Survey: Local food and drink producers could feel hit from cost crisis

A new survey shows one-in-three Irish shoppers expect to buy less local produce due to rising prices.
A new survey shows one-in-three Irish shoppers expect to buy less local produce due to rising prices.

IRISH food and drink firms could feel the greatest impact from the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, a new survey suggests.

New consumer research has revealed one-in-three Irish shoppers (36 per cent) expect to buy less local produce due to financial pressure.

It comes as data published by supermarket monitor Kantar showed the price of groceries is increasing at its fastest rate in 11 years.

Kantar's analysis showed grocery price inflation hit 5.9 per cent in April, as the number of items on promotion decreased. It marks the fastest rise since December 2011, adding an extra £271 to the amount average households will pay at the till this year.

Belfast-based digital agency The Foundation, said its research showed the rising costs is directly impacting how people shop.

The online survey was conducted among 500 people across the island of Ireland.

It showed 57 per cent of shoppers are now purchasing products from clearance sections in supermarkets, while half (49 per cent) are buying bigger packs to save money.

Brendan Gallen, strategy director of The Foundation, said the research was commissioned to examine the impact of the rising costs on shopper behaviour and how it will impact local food and drink brands.

“The cost of living is not a ‘trend’, it’s a crisis,” he said. “Local producers have built a global reputation for the quality of their food and drink products, but with consumer spend being squeezed due to the eyewatering rise in energy prizes, it’s crucial that local brands communicate value as well as quality.”

Michelle Shirlow, who heads local industry organisation Food NI said the market is challenging for consumers and producers.

“Shoppers are under pressure, but our local brands have demonstrated time and time again they are innovative and adaptable," she said.

“For NI food and drink brands, it would be prudent to reflect on the findings of this latest report, consider how they can communicate their value proposition and look for the opportunities.”