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Attitudes to Food and Drink - Ireland - February 2009

The foodservice sector in Ireland experienced strong growth between 2003 and 2008, however, the rising costs of living and looming threat of unemployment are likely to restrict growth over the next five years.

Media speculation surrounding the stay-at-home economy could prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, however, Mintel’s research shows that at least one in four Irish consumers are still reluctant to give up their eating out habits.

While ongoing cost-cutting promotions are now commonplace across all foodservice sectors, these tend to only offer short-term solutions to the credit crunch impact.

In this report, Mintel identifies opportunities and threats in a changing foodservice environment where consumers are rarely trading up, mostly trading down and sometimes trading over.

Key report themes

  • What are Irish consumers’ drinking and dining preferences outside the home?

  • What impact is the stay-at-home economy having on Ireland’s foodservice sector?

  • How can foodservice opportunities maximise fewer eating out occasions?

  • How are retailers raising their ‘ready meal’ game to compete with foodservice?

  • How important is the experience of eating out? Is food the main criterion for selection or do other factors play just as important a role?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes
        • Definition
          • Consumer findings definition
            • Abbreviations
            • Insights and Opportunities

              • Consumer interaction
                • Online opportunities
                  • Responding to competition
                    • Novelty menu ideas
                    • Market in Brief

                      • Stronger foodservice sector in RoI region
                        • Market factors impacting Ireland’s foodservice sector
                          • High demand for sandwich bars and coffee shops
                            • Fast food still high in demand
                              • Eating out habits
                                • Consumer preferences and frustrations
                                • Fast Forward Trends

                                    • Trend 1: Trading Up, Trading Down, Trading Over
                                      • What's it about?
                                        • What we've seen
                                          • What next?
                                            • Trend 1: Rise of the Screenager
                                              • What's it about?
                                                • What we've seen
                                                  • What next?
                                                  • Internal Market Environment

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Added time pressures
                                                          • Figure 1: Consumer responses to a range of lifestyle statements, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                        • Eating out is still popular choice
                                                            • Figure 2: Percentage of consumers who have either eaten in or visited a range of foodservice establishments in last 12 months, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                          • Growing coffee shop culture
                                                            • Coffee shops and sandwich bars provide quick snack alternative
                                                              • Boosting lunchtime trade
                                                                • Figure 3: Percentage of consumers who have eaten out in the last 12 months, and if they have their main meal at lunchtime or in the evening time, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                              • Main meal opportunities
                                                                • Opportunity to tap into Ireland’s family culture
                                                                  • Figure 4: Consumer preference towards range of lifestyle statements, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                                • The stay-at-home threat
                                                                  • Figure 5: Consumer agreement with statement ‘I prefer to spend a quiet evening at home than go out’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                • Come dine with me – at home
                                                                  • Takeaways ideal for growing stay-at-home market
                                                                  • Broader Market Environment

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Consumer confidence in economy at all-time low
                                                                        • Figure 6: Economic outlook, NI and RoI, 2007-09
                                                                      • Exchange rate blues
                                                                        • The threat of rising unemployment
                                                                          • The acceptable face of downtrading
                                                                            • More time to cook from scratch
                                                                              • Gender divide
                                                                                • Figure 7: NI and RoI population trends, by gender, 2006-20
                                                                              • Workaholic society
                                                                                • Figure 8: NI and RoI average hours worked per week, by gender, 2004-08
                                                                              • Desk-bound dining
                                                                                • Attracting busy mums
                                                                                  • Bridging the age gap
                                                                                      • Figure 9: Population estimate and projection, by age, NI and RoI, 2000 and 2020
                                                                                    • Living in the present Ireland has higher proportion of under-25s
                                                                                      • Figure 10: Percentage of the population under 25, by country, 2010 and 2015
                                                                                    • Smaller households
                                                                                      • Figure 11: Number of households, by size, NI and RoI, 2000-05
                                                                                    • The ethnic impact
                                                                                      • Opportunities to tap into internet culture
                                                                                      • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                                        • Strengths
                                                                                          • Weaknesses
                                                                                          • Market Value and Forecast

