IRISH consumers are spending millions on imported foodstuffs that they wrongly believe are Irish.
The majority of consumers aren't aware that products such as Lyons Tea, HB ice cream and Siucra sugar are produced overseas, the marketing body Love Irish Food has said.
We import at least €1.5bn worth of branded food products a year, but could easily substitute €300m of this with Irish products if consumers bought just two more homegrown items a week, it said.
Their survey of 1,000 householders had found that 77pc believed Lyons Tea was produced in Ireland – even though it's actually packed in England for Dutch firm Unilever.
Similarly, some 71pc of consumers believe HB ice cream to be an Irish brand – though it too is made by Unilever in the UK.
And 80pc believe Siucra is Irish-made, though it's actually grown and processed overseas and shipped here by German firm Nordzucker.
Although research has shown that 85pc of consumers like buying Irish-made food, this survey shows many have difficulty doing so.
Irish shoppers currently spend €7.1bn a year on food groceries, of which €3.3bn goes on branded goods and the other €3.8bn is spent on unbranded goods and supermarket own-brand products, new figures from Kantar World Panel show.
But a massive 45pc or €1.5bn worth of the branded goods we eat are imported, Love Irish Food said.
It wants to encourage consumers to substitute imports for Irish-made products to boost the economy.
Examples of easy switches to Irish-made products would include buying Barry's Tea instead of Lyons, Avonmore soups instead of imported Cully & Sully ones and Batchelors beans instead of Heinz, the group said.