This week Bord Bia will leverage the global goodwill around Patrick’s Day to drive its growth strategy of defending clients in the UK market, growing business in established markets and creating awareness of Ireland’s food offering in emerging markets.
Through its growing network of international offices, Bord Bia will host in excess of 100 events around the world, promoting and showcasing Irish food and drink through a series of business development meetings, social events and consumer-facing promotional initiatives. Irish food and drink is currently enjoyed in 180 markets around the world and exports reached over €12 billion in 2018.
Launching this year’s programme of activity, Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said “St. Patrick's Day is an Irish festival that's celebrated in every corner of the globe and provides Bord Bia and the Irish food and drink industry with an invaluable and tangible business opportunity. We will maximise this opportunity in our priority markets to engage with new and existing customers through Ministerial-led trade meetings, retail and restaurant promotions, in-store tastings, cookery demonstrations, media briefings, online campaigns and Irish food festivals.”
In Europe, Bord Bia will drive its strategy of growing existing business through widespread engagement with key customers and consumers. Tara McCarthy will accompany the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. on his visit to Spain and Portugal where they will engage in a series of meetings with key customers from the three priority export sectors – beef, livestock and seafood. The 5 day programme of activity will include top -to- top meetings with key importers including Grupo Mozos and Claramar in Spain, Portuguese retailer Pingo Doce, and Spanish retailer Mercadona. They will also participate at the St Patrick`s Day trade reception at the Irish embassy in Madrid where they will meet the Irish trade based in Spain and the main Spanish retail clients, including El Corte Inglés, Carrefour, Alcampo and key wholesalers and distributors.
In the priority UK market Bord Bia's London office will support a number of activities and initiatives to highlight Ireland`s unique food and drink offering.
Bord Bia will partner with leading UK online grocery retailer Ocado, supporting a 4 week Quality Assured Irish organic beef promotion concluding on 17 March. Complementing this promotion with Ocado and to further raise awareness of Ocado's dedicated Irish shop, Bord Bia has sponsored a number of food and drink hampers to be offered to Ocado's 350,000 social media followers.
On Thursday 14 March, Bord Bia has secured a top- to- top meeting with Marks and Spencer (M&S), while on Friday 15 March, Bord Bia will participate in an industry trade event in the Irish embassy hosted by Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Pascal Donohue T.D..
On Saturday the prestigious John Lewis Food Hall will host an Irish Artisan Food Sampling Day with Butler’s Chocolates, Glenilen Farm, Flahavan’s and Cashel Farmhouse Cheese all in attendance.
On St Patrick's Day Bord Bia is a main sponsor of the official Mayor of London St Patrick's Day parade and festival which concludes in Trafalgar Square, where all will be welcome to savour Irish inspired food through a number of high-end street food vendors. To round off the St. Patrick's festival of celebrations on Monday March 18th, Bord Bia will host 20 UK Michelin Star Chefs for a celebration of Irish beef in Michelin Star restaurant The Oxford Kitchen.
As a priority market for Irish beef in Europe, Bord Bia will focus its activities in Germany on building its partnership with Edeka, the leading retailer with a week- long in-store point of sale promotion of Irish Beef in Edeka stores. Sales of Irish Beef have been increasing steadily across many Edeka regions over the past 5 years – total exports of Irish Beef to Germany now stand at approx.. €140 Million, up from €92 Million in 2012. This promotion is being supported by Bord Bia Germany’s online, digital and print promotional marketing assets as well as in store tastings in selected stores and a competition to win a trip to Ireland to visit an Irish Beef farm this summer.
Recent Consumer Insights commissioned by Bord Bia reveal that real life Irish farmers are the best ambassadors to showcase and prove Ireland’s sustainability and quality credentials. The promotion will run across 650 stores and the target is to have 10,000 plus entries for the competition.
This year’s St Patrick’s Day festival coincides with two major international trade shows in Germany, Internorga and Prowein. Irish producers will be exhibiting on Bord Bia stands at both of these events which are anticipated to attract 95,000 and 60,000 trade visitors respectively from across the world. The Internorga trade fair focuses on the German foodservice market and Bord Bia will be meeting with key players Zentrag, Rungis Express and Vierlande at the event.
Munich is home to the biggest St. Patrick’s Day Parade on mainland Europe, and this year, the 30,000 expected visitors will have the opportunity to sample Irish beef and learn about its provenance from Bord Bia’s ‘Food Truck’. Bord Bia is also supporting three St. Patrick’s Day trade receptions in Stuttgart, Cologne and Berlin.
Further afield, the emphasis will be on creating awareness of Ireland as a sustainable source of high quality food.
In China, where online retail sales are growing by 30% a year, and exceeded $1 trillion for the first time in 2017, Bord Bia’s expanding team in Shanghai is partnering with Glanbia, Ornua, ABP and a number of Ireland’s local partners in a promotion of Irish beef, dairy, seafood and consumer foods with JD.com, one of China’s top two e-commerce platforms with more than 350 million monthly active consumers and a rapidly expanding high-end offline retail operation. Bord Bia is also involved in Shanghai’s St. Patrick’s Festival with a stand to promote Irish food products to consumers and have invited several key existing and potential buyers, media and influencers to attend events in Beijing and Shanghai throughout the week.
Finally, Bord Bia has partnered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver showcase packs of Irish salmon, farmhouse cheeses, beef, lamb and other Irish food products to a number of Irish embassies worldwide.