Most food and drink companies positive about future

May 22, 2024

Irish food and drinks companies are generally positive about the future, despite issues with inflation, input costs and labour availability.

That is according to a survey of over 100 companies undertaken by Love Irish Food and Bank of Ireland in March and April of this year.

Much has been said about rising costs for businesses in Ireland, but nevertheless most food and drink businesses who took part in this survey were optimistic about the year ahead.

80% of respondents were confident in their business and predicting future growth.

Seven in 10 are planning to launch new products and services in the next 12 months and 60% of companies are planning to invest in enhanced brand awareness measures and cutting edge digital strategies.

Half of the companies reported production automation and operational efficiencies as key investment areas

Despite the optimistic outlook 85% of companies cited rising input costs and inflationary pressures as the biggest threats to growth, alongside wage inflation (66%) and labour availability (55%) – with a lack of appropriate skills and high accommodation costs the top concerns when it comes to labour availability.

The survey indicated that retaining staff also remains a key priority for Irish food businesses.

Sustainability measures remain a top priority for Irish food businesses too, with 74% of companies reported to have embedded sustainability into their overall business practises.

The top areas delivering better sustainability outcomes are 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%).

Kieran Rumley is Executive Director of of Love Irish Food which promotes Irish food and drink brands.

“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,” he said.

“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,” he added.

Article Source – Most food and drink companies positive about future – RTE

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