important for suppliers to access available insights in order to make informed decisions that will allow them to grow their business.

Bord Bia also published its Irish Foodservice Market Directory today, which includes detailed profiles of over 100 operators and wholesale distributors.

It is aimed at providing companies with key background information on potential customers and advice on how to drive their foodservice business.

The directory is a part of Bord Bia’s Ireland Market Foodservice Programme which assists suppliers to develop relationships with foodservice distributors and operators.

Under this programme, the Irish food board aims to work closely with an average of 20 companies each year, delivering new business on the domestic market worth close to €2m annually.