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Bord Bia report: Irish foodservice industry sees growth, but consumers feel impact of cost-of-living crisis

Bord Bia report: Irish foodservice industry sees growth, but consumers feel impact of cost-of-living crisis Bord Bia, consumers, cost of living, crisis, foodservice, industry, Irish, report Food and Beverage Business

According to Bord Bia’s annual Foodservice Market Insights report, the Irish ‘out of home’ sector reached a record high of €9.3 billion this year, marking a nearly 13% increase from the previous year. This growth is particularly significant as it has exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time, despite the challenges faced over the last four years. However, industry growth has slowed from the significant increases seen in 2022. Forecasts for 2024 indicate a more discerning occasion-led approach to dining out of home as consumer demand rebalances following a post-pandemic surge.

Feeling the pinch

The report’s consumer research findings in Ireland, UK, and Germany revealed that consumers across all three countries have noticed an increase in the cost of dining out, with the majority in Ireland (86%) and the UK (78%) believing it has become too expensive to do on a regular basis.

The report highlights several emerging trends in foodservice, including:

  1. Higher prices: The industry has struggled with cost inflation, driving price increases for consumers who expect consistent value and quality in return.
  2. Sustainable mindset: For foodservice operators, sustainability is a priority, particularly for those in contract catering or ‘business feeders’ sector. However, consumers’ dining choices are not currently motivated by sustainability concerns.
  3. Eating out less often: Consumers are cutting out spontaneous dining and choosing to eat out for special occasions or for convenience and speed.
  4. Menu choice considered: Consumers are making more value-conscious choices when dining out, opting for smaller or less expensive dishes.
  5. Venues with value: Consumers are more discerning in their venue choices and are motivated by value for money.
  6. Mixed reactions to Technology: While technology has enhanced efficiencies, some consumers prefer a less digital approach for a more personal dining experience.
  7. Labour shortages: Labour remains a significant challenge in the foodservice industry, although it has reportedly improved compared to previous years.

Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist at Bord Bia, commented on the report’s findings: “The impact of inflation and increased cost of living is visible, but it’s reassuring to see that good quality food remains the primary driver for consumers when dining out. Irish food and drink companies supplying the sector should focus on maintaining consistency, quality, and offering value-added experiences to meet consumer demands.”

Bord Bia Foodservice Supports

Bord Bia provides ongoing support to the Irish foodservice industry, including market updates, insights, networking opportunities, and an annual Foodservice Directory containing detailed profiles of foodservice operators and distributors.


Bord Bia report: Irish foodservice industry sees growth, but consumers feel impact of cost-of-living crisis Bord Bia, consumers, cost of living, crisis, foodservice, industry, Irish, report Food and Beverage Business

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