Food Wise 2025

Chapter 5 - Growth Opportunities

a) Global Food Demand / Demographics / Economic Prosperity

Changes in demographics and economic prosperity around the world will drive increased global demand for food, food which is safe, health enhancing, sustainably produced and of high quality. These demographic changes will also result in shifts in consumer lifestyle habits and dietary demands of consumers.  Consumers are increasingly demanding more nutritious foods and different food formats.  In broad global terms, there will be further diversification of diets away from traditional cereals to a more protein-rich diet. Ireland, as a leading producer of livestock and seafood products is well positioned to contribute to meeting this increased demand.  Consumption trends in particular in the growing emerging markets, will continue to move towards processed and prepared foods, widening the spread between farm gate/producer and retail prices of food items and challenging food producers to fulfil the aspirations of better informed and wealthier consumers in these markets.

This opens up significant potential for Irish agri-food exporters to enter new markets and grow their share of exports. In addition to non-EU market opportunities, it is clear that EU markets in particular the UK market, will continue to be the largest destination for Irish agri-food exports up to 2025, the single EU market and the harmonised EU market rules provide easy access for these Irish exports.  EU markets are high value markets and while these markets are mature there still remains significant scope for Irish food products to deliver the new innovative solutions with high value addition to meet EU consumer demands, demands which are evolving and becoming ever more sophisticated and diversified in particular the development of functional foods.

These mature markets will therefore continue to be core markets for Irish agri-food products for the next ten years, and when aligned with the huge potential for growth in exports beyond EU markets based on positive global demographics and the positive economic development of regions outside of Europe and North America, the Irish Agri-food sector is presented with exciting and varied growth and market expansion opportunities.
The key emerging markets for potential growth are China, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa which have rapidly growing demand for high quality and safe food as a result of demographic changes and growing middle class income earners.