Majority Of Irish Food Businesses Are Investing In New Products, Study Finds

By Dayeeta Das
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Majority Of Irish Food Businesses Are Investing In New Products, Study Finds

Seven in ten (71%) Irish food businesses are planning to launch new products or services in the next 12 months, a new study has revealed.

The 2024 Food Barometer Survey, conducted by Love Irish Food and Bank of Ireland, found that 80% of food and drink producers were confident about growth in the year ahead.

The biggest growth areas include business innovations (25%), the attraction of new customers (21%), and the development of new products (21%), data showed.

Six in ten Irish food businesses are planning to invest in enhanced brand awareness measures and cutting-edge commercial digital strategies, while over half of the companies surveyed reported production automation and operational efficiencies as key investment areas.

Kieran Rumley, executive director of Love Irish Food stated, “In the context of significant geopolitical uncertainty it is promising to see such confidence in Irish food businesses in their growth potential, despite these producers facing challenges in the areas of inflation and labour retention.


“There have been noticeable developments since last year with businesses investing in sustainability measures positively impacting on input costs, such as reducing energy consumption, reduced packaging and water consumption. It is heartening to see this confidence continue as investment extends through other areas of their businesses.”

Other Findings

Around 85% of companies identified rising input costs and inflationary pressures as the biggest threats to growth, alongside wage inflation (66%) and labour availability (55%).

In terms of labour availability, lack of appropriate skills and high accommodation costs emerged as the top concerns among companies.

The survey also found that retaining staff remained a key priority for Irish food businesses.


Over half of the companies surveyed are considering making changes to their training and development programmes, and almost half of all respondents are considering introducing more well-being benefits and granting their staff pay raises, according to the study.

Sustainability Initiatives

Close to a quarter (74%) of companies reported to have embedded sustainability into their overall business practices, the survey found.

The areas delivering the highest sustainability outcomes include reduced energy consumption (84%) and the introduction of sustainable packaging (82%).

Key business benefits from embedding sustainability solutions include product innovation (64%), process efficiencies (64%), and increased revenue (61%), data showed.

Lucy Ryan, head of food and beverage sector at the Bank of Ireland commented, “Product innovation, developing new markets, and enhanced staff retention practices are clearly priority areas, and I am also delighted to see companies placing an emphasis on implementing targeted sustainability measures.”

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