Provenance, health, quality and authenticity are just some of the buzzwords spurring demand for premium products in the retail food sector. While consumers continue to turn to value products for their everyday basics, the rise of the ‘hybrid consumer’, as coined by market research company Rabbobank, means shoppers are increasingly purchasing high-end products as a way to indulge their senses.
To stay ahead of the game, retailers need to adapt by offering consumers products at both ends of the spectrum, which spells huge opportunity for artisan food suppliers. By championing qualities inherent to speciality food such as ingredient quality, area of origin and minimal processing, producers can tap into demand by appealing to more discerning consumers.
Showcasing the best of artisan food and drink from local, regional and international suppliers, Speciality & Fine Food Fair opens its doors on 8th – 10th September. From English sparkling wines and organic teas, to premium charcuterie and artisan chocolate, visitors can source the widest range of products from more than 600 exhibitors over the course of the three-day event.
Giving business a boost
Running any business poses its challenges, but for small and medium-sized businesses the going can be particularly tough. Competition in the speciality food sector is intense and being able to adapt quickly to market changes, as well as efficiently run day-to-day business affairs, are central to achieving long-term success.
At Speciality & Fine Food Fair, business owners can gain practical business advice in the Small Business Forum, sponsored by Cotswold Fayre. Here, industry experts will share their knowledge to give crucial insights into a range of challenges that firms face today.
Food consultant and journalist, Jane Milton opens the proceedings offering advice on how to pick the best routes to market and whether to aim products at retailers or foodservice providers. Reflecting the ever-important role the internet plays in communicating about and selling products, two sessions will be dedicated to maximising opportunities online. Andrew Webb at Love Food Love Drink delves into bringing your business to a wider audience through twitter and blogs, while Emma Dandy at La Cremerie gives tips on driving awareness of your brand online without a high street presence.
Food for thought
The food sector is evolving all the time. Each year the Fine Food Forum provides visitors with an essential place to hear how to tackle industry hot topics such as sustainability and provenance, as well as keep up-to-date with what’s driving demand in the sector in 2013 and beyond.
At Speciality & Fine Food Fair, the finalists of the prestigious Guild of Fine Food’s Great Taste Awards will be on display.
These awards, regarded as the benchmark for fine food in the UK, recognise outstanding products that deliver on texture, appearance, quality of ingredients, product sourcing and – most importantly – taste. Thousands of entries are received each year and each product is blind-tasted by experts before being shortlisted for the award. At Speciality & Fine Food Fair, visitors can be the first to sample the winning products.
Gourmet chocolate takes centre stage
Speciality Chocolate Fair runs in parallel with the main exhibition, and is the only trade event where visitors can gain a full perspective on the luxury and gourmet chocolate industry. More than 5,700 are expected through the doors to source premium produce from a host of artisan chocolatiers.
Speciality & Fine Food Fair