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Consumer finances get stretched over Ireland’s recessionary period
                                                                                                • Figure 12: Foodservice market size and forecast, IoI, NI and RoI, 2003-13
                                                                                              • Faster growth recorded in RoI
                                                                                                • Macro factors impacting Ireland’s foodservice sector
                                                                                                  • Cocooning trend raises its head again
                                                                                                    • What’s in store for Ireland’s foodservice sector?
                                                                                                    • Market Segmentation

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Key segments in Ireland’s foodservice sector
                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Foodservice value of purchases (VOP) according to sector, all-Ireland, 2004-08
                                                                                                        • Fast food still a popular eating out choice
                                                                                                          • Bringing in the crowds
                                                                                                            • Are health and fast food mutually exclusive?
                                                                                                              • Lowest growth recorded in Ireland’s hotels sector
                                                                                                                • Demand for pub food is under pressure
                                                                                                                  • Pubs are shifting their focus from alcohol to food
                                                                                                                    • Intense competition for Irish restaurants/cafés
                                                                                                                      • Negative effects on the Irish restaurant/café sector
                                                                                                                        • Economic downturn
                                                                                                                          • Increased competition from food retailers
                                                                                                                            • Decline in alcohol sales
                                                                                                                              • Larger growth recorded in Ireland’s sandwich and coffee shop outlets
                                                                                                                              • Competitive Context

                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                  • Foodservice as a percentage of food retail
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 14: Foodservice as proportion of food retail sales, all-Ireland, 2003-08
                                                                                                                                  • Competing with food retailers
                                                                                                                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • Reassuring consumers with a brand's story
                                                                                                                                        • New Look
                                                                                                                                          • Attracting teetotal consumers
                                                                                                                                            • Working together to boost popularity for brand and venues
                                                                                                                                              • Gourmet Burger Bank combines food and gaming to attract larger crowds
                                                                                                                                                • Creating an interactive experience
                                                                                                                                                  • Menu movements for 2009
                                                                                                                                                  • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Fast food
                                                                                                                                                        • Supermacs
                                                                                                                                                          • Burger King Group
                                                                                                                                                            • Abrakebabra
                                                                                                                                                              • Eddie Rockets
                                                                                                                                                                • Hotel restaurants
                                                                                                                                                                  • The Doyle Collection
                                                                                                                                                                    • Bars
                                                                                                                                                                      • Botanic Inns Ltd
                                                                                                                                                                        • Coffee shops
                                                                                                                                                                          • Starbucks
                                                                                                                                                                            • Fine dining
                                                                                                                                                                              • Ballymaloe House
                                                                                                                                                                                • Rankin Group
                                                                                                                                                                                • Irish Consumers’ Fast Food Preferences

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ireland’s eating out culture is very much alive in 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 15: Percentage of consumers who have either eaten in or visited a range of foodservice establishments in last 12 months, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 16: Percentage of consumers who have either eaten in, or visited a range of foodservice establishments in last 12 months, percentage point change, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Strong preference for takeaway food in NI and RoI
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 17: Takeaway food by frequency, (heavy, medium and light users), NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fast food restaurants prove popular for larger households
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 18: Fast food restaurants (eaten in last 12 months), by gender and number of people in household, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunities to attract greater share of grey market
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Fast food restaurants (eaten in last 12 months), by age, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                      • How often do Irish consumers eat out in fast food restaurants?
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 20: Fast food restaurants by frequency, (heavy, medium and light users), NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Coffee shop and sandwich bar culture in Ireland
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 21: Coffee shops and sandwich bars visited in last 12 months, by gender, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Eating out Habits

