A major new Bord Bia campaign to support Irish beef exports to Germany has been launched by Bord Bia (Irish Food Board). The promotional campaign, valued at almost €1 million this year alone, will target in excess of 8 million German consumers. In 2016, Ireland exported 23,000 tonnes of beef to Germany, a doubling in volume since 2012 (from 11,500 tonnes), and according to Bord Bia this figure is expected to reach 30,000 tonnes by 2018.
Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia’s Chief Executive, says that building on the recent strong export performance in this competitive environment requires a sustained marketing and promotional drive such as this campaign. “Irish beef continues to perform in what is considered an important premium market, with beef exports rising to €142 million in 2016 from €92 million just four years ago. This campaign follows comprehensive consumer research in the German market and a highly encouraging performance by industry,” she comments.
As part of the campaign planning, Bord Bia undertook qualitative and quantitative consumer research to gain a better understanding of German consumer attitudes to Irish beef. According to Donal Denvir, Bord Bia’s German Manager:“The research found that there is a huge interest among German consumers around the topics of food sustainability, origin and animal welfare. Ireland as a food producing nation was viewed favourably and the image of our food production system is one that is pure, green and natural where animals freely graze on green pastures.”
Bord Bia will undertake a five year multi-channel communications campaign across retail level in-store, in restaurants, online advertising, on social media, in print, and at various trade and consumer events. This year will see the campaign commence with five retail promotions in over 2,000 stores and a series of promotions with leading steak restaurant chains across 100 locations. In addition, Bord Bia will organise trade journalists visit Ireland to gain a first-hand experience and understanding of Irish beef. Consumers will be directed to a website where they can engage with Irish farmers on farming and Irish beef.
Selling Ireland’s green image, the campaign will also feature an ongoing communications programme around Bord Bia’s sustainability initiative, Origin Green. Since the inception of Origin Green, over 137,000 carbon assessments have been completed on Irish beef and dairy farms, or an average of 800 assessments per week. According to Bord Bia, over 37,000 individual improvement targets have been established for Irish beef farmers, and when completed, these targets could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 7%.
Germany is Ireland’s sixth largest export market for food and drink and estimated to worth some €600 million. Irish dairy, beef and prepared foods are Ireland’s top food exports to Germany.