Welcome to the May edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.


Bloom - Bord Bia’s Annual Garden and Food Event- kicks off this coming Thursday.  We are looking forward to welcoming 250+ Foodservice and Retail buyers to our dedicated Trade Breakfast at the Food Village from 8am – 11am on Friday morning, 31st May.  Over 100 food and beverage producers will be exhibiting in the Food Market, the Love Irish Food Marquee, the Bloom Inn and the Fresh Food Market. 


General Industry News


State’s GDP growth to slow to 3.8%, EU forecast warns

Irish Times– 07.05.2019

The State’s GDP growth is expected to moderate to 3.8 per cent in 2019 and 3.4 per cent in 2020 on the back of a less benign external environment, the European Commission warned on Tuesday in its spring economic forecasts. The figures were part of what were a generally gloomy set of EU data, with downward revisions to expected growth for the next two years for the bloc as a whole.  For Ireland, the threat of a no-deal Brexit remains a key challenge.  “The uncertainty surrounding Ireland’s economic outlook comes mainly from external factors, particularly the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, as well as possible changes in the international taxation and trade environment,” the report says.


Boost in number of overseas visitors to Ireland – 25.04.2019

In the first three months of 2019, the number of trips made to Ireland by overseas residents increased by 5.5% when compared to the same period in 2018.  Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Shane Ross welcomed today's figures saying that the revenue received from overseas tourists is vital for businesses and communities. "Looking ahead to the remainder of 2019, I have asked the agencies to focus on the policy priorities of delivering sustainable growth that is regionally and seasonally dispersed," said Minister Ross.


Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Sector


Domino’s Pizza reports strong sales online in the UK and Ireland, but a weaker result in international markets  – 07.05.2019

Domino’s Pizza said that its performance in its home UK and Republic of Ireland market had been robust, with strong online sales and new store openings, but that its international sales remained “disappointing”.  In the Republic of Ireland, online sales grew by 18.5%, while system sales were 7.5% ahead.


Maxol to Invest €100M in Service Stations Network – 04.04.2019

Maxol announced a €100m investment in the redevelopment of its service stations nationwide over the next two years and said it was on track to post double digit profit growth for 2018.  The family-owned forecourt and convenience retailer, which is nearly 100 years old, had already invested €128m in its network between 2012 and 2017.  This year the company, owned by the McMullan family, will invest €37m in its network around the country.


Pub Sector


Dry Run! The Bar without Booze opens for Business in Dublin


Ireland’s first alcohol-free bar is set to open in Dublin — and its owner expects it to be a runaway success.  The Virgin Mary, on Capel Street, boasts an extensive list of cocktails, wines, beers and spirits – and all with zero alcohol content.  Owner Vaughan Yates believes there is an untapped market for those who are mindful of their alcohol intake, or completely teetotal, in the city where international tourists throng to just to taste the Guinness.


Hotel & Restaurant Sector


Marker Hotel up for sale with guide price of €125m  – 15.05.2019

The Marker Hotel in Dublin has been put up for sale with a guide price of €125m.  The hotel, on Grand Canal Dock in Dublin 2, is adjacent to the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and Facebook's headquarters.   This area has become one of the centre points of Dublin's new office and residential developments and a global destination for many national and international tech and corporate occupiers including Google, AirBnB and Salesforce.


High-end Dublin restaurant in sudden closure

Irish Times– 17.05.2019

The Dublin restaurant Luna which started the week by winning the best customer service award at a glitzy Restaurant Association of Ireland ceremony has ended the week by shutting its doors for good. 

The high-end restaurant on Drury Street announced on social media on Thursday evening that it would “cease trading effective immediately”.  The closure prompted some of the city’s leading restaurateurs to express concern about how development in the city is being managed.


Amazon Takes Stake In Deliveroo  – 21.05.2019

Amazon has taken a stake in online food delivery company Deliveroo, leading a $575 million fundraising to pit itself against Uber Eats in the global race to dominate the market for takeaway meals.  The online giants are betting the takeaway market will expand as it branches out from fast, unhealthy meals to nutritious dishes, and that they have the scale to beat smaller rivals which are still largely sacrificing profits to grow.  Deliveroo founder and CEO Will Shu said the fundraising would enable the loss-making group to increase its reach, develop technology and pursue innovations such as expanding its own kitchens that can be rented to restaurants to meet demand.


Casual Dining Sector


Burger restaurant chain Bunsen quietly opened its first overseas location in Barcelona– 29.03.2019

Dublin based burger restaurant chain Bunsen has opened its first international outlet in Barcelona. 

The chain, which previously featured in the Financial Times’ list of the fastest-growing firms in Europe, was founded by cousins Tom and Finn Gleeson in 2013. It operates four outlets in Dublin, as well as one each in Cork and Belfast, and is known for its minimal menu.  Bunsen quietly added Barcelona to a list of locations on its main website and has published a Spanish-language sister site. It has also set up a new Instagram and Twitter accounts.


Contract Catering Sector


FoodSpace Ireland launch Planetary Plate for Earth Day


FoodSpace, a division of Apleona Ireland which operate over 16 sites throughout Ireland have been awarded their second Three Star sustainability rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (Food Made Good). This is following on from the company winning the Celebrate Local and Seasonal award at the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s annual industry awards in 2018.  To Mark World Earth Day on April 22nd, FoodSpace Ireland launched their Biodiversity menus that use ingredients that are native to Ireland but under used. This initiative is on a global scale and FoodSpace Ireland are involved through the Chefs Manifesto program.  The goal is to have 2020 chefs globally involved in the year 2020 which is part of the UN’s SDG2 goal.