Bord Bia published a whitepaper in June 2022 entitled “Irish Foodservice Forecasts and Outlook”. This 15 page whitepaper looks at the new challenges that have emerged after two years of unprecedented disruption and what the future may hold. This is a brief look at what it contains.
The paper asserts that the industry is operating “normally” with consumers comfortable returning to foodservice and that the industry has experienced growth over the first 5 months of 2022, even compared to pre-pandemic figures in some cases. However, inflation has caused a rise in prices and there are staffing shortages and supply chain issues across the sector.
Some key take-aways:
- European economic growth is predicted to be subdued from 2022-2023, revised downwards due to the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. The broader trendline indicates a potentially slowing economy through 2023.
- Although unemployment in Ireland has reduced, foodservice is having difficulty recruiting staff in all areas, skilled and unskilled.
- By 2023, Ireland’s inflation rate is expected to be slightly higher than the broader Eurozone inflation and higher than in 2021.
- Tourism is predicted to be lower than hoped in 2022 and not returning to previous levels until 2025-26.
- Covid restictions easing did lead to growth for some foodservice businesses due to pent up demand, but the slow return to offices has hindered business who relied on office workers.
- Growth that has been experienced in the first half of 2022 is predicted to dampen in the second half of the year. By the end of 2022 the industry will be roughly 5% smaller than it was pre-pandemic.
- Inflation has led to menu price increases ranging anywhere from 10%-15% to upwards of 20%. The price increases have not been fully passed on to consumers, but are being shared at every tier in the supply chain, causing tighter margins.
The Whitepaper breaks down the sectors of the foodservice industy to outline the outlook for each:
Trends and issues to monitor:
- Supply Chain Uncertainty
- Fuel Price Increases
- Consumer demand for environmentally friendly solutions
- Shifts in Consumption Patterns
- Predicted reduced consumer demand for businesses in the middle price bracket – a shift to value or premium.
- The focus on innovation needs to return
- Menu size reductions: a focus on higher profit offerings, less back of house prep, local ingredients
- Anticipate deceleration in demand