Retail

Love Irish Food Survey Reveals Business Confidence Despite Challenges

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Love Irish Food Survey Reveals Business Confidence Despite Challenges

A survey from Love Irish Food has found that Irish food and drink companies are generally optimistic about the future, despite inflationary pressures, RTÉ reported today.

The organisation surveyed 100 businesses with Bank of Ireland in March and April of this year.

Some 80% of respondents were confident in their food or drink business and predicting future growth.

Some 70% revealed plans to launch new products or services in the next 12 months, while 60% are aiming to improve brand awareness.

According to half of the companies surveyed (50%), their key investment areas for the coming year are production automation and operational efficiencies.

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Worries

Despite 85% of companies reporting an optimistic outlook, they cited rising input costs and the threat of inflation as detriments to growth.

Some 66% cited wage inflation and 55% mentioned labour availability as significant challenges facing the sector.

Retaining staff is another key concern of the surveyed businesses.

Sustainability is top of mind for the companies, with 74% reportedly incorporating sustainability into their overall business practices, including reducing energy consumption (84%) and providing environmentally friendly packaging (82%).

It remains a key topic, as the surveyed businesses noted that sustainability solutions drive product innovation (64%), process efficiencies (64%), and increase revenue (61%).

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‘Confidence’

The executive director of Love Irish Food, Kieran Rumley, said of the results, “In the context of significant geopolitical uncertainty, it is promising to see such confidence in Irish food businesses in their growth potential, despite these producers facing challenges in the areas of inflation and labour retention.

“There have been noticeable developments since last year, with businesses investing in sustainability measures positively impacting on input costs, such as reducing energy consumption, reduced packaging, and water consumption.

“It is heartening to see this confidence continue, as investment extends through other areas of their businesses.”

Read More: Tesco Ireland And Love Irish Food Partnership Grows Irish Brand Sales By 40%

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