Some 71% Of Irish Food Businesses Are Investing In New Products

By Robert McHugh
Some 71% Of Irish Food Businesses Are Investing In New Products

Seven in ten (71%) Irish food businesses are planning to launch new products or services in the next 12 months, according to the results of the 2024 Food Barometer survey, conducted by Love Irish Food and Bank of Ireland.

The survey finds that six in ten Irish food businesses are planning to invest in enhanced brand awareness measures and cutting-edge commercial digital strategies, while over half of the companies surveyed reported production automation and operational efficiencies as key investment areas.

‘Growth Potential’

“In the context of significant geopolitical uncertainty, it is promising to see such confidence in Irish food businesses in their growth potential, despite these producers facing challenges in the areas of inflation and labour retention,” said Kieran Rumley, executive director of Love Irish Food.

“There have been noticeable developments since last year, with businesses investing in sustainability measures positively impacting on input costs, such as reducing energy consumption, reduced packaging, and water consumption.”

Inflationary Pressures

Despite the optimistic outlook, 85% of companies cited rising input costs and inflationary pressures as the biggest threats to growth, alongside wage inflation (66%) and labour availability (55%) – with a lack of appropriate skills and high accommodation costs the top concerns when it comes to labour availability.


The survey indicated that retaining staff remains a key priority for Irish food businesses. While 59% adopt the fully on-site model, 91% of those employing a hybrid or remote-working model want to keep it. With an eye on staff retention, over half of the companies surveyed are considering making changes to their training and development programmes, and almost half of all respondents are considering introducing more well-being benefits and granting their staff pay rises.

‘Developing New Markets’

“Whilst there are ongoing challenges being faced in the sector, it is encouraging to see such positivity amongst Irish food producers in the survey responses,” said Lucy Ryan, head of food and drink, Bank of Ireland.

“Product innovation, developing new markets, and enhanced staff retention practices are clearly priority areas, and I am also delighted to see companies placing an emphasis on implementing targeted sustainability measures.”

Sustainability Measures

The survey shows that sustainability measures remain a top priority for Irish food businesses, with 74% of companies reported to have embedded sustainability into their overall business practices.

The top areas delivering better sustainability outcomes are reduced energy consumption (84%) and the introduction of sustainable packaging (82%).

According to respondents, key business benefits from embedding sustainability solutions include product innovation (64%), process efficiencies (64%) and increased revenue (61%).