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The Marketing Society of Ireland Award

Date: 09/03/2022

At the recent Marketing Society of Ireland's Research Excellence Awards, Bord Bia’s paper "Building A Better Future For Irish Apples" won two awards for research excellence in the Brand Development & Strategy category and the overall Grand Prix for best piece of research in 2021. This is the 3rd time that Bord Bia’s work has been celebrated at this Grand Prix level.

The study was undertaken by Bord Bia Thinking House, and was a collaborative undertaking across the Strategic Insights & Planning and Horticulture teams, led by Lorcan Bourke along with research partners Opinions the, who submitted this study to the Marketing Society of Ireland’s Awards.

The opportunity for Irish grown apples is seen in the context that we import €100m+ of eating apples each year into Ireland from places as far away as New Zealand and Chile, despite having a climate suitable to apple growing. Over 95% of all apples eaten in Ireland are imported.

Bord Bia’s research involved in-home testing of 6 varieties of cooking apples, along with retailer interviews, stakeholder interviews with growers, consolidators and distributors. As part of the research, the team also looked at models from around the world where similar issues have been addressed particularly UK and Denmark.

The outputs of this work have been used by the Horticulture team to galvanise a number of key stakeholders including DAFM, Teagasc, IFA and growers around the opportunity for Irish grown apples. It’s a real example of true ‘thought leadership’ from Bord Bia.

The Judges’ comments were highly complementary; ” A comprehensive wholistic methodology incorporating all relevant stakeholders impressed the judges for Bord Bia. The outcomes of the work very clearly answered the objectives laid out. Considering the target audience Opinions had to capture a very large group and the approach to this challenge was very robust. The outputs were very clear and showed how a brand benefits. A really excellent piece of work feeding into sectoral strategy.

This programme of research showed a well thought through and sound methodology incorporating all stakeholders. The research provided clear insights for strategy development and clearly demonstrated the power of collaborative research in effectively influencing brand, category and sectoral decisions.”