Eight out of ten respondents to the Deloitte Food & Beverage Survey 2013 have said they are currently recruiting and three quarters indicate they are expanding into new markets.
The survey was carried out in conjunction with the second annual Deloitte Food and Beverage Seminar which took place at the Shelbourne Hotel. The theme of the event was Expand Export Excel and focused on how Irish food and beverage companies can exploit the opportunities that global markets offer.
The most popular location for companies who are on the expansion trail remains the UK, followed by Germany, France and the rest of Europe. Asia also features prominently, ahead of the US.
While the majority indicated that they are recruiting up to 10 people, some of the larger companies are currently recruiting in excess of 100 people. Of those who are recruiting, a little over 40% indicated that they are experiencing difficulties in finding the right talent. Sales and marketing followed by R&D, innovation and product development were identified as the areas where roles were difficult to fill.
When asked about the biggest challenges facing food and beverage companies a third of respondents cited the high cost of doing business; this is up from last year’s findings which showed 28%. Also ranked highly were consumer price sensitivity at 30% and lack of consumer demand at 20%. The availability of credit was cited by 13% of respondents.
When probed on the biggest challenges when entering new markets just over a quarter of respondents (28%) cited competition from indigenous brands as the top challenge. This was followed by lack of market expertise (21%) and distribution and channel models (17%). Just 7% indicated that competition from multinational brands was their biggest challenge. The reputation of the Irish food industry was the biggest opportunity for companies entering new markets.