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Organic Food and Drink - Ireland - December 2011

The organic food and drink market in Ireland was growing strongly between 2005 and 2008, until the economic downturn began to affect it negatively from late 2009 onwards. As a result of the poor economic climate, Irish consumers are now shrewder than they were previously and this has had an impact on their view of organic food, most notably, whether it is worth paying extra for. A further issue of importance is the publication of research questioning the health benefits of organic food when compared to normal produce.

This report examines current views of Irish consumers towards organic food and drink, and how it competes with other types of specialty food (ie free-from, fair trade, etc).

Some questions answered in the report include:

  • How has the sale of organic food been impacted by the economic downturn? – How has the tendency by Irish consumers to cut back on spending affected the organic food market? As the economy recovers what will happen?
  • Are any products performing buoyantly amid the economic downturn? – What types of organic food and drink have performed well in the recession?
  • What are the main drivers for the purchase of organic food? – Why do Irish consumers buy organic food? Have their motivations changed between 2007 and 2011?
  • What factors discourage a consumer from purchasing organic food? – What stops Irish consumers from buying organic food? Is price the overriding factor?
  • Do ethics play a strong role in the consumer purchase of food? – With cost being more important to consumers as the cost of living increases, is there still room to pay for ethical products?
  • How does organic compare against other trends in the food industry in terms of importance? – What other trends do consumers follow? Is functional food or other types of speciality food gaining ground?

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key themes in the report
        • Definition
          • Abbreviations
          • Insights and Opportunities

            • Consumers need to be convinced that organic food is worth the money
              • Kid oriented products will lead growth in organic food sales
                • Encouraging more organic food production in Ireland
                • Market in Brief

                  • The economic downturn has stifled the market
                    • Further decline in retail sales
                      • Consumers want value for money
                        • Lack of growth in organic farmland
                          • Frequency of organic purchasing increasing
                            • Fewer consumers seeing the value of organic
                            • Fast Forward Trends

                                • Trend 1: Hungry Planet
                                  • What’s it about?
                                    • What we’ve seen
                                      • What next?
                                        • Trend 2: Moral Brands
                                          • What’s it about?
                                            • What we’ve seen
                                              • What next?
                                              • Internal Market Environment

                                                • Key points
                                                  • RoI consumers maintain a healthier diet
                                                    • Figure 1: Consumer agreement with selected diet and health statements, RoI and NI, 2007-11
                                                  • Irish consumers making small steps to improve health
                                                    • Contrasting awareness of additives
                                                      • Figure 2: Consumer agreement with selected statements relating to food, RoI and NI, 2007-11
                                                    • GM food gaining support
                                                      • Frozen food’s reputation improves
                                                        • Value for money is the primary concern
                                                          • Figure 3: Consumer agreement with selected important factors considered when buying food and drink, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                        • Local under threat
                                                          • Organic food not found to be nutritionally superior
                                                            • Irish consumers do not see organic food as offering good value
                                                              • Figure 4: Consumer agreement with statements relating to shopping for groceries, RoI and NI, 2007-11
                                                            • Soil Association maintains optimism
                                                              • Lack of organic farmland in Ireland
                                                                  • Figure 5: Percentage of organic and in-conversion land, EU 15 countries, 2009
                                                                • Troubling revelation in the organic baby food market
                                                                • Broader Market Environment

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Positive GDP forecast in RoI and NI
                                                                      • Figure 6: Economic outlook RoI and NI, 2009-11
                                                                    • Housing market slump in NI yet to bottom out
                                                                      • Bleak employment conditions continue in RoI and NI
                                                                        • Larger pay cuts in NI
                                                                          • Figure 7: Median gross weekly pay, in Euros, NI and RoI, 2006-11
                                                                        • Unexpected improvement in RoI consumer sentiment
                                                                          • Figure 8: Consumer Sentiment/Confidence Index, UK (incl. NI) and RoI, October 2008-October 2011
                                                                        • Irish consumers now shrewder
                                                                          • Figure 9: Agreement with selected statements about finances, NI and RoI, 2011
                                                                        • Irish consumers getting older
                                                                          • Figure 10: Population, by age, RoI, 2006-41
                                                                          • Figure 11: Population, by age, NI, 208-58
                                                                      • Competitive Context

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Free-range the most purchased
                                                                            • Figure 12: Purchase of food and drink in the last 12 months, by product claim, RoI and NI, 2008-11
                                                                          • Premium vs. budget
                                                                            • Health-oriented products appeal to those wanting to lose weight
                                                                              • Fair trade winning over Irish consumers
                                                                              • Strengths and Weaknesses

                                                                                • Strengths
                                                                                  • Weaknesses
                                                                                  • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Organic food launches highest in 2008
                                                                                        • Figure 13: Organic food and drink launches, UK and Ireland, 2007-11
                                                                                      • Vegetarian the most frequently used organic claim
                                                                                        • Figure 14: Organic food and drink launches, by claim, UK and Ireland, 2007-11
                                                                                      • Baby launches grow up quickly
                                                                                        • Figure 15: Organic food and drink launches, by sub category, UK and Ireland, 2007-11
                                                                                      • Waste at the top of the agenda
                                                                                        • Figure 16: Organic food and drink launches, by ethical/environmental claim, UK and Ireland, 2007-11
                                                                                      • Waitrose and Marks & Spencer lead the pack
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Organic food and drink launches, by company, UK and Ireland, 2007-11
                                                                                    • Market Size and Segmentation

