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

A final reminder that our Lunch&Learn webinar takes place on Wednesday, 20th April from 1-2PM.

David Cullen of Opinions research agency will present hot off the press insights from the second omnibus wave of our Irish consumer foodservice findings. We are also delighted to be joined by Laura Arnold, Head of Marketing & PR with Press Up Hospitality Group. Laura will share Press Up’s story on recent developments at the coal face in response to the changing foodservice consumer.

To book your place, please visit our website here and submit relevant contact details.

 

General Industry News

 

Price rises to continue as inflation to peak in early summer

The Irish Examiner – 23.03.2022

In its latest in-depth economic outlook, the ESRI sees consumer price inflation climbing to 8.5% in June and July, up from 5.6% last month, before moderating for an average of 6.7% this year. Irish inflation, however, remains hugely elevated, at 5% in 2023. Since the Russian invasion last month, wholesale prices of gas, oil, and wheat on global markets have climbed further, meaning no let-up in the inflation pressures that are spilling across economies, including in Ireland.

 

Consumer sentiment faces largest month-on-month decline since onset of pandemic

The Business Post – 24.03.2022

Consumer Sentiment dropped by ten points between February and March 2022, the largest month-on-month decline in confidence since the onset of the pandemic, according to KBC Bank Ireland. The lender’s consumer sentiment dropped from 77 in February to 67 in March, which, though not as pronouncement as the 34.7 point drop in April 2020, was the 11th highest monthly drop in consumer sentiment in the index’s 26-year history.

 

Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector

 

Levy being introduced on use of disposable coffee cups

RTE Business – 31.03.2022

A levy on disposable coffee cups will be introduced in the coming months in an effort by the Government to cut their use. The Circular Economy Bill is aimed at reducing waste and influencing behaviour. It also paves the way for use of CCTV to detect and deter illegal dumping and littering. The bill will introduce mandatory segregation of waste and an incentivised charging regime for commercial waste, similar to what exists for the household market. Minister of State with responsibility for Communications and the new Circular Economy Ossian Smyth told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that approval will be needed from the European Union for the change. It will take a few months before it will become law as the EU wants to ensure Ireland is not interfering in the single market, he said.

 

Minister Launches 'Pubs as Community Hubs' Initiative

Hospitality Ireland  - 28.03.2022

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys TD has launched a new initiative called "Pubs as Community Hubs", which is designed to support rural pubs and communities, according to statement published on Gov.ie. According to the statement, the initiative is being rolled out on a pilot basis, and it will see financial supports being provided to publicans in rural areas to diversify their facilities for community use. The initiative is designed to utilise pubs during quiet trading times as the likes of digital hubs, community cinemas, book clubs, arts and crafts workshops and community meeting spaces, according to the statement, which also said that €50,000 of funding has been provided to the Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI), which will choose five pubs in Cavan, Kerry, Donegal, Clare and Cork as part of the pilot programme.

 

Hotel & Restaurant Sector

 

Tourist numbers could reach 60% of 2019 levels, industry says

The Irish Times – 23.03.2022

Senior figures in the tourism industry believe that the recovery in 2022 could bring back 60 per cent of the number of international visitors that came in 2019, the last full pre-pandemic season for the sector when more than 9.7 million international visitors arrived. The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), the umbrella lobby group for the sector, estimated that international arrivals for February were more than 40 per cent down on the number for 2019, based on figures provided to it by carriers, sea ports and airports. It warned, however, that official State data on the tourism sector is currently limited and it raised concerns about the potential impact of this on policymaking.

 

Avoca to open a new Kildare Village outlet this month

RTE – 23.03.2022

Retail chain Avoca is to open a new store in the Kildare Village centre next month. The 196 sq metre premises will be the brand’s fourteenth in Ireland. It will include retail space and a food market, as well as a food to go hut. “This exciting new chapter is the first of many to come this year for the Avoca brand and we can’t wait to welcome valued and new customers to our store in Kildare Village very soon” said Maoliosa Connell, Director of Marketing, Creative and Buying at Avoca

 

Contract Catering Sector

 

Levy UK+Ireland Combines Irish Business with Fitzers Catering

Fft.ie – 15.03.2022

Levy UK+Ireland, the sports and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK and Ireland, has announced that it is combining its Irish business with Fitzers Catering, an Irish family-owned catering company. Fitzers Catering provides catering services for corporate events, conventions, and sporting events at venues including the Convention Centre Dublin, Leopardstown Racecourse, and The Curragh. The new partnership will allow Fitzers Catering to leverage Levy UK + Ireland’s scale and experience to expand its operations, and enable Levy UK + Ireland to grow further into the Irish market in seven venues in total. This will build on Levy’s existing presence in the region, which already includes the Aviva Stadium. Fitzers Catering will continue to be the leading brand of Levy UK + Ireland’s sports and conference operations in Ireland.

 

Caterers cook up cloud kitchen strategy for post-pandemic offices

Financial Times – 02.04.2022

Food has emerged as a new front in the battle to lure reluctant workers back to the office and just as companies are adapting to hybrid working, so too are the catering groups that serve them. Food is no longer a “commodity” but a way to entice staff to the office, said Cristina Covello, Head of Strategic Growth at Fooditude, the company producing the meals at its 3,000 sq ft kitchen on an industrial estate in London’s South Bermondsey. Fooditude is part of international contract caterer Sodexo, which acquired a majority stake in the group in 2020 to build its capacity in so-called “cloud kitchens”. They also operate a cloud kitchen on the Malahide Road in Dublin, servicing Sodexo’s Irish business https://fooditude.ie/