A record turnout of exhibitors and visitors has seen the country’s biggest trade food event, Fine Food New Zealand, celebrate its greatest success yet. A biennial business to business exhibition for the foodservice, food retail and hospitality industries, the show is hugely significant to the sectors it serves as well to the New Zealand economy.
More than 7,200 visitors and nearly 300 exhibitors took part in the three-day show, held in Auckland at the ASB Showgrounds from 26 -28 June. It surpassed all previous records says Dona White, CEO of North Port Events, which runs Fine Food New Zealand. “We saw a 12.5 percent increase in visitor numbers compared to the 2014 show, which demonstrates the scope of the event and its importance to the industry.”
Satisfaction resonated from all corners. Delighted exhibitors are already planning their next appearance, visitors thrilled with the diversity of the show and opportunities to connect with new and existing suppliers and competition winners pleased to reap the rewards of their efforts.
“Wow, what a show,” said Jessica Naylor from Bidvest. “Fine Food New Zealand has enabled us to showcase a small selection of the glorious food and non-food products that we supply to new and existing customers. It was a fabulous opportunity to introduce the passionate and knowledgeable team behind the name.”
Innovation Award-winner Joe Swatland from RebelFood said Fine Food New Zealand was an amazing experience, “To have a huge amount of our targeted retailers in one place has been invaluable, not to mention the other contacts in business that we have acquired.”
New exhibitor to the show, Manetti, whose edible gold and silver products attracted interest from leading restaurants and bakeries, is vowing to return. “I had a huge number and variety of visitors to my stand,” said Manetti’s Rosemary Waller. “I also made some great contacts among the other exhibitors, and I can see some really exciting opportunities. I will definitely be back in 2018.”
A comprehensive range of exhibits covering every component big and small, from equipment to cheese, drinks to uniforms, blenders to gluten free bread – meant all tastes were accommodated.
An exciting new addition to the event was the Top Shelf Boutique Drinks Festival which played a pivotal role in bringing together some of the world’s best wine, beer, premium spirits and craft drinks, alongside masterclasses by top bartenders and mixologists.
Congratulations to the winner of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand Barista Smackdown, Wayner Moreno from Atomic Coffee Roasters, who took home $1000 cash and a $1,000 voucher for his café to spend at Southern Hospitality.
Fine Food New Zealand is now looking forward to 2018, when the fifth edition of the show will be held (it runs every two years). “This event is a true reflection of the importance of the food and hospitality industry, both locally and internationally, and is a perfect launch pad for all related industries,” says Dona White. “It’s a terrific opportunity for all like-minded parties to share and promote their best.”
Major winners from the Fine Food New Zealand Innovation Awards are as follows:
Most Innovative Retail Grocery Product
Most Innovative Artisan Product
Most Innovative Food Service Product
Coeliac New Zealand
Most Innovative New Equipment
Overall James & Wells Champion of Innovation Award