Bord Bia: Ireland’s “eating out” market hits €7.5bn
The value of Ireland's food service market grew to a record €7.5bn this year, and expected to grow even further according to a new report publised by Bord Bia.
3 November 2016
The figures in the report, titled Eating Out of Home, were welcomed by 300 delegates at Bord Bia’s annual foodservice industry seminar at the Aviva stadium earlier this week.
Foodservice or “out of home” refers to any food consumed out of the home, including restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, hospitals, bars and workplaces. This market segment has benefited from better-than-anticipated ecnomic growth, buoyant consumer confidence and a strong tourist market. Dropping unemployment and the continuation of hospitality’s 9% VAT rate also helped the growth.
Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia’s foodservice specialist, said 2016 has been a bumper year for food service. “Despite the uncertainty that Brexit has brought, we are still in the enviable position of being the EU’s fastest-growing economy,” Gahan said. “The foodservice market has seen annual grotth of 5% per year for the past number of years, with consumer and business tourism fuelling major growth in urban centres.”
Some of the key findings of the report include:
- Health and Authenticy continue to experience growing consumer demand. Increasingly operators are focused on broadly defined ‘healthy’ offerings. This may not necessarily mean lower fat or lower calories, but rather more on the types of ingredients, the transparency of the menu and how much of a menu item can be described as ‘natural’.
Value, no longer necessarily refers to low prices. Many feel that consumers are willing to spend money on higher quality food and beverage items and refer to ‘fair’ prices as opposed to the lowest price. Value creation tends to focus on maximizing the customer experience.
Provenance is very much on trend, with a need from consumers to know who they’re supporting. Food with a story is something that operators increasingly market to their customers and origin is increasingly viewed as a critical determinant as to the quality of the item.
A greater culinary expression has evolved across all foodservice channels – hotels, full service restaurants, quick service restaurants and workplace caterers are all focused on elevating the culinary role. Ethnic food operations continue to thrive, matching the consumer taste for non-domestic menu offerings.