A record number of almost 120,000 people attended Bord Bia’s Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park, recently.
Welcoming this year’s strong attendance Tara McCarthy, chief executive, Bord Bia said: “We are proud that our Bloom event has developed into such an inspirational festival of creativity, a place where creators of food and drink, of gardens, craft and art get a platform to tell their story. Each year, Bloom provides Bord Bia, and our key stakeholders, with an invaluable opportunity to engage with consumers, helping us to build insight, learn and share new ideas while celebrating and showcasing the best of Ireland’s horticulture, food and drink industry. In addition to being a great place to visit, Bloom has a strong track record of delivering sales and new business for our stakeholders, both here onsite and more importantly developing trade relationships for future business. This is a key component of the show, and one that Bord Bia is keen to deliver and build upon.”
This year’s event also received a ringing endorsement from Bob Sweet, former Head of Judging for the Royal Horticulture Society in the UK. Mr Sweet, who has visited the show on many occasions, said: “There is no doubt in my mind that this year’s Bloom event is better than Chelsea. It is a world-class showcase and Bord Bia should be very proud of what it has achieved in a relatively short period of time. I recall the first show back in 2007 and it is just incredible to see how the event has evolved.”
Bloom by numbers
- According to Bord Bia’s exit survey, over 30per cent of this year’s visitors were first time Bloom visitors
- Plant sales were up 20 per cent compared to last year
- Bloom 2017 attracted many newly established food companies, and craft makers.
- Almost a third of exhibitors (33) within the Food Village were new to Bloom and a third of the Craft Village retailers were new companies and / or new to Bloom.
- More than 10,000 visitors left plants in the Plant Crèche to be cared for while they enjoyed the festival.
- The volunteers working on at the Bloom farmyard were busy over the five day festival, with over 50kg of wool sheared, enough for 50 wool jumpers, and some 20,000L of milk produced onsite.
- Almost 20,000 people availed of Bord Bia’s free Shuttle Bus to and from Bloom Within the Food Village, Jelly Bean Factory gave away 50,000 beans, East Coast Bakehouse sampled over 25,000 biscuits and Wild Irish Seaweed sold 100kg of dry seaweed over the weekend.
- Over 15,000 children used the new ‘Bloom passports’ introduced by Bord Bia for this year’s show, while 30 schools, with over 1,000 children visited the show on Thursday and Friday.
- Before the doors opened to the public on Friday, over 250 food buyers attended Bord Bia's business breakfast at Bloom for face to face meetings with the exhibiting food and drink companies.This year’s show featured 22 exquisite show gardens, 13 postcard gardens and 33 nursery displays.
- The judging panel for Bloom 2017 comprised of 14 Irish and international horticultural experts, who awarded more than 100 awards to show garden designers, amateur postcard garden designers; nurseries and floral artists including 28 Gold, 18 Silver Gilt, 21 Silver and 21 Bronze medals.
- It will take 14 days to clear the Bloom site (it took 31 days to build Bloom 2017).
- A total of 4,000 people worked onsite over the five days including 200 Bord Bia volunteers.