The findings from Bord Bia PERIscope 2015, the largest consumer tracking study in Ireland have been released, revealing that across markets from Ireland to China, healthy eating, local food and eating together are high on the agenda for today’s shoppers.
PERIscope 2015 examines eight key markets, including Ireland and Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, as well as the US and for the first time, China.
Speaking this morning, Consumer Insight Manager for Bord Bia, Paula Donoghue explained, “The knowledge and consumer understanding in these countries is important for Irish food and drink exporters as they seek to increase their global footprint.”
“Insight such this assists companies to innovate, be future-focused and consumer driven in anticipating their changing needs.”
According to the report, Healthy Eating continues to be a key trend, with Ireland ranking third out of the eight countries in understanding the benefits of a healthy diet.
Almost 9 out of 10 Irish consumers consider their diet fairly healthy while 73% say they eat healthy to take control of their lives and 79% consider a good diet important for their mental wellbeing.
Childhood obesity is also a growing concern for consumers across the markets examined, with 52% of parents in Ireland, Spain and China expressing the most concern.
This appears to have filtered down into lunchbox choices, with sandwiches, fruit and bottled water popular additions, and the inclusion juice seeing a decline of 60%.
While Ireland and the UK generally see similar trends, a striking difference is in the inclusion of crisps to lunch boxes; only 7% in Irish lunches versus 50% in Great Britain, most likely due to the restrictions on unhealthy foods in most Irish schools.
The importance of transparency in the food industry is evident in PERIscope’s findings; 74% of Irish people check labels for country of origin or a quality mark symbol when making purchasing decisions.
Locally produced food is of particular importance in France, Spain and Ireland while those in the Netherlands remain disengaged from the idea. The universally acknowledged definition of ‘local food’ across the countries studied is ‘food that is made within close proximity to where people are’. Also, the emphasis on price appears to be waning, with 77% saying the quality of fresh food is a more important factor.
Irish people continue to see the importance of eating together, with 85% saying it is important to spend time over dinner as a family. The Irish eat more together on weekends than weekdays, and on Sundays 88% eat with their families, up from just 78% in 2001.
Irish people are also making more time for breakfast, with the number of those saying that they rarely have time for the first meal of the day going from 44% in 2001 to 35%.
The full PERIscope report, including country summaries, can be found on Bord Bia’s website.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.