The airfield food series / The Consumer: Your Food – Your Choice?

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Yesterday I attended an event in Airfield estate that was part of their airfield food series.

The event focused on The Consumer: Your Food – Your Choice?

Aiming to explore the consumer and what are the main influences when buying food?

The opening question was very simple.

Is your food your choice?

The discussion kicked off by asking consumers from all sectors and Demographics of Dublin city north and south to go their local Tesco and buy a chicken curry (simple eh)
The end results were fascinating

When it came to cooking

20% cooked from scratch
70% had a mix of homemade and scratch
10% were ready made

Priority when shopping

40 % price
30% quality
20% convenience
10% health

My thoughts? sure didn’t,t I have the answer to the chicken curry mission right here!

if the consumer would have just turned to google and searched “chicken curry in a hurry” My recipe would have been the first to come up.  (on google)

It ticks all the boxes of consumer priority above.

and is the very reason I started to blog my recipes in the first place.

I’m on a mission myself to make cooking from scratch as easy as possible while being budget!

The one thing they didn’t mention above was taste, which goes without saying when it comes to buying food.

(look at little old me,  the answers to such a big question)

The Moderator for the day Philip Boucher Hayes presenter of “what are you eating”?, really set the scene, he’s enthusiastic about food, and it really shows in his presentation style, keeping us interested and enthralled in the topic for the whole day.

I actually couldn’t believe that the stuff I’ve been banging on here about for 3 years come up for discussion with the experts who all had 10 minutes to speak.

First up was Rory o Connell of Bord Bia who talked about new American trends and consumer habits in the states., His key points were that Amazon has bought the brand whole foods, which will change the way we shop in the future.

Also, our American cousins were replacing real burgers with plant-based meat. This trend may look disastrous for the meat industry. But in contradiction to this, another trend was eating sausage snacks before a workout, looking at meat as the highest form of protein. Restoring all faith in the meat industry

The second speaker of the day Doctor Cliodhna Foley Nolan from safe food Ireland told us that 3-year-olds can recognize 60% for food brands this moves to 80% by 5.

I Honestly think this is down to first foremost advertising which is one of our main influences when buying food and cooking it in the home.

My simple answer? Start them young get them into the kitchen, using real ingredients, teaching them the names of the foods in all the main food groups.

As parents, don’t rely on the schools to do it!

we’ve got this!
She also stated that a large percentage of us aren’t cooking anymore.

This could be down to lack of skill or even lack of Kitchen space with apartments getting smaller and people not having space for cooking equipment!
Have we lost a generation or two who don’t have the skills to cook?

My answer?

all you need is a hob and an oven and a few pans, no fancy equipment or gadgets, and a few simple recipes.

As I listened I got a real sense that my simplistic idealistic views and ideas here Could be the answer to what the of the consumer in Ireland really needs.

Convenience, tasty, easy non-complicated recipes that are budget friendly!

Sure that’s my main goal, That’s what I want to achieve, nothing too fancy or out there, just real food for real families.

Robert Falvin then showed us a picture of two basic chocolate cookies and asked the simple question which would you choose?  He stated that people will always pick the nonperfect cookie.
His answer: The reason we pick the one that isn’t perfectly round, meaning we all very complexed when making food choices
My answer being the reason the consumer will pick the cookie that isn’t perfect is that it looks homemade,  we will most likely always go for homemade over shop bought.

Over the course of the day journalist Conor Pope and Philp Boucher Hayes, both talked about the importance of a shopping list when food shopping!

Sounds to simple to be true eh..

When you plan your meals there is less spending and less waste!

I was over the moon to hear that something as simple as a shopping list getting the nod over and over again.

Ive got a shopping list at the front of my upcoming Cookbook.  So I could be one step ahead of the game here!

A list of fridge staples and store cupboard ingredients that can be sourced in one supermarket making cooking from scratch the new “convenience” .

Sarah Keogh from dietitian bytes warned us the risks of getting advice from so-called experts.

I totally agree with her on this one, These so-called experts are the people who have more confidence than the actual expert, they may even be celebrities which leads to the consumer believing them more because they sound more convincing or have a bigger platform through the media.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert and the only message I’m trying to get across here was echoed on the day again and again..


Our last speaker of the day was Odile le Bulloch on How to stop food waste.

She alarmingly told us that if food waste was a country it would come 3rd in the producer of emissions in the world.

Now how can I come up with a simplistic answer to such a worldwide problem?

Well it all comes back to meal planning, making  shopping lists, being mindful of what you spend and why you’ve gone to the supermarket

use up what you have, don’t fall for 2 for 5 euro on perishable unless you’re going to eat them and when looking at package look to packing that makes food fresher for longer

Lesson of the day?

Make a shopping list and cook more!

Sure haven’t I been banging on about that for years

Jolene x


Airfield Estate
Sarah Keogh
Odile Le Bolloch EPA
Robert Flavin Visualise
Dr Cliodhna Foley Nolan SafeFood
Rory McDonell Bord Bia

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