Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Accounting & Information Systems

First Advisor

Marie Dorgan


A consumer’s lifestyle is busier now then in the past and is moving towards products that reduce preparation and cooking times (Bia, 2015). The demand for value added convenience products has created opportunity for the Artisan food sector. This has lead to the expansion of food Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s) in Ireland. There were 235 specialty food producers in Ireland in 2018, a 2.7% increase on the previous year. SME’s are growing in popularity among consumers but there is very little research been completed into Irish SME’s. A 2016 study by Kennedy and Wright identified that the area is scant in terms of literature. Hill, 2001, published a paper suggested that large corporation brand management system cannot be implemented by a SME or Entrepreneur. The objective of this study is to examine a number of Irish food SME’s and determine what is the cause to their success. Semi Structure interviews were completed with a number of West Cork food businesses. Each of these businesses was at different stages in development. They were questioned on their thoughts on the internal and external factors of brand management within their business. The semi structure nature of the interviews allowed for discussion on topics that were not previously planned. The expanding businesses involved in this study were somewhat financially restricted; owner operated and in many cases prioritized products and production over branding. They showed signs of a lack of awareness and understanding with regards to the importance of brand management. Businesses did not maximize their use of various marketing methods available to each business or did they take full advantage of the local food tourism trade. Food SME’s relied on farmers markets in order to start the business. Food businesses seemed to lack a formal route that they could take in order to launch their business idea. Many of the results from this study correlate with the previously published literature but it does identify areas in which Irish food SME’s needed to improve on.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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