Two thirds of Irish consumers say it's 'important to buy local' and according to new research by Bord Bia, one third are following through and buying more local food.
A new Bord Bia study has revealed that two thirds of Irish consumers believe it is important purchase local food and it seems that many are carrying through on this good intention.
The study shows that Irish people claim to buy local food at least once a week and one in three consumers say they are purchasing more today than they did 12 months ago.
Two thirds of Irish consumers told Bord Bia that they believe it is important purchase local food and two thirds perceive local food to be of high quality with natural and 100% ingredients, rendering it better quality than mass produced food.
However, the research also highlighted that there are a number of different meanings and associations with local food. Some three in four consumers understand it to be food made, produced and sourced within their local area, compared to a similar study in 2010 where there was more focus on the producer behind the product.
The awareness of the term ‘local food’ has fallen by 16% since 2010 to 77% while the awareness of the term ‘artisan food’ has increased by 26% to 50%.
Nearly four in five people believe that they are supporting the community when purchasing local foods, while three quarters say this food is fresher having been produced locally.
The research also showed that in terms of product benefits, local food is understood to be better for you thanks to the perceived quality of the ingredients, freshness and health cues.
Speaking about the research findings, Mary Morrissey, Bord Bia’s Food and Beverage Manager said, “It is encouraging for small food businesses to hear consumers saying they buy local food products at least once a week and that one third are purchasing more today than they did a year ago."
The results of Bord Bia’s research into consumer attitudes to local food were presented today to over 200 small food and drink producers at Bord Bia’s Small Business Open Day in Enfield, Co. Meath.
Bord Bia also revealed that the number of small food and drink businesses it works with has grown by over 40% (42%) from 400 to 700 in just under four years. Bord Bia estimates that the small food and drink business sector is worth some €400m.
Opening the conference, the Minister of the State at the Department of Agriculture, Food, Andrew Doyle that the most immediate impact of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has been sterling depreciation and volatility.
"While demand for premium quality, safe food products is increasing long term, today’s advice and information can help companies in very practical ways to hold on to business."