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Food and beverage survey 2013

8 out of 10 Irish food and beverage companies are recruiting

September 2013 - Eight out of ten respondents to the Deloitte Food and beverage survey 2013 have said they are currently recruiting and three quarters indicate they are expanding into new markets.

The survey was carried out in conjunction with the second annual Deloitte Food and Beverage Seminar which takes place today at the Shelbourne hotel. The theme of the event is Expand Export Excel and will focus on how Irish food and beverage companies can exploit the opportunities that global markets offer.

The most popular location for companies who are on the expansion trail remains the UK, followed by Germany, France and the rest of Europe. Asia also features prominently, ahead of the US.    

While the majority indicated that they are recruiting up to 10 people, some of the larger companies are currently recruiting in excess of 100 people. Of those who are recruiting, a little over 40% indicated that they are experiencing difficulties in finding the right talent. Sales and marketing followed by R&D, innovation and product development were identified as the areas where roles were most difficult to fill.

When asked about the biggest challenge facing food and beverage companies a third of respondents cited the high cost of doing business; this is up from last year’s findings which showed 28%. Also ranked highly were consumer price sensitivity at 30% and lack of consumer demand at 20%. The availability of credit was cited by 13% of respondents.

When probed on the biggest challenges when entering new markets just over a quarter of respondents (28%) cited competition from indigenous brands as the top challenge. This was followed by lack of market expertise (21%) and distribution and channel models (17%). Just 7% indicated that competition from multinational brands was their biggest challenge. The reputation of the Irish food industry was the biggest opportunity for companies when entering new markets.

“In the last year, the Irish food and beverage industry has experienced challenges including fragile consumer sentiment and the high cost of doing business. What emerges from these findings, however, is that Irish companies are positive about the future so they are actively recruiting and investing in their businesses. Respondents identified the reputation of the Irish food industry as the biggest opportunity for companies when entering new markets.”
David Hearn, Head of Deloitte Consulting

Speakers at the seminar, sponsored by RSA, include Kevin Lane, Chief Executive, Irish Dairy Board, Vincent Cleary, Managing Director, Glenisk, Anna Malmhake, CEO & Chairman, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard who will all share their views and experience with regards to fostering excellence within their business to drive expansion.

The survey also examined respondents’ views and plans with regards to manufacturing. 87% of respondents consider Ireland to be an attractive location for manufacturing.

Survey results also indicate that almost all of the food and beverage companies are continuing to invest  their business. Investment in people is the number one area identified followed by sales, marketing, branding and promotions. Property and equipment, R&D, innovation and product development, and improvements in efficiency and supply chain also rank highly in terms of investment priorities.

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