Irish doing well with beer, bacon and lots of dough
THERE IS no recession in the Irish quality food industry, according to John McKenna, co-author and publisher of The Irish Food Guide, speaking at the launch of the 2012 edition in Dublin yesterday.
Mr McKenna, who wrote the book with Sally McKenna, said that the best food producers, restaurateurs and markets are enjoying unprecedented success. “It may seem difficult to believe that things have never been better, but things have never been so good in Irish speciality food,” he said.
“Conditions are tougher than ever in the marketplace, but food producers who have the right product at the right price now have a devoted audience, who are more conscious than ever before about buying Irish foods.”
Mr McGrath added that there has been a significant increase in artisan food sales overall but those working in the craft beer, speciality pork and bacon, and sourdough bread areas are seeing a particular increase in sales.
“Whilst there is expansion in every direction with speciality food, these three areas have shown the most significant growth. Clearly, we are all hankering after a good bacon sandwich with a nice glass of Irish beer,” he said.
“People want to buy Irish products that they know will be good value and will go towards our economy and they are willing to pay more for it.
“The fact that people are making more of an effort to buy Irish is the biggest change in recent years.”
This is the 10th edition of the Irish Food Guide, which has increased by 100 pages since the previous edition in 2010.
After the launch, Mr McKenna said there has been an increase in the number of restaurants across the country, but the biggest increase has been in Dublin.