Value of Irish Foodservice Market Rises to Reach Record €7.8 Billion in 2017
Bord Bia released the findings of its 2017 Irish Foodservice Channel Insights Report in advance of its annual foodservice seminar which took place in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. The report shows that Ireland’s foodservice market continues to grow and is now valued at a record €7.8 billion, comprising over 33,000 individual outlets. The foodservice market includes all food consumed out of home incorporating restaurants, pubs, hotels, coffee shops, workplace catering, hospitals, education and vending.The report, which also tracks consumer behaviour and sentiment when eating away from home, highlights that take away, or grab-and-go concepts, are one of the key drivers of foodservice growth and that healthier foods are trending and influencing menu ideation.
According to Bord Bia Chief Executive Tara McCarthy: “During these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to create data-driven solutions for our food and beverage clients. The seminar and the new research that we are bringing to the foodservice market reflects our ongoing commitment to delivering relevant insights.”
Foodservice Market in Ireland
Over one third (35%) of consumer spend is found in Limited Service Restaurants*, which incorporates quick-service restaurants, fast-casual dining and food-to-go, with 12% attributed to Full Service Restaurants. Consumer spending in pubs (excluding alcohol) accounts for 17% of the market value and is showing a lower year on year growth rate than the overall market attributed in part to Brexit which has decreased weekend trips and holiday visits to Ireland by UK travellers. The two segments showing the biggest share gain are the hotel segment, accounting for 17% of total foodservice consumer spending and the coffee shops and cafes which now account for 6%.
Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist in Bord Bord, adds: “We’re delighted to report that the sector remains on track to grow at a compound rate of 4.9% and to reach a value of €9 billion by 2020. Ireland has started to become known as a “food destination” and much of the investment operators have made in quality and service upgrades have helped fuel the foodservice growth witnessed in the island of Ireland (IOI).”
Continued economic prosperity hascontributed to a relatively strong and healthy foodservice industry and a number of key trends include:
* Coffee shops and cafes maintain their position as the fastest growing sector, and the investment in beverage has been seen across all segments as operators strive to provide High Street level coffee and beverage programmes to their guests.Flat whitesare this year’s trending coffee beverage with coffee perceived as an affordable luxury among consumers and health trends are beginning to shape coffee orders with consumers seeking out alternative milks.
* A rise in fast-casual concepts (limited service but generally more upscale offering higher quality ingredients and higher average spend than quick-service) to meet the consumer demand for higher-quality foods at an affordable price.
* Technology is a foodservice-enabler and third party delivery is causing some disruption and seeing strong growth, particularly in major urban centres as a result of younger consumers and business travellers favouring convenience.
* A focus on provenance can be seen particularly with new chains finding success in labelling menu items as “fresh” and “local which are often associated with “better for you” items.
Large foodservice brands and forecourt stations are aligning to the consumer demand for healthier options and so upgrades and investments continue, with a focus on fresh foods and made-to-order offers.
* The introduction of new cuisines and variety into the Irish diet as a result of the continued entry of International brands into the Irish market. This is also creating additional competition for home-grown brands.
The findings of the report were shared with more than 300 delegates at Bord Bia’s recent Foodservice Seminar. The annual event which discusses emerging trends in the sector was chaired by entrepreneur and business-man, Bobby Kerr. Delegates were addressed by Joe Barrett, Chief Executive, Applegreen regarding how the ‘food-to-go’ segment has evolved and is changing the face of forecourt convenience. Attendees also heard from Jack Kirwan, Founder, Sprout, who shared his insights on providing a healthy food offering to meet the needs of millennials, how technology is improving efficiencies and the importance of transparency when it comes to sourcing ingredients.
A panel discussion focusing on the drivers of foodservice growth featured contributions from Liam Cox, Deliveroo; Thomas Ennis, Thomas Ennis Group; Barry Murphy, Paganini Desserts and Olivia Duff, Headfort Arms and Boyne Valley Food. The panel discussed the growth in trends such as food tourism and third party delivery, along with the growing importance of food to go within the retail channel and how suppliers can benefit from a partnership approach with foodservice customers.
Pictured from left: Liam Cox, Regional Manager, Ireland, Deliveroo; Maureen Gahan, Food Service Specialist, Bord Bia; and Jack Kirwan, Founder, Sprout; prior to the Bord Bia 2017 Irish Foodservice seminar. Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography.