Future of Food – Local Enterprise Week

One of the highlights of Local Enterprise Week 2022 was the Future of Food event which was held in the Silver Tassie Hotel.

Orla Casey of Momentum Educate and Innovate, who has been involved in regional food development for many years, hosted the event.

Donegal Food Coast

Margaret Campbell and Eve-Anne McCarron from Local Enterprise Office Donegal joined by Orla Casey, Helen King and panellists.

Founder of Bord Bia’s Thinking House, Helen King, was the keynote speaker at the event. Helen has experience working with Irish producers across the country to help them to innovate and grow. She shared the latest consumer insights and how trends in the food industry can help Donegal businesses become more innovative.

A panel of Irish businessowners also shared their experiences of how they built success on insight and how they plan to continue to grow their businesses. The audience heard from Craig Grattan from The Sweet Potato Pizza Company, a company producing healthier, nutritious frozen pizzas. Craig discussed the importance of challenging the status quo in the Irish food industry.

Donegal Food Coast

Margaret Campbell, Donegal Food Coast Executive, addressing the audience at the Future of Food event.

Michael O’Donnell from Atlantic Treasures was also on the panel; he is the business development and marketing director at Island Seafoods and Atlantic Treasures and discussed the importance of evolving and adapting in the industry. Also on the panel were Susie Hamilton and her business partner Bob from Burren Balsamics, which was founded in 2014. Burren Balsamics creates 100% naturally infused balsamic vinegars using locally sourced produce. They discussed navigating a business together and how they got their product onto Aer Lingus flights.

Finally, Liam Lynam from Oat in the City shared his experience of market research and trying and testing the product. Oat in the City is a drinks company in which the drinks are made from Irish grown oats, are extra creamy and gluten and dairy free. Liam discussed the importance of producing a drink with all these qualities that also delivers on taste and retaining the oats’ natural fibre and goodness.

Donegal Food Coast

Michael O’Donnell, Liam Lynam, and Susie and Bob Hamilton during the panel discussion.

The session wrapped up with a Q&A when Orla Casey opened the floor to the audience who were keen to find out more from both Helen King and the panellists. Participants also had the opportunity to taste some of the products that those on the panel brought with them.