As Bord Bia Bloom prepared to open for the second day of the five-day festival in the Phoenix Park this morning, the Bord Bia Food Village was buzzing as more than 250 retail and foodservice buyers, with a combined buying power of €20 billion, attended a trade breakfast. For the 80+ food and drink companies exhibiting at this year’s festival, the event provided them with a much-anticipated opportunity to meet with decision-makers in Ireland’s leading retail and foodservice companies for the first time in three years.
Among the buyers in attendance were some of Ireland’s largest retailers including Musgrave, Dunnes Stores, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and M&S alongside specialist retailers such as Donnybrook Fair and Fallon and Byrne. Prominent buyers in the Irish foodservice sector include Dalata Hotel Group, the biggest hotel chain in Ireland; Freshly Chopped food chain, forecourt operators Circle K and Applegreen and business feeders Aramark, Compass and Sodexo. National foodservice distributors, Sysco, Musgrave Wholesale Partners and BWG Foodservice were also in attendance.
Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia said, “Over the last two years face-to-face business networking opportunities have been few and far between, and we are thrilled to be able to bring businesses and potential buyers together again today, in the lovely setting of the Phoenix Park. The Food Village at Bord Bia Bloom plays host to some of the best of Irish food and drink companies and this event provides them with a valuable opportunity to present their business and products to key retail and foodservice stakeholders. We are encouraged by the large number and calibre of buyers attending today which demonstrates their commitment to sourcing the best of Irish.”
New Products & Trends
For many years Bord Bia Bloom has offered food and drink companies a platform to launch new products direct to consumers and after a two-year hiatus, there is plenty to choose from. The Food Village also provides an opportunity for buyers to identify some of the key trends and innovations in the food and drink sector.
Stand-out trends this year include the drive towards functional foods which offer immunity boosting properties, such as Feighery’s Farm new ‘Beet Bullet’, a concentrated ‘beetroot shot’ that provides consumers with a nitric oxide boost following exercise; Dairy Concept IRL CheeseOs puffed cheese bites that are high in protein, low carb, high in calcium; King of Kefir’s range of beverages made from water kefir, a live culture fermented beverage containing gut friendly bacteria and yeast; and Good4U’s new Caesar Crumble Salad Topper made with roasted fava beans coated in winged kelp from the Mayo coast and featuring a vitamin-D enhanced mushroom powder from Monaghan.
In response to the growing market for organic produce in Ireland, Bord Bia will host a new Organics Corner in the Food Village showcasing a selection of the EU Certified organic foods available in the domestic market. Exhibitors will include Burren Smokehouse, Harvest Moon Foods, King of Kefir, Kilbeggan Organic Foods, Niks Tea, Oriel Liquid Magnesium, the Merry Hill, Wexford Home Preserves and Wild Irish Seaweed.
The Bloom Inn will showcase the best of the Irish craft drinks industry and will host established businesses such as Rye River Brewing Company who will introduce its newly branded 500ml bottled range featuring two new styles - Backwaters American Wheat and Retro IPA, alongside new companies such as Beekon Batches who are launching a self-made category of honey refreshers with 5% abv. The Bloom Inn will also highlight the trend towards low and no-alcohol products with businesses such as Kinnegar Brewing who will introduce their 1% ABV low-alcohol option on draught for the first time.
Bord Bia Bloom
Bord Bia Bloom, Ireland’s largest flower, food and family festival takes place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from June 2nd – 6th 2022. The celebrated outdoor event, now in its sixteenth year, is being held in-person following two successful virtual #BloomAtHome events. For more follow #BordBiaBloom2022 or follow on social media @BordBiaBloom.