Lovin’ it: People ‘care more about where food is sourced’ since lockdown

Appreciation for our local area and locally sourced food has increased since the introduction of Covid-19 restrictions in Ireland, according to new research commissioned by McDonald’s.

59% of respondents said their appreciation for their local area has increased since the start of the pandemic, while just 6% said they appreciate their local area less, the research – published today (Thursday, September 24) – showed.

The survey of 1,000 adults in Ireland also found that people now care more about where their food is sourced.

When eating at restaurants or getting a takeaway, 57% of people said they now have a greater appreciation for food that is sourced locally, with 54% of respondents reporting that they now care more about the quality of food in their meals.

Eggs (80%) and beef (76%) are the two ingredients that people most want restaurants to source from local suppliers.

The research comes as McDonald’s today launches a new campaign to highlight the local ingredients that go into McDonald’s great value favourites, sourced from over 7,000 farmers in Ireland.

This, the fast food giant says, includes: 100% Irish beef in McDonald’s burgers; free-range eggs; and fresh Irish milk.

Commenting, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, said: “Farmers and other food producers have played an essential part over the last six months in ensuring that supply chains continue to operate effectively, and I think that people have a renewed appreciation for the hard work they do day in and day out.

Clearly, the nation is hungry for homegrown food, which is no surprise given the high quality of ingredients that are produced by farmers and growers across Ireland.

Minister of State, Martin Heydon TD, who has responsibility for new market development, said:

“Irish food has built a well-deserved reputation around the world in terms of the taste, quality and safety of our food offering.

“It is good to see this reputation reflected in a business-like McDonald’s in Ireland, with its strong local credentials.”

McDonald’s highlighted that it has significant long-term partnerships with suppliers in Ireland such as Kerry Group, Dawn Meats, Dew Valley Foods, and Greenfield Foods.

The fast food firm said that, in 2017, McDonald’s direct spend with Irish suppliers accounted for €53 million of revenue to the Irish economy.