Bord Bia recently released the findings of its 2017 Irish Foodservice Channel Insights Report.

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.

The report shows 35% of consumer spend is found in Limited Service Restaurants, incorporating 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 segment, which now accounts for 6%.

Foodservice Specialist in Bord Bia, Maureen Gahan, commented “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)”.

Some of the key trends found this year:

  • Flat whites are 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.

  • 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.

You can read the full report HERE