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


The Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA) hosted its Food & Bev Live foodservice event at Citywest in Dublin on February 4th  and 5th – a two-day ‘extravaganza’ of foodservice excellence featuring national skills finals, live demonstrations, new product launches and unique networking opportunities. This year’s show launched the inaugural Irish Foodservice Supplier Awards, with ‘innovation for a sustainable future’ as the 2020 theme.  The IFSA Best Sustainable Food Product Award was won by Irish chicken producer Manor Farm, for their ‘Farmers to Market’ free-range chicken thigh burgers.


And next month sees a return to Belfast for IFEX – Northern Ireland’s premium showcase event for those involved in the foodservice, retail and hospitality sectors.  It’s taking place in the Titanic Exhibition Centre from 2th – 26th March.


General Industry News

Increase of 1.8% in overseas visitor numbers to Ireland in 2019

BreakingNews.ie – 28.01.2020

The total number of trips to Ireland made by overseas visitors in 2019 saw an increase of 1.8% on 2018, according to CSO figures. Ireland welcomed 10,807,500 people from the UK, Europe, USA and Canada and other countries to its shores last year. Trips made to Ireland by residents of the UK increased by 0.8% while trips by residents of European countries excluding the UK increased by 2.6%. Trips by residents of USA and Canada to Ireland increased by 1.2% while trips to Ireland from other countries increased by 5.5%.

Ratings agencies see Ireland weathering Brexit, trade and tax storms

Irish Examiner – 21.01.2020

German agency Scope has stuck with its A+ credit rating for Ireland, but has improved its Irish long-term prognosis from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’. Moody’s sees Irish growth slowing this year but remaining far above the Eurozone average for economic improvement. Moody’s said it expects Irish GDP to grow by 3.2% this year — significantly down on the projected 5.2% growth level Ireland is expected to have achieved in 2019, but still well above the forecast eurozone average of 1.4% growth.


Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) & Pub Sector

Deliveroo launches app changes for Irish restaurants

Hospitality Ireland – 04.02.2020

Deliveroo has launched app changes that allow Irish restaurants to offer price discounts on individual dishes. Restaurants can use the app's marketer tool to offer discounts on specific menu items, which can be promoted to target customer audiences in tailored promotional themes. Head of Deliveroo Ireland Michael Healy stated, "Deliveroo has unique insights and data on how restaurants' delivery services perform. Restaurants can use this to learn how to improve their service and to offer tailored promotions to specific customer groups. This is good for customers, who will see more discounts, and good for restaurants, as it will boost sales and revenue”.

Leon to open its second Irish restaurant on February 11th

Hospitality Ireland – 28.01.2020

Healthy fast food chain Leon has announced that its second restaurant in Ireland will open at 7 Millennium Walkway in Dublin 1 on Tuesday February 11th. The Millennium Walkway restaurant is one of at least four new Irish branches that Leon plans to open in 2020. The company opened its first restaurant in the Temple Bar area of Dublin last year. Leon Ireland managing director Stuart Fitzgerald stated, "We will open at least four new restaurants in 2020, so it will be a hugely exciting year for Leon Ireland."


Hotel & Restaurant Sector

€583m was exchanged across 20 hotel transactions in Ireland in 2019

Hospitality Ireland – 04.02.2020

According to new data from global commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield, €583 million was exchanged across 20 hotel transactions in Ireland last year. This made 2019 the year with the second highest recorded value of hotel sales. 71% of the value of last year's sales was concentrated in the Dublin area, while the east and midlands region accounted for 22% of the value. Overseas buyers accounted for 77% of the money that was exchanged during hotel transactions last year.

Smurfit sells K Club

Hospitalityenews.ie – 06.02.2020

Dr. Michael Smurfit has completed the sale of the K Club golf resort to nursing homes operator Michael Fetherston, in a deal believed to be worth between €65 million and €70 million. Mr Smurfit, former chairman of the Smurfit Kappa packaging group, said it is the “end of an era”, as he handed over formal control of the five-star hotel and two golf courses to Mr Fetherston, who operates TLC nursing homes group. The K Club has struggled to generate a financial return for Mr Smurfit, accounts for Bishopscourt Investments show sales at the resort slipped by 7 per cent to about €17.5 million in 2018 resulting in a loss for the year of €3.7 million.

British operator picks up €500m contract to run Dublin Airport outlets

The Irish Times – 05.02.2020

British multinational food operator SSP has won a 10-year contract worth about €500 million to operate food and beverage brands in Dublin Airport.  Under the deal with SSP, 24 separate brands will enter the airport, including Brody Sweeney’s Camile Thai, Offbeat Donuts, Cloud Picker Coffee, Bretzel Bakery and 3fe coffee. It is understood that brand changes across all outlets will come on a rolling basis, with the contract to cover both air-side and land-side areas.


Contract Catering & Casual Dining Sector

Compass Group's first quarter revenue rises

www.hospitalityireland.com  – 06.02.2020

Britain's Compass Group has said that its first-quarter revenue rose on continued strength in its North American operations.  Compass, which provides 5.5 billion meals for office workers, armed forces and school children in more than 50 countries, said that its first-quarter organic revenue grew 5.3% year-on-year. The company, which counts Google, Coca-Cola, Shell and Nike among its customers, maintained its 2020 forecast of organic growth in the range of 4%-6%.  The FTSE 100 company said that its cost-cutting plan, announced late last year, is progressing as expected and the benefits are offsetting slower demand in Europe.

Camile Thai to begin drone deliveries next month

www.examiner.ie – 09.02.2020

Irish restaurant chain Camile Thai is to begin trialling food delivered by drone in Dublin next month.  The chain has partnered with Manna Aero, a Dublin company pioneering the use of drones for delivering takeaways within a two-kilometre radius of their base.  Manna have been working with the Irish Aviation Authority for three years and they expect to receive permission to fly this month, which would allow them to proceed with live trials in March. According to Brody Sweeney, CEO and founder of Camile Thai, “We are the exclusive restaurant launch partners and we are starting live trials in Dublin in March,” adding that drone delivery would be offered from two sites in Ireland by the end of the year.