Recent findings of Bord Bia's 2018 Irish Foodservice Market Insights Report show that Ireland’s foodservice market is set to grow by 6.1% this year to reach a value of €8.2 billion.
The report tracks trends in consumer behaviour when eating out of home and also highlights some of the challenges the industry faces in light of the significant growth in recent years. Findings from the report show that consumer demand for convenience and sustainable practises are disrupting the foodservice industry and that with more operators using food as a tool to compete, new channels such as forecourt food experiences continue to emerge. The report also highlights the fact that city centres have now reached close to saturation point when it comes to quick serve restaurants and cafés, and that a tightening labour market has led to shortages in finding and keeping qualified staff.
Commenting on the report, Bord Bia Chief Executive Tara McCarthy said: “As the economy has grown, so too has the foodservice industry. Strong growth in income and employment, coupled with strong tourism figures, have been key contributors to the overall health of the sector. While we expect to see continued positive activity in the next three years, going forward overall growth figures are likely to be lower than previous years. As globalisation continues and Ireland remains an attractive location for expansion of multi-national foodservice operators, Irish provenance and its sustainability credentials remains a strong differentiator and something that Irish consumers see as unique and important to their decision making process which is encouraging for Irish food and drink suppliers.”
Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist in Bord Bia added: “The Irish foodservice industry continues to exhibit strength but with some cautionary signs on the horizon, it is important that our businesses continue to monitor and plan for Brexit and have a strong focus on cost control. Our research identified a number of critical strategic issues that will continue to have long-term impacts on the Irish foodservice industry. These should be addressed within the strategic planning process to ensure that companies remain competitive and ahead of macrotrends shaping the industry in the years to come. We would also encourage companies to prioritise investing in socially responsible activity, particularly packaging and explore ways to differentiate their offering.”