How Irish food industry can beef up its innovation game

Kerry Group and Bord Bia are helping Irish food businesses compete on a global level

Michael Carey, chairman of Bord Bia and managing director of East Coast Bakehouse: “Consumers’ demands are complex and food firms need to have a deep understanding of these evolving needs if their new innovations are to have any chance of success.”  Photograph: Eric Luke

Michael Carey, chairman of Bord Bia and managing director of East Coast Bakehouse: “Consumers’ demands are complex and food firms need to have a deep understanding of these evolving needs if their new innovations are to have any chance of success.” Photograph: Eric Luke

My late father, a shopkeeper in the Dublin suburb of Cabra, had a saying: “If times are bad, paint the shop.” For food businesses facing into post-Brexit uncertainty and pressures of adverse currency movements, this difficult period is a great time to focus on innovation as a point of difference, a great time to invest.

Many firms in the food sector have innovation at the core of their business, and the consumer is at the core of their innovation process. Irish food businesses compete directly with massive multinational food and drink brands, taking on these Goliaths both on our home turf and in international export markets. For these Irish food businesses innovation provides a point of difference, a driver of growth and an opportunity to enhance profitability.

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