Bord Bia all set for colourful Bloom

An estimated 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the 18th-annual Bloom garden and food festival in the Phoenix Park over the June holiday weekend. The show gardens are most people’s favourite part of the festival, along with meeting food producers and growers, learning from the experts and enjoying a day out with family or friends. Bloom sponsor Bord Bia points to research by Onside which indicates that 94 per cent of visitors plan to return.

Bloom’s flourish doesn’t just magically spring to life.

Una FitzGibbon (above), director of marketing and communications, Bord Bia, said there is huge effort put in throughout the year to plan and curate an event that appeals to a diverse and evolving demographic by remaining consumer-centric in the festival’s design and delivery. “Our vision is to inspire, educate and empower visitors,” Fitzgibbon said. “From show garden themes and stage scheduling to the free shuttle buses and onsite water refills.”

Bord Bia has two distinct personas in mind in their approach to visitor-centric planning for Bloom. The core bullseye audience is ‘Mary’ – mature, with a keen interest in gardening, food, cooking and lifestyle. There are a number of staples that attract the gardening audience critical to the show’s. This year there are 22 show gardens, 13 pop-up post card gardens and well-known TV chefs such as Neven Maguire and Darina Allen will be in attendance.

 Marty Whelan’s show on Lyric FM will broadcast from Bloom   

The garden stage features talks and demonstrations; a plant clinic for advice on specific plant issues; a shopping pavilion and a new plant emporium showcasing ideal plants for Irish gardens. The content is refreshed and revamped every year to keep the core audience engaged and eager to return. Bord Bia has a second target audience which she refers to as ‘Alex’. FitzGibbon describes it is the festival’s growth target audience.

It might be a younger person who has recently started a family, bought a house, or is living in an apartment and looking to learn more about DIY-gardening, sustainability, and health and well-being. Bord Bia develops different content with this visitor in mind – a sustainable living stage; live music; chefs with a significant Instagram following and a food village with over 100 Irish artisan food brands available to sample and purchase.


At the Bloom Inn, visitors can sample craft beers, and there is a Budding Bloomers entertainment area. Purposefully, some of the show garden themes this year target this audience with low carbon footprint balcony gardens, container/modular gardening that can be moved around, and a family-friendly garden which adapts as a family grows. Bord Bia uses onsite research and post-event evaluation to see what works best and respond for 2025.

Love Irish Food member brands will be in attendance at Bloom at the ‘Meet the Makers’ zone of the Food Village exhibition area. It will be the biggest Love Irish Food representation in its ten years involvement with the festival. Among the food brands taking part are Ballymaloe Foods, Butlers Chocolate, Keelings, Traditional Cheese Company, Coffee House Lane, Killowen Farm and Promise Gluten Free, which won the grand prix at the AIM awards.



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