The structure of Ireland’s economy is different from other EU countries. The manufacturing sector is much larger than most member states, and agriculture is more important than in other countries within Western Europe. Employment in the agri-food industry accounts for about 8%. Retail sales account for 50% of all personal consumption. The Irish are very loyal to their own produce, however are willing to try new things. It is very common that US companies will already be exporting products to the United Kingdom and the same importer will then sell on products to Ireland. As with the UK, it takes on average 18 months from initial market survey to the time product appears on shelves. Exhibiting at Irish food trade shows is a good way to put a new product in front of a wider audience.