Small Irish Food Businesses Demonstrate Resilience

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Small Irish Food Businesses Demonstrate Resilience

February 03
14:56 2011

Small food businesses in Ireland are continuing to demonstrate strong growth both on the domestic and export markets, according to new figures released by Bord Bia. Bord Bia works with over 400 small food businesses with an annual turnover of some €400m, representing an increase in value of 7% per year since 2007. Looking ahead to 2011 the prospects also remain positive. According to Bord Bia’s recent food industry survey over 70% of small food businesses viewed the prospects for their business in 2011 as good or very good. When asked to compare their prospects to a year earlier, 56% rated them as better.

When asked the source of business generated over the last year some 74% increased business with existing customers, 43% won back business with former customers, while an impressive 90% developed business with new customers. In terms of sales prospects, 65% had increased their sales forecasts for 2011.

“We’ve seen significant success in the past few years despite this being perhaps the most difficult period faced by the sector. Small business sales are growing even among those dependent on a very challenging Irish market. While annual turnover has grown by 7 per cent, certain categories are exceeding this level of growth” comments Una Fitzgibbon, marketing services director, Bord Bia. “Non alcoholic beverages have shown in excess of 40 per cent growth since 2007, driven by an appetite for mineral water and sports nutritional drinks; alcoholic beverages increased by more than 30 per cent driven by a new demand for boutique or craft beers and charcuterie has grown by over 25 per cent as consumers become more aware of the distinction in deli meats.”

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