Bord Bía will celebrate St Patrick’s Day with dozens of food promotion campaigns through its network of 13 global offices, with 65 marketing activities planned to capture consumers, retailers, traders and foodservice operators.
“St Patrick’s Day provides the Irish food and drink industry and Bord Bía with a real business opportunity to highlight our export credentials on a scale unmatched by the national day of any other country,” said Tara McCarthy, Bord Bía’s chief executive.
“Now, more than ever, in the context of Brexit, we are capitalising on this opportunity to deliver key business development meetings, events and campaigns that allow us engage with new and existing customers. We will also be undertaking targeted retail promotions in some 400 stores from Japan to France over the period, aimed at introducing overseas consumers to the taste of Irish food.”
Irish beef forms a massive part of the Bord Bía export push for the meat, with the aim of making it widely available in global export markets
. The food board said Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands would intensify the marketing of Irish beef during the festivities.
London street food market
This week, Bord Bía also announced plans to pump €1m into a beef marketing campaign, targeting German consumers. Germany is a key market for Irish beef, with exports estimated to reach 30,000 tonnes (t) by 2018, according to the Irish food body.
Also, an Irish Street Food Market has been organised as part of London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s St Patrick’s Day Festival in London’s Trafalgar Square, with 90,000 people expected to attend.
The UK is the largest beef market for Ireland and Bord Bía has kicked off a digital campaign across food websites, such as BBC Good Food, Jamie Oliver and The Guardian to attract 3m British consumers.
In France, the levy body will continue an Irish beef promotion campaign across 140 stores at supermarket Monoprix – a chain that buys €4m worth of beef annually.
Further afield from Ireland is a seafood push in sushi-crazy Japan. The market is increasingly important for Irish seafood exports, with trade reaching €10m in 2016. China will host a media event with 40 journalists, as the board aims to highlight the work it is doing in the region.
Other events around the global include a whiskey tasting in Moscow, an Irish lamb campaign at Danish retailer Coop, and a cookery demonstration in South Korea. Samples of Irish beef and salmon have also been sent to embassies across the Middle East and South America.
An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, will also present the annual basket of Irish food and drink exports to the White House.