WATCH: Failte Ireland launch Food and Drink Strategy 2018-2023

Re-positioning food and drink could mean a €400m economic boost.

Fáilte Ireland have launched their Food and Drink Strategy for 2018-2023.

The idea behind the strategy is to change peoples perception of Irish food and drink. Particularly, visitors, moving “from being a pleasant surprise to becoming one of the compelling reasons to visit Ireland”.

Details were announced this past Thursday. Download a copy of the Food and Drink Strategy here.

So what is the food and drink strategy?

In a nutshell, it’s a five year plan to re-position Ireland as a food and drink destination that could yield an economic boost in the region of €400m.

The overall aim of the Failte Ireland food and drink strategy is to “consistently enhance the visitor experience through food and drink and make a strong contribution to overall tourism revenue growth.”

Strategy becomes reality

  • By growing the number of tourism operators engaged with food and drink development initiatives such that the probability of encountering great experiences increase and
  • Working to build an enhanced awareness and perception of Ireland’s food and drink offering.

2020 will see a review of the strategy.

Many counties have their own food strategies, but it’s great to see a new roll out like this from Failte Ireland. Yes, tourists get Ireland. They get the warmth, the rolling hills, the pints of Guinness, the Cliffs of Moher.

To quote Friday’s Examiner, “According to data from the World Food Travel Association, when people who have never visited Ireland were asked what stands out in terms of the country’s food and drink offering, 32% said beer followed by potatoes (15%); whiskey (14%); Guinness (10%); and corned beef and cabbage (10%). ”

But, we’re far, far more than that. We’ve even got food events and festivals too.

Overcoming the obstacles

A report like this can’t be all glowing bells and whistles. Page 28 highlights a number of weaknesses around Irish food.

For starters, a general lack of knowledge of Ireland’s food heritage. Then there’s weak food offerings in Irish pubs, in some cases no food offerings. Legislation too plays a role in restricting the sale of certain products (craft beers, gins, whiskeys).

“We need to tell a new story about the Irish food and drink experience, focusing on quality, authenticity, innovation and value for money”, they say.

Hopefully, with a national food and drink strategy pushed by Ireland’s tourism body, that will be realised by everyone else. Grab the report here, put the kettle on and make your own mind up.

Watch: Food and Drink Strategy launch video

PS: The track in the video is Waiter by Heathers.

Ken McGuire

Digital media head now mixing it up in the world of broadcast media. Formerly Any Given Food (2010-2015), calling the food haven that is Kilkenny home. Award-winning podcaster turned broadcaster, find me on air weekdays 3-5.30pm on KCLR Drive.

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