Enterprise Ireland recently hosted a virtual event, Food Evolution: A Forum on the Future of Food
This timely and relevant event brought together global thought leaders, international food development agencies, and speakers from food and beverage multinationals. They highlighted the growing importance of consumer-centric innovation, food security, the regulatory landscape, and the need for a commitment to sustainability across the sector. Speakers included representatives from The Kraft Heinz Company, Kellogg’s, Danone, Kerry, Mintel, Dairygold, and the EU Commission. The event was officially opened by Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment.
The forum provided a global platform for the food and beverage sector to engage and interact with industry peers and discuss the benefits that Ireland and Europe have to offer companies looking to evolve and scale their global footprint.
The global food and beverage industry is highly consumer-driven and has witnessed phenomenal growth due to factors like increasing population, technological advancements, streamlined manufacturing processes, and improved cold chain facilities.
However, the events of 2020 have caused a fundamental reset in human behavior resulting in a significant shift in consumer purchases and attitudes across this industry. This shift has increased the need for food and beverage companies to constantly innovate and transform how they do business to attain a competitive edge.
In Europe, Ireland has been at the heart of this transformative sector employing over 60,000 people, generating international sales in excess of $50bn, and playing host to some of the largest players in the industry such as Abbott, Danone, Pernod Ricard, and Diageo.
Ireland has evolved steadily from exporting live animals and freshly harvested crops to adding more and more value to the food chain. Commenting on Ireland’s international role in food and beverage innovation, Julie Sinnamon, Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Ireland, said “Ireland is developing advanced products and ingredients for global markets, with the use of world-leading, sustainable food systems. Ireland has built an innovation-driven culture and is now firmly on the global map in terms of excellence in food research.”