Ireland Foodservice Newsletter

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Ireland Foodservice Newsletter

Ireland Foodservice Newsletter

Welcome to the January 2019 edition of Bord Bia's Ireland Market Foodservice Newsletter.

Our 2019 Foodservice Academy in partnership with Musgrave MarketPlace will take place again this year. The progamme aims to help small and medium Irish food and drink companies develop their business in the out of home market.

In advance of finalising the list of 2019 participants, we are holding an independent ‘Product Assessment Session’ on Thursday 21st February. If you are a food or drink producer interested in finding out more about the programme, please visit the 2019 Ireland Foodservice Programme page, or feel free to contact me directly on

General Industry News

Failte Ireland to invest €5 Million in tourism sector ahead of Brexit

Irish Examiner– 18.01.2019

In a significant ramping up of its activities to protect Irish tourism ahead of Brexit, Fáilte Ireland will invest €5 million to support the sector. The investment comes as new figures published by Fáilte Ireland show the number one concern among tourism businesses is Brexit, particularly those in northern counties. The Fáilte Ireland Tourism Industry Barometer shows 69% of tourism businesses cite Brexit as their top concern. This figure rises to 90% in the restaurant sector. More than 3.4 million British tourists, on average, holiday in Ireland every year and spend up to €1.6 billion. This contributes more than €233 million annually to the Exchequer. Fáilte Ireland is warning that the fallout from a hard Brexit could cost more than €380 million to the sector.

DublinAirport flying high: passenger number soar to record thanks to new routes and hub boom

Irish Independent– 16.01.2019

Dublin Airport has confirmed record passenger numbers for 2018, as 31.5 million flyers passed through the gateway. That's 6pc more than in 2017. The airport has been on track to easily breach the 30-million passenger milestone after it saw a number of new services launch during 2018, including routes to destinations such as Seattle, Hong Kong, Beijing and Moscow. A total of 16 new routes were launched, while capacity was increased on 22 services. The surge in passenger numbers reflects the improved economy, as well as Dublin Airport's increasing role as a hub for transatlantic travel.

Irish Manufacturing PMI – January 2019

The Investec Manufacturing PMI Ireland fell to 54.5 in December of 2018 from 55.4 in the previous month. The reading pointed to the weakest pace of expansion in factory activity since March, as output growth eases to nine-month low and new order growth slows to the weakest in eight months. In the same time, the rate of job creation went up for 27th straight month, despite the growth eases to a 15-month low. On the price front, input cost inflation slowed to a 14-month low, despite higher prices for raw materials such as steel and paper packaging. Meanwhile, output charges were unchanged, ending a 2.5 year sequence of inflation. Finally, business confidence improved in December to the most positive in three months.

Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector

Supermacs wins legal battle against McDonalds over use of 'Big Mac' trading mark– 15.01.2019

Irish fast food chain Supermac’s has won a landmark case against international giant McDonald’s to have the use of its Big Mac trademark cancelled in Europe. Supermac’s had taken the case against McDonald’s after it was blocked from registering its name as a trademark in European countries outside of Ireland after an objection by McDonald’s. The decision by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) now “opens the door” for Supermac’s to be able to apply to use its name as trademark across Europe, according to managing director Pat McDonagh.

The Virgin Mary: Man behind Dublin's new alcohol-free bar explains the concept

Irish Times – 17.01.2019

The Virgin Mary bar will open its doors on Capel Street in Dublin 1 next month, serving an extensive range of cocktails, wines, beers and mixed drinks, all with one thing in common – zero per cent alcohol. It is the latest project from drinks industry experts Oisín Davis and Vaughan Yates, who also collaborated on the creation of the Poacher’s range of Irish-made mixers. According to Davis, the idea for the bar came from a trend they identified in the growing popularity of non-alcoholic cocktails and craft beers, and a desire to offer non-drinkers a space in which to socialise without being exposed to alcohol.

Hotel & Restaurant Sector

242-Bed Staycity Aparthotel Planned For Tivoli Theatre Site In Dublin

Hospitality Ireland– 23.01.2019

The Tivoli Theatre site on Dublin's Francis Street has been acquired by global asset manager DWS, which plans to forward-fund construction of an aparthotel development on the site that will be called Tivoli Place. According to The Irish Times, the proposed aparthotel will be developed by DWS in partnership with Staycity and will include 242 beds. The project has a gross development value of more than €70 million and is scheduled for completion in November of 2020.

Dalata to lease new hotel in Dublin’s docklands.

Irish Independent – 21.01.2019

Ireland's biggest hotel group, Dalata, has entered into arrangements to lease a new hotel in the Dublin docklands. This hotel, which will have over 200 bedrooms, is located within short walking distance of the Convention Centre, the IFSC and the 3Arena. Construction has commenced on the development, with a target opening in late next year.

Restaurant Association warns of closures over VAT increase

IrishTimes – 31.12.2018

The Chief Executive of the Irish Restaurants Association, Adrian Cummins, has warned that the 50 per cent increase in VAT for the sector is going to lead to the closure of restaurants and job losses. He pointed out that the 9 per cent VAT rate had been the norm in Europe while the new 13.5 per cent rate will be the third highest in Europe. “It doesn’t make us competitive. This is going to have a huge effect on the industry”.

Casual Dining Sector

Freshly Chopped's new flagship Donegal store will donate surplus food

Checkout– 21.12.2018

Freshly Chopped, the healthy fast-food chain, has opened its flagship outlet in Donegal Square West, and has pledged that any surplus food from the store will be donated to homeless people in the city. Mount Charles, the foodservice giant who owns the franchise, is partnering with Belfast-based The Welcome Organisation, who will distribute unused food from the salad maker every night. Freshly Chopped recently opened an outlet at Ulster University’s Belfast campus in October, and plans to open six more high-end stores over the next three years.

Contract Catering Sector

30% growth in Irish market for Mount Charles cleaning

Drinks Industry Ireland– 14.01.2019

Independent foodservice, cleaning and business support company Mount Charles grew turnover last year by just over 30%, with almost €2.5 million-worth of new cleaning and catering contracts won from its Dublin base. Since establishing a base in Dublin just one year ago the company has secured over €10 million-worth of new contracts, “We announced our intention to achieve a turnover of £100 million by 2025 to mark our 30th anniversary at the end of 2018” said Trevor Annon, Chairman and Founder of Mount Charles, “and this latest year-on-year growth is in line with our forecast and prediction that we will achieve this target”.