Ireland’s food, drink and horticulture industry now has access to global trends, research, consumer insights and innovations through a new centre launched by Bord Bia at its headquarters in Dublin. As the industry prepares to virtually double its exports, to reach the target of €19 billion set by Food Wise 2025, The Thinking House will help develop and differentiate Ireland’s offerings globally, Bord Bia chief executive Aidan Cotter has said.
As well as meeting the challenge presented by Brexit, achievement of the industry’s ten year target is expected to require a change in export growth to Europe and a trebling in exports to international markets, including a quadrupling of its presence in Asia’s growth markets, following the opening of Bord Bia’s 13th international office in Singapore earlier this month.
The Thinking House is managed by Helen King (above), Bord Bia’s director of consumer insight, and a team of 12 professionals, whose backgrounds range from psychology to librarianship. The centre includes a trends zone showing food innovations worldwide and a packaging and branding gallery to promote design and showcase Bord Bia’s work.
The centre’s ‘living room’ and its adjacent viewing area allows Bord Bia to conduct qualitative focus and discussion groups, equipped with audio, video recording and live streaming capacity. A library presents access to databases and reports that would have been financially prohibitive to source for many small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) operating in Ireland.
Finally, a working space, with room for up to 70 people, will be available for the industry to use for workshops, meetings and presentations. Bord Bia’s upcoming work includes a focus on health and wellness through ‘The Psychology of Sugar’ study, a semiotic and qualitative look at sugar and how consumers and shoppers navigate product choice.
Bord Bia has won a total of nine Marketing Society Research Excellence Awards.