New research reveals consumers’ attitudes to food miles

John O’Brien, managing director at O’Brien Fine Foods

One in three Irish people eat sandwiches once a day or more while chicken is among the favorite fillings for 24% of us, new research shows

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19 January 2018 | 0

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50% of Irish consumers would not knowingly buy meat products that have travelled between 601 and 1,000 miles (e.g. from Germany), a new study shows. Meanwhile, almost 80% would not knowingly buy meat products that have travelled between 1,001 and 2,000 miles (e.g. from Ukraine).

The research, conducted among 1,000 Irish consumers by Ignite Research on behalf of Homebird – Ireland’s newest sliced chicken and turkey brand, also revealed several further key stats. While 87% of Irish consumers purchase pre-packed cooked meats, 69% consume cooked meats up to five times per week. Chicken is among the favorite sandwich fillers for 24% of Irish consumers.

The research also found that 80% of consumers check the label of meat products that they purchase, with over half (57%) checking specifically for the country of origin. It found that Irish consumers overwhelmingly prefer to buy locally sourced meat products, with 71% of Irish consumers saying it is important to buy Irish produce.

The research findings were published as Homebird marked its ‘Food Miles’ campaign – an initiative designed to highlight food origin, the story of Homebird and the low food miles of the brand.

The research found that the majority (56%) of Irish consumers believe that for a product to be labelled ‘produced in Ireland’, it should be both farmed and produced in Ireland. However, according to Safefood, a significant proportion of chicken is in fact imported from farms on mainland Europe and is only produced and packaged in Irish factories.

Homebird, an O’Brien Fine Foods brand, is the only 100% Irish and Bord Bia-approved producer of pre-cooked, ready-to-serve chicken and turkey products in Ireland. Homebird is supplied by three Irish family farms long established in the meat industry, sourcing its chicken from Manor Farm and turkey from Hogan’s Farm.

“Provenance matters to Irish consumers, said John O’Brien, managing director at O’Brien Fine Foods. “We are increasingly conscious of where our food comes from, its quality, and its nutritional value and health benefits.

“There can be some confusion with regard to the origin of products and labelling which consumers need to be aware of,” he added. “Produced in Ireland doesn’t always necessarily mean farmed and produced in Ireland and it is the responsibility of brands to be clear and consumers to be aware, particularly when food origin is increasingly important to us.”

 

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