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Ireland takes part in unique World Food Travel Association study into Food Tourism

Erik Wolf, Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association (WFTA) has announced the largest Food Tourism Study ever conducted. The new global food and drink tourism research breaks new ground and includes global data, beverage tourism and PsychoCulinary profiling.

PsychoCulinary profiling is an accepted profiling methodology which analyzes each destination within the context of the thirteen PsychoCulinary food-tourist profiles: a Gourmet, Authentic, Localist, Adventurer, Eclectic, Ambiance, Organic, Budget, Innovative, Social, Trendy, Novice and Vegetarian.

Following on its groundbreaking past research, the World Food Travel Association is raising the bar again with the undertaking of the largest food and beverage tourism study ever conducted. The survey, which will be released in early May 2016, is a significant evolution over past research. 

The Reasons why this new Food Tourism research is significant are:
  • It is the first multi-national research study about food and drink travelers. Eight destinations are included in this first benchmark study: Ireland, Finland, Scotland, Louisiana, California, the State of Oregon, Willamette Valley in Oregon and the Basque Country in Spain. Additional destinations will be added annually. 
  • It is the first food tourism research study that also measures interest in beverages, including wine, beer, cider and distilled spirits. 
  • This research will expand significantly on the WFTA’s PsychoCulinary profiling methodology first developed in 2010 and will analyze each destination in the context of its own PsychoCulinary profile.
  • It is the first food/drink tourism research that will survey both inbound and outbound food/drink travelers to/from the included destinations. 
  • Research specialists in food and drink tourism have designed the survey, giving an additional level of depth and understanding which will add value to the findings. 

Erik Wolf, Founder and Executive Director of the World Food Travel Association 
The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization and is recognized as the world’s leading authority on food tourism. Its mission is to drive economic development for the food, drink, travel and hospitality trade. The Association was founded in 2003 by its Executive Director Erik Wolf and today brings innovative food tourism solutions and thought leadership to 35,000+ industry professionals in 135 countries.

John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism for Fáilte Ireland, said, “A significant proportion of a visitor’s time on holiday in Ireland will be spent experiencing food in some way – either consuming it in local dining or hospitality establishments, visiting specialist shops and markets or having a hands on artisanal experience. As a consequence, the experience the visitors have of food will play a pivotal part in determining their satisfaction with their overall holiday. Fáilte Ireland’s vision for food tourism is to ensure that Ireland is recognised for its memorable food experiences which evoke a unique sense of place, culture and hospitality."

John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism for Fáilte Ireland
Mr Mulcahy added, "This study will aid in validating the efforts made over the last strategy, presenting our industry with a comprehensive view of the current perceptions around the Irish food experience, thus informing us of where Ireland is placed on a global scale in terms of its food offering."

Supporting the new World Food Travel Association research in a significant way are several international organizations including Fáilte Ireland, the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, Travel Oregon, Oregon’s Wine Country/Willamette Valley Visitors Association, Basque Tourism Office in Spain, Visit Finland, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Finland and the Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Additional project support comes from Visit California and Visit Scotland. 

Irish Food Tourism with Irish Food Tours Ltd
Food Tourism is a vital ingredient to the future of Irish Tourism

Fáilte Ireland was formed in 2003 under the National Tourism Development Authority Act and they became responsible for supporting Ireland’s tourism industry by keeping Ireland as a quality and competitive tourist destination. Researching and bench marking emerging tourism trends is an important facet of their work; as Fáilte Ireland continues to strengthen the holiday experience for visitors. They pride themselves on investing in tourism amenities and infrastructure, and constantly developing tourism education. Fáilte Ireland also has a unique national-specific campaign, Discover Ireland, which operates a year-round integrative marketing strategy to encourage locals to vacation within their beautiful home country.

For more about the World Food Travel Association see Here 

For info on Irish Food Tours see


The Top 10 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2016

2016 has a lot going for it, for many reasons. From a historical point of view this is the 100th anniversary of the year that Ireland fulfilled it's quest to become an independent state, to have it's Independence Day. From a Tourism & Food point of view 2016 is gearing up to be an incredibly busy year for many other reasons too.

The international marketing of Ireland Inc. by Failte Ireland through the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East initiatives is already paying dividends and Tourism Ireland's continuous all-Ireland marketing machine is at full throttle. (Just in case you didn't know, Tourism Ireland is responsible for marketing the whole island of Ireland overseas as a holiday destination, working through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport in the Republic.)

