*A full-length version of this article was first published in The Currency, July 15th, 2020.
Food and drinks business specialist with ifac, Lorcan Bannon, recently shared his thoughts with The Currency about how Covid-19 is changing the way food businesses operate. A synopsis of this article is below and highlights some of the trends effecting Irish food producers.
Diversification of routes to market
Food producers who were reliant on one route to market pre Covid-19 are now actively looking at ways to diversify. This has seen a significant rise in direct-to-consumer strategies driven by a few key enablers.
The emergence of online aggregators
Food producers are also leveraging new platforms that have emerged to aggregate a range of local food producers and help them to sell directly to consumers in a cost-effective way.
Recognition that branding is important
As a result of Covid-19, more Irish food businesses now recognise the value in establishing their own brand identities. This does not have to be overly complex as food producers are focusing on getting the basics right.
The rise of on-demand grocery deliveries
The demand for grocery delivery services in Ireland has boomed since the arrival of Covid-19. Driven by consumer convenience and perceived safety by avoiding crowds, the on-demand grocery delivery sector in Ireland is really starting to reflect the well-established trends in countries like the USA and China.
The numbers really matter
Covid-19 has re-enforced the importance of understanding the numbers behind the business as food business owners analyse their cost structures to see where potential overheads can be reduced.
Despite all the negative impacts of Covid-19, the emergence of these trends may actually position Irish food businesses to be more sustainable businesses going forward.
The full version of this article can be found on The Currency website.