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Google Helps Small Food Firms


A new training programme to help Irish food firms develop their online presence has been launched by Bord Bia and Google. The 'Digital Food Hub' will kick off with 21 food companies enrolled.

 

The seven-month programme will include workshops, training modules and one-to-one mentoring, delivered by Google at its European headquarters in Dublin. The companies, representing dairy, meat, confectionery and chilled food sectors, range from large multinational players such as Kerry Foods and Cuisine de France to new businesses such as The Little Milk Company and Elivar.

Growing use of social media among Irish consumers, as well as an increase in e-commerce trading, were among the key reasons for establishing the Digital Food Hub. Says Bord Bia's chief executive, Aidan Cotter: “Irish food and drink companies with the capability to collect, understand, and leverage specific consumer information using digital technology will be best positioned to deliver value added benefits to shoppers.

“This, coupled with a multi-channel online presence in the form of a proactive and comprehensive digital strategy, will create the optimum shopper experience and provide increased purchasing opportunities.”

The programme's curriculum will include modules on website design, Google AdWords, tracking and measuring online sales via Google Analytics, online brand building and identifying export opportunities. 

Ruth McEntee, industry manager with Google, says: “With online sales of Irish groceries at just 1.3%, there is significant room for growth, in terms of meeting current consumer demands and those of an upcoming generation who will shop online as default.”

Bord Bia says that a second Digital Food Hub programme has been scheduled for January 2015 owing to robust demand for the inaugural session. (April 2014)

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