The Irish foodservice market is enjoying continual year-on-year growth and is now valued at €6.37 billion compared to €6.13 billion in 2014, according to Bord Bia’s Quick Service and Food-to-Go Insights Report.
The report says that growth in the food service sector has benefited from growth in the wider economy and strong international and domestic tourism, as well as from rising consumer confidence and employment in the country, and the continuation of 9% VAT for hospitality.
Addressing a Bord Bia’s Foodservice Seminar, held today (November 4th), foodservice specialist Maureen Gahan said, “It’s encouraging to see that the sector is continuing to grow at an even faster rate than was forecast this time last year.
“Overall, Ireland is still viewed as a growth market for both domestic and international chain operators and opportunities exist for Irish food and drink suppliers that have the capacity to service them.”
The report also highlighted how ‘better-for-you’ foods are viewed favourably by consumers, and can help differentiate menus from those of competitors, and how technology is changing how businesses interact with their customers regarding loyalty programmes, ordering and transaction options.
It also noted the growing crossover between the retail and foodservice markets as ‘Food-to-Go’ continues to attract customers looking for speed, improved food quality and expanding offerings. The findings highlight the emergence of the ‘transumer’, or the customer that is on-the-go and looking for ‘dashboard dining options, and how the forecourt convenience operators are meeting that need.
To go with the report, Bord Bia commission a new consumer survey, which Gahan says shows, “Consumer culture is evolving, with new demands being placed on restaurant operators”.
“According to our survey, fast service, fair price and transparency are the three of the most important characteristics for diners,” she added.
The survey revealed that more than 62% of consumers believe it is restaurants that in turn support local operators, while 55% said that food sources and transparency are important when eating out.
Furthermore, 48% frequently make special requests to customise menu items, with the ability to do so appealing particularly to Millennials, and 58% claim that premium coffee is important to them.
The full Bord Bia Quick Service and Food-to-Go Insights Report can be found here
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.