Fresh Montomery has announced record attendance each day at Speciality & Fine Food Fair. As well as it being the largest show in its 15-year history, the show saw an increase in visitors of 15% on the previous record (ABC Audit pending).
Event Director Soraya Gadalrab said: “The popularity of this year’s event shows the economic engine of the regional and artisan food and drink industry is firing on all cylinders. There was a real buzz on the show floor and exhibitors have already reported significant levels of business conducted at the show.”
More than 660 exhibitors attended SFFF13, launching an unprecedented number of new food and drink products, appealing to retailers and foodservice operators alike and the action-packed programme of events again attracted high visitor numbers.
The Fine Food Forum was a hub for chefs, restaurateurs and caterers where they learnt from the industry’s finest including James Golding at The Pig Hotel, Steve Walpole of Ugo Food Group, Norman Musa of Ning fame and Lawrence Keogh at The Wolseley. Meanwhile, in the Small Business Forum business owners could hear from experts on topics as far ranging as social media, distribution channels, the future of packaging and keeping pace with product innovation. Visitors also had the chance to book one-to-one meetings with speakers to tackle common business issues in the Business Mentoring Centre.
Gadelrab added: “We placed a huge emphasis on the visitor attractions to ensure they really appealed to food industry professionals. The chef demonstrations in the Fine Food Forum drew huge crowds, while it was standing room only at the majority of Small Business Forum talks.”
Commenting on the success of the show, Gabriel David, Owner and MD at Luscombe Drinks said: “The best show in the 15 years it’s been running.”
Shamus Ogilvy of Ogilvy’s Honey added: “The show got better as days went on and it was great to see such quality potential buyers come on stand. We will be exhibiting next year.”
Running alongside the main exhibition was Speciality Chocolate Fair – the UK’s only trade event dedicated to fine and artisan chocolate housing more than 70 exhibitors – which enabled visitors to source a wide range of quality chocolate produce from gourmet bars, truffles and drinks to quirkier products such as Bombay mix with chocolate.
A packed programme of chef demonstrations in Speciality Chocolate Live, hosted by renowned patisserie chef Will Torrent, starred chocolate royalty such as Damian Wawrzyniak, Martin Chiffers, Sara Jayne Stanes and Alistair Birt.
A giant chocolate football sculpture, created by chocolatier Philippe Wall and Jean-Marie Dessard, helped draw a healthy influx of visitors into the Speciality Chocolate Fair. The football was created as a homage to the One World Futbol Project, an initiative that brings the healing power of play to youth around the world through the distribution of thousands of indestructible footballs. Also unveiled at the show was Jean-Marie Dessard’s impressive chocolate portraits of Sting.
Once again Speciality & Fine Food Fair played host to the many winners of the Great Taste Awards 2013. At the Great Taste Deli, visitors could attend daily demonstrations and have the chance to try award-winning products for the first time. In a glittering awards ceremony on the second evening of the show, Marybelle Dairy Yoghurt was crowned Great Taste Award 2013 Supreme Champion and attendees to the final day of Speciality & Fine Food Fair were treated to highlights from the awards in a session in the Fine Food Forum.
Plans are already underway for Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2014, which is taking place from the 7-9 September at London Olympia. For details on exhibiting and information on the 2014 show, please visit www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk