A major new Bord Bia campaign to support Irish beef exports to Germany was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed in Stuttgart today.
The promotional campaign, valued at almost €1 million this year alone, will target in excess of 8 million German consumers.
In 2016, Ireland exported 23,000 tonnes of beef to Germany, a doubling in volume since 2012 (from 11,500 tonnes), and according to Bord Bia this figure is expected to reach 30,000 tonnes by 2018.
The launch event was hosted by Michelin-star chef, Claudio Urru, at his Restaurant 5 in Stuttgart.
Attendees included meat buyers from retail chains and purchasers of Irish beef such as Kaufland and Edeka Südwest as well as a number of prominent chefs in Germany.
As part of the campaign planning, Bord Bia undertook qualitative and quantitative consumer research to gain a better understanding of German consumer attitudes to Irish beef.
According to Donal Denvir, Bord Bia’s German Manager, “The research found that there is a huge interest among German consumers around the topics of food sustainability, origin and animal welfare. Ireland as a food producing nation was viewed favourably and the image of our food production system is one that is pure, green and natural where animals freely graze on green pastures.”
Bord Bia will undertake a five year multi-channel communications campaign across retail level in-store, in restaurants, online advertising, on social media, in print, and at various trade and consumer events.
This year will see the campaign commence with five retail promotions in over 2,000 stores and a series of promotions with leading steak restaurant chains across 100 locations.
In addition, Bord Bia will organise trade journalists visit Ireland to gain a first-hand experience and understanding of Irish beef. Consumers will be directed to a website where they can engage with Irish farmers on farming and Irish beef.
Selling Ireland’s green image, the campaign will also feature an ongoing communications programme around Bord Bia’s sustainability initiative, Origin Green.
Speaking from Stuttgart Minister Creed said, “I am delighted to launch Bord Bia's new Irish beef campaign for the German market, introducing Irish beef’s unique sustainability credentials to German consumers for the first time.
“ Promotional campaigns such as this enable us to showcase Ireland as a provider of safe, quality and sustainably produced food.
“Against the Brexit backdrop, identifying market opportunities, building awareness and securing business in a more diversified range of markets has never been more important to the future of our quality food production.
“My Department and Bord Bia are working closely with the agri-food sector to sustain and grow our market opportunities."
Meanwhile Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia’s Chief Executive, said that building on the recent strong export performance in this competitive environment requires a sustained marketing and promotional drive such as this campaign.
“Irish beef continues to perform in what is considered an important premium market, with beef exports rising to €142 million in 2016 from €92 million just four years ago.
“This campaign follows comprehensive consumer research in the German market and a highly encouraging performance by industry” commented Ms. McCarthy.