Irish beef has risen to top three in the German market, nearing €120m in annual exports, Bord Bia said yesterday at Anuga, the world’s largest food trade event, in Cologne.
Bord Bia welcomed the +24% growth, which, at 21,000 tonnes, is a sixfold growth in beef exports. This compared to €17m in 2009 and €50m in 2011.
Beef exports have remained strong in 2015 (+4%), despite a tightening of supply. Bord Bia is set to launch a new three-year promotional campaign, starting in 2016, to increase beef exports by a further 50% to reach 30,000 tonnes per year by 2018.
Germany represents Ireland’s fourth largest export market for food and drink, valued at €565m in 2014.
Ireland’s dairy exports account for 41% of food and drink exports to Germany, valued at €230m in 2014, led by the phenomenal success of the Kerrygold brand.
Bord Bia’s Donal Denvir said: “Over the past four years, our beef campaign has been successfully building awareness of Irish beef which is now among the top three beef brands in the German market.
"Distribution has also significantly increased and Irish beef is now widely available through all key German retailers including Real, Sky Coop, Kaufland, Rewe, and Karstadt among others.”
A household name in Germany, Kerrygold continues to lead the way for Irish food in terms of reach and visibility. Kerrygold butter is the number-one selling butter in the German market with a 17% market share.
Bord Bia said most German consumers associate Ireland with ‘Die Grüne Insel’ (The Green Island) and high-quality Irish dairy products, such as butter and cheese.
Organic and farmhouse cheeses such as Little Milk Company and Cashel Blue have also gained ground in Germany.
Meanwhile, junior agriculture ,inister Tom Hayes and Bord Bia CEO Aidan Cotter have met senior representatives from Real Hypermarket, owned by the Metro Group, Germany’s largest food retailer.
Mr Cotter said: “Real is a key customer of Irish beef in Germany, importing over 5,000 tonnes each year.
"Our meeting allowed us to recognise the valued partnership between Real and the Irish beef industry. It was also an opportunity to present an update on the Irish food industry’s Origin Green programme to a key global retailer.”
Mr Hayes also launched a new in-store Irish beef promotion at the chain’s Leverkusen outlet. More than 1,000 key influential buyers are due to visit the Origin Green stand at Anuga during the week-long event.
Mr Cotter said: “It is encouraging Irish food and drink exporters continue to grow their business in a very competitive European marketplace.
"Ireland’s main food and drink exports to Germany are dairy [Kerrygold], alcoholic beverages [Baileys, Tullamore Dew, Kilbeggan, Jameson] and meat. Kerrygold is brand leader in butter; Germany is also the largest continental market for Irish pigmeat.”
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