A love affair with Speciality & Fine Food

It’s official: we are a nation of ‘foodies’. Our love affair with all things regionally produced is stronger than ever. The increased popularity of speciality and artisanal food has been encouraged by TV shows such as the Great British Menu, which have inspired the nation’s passion for the richness and diversity of  regional foods, from the UK or indeed overseas.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the market-leading national event for local producers and fine food and drink buyers, has been so inundated with companies keen to exhibit their latest fine food and drink, that it has expanded its floor space to make it the largest event in its eleven year history.

Over a third of exhibitors are attending the show this year for the first time making the event a unique opportunity to find new suppliers and source new products on a scale not possible anywhere else in the UK in 2010. Exhibitors offer visitors a selection of interesting, creative premium products that could provide that all-important point of difference to their business.

The show will be open Sunday to Tuesday, allowing visitors a greater opportunity to sample the wares of over 550 producers from around the UK, Europe and further afield. Representatives from all of the UK’s main national and Regional Food Groups will be present with an array of natural, organic and fine foods.

But it’s not just the UK-produced foods that have proved popular at previous instalments of Speciality & Fine Food Fair. The international contingent has established a strong presence at the show with visitors keen on developing their offering to appeal to a wider audience base. In addition to regular participation from the culinary gastronomes France, Italy and Spain with their tasty regional specialities, this year the show will also feature new companies from further afield including Ecuador and Hungary, all hoping to tempt the taste buds of the UK market.

Business boosting features

As ever, the show will welcome back popular show features – all with a fresh new twist – which, in the past, have acted as useful information hubs for visiting industry professionals looking to develop their businesses. The Fine Food Forum, Small Business Forum with its brand new advice clinics and Speciality Chocolate Fair all provide unique insights into the business world around which the show revolves.

This year’s Fine Food Forum will focus more than ever before on delivering tangible business benefits to the audience. A selection of chefs from different areas of the industry will be giving colourful and lively cooking demonstrations using the latest industry trends such as sustainability, using seasonal produce to maximise footfall and tutored tastings and food-matching as inspiration. Providing insight into how visitors can best and most cost-effectively go about implementing expert tips, advice and examples immediately into their own businesses is a central theme.

The ever-popular Small Business Forum is returning once again, aiming to provide practical advice which will help small and medium sized businesses run more efficiently and profitably. This year, however, there will be a greater number of one-to-one sessions with seasoned business experts, giving helpful and confidential advice on how companies can improve different areas of their business strategy from marketing and web campaigns to finance, supplier relationships and logistics.

As in previous years, the winners of the Great Taste Awards will be unveiled at this year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair. The prestigious awards are about acknowledging the very best in fine food and drink, with many of the winning products subsequently going on to be stocked in leading delis, farm shops and food halls. But not only that, the awards also celebrate the speciality food producers and independent retailers helping keep British food traditions alive.

All the fun of the Chocolate Fair

The growth in the main show is also reflected in one of its most popular attractions, the Speciality Chocolate Fair, the only event dedicated to artisan chocolate in the UK.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair is set to attract over 550 high quality food and drink suppliers, all bringing a host of the highest quality and unique products to London. With more than one third of exhibitors on board for the first time this year, visitors can be safe in the knowledge that they will leave the 2010 show with a fresh, and revitalised outlook on the UK’s fine food world.

The Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2010 takes place between 5th–7th September at Olympia in London. get full event details at www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk