Bord Bia’s annual Foodservice Market Insights report indicates that a rebalancing of consumer demand following a post-pandemic surge and increasing economic uncertainty will result in a 'more discerning occasion-led approach' to dining out of home.
The report contains findings from consumer research conducted in Ireland, UK and Germany in relation to consumer attitudes to eating out of home.
Consumers from all three countries have noticed that eating out is becoming more expensive, with the majority surveyed in Ireland (86%) and the UK (78%) believing dining out has become too expensive to do on a regular basis.
"Although Irish consumers are more pessimistic when looking ahead than other countries surveyed, we have identified key factors motivating consumers when eating out of home that we believe will help those working in the industry to navigate the future,” said Maureen Gahan, foodservice specialist at Bord Bia.
“It was reassuring to find that good quality food is still the primary driver motivating consumers when eating out of home."
Value Is Critical
Bord Bia is urging Irish food and drink companies supplying the sector is to continue to maintain consistency and quality, while also being cognisant that delivering value is more critical than ever before.
"At the same time, we also know that value shouldn’t focus solely on price," noted Gahan.
"Consumers are looking for premium experiences and those suppliers who can offer products or solutions that enhance the overall eating out experience are well positioned.”
New Record High
Findings from Bord Bia’s annual Foodservice Market Insights report, show that the Irish ‘out of home’ sector was up nearly 13% this year to a new record high of €9.3 billion across both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
This is the first time that the market value has exceeded pre-pandemic levels, and Bord Bia noted that this growth has been achieved amidst a surge of challenges over the last four years, although industry growth has slowed from the significant increases seen in 2022.
'Impact Of Inflation'
“Last year’s major upswing in market growth was a welcome boost to the industry, and it is very positive that the value of the foodservice market this year has exceeded 2019 levels," said Gahan.
"However, the impact of inflation and increased cost of living in general is visible."
Bord Bia’s Foodservice Seminar
The research was released at Bord Bia’s Foodservice Seminar which took place at the Killashee Hotel, Naas on Wednesday.
The theme is for the event was Building Strength in Sustainability and it was attended by the over 300 attendees who heard from a variety of speakers from Technomic, Red-C, Positive Carbon, Just Eat, Hawksmoor, Notpla, Levy UK & Ireland among others.
Domini Kemp, Euro-toques chef, food writer and entrepreneur was the MC at the event.