North East food and drink suppliers must take advantage of the opportunities that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympiv Games will bring, according to a new study.
Over 50,000 people on the North East work in the food and drinks industry, and estimates show that up to 70% of businesses could see an upturn in business during the summer months. The region is home to many establish brands, including Craster Kippers, Lindisfarne Oysters and the Northumberland Cheese Company and real ale producers including the Wylam and Allandale Breweries.
Paul Feechan says: “London 2012 is an outstanding opportunity for our local food and drink producers to profile their produce to a new audience, many of which will be tourists looking for the true British experience.
“The region’s heritage holds great appeal and the distinctive products produced by our micro breweries and cheese producers are world renowned.
“It’s important for businesses to remember that it is not only those with contracts for London 2012 that can benefit from the Olympic Games, it is a platform to develop brand awareness and loyalty amongst a new audience and businesses should be focussed on capturing a share of this market.”
Businesses in previous host cities have typically underestimated the impact of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Mr Feechan is encouraging businesses in the UK to be prepared for a marked increase in demand. Companies than accurately anticipate demand will then be able to grab the biggest share of the profits.
He added: “As we draw closer to July 27th, it is right that businesses primary focus will be on maximising the upside and minimising the downside to their business this summer.
“However, British companies should not think that the opportunities end with the Closing Ceremony.
“Businesses should begin to consider if they are ready to take advantage of Britain’s Olympic legacy.”