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Market set to bottom out
                                                                                            • Figure 18: Estimated value of the organic food and drink market, IoI, RoI and NI, 2005-16
                                                                                          • Fruit and vegetables have the highest share in RoI organic market
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Estimated value of the organic food and drink market, by segment, RoI, 2009-11
                                                                                          • NI dairy segment increases share
                                                                                            • Figure 20: Estimated value of the organic food and drink market, by segment, NI, 2009-11
                                                                                        • Companies and Products

                                                                                          • Absolutely Organic
                                                                                            • Ballylagan Organic Farm
                                                                                              • Béal Organic Cheese
                                                                                                • Churchtown Farm Organic Produce
                                                                                                  • John Downey and Son Organic Quality Foods
                                                                                                    • Northern Salmon Company
                                                                                                      • Organico Bantry
                                                                                                        • Organic Herb Company
                                                                                                          • The Organic Supermarket
                                                                                                          • The Consumer – Organic Purchasing Frequency

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • More purchasing instances of organic food among RoI consumers
                                                                                                                • Figure 21: Purchase of organic food in the last 12 months, by type, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 22: Purchase of organic fruit and vegetables in the last 12 months, NI, 2011
                                                                                                              • Response to organic meat increasing
                                                                                                                • Figure 23: Purchase of organic meat in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 24: Purchase of organic meat in the last 12 months, RoI, by age, 2011
                                                                                                              • Wide gap between NI and RoI consumers in organic dairy products purchasing
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Purchase of organic dairy products in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                              • Fruit and vegetables the most purchased type of organic food in Ireland
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Purchase of organic fruit and vegetables in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Purchase of organic fruit and vegetables in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, by frequency, 2008-11
                                                                                                              • Regular purchasers of other types of organic food remain static
                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Purchase of other types of organic food in the last 12 months, RoI and NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Purchase of other types of organic food in the last 12 months, by frequency, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Attitudes Towards Organic Food and Drink

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Perceived value of organic food diminishing
                                                                                                                  • Figure 30: Agreement with the statement “It’s worth paying more for organic food”, RoI and NI, 2007-11
                                                                                                                • Mature consumers see value in organic
                                                                                                                  • Figure 31: Agreement with the statement “It’s worth paying more for organic food”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                • Provenance matters more to RoI consumers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 32: Agreement with the statement “I pay attention to where the products I purchase are made/grown”, RoI and NI, 2007-11
                                                                                                                • Older consumers care about locality
                                                                                                                  • Figure 33: Agreement with the statement “I always buy local food brands where available”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                • Less concern about artificial additives
                                                                                                                  • Figure 34: Agreement with the statement: “I am prepared to pay more for foods that don’t contain artificial additives”, RoI and NI, 2007-11
                                                                                                                • Women more concerned about additives
                                                                                                                    • Figure 35: Agreement with the statement “I am prepared to pay more for foods that don’t contain artificial additives”, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 36: Agreement with selected statements relating to diet and health, by gender, RoI and NI, 2011
                                                                                                                • Appendix

                                                                                                                  • RoI organic food usage
                                                                                                                    • Figure 37: Frequency of buying organic meat, by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 38: Frequency of buying organic dairy products, by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Frequency of buying organic fruit and vegetables, by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: Frequency of buying other types of organic food, by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: Frequency of buying organic meat, RoI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: Frequency of buying organic dairy products, RoI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: Frequency of buying organic fruit and vegetables, RoI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Frequency of buying other types of organic food, RoI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                  • NI organic food usage
                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Frequency of buying organic meat, by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Frequency of buying organic dairy products, by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Frequency of buying organic fruit and vegetables, by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Frequency of buying other types of organic food, by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Frequency of buying organic meat, NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Frequency of buying organic dairy products, NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Frequency of buying organic fruit and vegetables, NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Frequency of buying other types of organic food, NI, 2008-11
                                                                                                                  • RoI shopping statements
                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Agreement with statements relating to shopping for groceries, by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Agreement with statements relating to shopping for groceries, RoI, 2007-11
                                                                                                                  • NI shopping statements
                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Agreement with statements relating to shopping for groceries, by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Agreement with statements relating to shopping for groceries, NI, 2007-11
                                                                                                                  • RoI diet and health statements
                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Agreement with statements relating to diet and health, by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Agreement with statements relating to diet and health (continued), by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Agreement with statements relating to diet and health (continued), by all demographics, RoI, 2011
                                                                                                                  • NI diet and health statements
                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Agreement with statements relating to diet and health, by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Agreement with statements relating to diet and health (continued), by all demographics, NI, 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Agreement with statements relating to diet and health (continued), by all demographics, NI, 2011

                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                Organic Food and Drink - Ireland - December 2011

                                                                                                                £1,095.00 (Excl.Tax)