The filming of Star Wars on Skellig Michael has introduced Ireland to a new generation worldwide
The success of Skellig Michael's brief appearance in the the recent Star Wars film, the filming of the international hit TV series The Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland, Galway's Food On the Edge event, Bordbia's Origin Green program, the number of Irish chefs guesting on international TV programs, Northern Ireland's 2016 Year of Food & Drink and even Saoirse Ronan's rising star all add to Ireland's international image as a country full of many good things and a place well worth a visit. 

And if you're going to visit a great place then you want to eat great food made by great food producers!

Every year, around Christmas Eve - I ask a question on my Twitter: "What was Your Best Irish Food Find of the Year?" I always get hundreds of replies from food lovers all over Ireland and this year was no exception with the replies pouring in all over the days of Christmas and the New Year. Some people tweeted about restaurants they had discovered over the year, but this list is only concentrating on food products.

I collated all the suggestions from the public, of their new food finds over the last year from all over Ireland and from that have created the Top 10 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2016!

This year, people tweeted about honey and cakes, artisan breads, cheese, black pudding, gluten-free foods, quality meats, seafood, preserves, dips and chutneys, fermented foods and much more!

One new food product, above all others, received the most mentions. I'll save that to last! 

I have included a Twitter "Follow Button" so you can easily follow the producers to get details of their delicious food products. And so, as suggested by the Irish public on Twitter, here are...

The Top 10 Best Irish Foods to Watch Out For in 2016

Broughgammon Farm - Kid Goat Meat
Cabrito (Kid Goat Meat), Free Range Rose Veal, Seasonal Game, Hand Harvested Seaweeds
Ballycastle, Co. Antrim -

James Whelan - Beef Dripping
Dripping from the purest suet made from grass fed Irish Angus and Hereford beef
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary -

Frank Hederman - Smoked Salmon & Mackerel Pate

Made very simply with smoked fish, cream cheese and lemon juice. A satisfying pâté, full of flavour
Cobh, Co. Cork - 

Wild About Foods - Chutneys, Preserves and Cordials

 Made from naturally wild, home-grown and locally sourced core ingredients
Gorey, Co. Wexford -

MND Foods - Honey Bee Cakes

A unique sponge Honey Cake made with honey, caramel sauce, chocolate and hazelnuts
Ferbane, Co. Offaly - 

Shines's Seafood - Irish Caught Albacore Tuna

Tuna caught using traditional methods, hand-filleted and hand-packed in olive oil
Killybegs, Co. Donegal -

Rosscarbery Recipes - Gluten Free Black Pudding

A new Gluten-Free version of their multi award winning Black Pudding
Rosscarbery, Co. Cork -

The Cultured Food Co. - Fermented Kimchi & Sauerkraut 

Reviving the ancient tradition of natural food preservation through fermentation
Ballydehob, Co. Cork -

Kearns Foods - Grahams Horseradish & Mustards

Made using traditional recipes & methods to produce delicate and sophisticated flavours
Slane, Co. Meath -

Over the last two weeks, more people tweeted back that their Best Irish Food find of 2015
was Irish Biltong more than any other! Set up by John and Noreen Doyle of Haynestown Meats, as an extension to their existing meat business, this product has really captured the Irish imagination and palate!

And so, the Best Irish Food to Watch Out For in 2016 
as chosen by the Irish Public is...

Haynestown Meats - Irish Biltong

Not to be confused with American style beef jerky, Irish Biltong is based on a traditional South African gourmet beef snack made through a process of air drying and curing with natural seasoning and spices. The thick cured chunks of beef are then thinly sliced. Biltong is sugar free and completely natural with good nutritional value.

Irish Biltong can be eaten on its own or used in various dishes such as salads, soups, various beef dishes and even in bread. As a preserved meat, Biltong can be stored for a long time especially in the freezer. Haynestown Meats are drying, curing and seasoning 100% Irish premium beef on-site in their facility in Naas, County Kildare, resulting in their unique Irish style Biltong.

The product is available in Original or Chili Flavoured and can be purchased from shops around the south and east (See Here) and direct from the Irish Biltong website here.
Toughers Business Park, Naas, Co. Kildare -

Happy New Year and we look forward to lots of great new Irish Food products in 2016!

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route