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of eating out
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 22: How often consumers eat out (lunch or dinner) in a restaurant/café, RoI and NI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • A special night out
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Consumers’ tendency to eat out, by average key demographics, RoI and NI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Creating the best environment for Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Factors that consumers find most frustrating or annoying during their dining experience when eating out in a restaurant/café, RoI and NI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Commonalities between NI and RoI consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points of difference between NI and RoI consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Overpricing
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Does consumers’ socio-economic background impact their tolerance levels?
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 25: Factors that consumers find most frustrating or annoying during their dining experience when eating out in a restaurant/café, by socio-economic group, RoI and NI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Smiles and speed for young people in a hurry
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Priorities when choosing a venue
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Factors which are most important to consumers when choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner from a food and drinks perspective, RoI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Factors which are most important to consumers when choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner from a food and drinks perspective, NI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Promotions not a draw?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Value for money
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • The gender divide regarding food and drink preferences outside the home
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Top five factors which are most important to consumers when choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner from a food and drinks perspective, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • RoI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 29: RoI target groups, according to the most frustrating or annoying factors when eating out in a restaurant/café, and most important factors when choosing a venue from a food and drinks perspective, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Rushed Diners (27% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Rushed Diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Scene Setters (25% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Scene Setters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Family-Oriented Diners (24% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Family-Oriented Diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Price Focused Diners (24% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Price Focused Diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • NI target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 30: NI target groups, according to the most frustrating or annoying factors when eating out in a restaurant/café, and most important factors when choosing a venue from a food and drinks perspective, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fuss Pots (42% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Fuss Pots
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Familiar Diners (29% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Understanding Familiar Diners
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Party Goers (28% of respondents)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Demographic pattern
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Understanding Party Goers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Internal market environment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Agreement with the statement ‘I enjoy splashing out on a meal in a restaurant’, NI and RoI, 2003-08
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fast food preferences
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Coffee shops and sandwich bars visited in last 12 months, by age, NI and RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI – Frustrating or annoying factors when eating out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Thinking now about the dining experience, when eating out in a restaurant/café, which of the following factors do you find MOST frustrating or annoying?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: Thinking now about the dining experience, when eating out in a restaurant/café, which of the following factors do you find MOST frustrating or annoying?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Thinking now about the dining experience, when eating out in a restaurant/café, which of the following factors do you find MOST frustrating or annoying?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI – Choosing a venue for night out – food perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a FOOD perspective?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a FOOD perspective?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a FOOD perspective?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI – Choosing a venue for night out – drinks perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a DRINKS perspective?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a DRINKS perspective?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a DRINKS perspective?, by demographic breakdown, RoI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • NI – Frustrating or annoying factors when eating out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Thinking now about the dining experience, when eating out in a restaurant/café, which of the following factors do you find MOST frustrating or annoying?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Thinking now about the dining experience, when eating out in a restaurant/café, which of the following factors do you find MOST frustrating or annoying?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • NI – Choosing a venue for night out – food perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a FOOD perspective?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a FOOD perspective?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a FOOD perspective?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • NI – Choosing a venue for night out – drinks perspective
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a DRINKS perspective?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a DRINKS perspective?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: When choosing a venue for a night out with friends/partner, which of the following do you consider MOST important from a DRINKS perspective?, by demographic breakdown, NI, 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI consumer target group tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: RoI clusters, by demographic breakdown, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: RoI clusters, by statements relating to most frustrating or annoying factors when eating out in a restaurant/café, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: RoI clusters, by statements relating to most important factor when choosing a venue from a food perspective for a night out with friends/partner, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: RoI clusters, by statements relating to most important factor when choosing a venue from a drinks perspective for a night out with friends/partner, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • NI consumer target group tables
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: NI clusters, by demographic breakdown, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: NI clusters, by statements relating to most frustrating or annoying factors when eating out in a restaurant/café, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: NI clusters, by statements relating to most important factor when choosing a venue from a food perspective for a night out with friends/partner, June 2008
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: NI clusters, by statements relating to most important factor when choosing a venue from a drinks perspective for a night out with friends/partner, June 2008

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Attitudes to Food and Drink - Ireland - February 2009

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