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Growth on menu with foodservices to be worth €9bn per year


THE foodservice industry in Ireland is now worth €7.5bn a year, according to the latest figures from research carried out by Technomic in conjunction with Bord Bia.

Foodservice is the term used to describe all food consumed outside the home environment.

The industry in Ireland has over 33,000 individual outlets, while the accommodation and foodservice industry employed over 200,000 people in 2016. Of the €7.5bn figure, for 2016, quick service restaurants accounted for €2.6bn, hotels accounted for €1.2bn, and pubs were at €1.3bn. The remainder of the sector was made up of coffee shops, and institutional channels including places of business and industry, education, and healthcare.

The strongest growth in the sector is in the coffee shop/cafe segment, which had just over 5pc of total consumer spend, however it is growing at an annual rate of 9pc, according to the research.

The foodservices sector itself has been growing for a number of years, and it is expected to be worth €9.1bn by the end of 2020.

In 2016 several factors boosted the food service market according to the research including:

  • Better than expected economic growth and overall GDP performance. Increases in tourism numbers in particular had a positive impact on the economy and the industry.
  •  Increased consumer confidence, which led to greater spending. According to the Economic and Social Research Institute, consumers had more confidence in 2016 than in previous years.
  •  Ireland's employment rate continued to increase, in particular the research carried out by Bord Bia and Technomic found that employment rates are steadily rising in the accommodation and food services area.
  • lThe major markets are showing particular strength, the research found.

         Major cities in Ireland are attracting increasing numbers of tourists, which is having a positive impact on the foodservices industry in these areas.

  • lInvestment in restaurant chains in Ireland is strengthening, with more international and domestic restaurant chains expanding in more locations in Ireland, as well as investing in their already established operations.

The research also found main trends emerging in the commercial restaurant space;

  • Focus on value: With consumers willing to spend more on higher quality food and beverages. Consumers are concerned with "fair" prices rather than just the lowest price.
  • Greater culinary expression: There's now more emphasis on hiring industry professionals.
  • Emphasis on origin: Food origin continues to be a major factor in determining the quality of food. Consumers wants to know who they are supporting which is good news for Irish food producers.
  • Health and authenticity: Increasing numbers of operators in the food industry are focusing on healthy options. Operators are also moving towards more ingredient transparency on their menus.

Bord Bia collaborated closely with Technomic to deliver insights in the study.

Numerous resources were used including in-depth interviews with the various stake holders in the industry, as well as information from various trade groups and available government data.

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