Food for thought for those working in Cork’s food industry

Food for thought for those working in Cork’s food industry

 Taste Cork 2

Those working in the food sector in Cork have been told that adapting to evolving food trends such as the ‘free-from’ movement with forward-thinking menus is vital for competitiveness.

Attendees of the breakfast seminar ‘Changing Food Trends’, which was held in Electric on Wednesday morning, March 9th, were told that catering to the evolving attitudes, tastes and diets of consumers is crucial to continued business growth.

The informative and social event brought together local chefs, restaurateurs, suppliers and producers to explore the themes of legislation compliance and calorie declaration, and the benefits and logistics of sourcing local produce, as well as how to recognise and cater for food trends that are here to stay as opposed to fads.

‘Changing Food Trends’ was organised by Taste Cork and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in Cork as part of Local Enterprise Week to give those working in the food industry the opportunity to connect and collaborate with one another over a breakfast of delicious local produce.

Speaking at the event, Mary Daly of the Food Safety Company said: “It is important to be flexible and to align and market menu options to consumers’ attitudes, and to what motivates and influences their decisions. For example, allergens and gluten free options are now the norm on menus firstly for health and lifestyle factors and secondly by dietary requirements. Meanwhile, consumers also want to know more about the origins of their food - whether it’s homemade, free range, organic, sustainable, farm assured, local, grass fed, corn fed, traceable etc., so the food industry must adapt to that requirement also.”

Kevin Aherne of Sage restaurant in Midleton also spoke at the event in relation to his ‘12 Mile’ menu of locally sourced produce and gave invaluable tried and tested tips to his peers on how to create their own ‘12 Mile’ menus.

The event was also used as an opportunity to highlight how Cork’s Incubator Kitchens (CIK) will shortly open its doors in Carrigaline to support the local food industry. This exciting new initiative, funded by Cork County Council, will assist emerging and existing food ventures to start, grow, and expand their businesses by providing a safe, clean and state of the art facility which will be available to rent.

Rebecca O’Keeffe from Taste Cork said: “we are so thrilled to be able to showcase local Cork producers this morning such as Bean Brownie, McCarthy’s of Kanturk, East Ferry Farm, Ballymaloe Foods, Wilkie’s Chocolate, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages, Ballyhoura Mushrooms and Rosscarbery Pudding. Taste Cork strives to promote and support local producers and to create lasting connections across Cork’s food and drink sector. What better way to do it than over a Taste Cork breakfast.”

Taste Cork is a government-backed initiative supported by the Local Enterprise Offices in Cork, Cork City Council and Cork County Council, to establish a regional brand for Cork food producers, and provides a network to develop micro food enterprises in Cork.

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