Tag Archives: Show report

19 
Feb

The Source Show 2019 Report

Source Show 2019

Why bother attending other shows when the Source Show 2019 offered “everything a food or hospitality business could want” all in one place! The show was held at the Westpoint venue in Exeter from 6 to 7 February. As the South West’s largest show of its kind, it has expanded by 35% over the past two years.

Source Show 2019 offered a range of products and services, from produce to furniture and innovative equipment as well as this year’s kitchen design trends and the most advanced business services. Visitors and exhibitors flocked to the show, not only from the South West, but from other parts of the UK and internationally.

The Source Show 2019 gave visitors the opportunity to discover quality local products with fascinating provenance stories and to meet passionate producers and knowledgeable suppliers face-to-face. This year was no disappointment with a spread of comparative tastings, networking opportunities and inspirational experiences; and a fair few new faces on the exhibition market.

Rising stars

The Newcomers’ area showcased new companies from the South West that have never exhibited at a trade show before. Exmoor Distillery is a small family run distillery located in the Somerset countryside. Here all products are distilled, bottled, labelled and distributed including the premium quality Northmoor Gin first launched in July 2018.

Just Desserts is an independent rural business delivering artisan cakes and slices to cafes, delicatessens, farm shops and outdoor caterers throughout Somerset and Devon. It uses organic flours, free range eggs and locally sourced ingredients.

The Wholesome Baker produces luxury, light and tasty pastries from a Master Baker with 35 years experience. There is the option of ready baked or ready to bake with all products freshly frozen to encapsulate the flavours. New for 2019 are gluten, sugar free and vegan product options.

Demonstration Kitchen

Recipes for success were served up in the Demo Kitchen with advice, inspiration and culinary innovation on display. Students mingled with experts to create some mouth-watering menus. These included Cornish hake, celeriac and apple with a Somerset cider sauce from Sophie Kennard, South West Student/Apprentice Chef of the Year at Devon & Exeter College and The Swan, Bampton.

Overall South West Chef of the Year and South West Professional Chef of the Year, Tim Kendall countered this with a dish of duck with blackberry, celeriac and endive and John Dory, Jerusalem artichoke, jasmine and sorrel. There were also multiple talks, demonstrations and tastings of the nation’s favourite tipple, gin, as well as a pasty crimping competition and a butchery masterclass.

Next year’s show is already scheduled for 6-7 Feb 2020 and if this year is anything to go by, it will be a roaring success and bigger and better than ever before. For details on exhibiting and visiting, visit the Source Show website.

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Published Date: 19th February 2019
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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12 
Feb

Pub19 Show Report

Pub19 Logo

Here are some interesting facts that you may not know about the Great British pub industry. Not only are there 49,500 pubs in the UK but beer and pubs contribute £22bn to the UK’s GDP. They generate £13bn in tax revenue with the sector supporting around 900,000 jobs. At any given time, 0.7% of the world is drunk which makes 50 million people drunk right now!

Last week, Olympia played host to PUB19, the only dedicated show for the UK pub industry. With 200 exhibitors and a host of seminars, PUB19 offered an important opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest trends, share ideas, network and gain inspiration. First launched in 2015 to celebrate the UK pub industry’s innovations, products, trends, services and people; PUB brings together key trade associations, decision makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, pub owners and pub companies.

Pub19 Talks and Workshops

This year was a huge success, with great attention paid to the talks and workshops. These ranged from improving the pub experience, using social media and offering the latest in pub food trends. One talk that proved popular was entitled Profit is in the Kitchen held in the PUB Trends Bar, in partnership with Fever-Tree. It focused on making sure the kitchen is as profitable and efficient as possible to make food enticing, appetising and current.

Another insightful talk came from Tim Martin, veteran pub landlord and founder and chairman of Britain’s largest pub chain, J D Wetherspoon. Growth in the Face of Adversity shared his views on the recipe for success, deserting social media and the impact of Brexit. With uncertainty ahead, he motioned the changes that must be met whatever the outcome of the move.

The Taste Table was particularly popular. Tastings emerged as the most popular consumer experience for pub-goers according to the 2019 PUB Trends Survey. The hands-on sessions were aimed at those looking for advice, training and inspiration around great food and drink.

The sessions were targeted at keeping visitors up-to-date with the latest trends. They included tastings of alcohol free spirits, or distilled botanicals. This is one of the fastest growing segment of the entire drinks industry; with the value of alcohol free spirits sold in the UK growing from £17.5 million to £25.9 million in the year to June 2018. However, there was probably more attendance at the gin tasting event!

More Useful Facts

To end, here are a few more facts to digest: around 13 million tourists visit pubs every year. 82% of the beer sold in the UK is made in the UK. 20 million pints of beer are enjoyed every day brewed from the 1113 breweries operating in Britain. And my particular favourite: there is a cloud of alcohol in outer space which is enough to make four trillion-trillion drinks. Let it rain.

PUB20 is already in place for next February. So be sure you book the days to visit or exhibit well in advance.

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Published Date: 12th February 2019
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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04 
Dec

Good Food Show Birmingham Report

BBC good food show winter logoThe BBC Good Food Shows  have kicked off the season. Last week, it was the turn of the NEC to host one of the most eagerly-awaited food shows of the year.

With Christmas just around the corner, the flagship Winter Show offered a feast for visitors of produce and entertainment. Top chefs joined exhibitors to present a veritable smorgasbord of culinary delights. These included demonstrations, new products and fabulous retail opportunities.

The Birmingham Winter Show combined the UK’s greatest cookery experts, with plenty of festive inspiration and live entertainment in the Big Kitchen and other stages. Greeting visitors to the NEC was the show’s new contribution, Street Food. Brand new for 2018, delicious street food made a successful appearance at the Show. An army of street food vendors in the outside areas, brought a huge selection of ready to eat food for all visitors.

