Get on your March-ING boots – The comment from The Grocery Trader

Welcome to the March Grocery Trader. This month is set to see hordes of grocery people on the move, going to the various grocery industry-related exhibitions happening over the next few weeks, all brimming with exciting propositions.  

London is host to two major shows on opposite sides of town in the same week – IFE11, the International Food Exhibition at the Excel Centre from Sunday 13th to Wednesday 16th, and the Retail Business Technology Expo at Earls Court from Wednesday 16th to Thursday 17th. The Grocery Trader is proud to be a media partner to both shows: we’re exhibiting at the IFE on stand number S2439, and we’re also on stand number 632 at RBTE. It’s a stretch, but we’ll do it! Come and see us if you can.

After 31 years, the organisers of IFE – the UK’s leading international food and drink trade show – have decided to give the event’s branding a facelift. Hence it now has a new, modern identity to attract an even larger, more diverse audience. Fresh RM have opted for a new image to make the look and feel of the exhibition more contemporary and chosen a creative design that re-energises this respected brand, with its huge history in the European food and drink sector.

This month’s other major London retail show, Retail Business Technology Expo combines an exhibition offering a comprehensive range of solutions with a free informative and interactive education programme incorporating seminars, workshops, and inspirational features, plus a host of networking opportunities and hospitality – all under one roof.  Co-located with Retail Business Technology Expo ‘Cards & Payments Solutions 2011’ provides a platform for the most innovative suppliers from this sector to showcase their products and solutions, as well as hosting the first Vendorcom Quarterly Cards & Payments Thought Leadership Conference of 2011.

Even in these straitened times trade shows are still THE place to showcase products and pitch to customers. They’re about bringing propositions to life, strengthening brands, building up relationships, launching new products, networking and gaining those vital leads. Exhibiting represents a big investment, especially for small companies, but the payoff can be huge for companies who catch the buyers’ eyes.

One brand set to grab attention at IFE11 is our cover star, Jack Link’s. After its IFE debut in 2009, the world’s number one authentic American meat snack brand returns to the Exhibition, this time featuring on recently appointed distributor Petty Wood’s stand. Jack Link’s is embarking on a major UK support programme in 2011, aimed at building category awareness and becoming a £20 million brand in the next five years.

Have a good month, and we hope to see you somewhere along the way.

Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader