Eating out is the new going out – foodservice sector worth €7.5 billion
New research from Bord Bia shows that the ‘Eating out of Home’ market is now worth €7.5 billion and is forecast to grow to €9 billion.
The sector includes everything from restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and bars to workplace catering, hospitals, education and vending and the biggest spend is in quick service restaurants.
According to Bord Bia, this market segment has benefited from better than anticipated economic growth, buoyant consumer confidence, a strong domestic and international tourist market, an unemployment rate that is now less than 8pc, and the continuation of 9pc VAT for hospitality.
Bord Bia’s foodservice specialist, Maureen Gahan said, “It has been a bumper year for foodservice in Ireland. Despite the uncertainty that Brexit brings, we are still in the enviable position of being the fastest growing economy within the EU.
“The foodservice market has witnessed an annual growth rate of over 5pc per year for over the past number of years, with both consumer and business tourist numbers fuelling major growth in urban centres.”
Foodservice Market in Ireland
Almost 35pc of consumer spend is found in Quick Service Restaurants, which comprises traditional fast, and more upmarket, food outlets, along with the growing area of food-to-go.
Pubs account for 18pc of consumer spend (excluding alcohol), with food-led pubs seeing the biggest return. Strongest growth is occurring in the coffee shop segment, although from a small base.
Despite the fact that foodservice can be associated with a space that consumers crave indulgence, health and authenticity continue to experience growing consumer demand, the report says.