Our industry projects

Our staff work extensively across industry on a wide variety of commercially related projects to help support food and drink businesses.


We are always keen to collaborate with industry through funded support from a range of sources, for example, Innovation Vouchers, KTPs, Management KTPs, Connected Funding  and tailored PhD Research.

Our recent work has specialised in consumer insight, product development, knowledge management and drinks tourism.

Recent projects

  • Food Destination Business Survey for Ards and North Down

    Problem  
    As part of the Ards and North Down Food Destination Development Plan the Council wanted to develop a survey tool to better understand how they can support the local food and drinks businesses operating within the region.

    Solution
    The results were presented at an industry forum in Clandeboye Estate in May 2019 and discussed among the audience as part of a strategy engagement workshop.

    Impact
    The results were used to shape the content, timing and delivery of future business support and training to drive sales growth and increase visitor spend within the region.

    Further information

    Funder: Ards and North Down Council

  • Tourism innovation: Ballykilcavan Brewery 

    Problem
    The brewery was looking to expand their business and identify opportunities for tourism linked to the brewery.

    Solution
    An analysis of the company in terms of their current provision, available resources and processes was undertaken to identify opportunities for tourism.

    Impact
    This scoping project provided the company with valuable information which helped to inform the strategic direction of the business.

    Funder: Intertrade Ireland Innovation Voucher

  • Industrial Symbiosis and the circular economy: an exploratory study within the NI Food & Drinks Industry integrating food waste into new product innovations

    Problem
    This project sought to apply the concept of Industrial Symbiosis, where the use of redundant material from one business can be a useful resource for another business within the Food and Drinks Industry.

    Solution
    Originally, the Food and Drinks companies named in this project had no avenue for food waste (e.g. apple peel goes to pig farmers, fruit and cake go directly to food refuse collection) however this project has resulted in the identification of various new products which utilise their waste resources.

    Impact
    New product concepts were created for each company to further develop.

    Funder: Connected

  • To investigate new product development opportunities using the waste product from production of almonds

    Problem
    This project sought to explore the potential of repurposing food waste material (almond pulp) into new products.

    Solution
    A number of new product concepts were developed.

    Impact
    Product concepts were presented to the company for them to take forward for further development.

    Funder: Connected

  • Consumer perceptions of local food

    Problem
    A leading UK retailer wanted to know more about the Northern Ireland consumer and their taste preferences.

    Solution
    A survey was designed to gather information on consumers perceptions and willingness to pay for local food.

    Impact
    Key product categories and brands were identified to help inform retail planning strategies.

    Funder: Tesco NI

  • Investigation into Food Poverty

    Problem
    Does food poverty exist in the CCAG region?

    Solution
    A survey using indicators of food poverty was completed across the Causeway Coast and Glens region in Northern Ireland.

    Impact
    Full report

    Funder: Causeway Coast and Glens Council