Welcome to the March issue of The Grocery Trader. As a large chunk of British industry takes to the road this month for a brace of major trade exhibitions of compelling interest to Grocery Trader readers, we preview the RBTE 2013 and IFE 13 Shows, and look at some of the innovative exhibitors.

If you want to get out of the office over the next few weeks, you’ve got the perfect excuse. If retail technology is your particular interest, there’s the annual Retail Business Technology Expo at Earl’s Court, London from Tuesday 12th to Wednesday 13th March. RBTE covers the broad sweep of retail technology, from the latest IT applications and devices to end-to-end solutions. After its success over the last two years RBTE has grown into the largest and fastest growing retail solutions show in the UK and Europe. We’re there, on Stand 158.

If food and drink is more your line, on the other side of town there’s IFE 13 at London ExCel, from Sunday 17th to Wednesday 20th. Taking place every two years, IFE is the UK’s largest food and drink trade show. In 2011 over 28,000 retailers, foodservice buyers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, exporters and manufacturers from 83 countries came to see 1,100 plus exhibitors. IFE 13 is split into nine sections to make this vast event easier to navigate – Speciality & Regional Food from Britain, Cheese & Dairy, Meat & Seafood, Walk the World, Bakery & Confectionery, Ingredients, Health & Wellbeing, Drinks, and General Food. You can find us on stand N1802, just near the Cheese & Dairy section.

Lastly, if your remit involves materials handling and logistics, as covered in our regular Back of Store section, there’s the massive IMHX Show, which takes place every three years, at the NEC Birmingham from Tuesday 19th to Friday 22nd. We’re on Stand 20G122 with our sister magazine Warehouse & Logistics News.

With that schedule we’ll need strong legs and insoles in our shoes, and quite possibly pain relief as well. So it’s timely that this month’s front page lead story is about Nurofen’s new ad campaign, targeting people ‘With Lives Bigger Than Pain’ who try and squeeze as much out of life as possible and won’t let pain get in the way of living life to the full – like all good grocery professionals.

Have an enjoyable month.

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