6 reasons why Irish food start-ups have grown in 2018
The past few years have seen a major rise in food start-ups bringing new products to market. Shoppers have more choice than ever, with new innovations also changing the way shoppers are consuming food products. Food start-ups have access to more sales channels than ever before, enabling them to reach more end customers directly, without the need for intermediaries.
There are many factors that are contributing to the rise in food start-ups, and here is a selection of them:
1. Rise in healthy living
The health and fitness industry has received a huge surge in recent years.
According to Bord Bia, Irish grocery shopper baskets are reflecting this trend towards healthy eating with 17% more fibre, and 11.5% more protein appearing in the Irish shoppers basket over the past five years.
More startups are entering the market with their own healthy food offerings to respond to this growing demand.
2. Irish people’s demand for food-on-the-go is on the rise
Bord Bia's latest report shows more than 35% of consumer spend is in areas like counter service and drive-thru outlets. There is a growing demand for food products that can be eaten on the go, and more and more start-ups are leaning towards this type of offering.
3. More affordable free-from offerings are being made available.
Often the barrier to customers eating healthier free-from offerings is the premium price they command.
Many food start-ups have recognised this and are entering the free-from market with non-branded, lower-cost offerings than established players. As a result, these start-ups are reaching the more price-conscious customer whose main obstacle to eating free from food is the cost.
4. Increase in online grocery shopping
More and more customers are using the internet to carry out their grocery purchases. The larger supermarkets are reporting significant increases in people doing their shopping on-line.
However more and more customers are also shopping online directly with brand owners, who have their own online shop. Many start-ups are looking to establish an online shop in the early stages of their development, to react to this.
There is a perception that major retailers deliver products that are close to their expiry date to ensure they do not waste any stock (and the customer is none-the-wiser by not having a means of physically examining the product before purchase). The food producer can also offer cheaper delivery prices – a factor that 68% of current online grocery shoppers consider as their main criteria for choosing where to shop online.
5. The role of Social Media
Social media has played an influential role in increasing consumer interest in health and wellness. This in turn increases the demand for healthy food offerings.
Also, it is difficult to log into your Instagram account nowadays without being met with a selection of photogenic food offerings brightening up your newsfeed.
Social Media platforms – particularly Instagram - allow food start-ups to post images of their products, and to share explainer videos of how to make/cook/customise their offering.
Social Media is an efficient and cost effective marketing tool for new start-ups, as well as an added sales channel. Any start-up can easily communicate special offers and carry out competitions; and their customers can in turn promote the product by sharing images on their own Social Media accounts.
Producers are also increasingly using influencers to promote their offering – further increasing exposure.
6. Trade Events as an added sales channel
Attending trade shows or conferences offer food start-ups a platform to showcase their new product to the general public and to distributors/buyers. Food producers have an advantage over other industry start-ups at trade shows as customers can sample the product first-hand and form an initial impression.
There are a plethora of food events specifically aimed at food start-ups to grow their brand throughout the calendar year.
Get in touch with Celtrino today to take the next steps in scaling your food business.