Bord Bia bids for lucrative Chinese market
Bord Bia is now targeting 1.5 million shoppers daily in China with a major online sale of fresh food and drink products.
A partnership agreement in Shanghai with SF Best, one of the country's leading e- commerce platforms for fresh and frozen imported food, will promote a range of Irish products over the next 12 months.
This week's promotions will focus on premium Irish seafood.
In the coming months products including the Kerrygold dairy range, and various alcoholic beverages, will also be promoted on the SF Best site.
"This is an ideal partnership for Bord Bia. Irish food is trusted by families in China as a safe, clean and healthy choice and SF Best is trusted by Chinese families for its unparalleled record in safe and secure logistics," said James O'Donnell, Bord Bia Asia director.
Online food shopping has become increasingly important in China, and in the first three months of this year the value of this market totalled €108bn, up 45pc on the same period in 2013.
Ireland's exports to China increased by 50pc last year reaching €367m. Exports to Hong Kong increased by 24pc to €180m.
During the last three years, Bord Bia has brought more than 200 representatives of various high-level Asian food outlets to Ireland.
Meanwhile, the food service sector here is continuing to enjoy year-on-year growth according to the latest report from Bord Bia.
This market, which covers all food consumed outside of the home, from restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, and bars, to workplace catering, hospitals, education and vending machines, is currently valued at €6.37bn, compared to €6.13bn in 2014. This is forecasted to reach €6.9bn by 2018.
The food service sector has benefited from growth in the wider economy, rising confidence among Irish consumers, a strong international and domestic tourism market, a falling unemployment rate, and the continuation of the 9pc VAT for hospitality.
Bord Bia's latest consumer research shows that more than 60pc of consumers believe it is important to eat at restaurants which support local food suppliers. More than 50pc are looking for menus which list fresh ingredients when they are eating out.
Nearly 60pc of customers say premium coffee is important to them - and service operators increasingly recognise that coffee can act as a major "footfall driver".