As the world prepares to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish this week, Bord Bia will maximize the opportunity to promote Irish food and drink to a global audience. From Abu Dhabi to Zagreb, through its network of international offices, Bord Bia is coordinating over 100 promotional activities and events aimed at consumers, retailers, trade and foodservice operators. Irish food and drink exports reach over 175 countries around the world and were worth €10.8 billion in 2015.
Aidan Cotter, Bord Bia’s Chief Executive emphasized the importance of the celebration to the agri-food industry stating, “St. Patrick’s Day provides Bord Bia, and the Irish food and drink industry, with an invaluable opportunity to highlight the quality and sustainability credentials of our produce. Events and promotional campaigns allow us engage with new and existing customers to tell the story of Origin Green, our industry and its producers, on a scale unmatched by the national day of any other country.”
In the UK, Ireland’s largest export market, Bord Bia is coordinating major in-store Irish food promotions across 100 retail stores. Products such as prime Irish beef, Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, Irish pork sausages, Cully & Sully and Irish drinks will be given prime positioning.
Yesterday marked the start of Bord Bia’s UK events with over 80,000 Londoners sampling dishes ranging from slow cooked Irish beef stew and to Irish farmhouse cheeses at Bord Bia London’s ‘Irish Food Market’. The market was a central part of the Mayor’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival which took place on Trafalgar Square. In addition, almost 1 million UK consumers tuned into Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch programme to hear more about Irish food and drink, most notably Poitín.
Meanwhile in Paris, the Chefs Irish Beef Club, Bord Bia’s international initiative that unites Michelin star and award-winning chefs who use and endorse Irish beef, will host an event to welcome its newest member, Claude Colliot. Irish Hereford beef features on the menu of Claude’s high-end restaurant in Paris. Bord Bia has also secured an Irish beef promotion with Monoprix, the leading premium multiple retailer in France. The promotion will take place in over 100 stores and will be supported by in-store tastings.
Over 30,000 German consumers enjoyed Irish food during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Munich yesterday. Bord Bia also hosted a German media and trade event at the esteemed Scholss Elmau restaurant in Munich. Mario Corti, a Michelin Star chef and a Chefs Irish Beef Club member, served Irish Hereford and Black Angus beef and briefed local media on the premium quality of Irish beef. Irish food and drink will also take centre stage in Sweden’s top three restaurants based in Stockholm.
An Tánaiste Joan Burton will join Bord Bia in Italy for a meeting at Metro’s headquarters in San Donato Milanese. Metro currently supplies over 53,000 restaurants, 68,000 bars and 23,000 private and public canteens and is a key buyer for Irish beef and related products. Meanwhile, Bord Bia Spain is running an Irish beef promotion with premium retail chains AlCampo and El Cortes Ingles across a number of their flagship stores.
Further afield, Bord Bia China is planning an online promotion of Irish seafood with SF Best, a leading Chinese e-commerce platform with a reach of 1.5 million customers daily, while premium Irish oysters will be launched at restaurant chain Oodling in the cities of Shanghai and Hongzhou. The promotion is expected drive sales of over 4,000 premium Irish oysters throughout St. Patrick’s week and will build on Ireland’s reputation as a source of quality, natural and sustainable seafood.
In Moscow, Bord Bia will host a trade reception for 90 targeted drink buyers and distributors, highlighting Irish whiskey and craft beers in particular. Although import sanctions are in place, Bord Bia continues to maintain and develop relationships with key buyers in this market.
Tomorrow, Tuesday 15th March, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will present a hamper of Irish food and drink products to the Obamas and Dr. Jill Biden during his visit to the White House. The Bord Bia hampers represent Ireland’s food and drink exports to the US including Irish beef, confectionary, oatmeal, tea, coffee, seafood, butter, whiskey, relishes and preserves, craft beer, crackers, bread and farmhouse cheese.
Finally, Bord Bia has distributed samples of Irish salmon, farmhouse cheeses, beef and air dried lamb to embassies across all continents, to ensure that influential guests attending official St. Patrick’s Day events experience the best of Irish food and develop a taste for more.
For St. Patrick’s Day recipe ideas, visit www.bordbia.ie/IrishFood