The month of March is set to see a lot 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. The industry’s continuing investment in exhibitions is reassuring. It shows there are still plenty of grocery entrepreneurs out there – not just in the UK, around the world – keen to bring out new products, and to go to the trouble of exhibiting them before the UK’s famously demanding retail audience.


The month kicks off with the Convenience Retailing Show at the NEC Birmingham, from the 1st-3rd March. After that there’s the London double – IFE2009, the International Food (and don’t forget, drink) Exhibition, and Pro2Pac the packaging show, under one roof at London ExCel from the 15th-18th. Then there’s the Vitality Show at Earls Court 2 from the 26th-29th. Finally, go west to the Taste of The West Trade Show at Westpoint Centre Devon, near Exeter, from the 30th-31st.

Even in our straitened times 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.

After the show, the retailers still need to read about the people who supply the different needs of today’s multiple grocery stores. This is where The Grocery Trader’s four-in-one offering comes in: our print magazine, the only one exclusively dedicated to the UK multiple grocers, our digital edition, our web, and our email newsletter, all bringing you up to date news stories, feature articles and exclusive interviews.

This month we speak to George Phillips, Commercial Director of Enco Products Ltd. Encona Sauces, the UK’s best-selling chilli sauce brand, is still number one with Afro-Caribbean consumers but is motoring into the mainstream with the UK’s growing gang of hot sauce lovers. Now Encona is bringing fresh excitement to the UK’s table sauces fixtures by re-designing and extending its range with some tasty new flavours from around the world under the Taste Explorers banner.

Meanwhile, back to the shows. The Grocery Trader will be out and about at all these events, and we’re exhibiting at the IFE – come visit us on stand number: S2838. Have a good month, wherever you are, and see you somewhere along the way!
Charles Smith, The Grocery Trader

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