A new report from Bord Bia shows the number of people eating out has almost returned to pre-pandemic levels, with lunch and dinner replacing eating out. late at night.
It also records the return of the number of diners eating out for breakfast.
Bord Bia’s 2022 Irish Foodservice Market Insights Report shows that the Irish foodservice, or “outside the home”, business saw a significant growth of 61% in value to reach €8.2 billion this year.
It is said to represent a full recovery to pre-epidemic levels, but is set against a forecast for a modest growth of 11.6% in 2023, due to inflation.
Today’s report shows that 76% of consumers here said they enjoy the social aspect of eating out during the current Covid-19 public health restrictions.
But 77% of consumers are worried about their money and many are switching their meals outside the home to reduce costs.
Maureen Gahan, Foodservice Specialist at Bord Bia, said that for many companies, the improvement seen in 2022 is a welcome return to growth.
But he said that most companies admit that planning for the next year may be just as challenging as it was at the height of the epidemic.
“A number of economic challenges remain, including high inflation, rising interest rates, global uncertainty and rising energy costs, all of which could cause a drag on of consumers and add to the existing challenges,” said Ms Gahan.
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He said that today’s report shows a number of trends and important factors for the Irish food and beverage industry to familiarize themselves with to ensure that their business remains in line with the business needs of heading into the new year.
“There is no doubt that suppliers can play an important role in helping operators manage the challenges facing the sector and we encourage them to work together to help identify future solutions. ,” he said.
“It can include the creation of products that save workers, give clarity to the messages of the environment and sustainability and improve communication in supply issues,” he suggested.
“The industry is also looking for retailers to come to them with new menu items that can excite customers and drive repeat visits,” he added.