Saturday 10 December 2016

Irish consumers are embracing healthier breakfast options

A new Bord Bia report suggests that our national love of the greasy fry is on the wane, as the trend towards healthy options consolidates

John McGee

Published 24/04/2016 | 02:30

Not surprisingly, there is a growing trend towards healthy eating first thing in the morning. In the 'What's Hot' category are staples like porridge, fruit, yogurt, gluten-free bread, smoothies and eggs, all of which score well in the health stakes
Not surprisingly, there is a growing trend towards healthy eating first thing in the morning. In the 'What's Hot' category are staples like porridge, fruit, yogurt, gluten-free bread, smoothies and eggs, all of which score well in the health stakes

Ever wondered about the morning rituals of Irish consumers before they have breakfast every morning? According to Bord Bia's latest Marketing Insights report, which was published during the week, 46pc of us go online to check emails or catch up on news via our social-media channels while 40pc tune into a radio station. Another 23pc of us turn on the TV while 15pc read a newspaper.

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Morning media habits aside, the purpose of the research was to shed some light on the key breakfast consumption habits of consumers. The fairly in-depth research was carried out by Red C and some of the findings will have some marketers jumping for joy, while others may be tempted to go back to bed as they try to seek some solace from Oscar Wilde's oft-quoted saying that "only dull people are brilliant at breakfast".

Not surprisingly, there is a growing trend towards healthy eating first thing in the morning. In the 'What's Hot' category are staples like porridge, fruit, yogurt, gluten-free bread, smoothies and eggs, all of which score well in the health stakes.

Given that we spend an average of just 13 minutes eating breakfast, there is also a trend toward "portable" food that is quick and easy to eat on the move. We are also embracing functional foods that provide some additional nutritional benefit, whether it's a sprinkling of chia seeds on our porridge or something else that is customisable and, I kid you not, is 'instagrammable'.

Marketers working for brands in some sectors may want to look away now. According to the research, products like jam, bread, breakfast meats like bacon and sausages, regular cereal, fruit juices and bagels fall into the list of 'What's Not Hot'.

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With the second anniversary of the launch of Irish TV approaching next week, there would appear to be no end to the ambition of Pierce O'Reilly, the co-founder of the Westport-based broadcaster.

Although never quite a threat to the likes of RTÉ or TV3, many within the cosy confines of the Irish broadcasting world wrote him off as soon as he launched his bold and ambitious plan for world domination - two years later the station is still in expansion mode.

With a commitment to "broadcast local stories to a global audience", Irish TV churns out a wide range of community and county-focused light-entertainment programming on a daily basis.

With production hubs in several locations throughout Ireland, the UK and the USA, viewers can access it online or via Sky and eir's eVision platform.

But ambition is made of sterner stuff and the station has just inked a deal with the Indian company Tata Communications that will allow viewers around the world access it through smart devices like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire and Roku.

Any new start-up and subsequent expansion comes at a cost, however, and at the end of 2014, Teilifis Mhaigh Eo Teoranta, the main company behind the station, was showing retained losses of €2.1m, up from €247,900 at the end of 2013.

With a firm eye on boosting ad revenue, and hopefully returning to the black, the company has just appointed two industry heavy-hitters to help. Joe Toomey, who has worked with Channel 4, UTV and Classic Hits 4FM, has joined the station as national sales director while Dave Cahill, who has worked with TV3, the Sunday World, TG4 and Setanta Sports, has just joined as national sales manager.

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Still on the subject of hugely ambitious companies, Thinkhouse, the Dublin-based communications agency headed up by Jane McDaid and David Coyle, has been selected to feature in the 2016 edition of The World's Leading Independent Agencies, which is published this week by the Haymarket-owned Campaign magazine in the UK in association with thenetworkone, the world's largest network of independent agencies.

Thinkhouse, which specialises in youth communications, features alongside 15 independent agencies from around the world and is also the first Irish-owned agency to ever appear in the publication twice.

The agency has a staff of 41 split between offices in Dublin and Shoreditch in London and its client-base includes the likes of Unilever, William Grant, Coca Cola and Heineken.

Contact John McGee at john@adworld.ie

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