The Irish foodservice market - all food consumed outside the home by consumers here from hotels or restaurants to casual or fast food dining - is now valued at €7.8 billion. The market is growing at an annual rate of 4.9% and will hit €9 billion by 2020, according to Bord Bia's 2017 Foodservice Channel Insights report.

Bord Bia is holding a seminar on the sector this morning. Foodservice specialist Maureen Gahan said that spending on food consumed outside the home is growing, while the share of spend which goes on eating out is also rising relative to what we spend on groceries. Ms Gahan said that is due to the fact that people are changing how they live their lives and consumers are now living mobile and fluid lives as they spend more time out of the home. But she said that Ireland has still a long way to go to catch up on US trends, where about 50 cent out of every dollar is spent on food outside the home. Ms Gahan said that society as a whole here is changing with families eating out as much as once a week. 


Younger consumers are eating out more frequently and are looking for fast casual options, where they can eat out at affordable prices and meet up in social situations. According to Ms Gahan, another big area of growth is the grab and go sector at the likes of forecourts outlets like Topaz and Applegreen and convenience stores like Spar and Centra. Ms Gahan said that convenience retail outlets are taking shelves out of their stores and putting in seats to capitalise on the "nice margins" of the foodservice sector. 

The foodservice market is very fragmented and Ms Gahan said Bord Bia recognised that no-one was bringing insights and information about the industry to the market. Today's seminar is about taking a partnership approach with the industry, she said, adding that about 150 food and drink manufacturers will attend the event while another 150 trade buyers will also be there She said it is a great opportunity for Bord Bia to bring new new commercial insights to those involved in the industry.

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MORNING BRIEFS - Food group Kerry's sales were up 4% in volume terms over the nine months to the end of September. The company's interim management statement this morning describes strong business momentum driven by what it calls "successful innovation" in response to demand for healthier food products. Kerry has cut the upper limit for how much it expects its earnings to grow by this year, however, from 7% to 6%. This is partly due to currency movements.

*** Permanent TSB has reiterated that it intends to have compensation paid to all 1,971 tracker mortgage customers overcharged by the bank before December 31. In a trading update to the stock exchange it also reported residential mortgage lending is up 65% over the nine months to the end of September. That is twice the rate of growth for the market as a whole meaning PTSB is increasing its share of new home loans.

*** US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross no longer makes the cut for Forbes list of the richest Americans. The magazine accused Mr Ross, whose fund made a €500m profit from an investment in Bank of Ireland during the recession, of exaggerating his wealth. Documents filed by Mr Ross when he was nominated for the post of Commerce Secretary put the figure at $700m. Forbes had him listed at $2.9 billion. Mr Ross - also in the news this week as details of his business dealings in Russia were exposed in the Paradise Papers - said the rest is held in family trusts he was not required to disclose.