Big Kitchen

The Big Kitchen is always the highlight of the show. Here top celebrity chefs cook festive recipes and share tips for seasonal winter foods. Tom Kerridge and Michael Roux Junior were just two of the famous names demonstrating their skills to the public. The highlight was the demonstration by everyone’s favourite Bake Off judge, Mary Berry.

This year, the Big Kitchen was sponsored by Travelsphere, who offered additional free themed sessions to the menu. This included a taste of India with Cyrus Todiwala, chef patron of Cafe Spice Namaste, award-winning Pan-Indian restaurant in London and also Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen and The River Restaurant (in Goa). A taste of Spain was presented by José Pizarro described as the Godfather of Spanish cooking.

BBC Good Food Stage

Barney Desmazery hosted the BBC Good Food stage. There, he offered live interviews into our favourite chefs’ success and seasonal advice from some local foodie experts too. The sessions involved an interview with Nadiya Hussain and a masterclass from Stacie Stewart.

The BBC Good Food Pop-Up Restaurant offered a sit-down meal, of two or three courses, inspired by some of the most popular seasonal dishes from the country’s leading food website,  www.bbcgoodfood.com. The succulent menu presented delights such as:

  • chicken, leek, smoked bacon and apricot terrine with watercress salad,
  • baked goat’s cheese with beetroot, honey and thyme and
  • main courses including garlic cheese-stuffed turkey breast wrapped in pancetta, with parmesan roast potatoes, buttered sprouts and glazed carrots.

Winter Kitchen

The Winter Kitchen, sponsored by Magimix inspired by a range of seasonal dishes for the festive season with contributions from Mary Berry, James Martin, Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith amongst many other top chefs. Complementary to this was the Skills School where a number of experts shared their secrets from knife skills with Zwilling to sourdough masterclasses.

At AC Services Southern, we think it’s always a good idea to attend the Good Food Shows. These help us to learn new trends and to judge consumer reactions. That way our business never gets stale.

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Published Date: 4th December 2018
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23 
Oct

2018 Independent Hotel Show Report

2018 Independent Hotel Show logoLast week saw the 2018 Independent Hotel Show taking place at Olympia.

Boutique hotels are categorised as small and intimate establishments, far away from the mighty conglomerates that appear in every town and city of the UK. These hotels are usually located in the most hip and fashionable urban areas. Their charm generally lies in their stylish design decor and personal touches that distinguish them from other hotel brands.

Interestingly, it wasn’t until 1981 that the first official boutique hotel opened in London.

Steady Growth

Over the past two years, the sector has seen stellar growth. Independent hotel rooms still comprise more than half of the serviced accommodation rooms in the UK. The Independent Hotel Show managed to encapsulate the enthusiasm for the future development of the sector.

Over the two days seminars addressed relevant topics and offered advice to independent and boutique hotel owners and managers. These seminars covered everything, from managing websites to design using limited space, offering the best service possible and tips and tactics to ramp up food and beverage options to keep menus fresh.

Among the more interesting discussions was one on trends for the future.  A hotel stay is more than just a room for the night and customers expect more than just the basic levels. Guests want to know what else is on offer. This has led to the rise of combination hotels. A basic example is the hotel and spa. This has expanded to giddy heights such as a hotel and art gallery in Beijing and a hotel and perfumery in Paris. These hotels are now known as slashy hotels. This term first came to prominence in the film, Zoolander, where it referred to model/actors.

Local Packages

On a more local level, visitors want to book a whole experience in one place. The 2018 Independent Hotel Show offered invaluable advice on how hotels can best offer local expertise and knowledge via local experience packages. The Show also focused on the importance of technology offering convenience. These include being able to control the temperature and lighting in the room via apps, and virtual concierge to allow guests to make requests quickly without needing to leave the room.

Other trends involve pop-up hotels, especially those associated with festivals or other events. This trend is complemented by glamping, described as a hybrid of camping and hotel-stays. For the catering industry, this is a major opportunity, especially for mobile caterers in the locality.

Finally, the centrepiece of the 2018 Independent Hotel Show was the Hotel Bedroom of the Future immersive installation. Luxury bedroom specialists Two’s Company built this  “inspired by the results of several intense research sessions with industry experts”.

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Published Date: 23rd October 2018
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09 
Oct

The Restaurant Show 2018

The Restaurant Show 2018 logosIt barely seems any time at all since the last Restaurant Show but apparently, it has been a whole year. And last week, it returned to Olympia in London. The Restaurant Show 2018 incorporated The Bar and Pub Show and the Catering Equipment Expo.

These three brought the hospitality industry together. Catering for those owning, operating and working in restaurants, hotels, pub, bars and hospitality establishments across the UK.

As always, the event attracted hordes of visitors for companies showcasing their products. Seminar subjects were wide ranging. From digital storytelling: the secret ingredient for social media success to what’s next for casual dining and some strong advice on creating the ultimate cheeseboard!

Other topics included combining the art of hospitality with smarter technology and the influence of the fast-moving world of coffee as well as the importance of the correct background music to create exactly the right ambience.

National Chef of the Year

One of the highlights of the three-day event was the National Chef of the Year competition. This has been running since 1972 and has become one of the UK’s most respected and sought-after culinary titles.

The ceremony saw Kuba Winkowski, head chef from The Feathered Nest Inn crowned as the new National Chef of the Year. His menu included native lobster, oyster emulsion, Yorkshire grouse, quince, and sticky toffee dessert. The runner-up spot went to George Blogg, head chef at Gravetye Manor. With Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle taking third place in the dramatic cook-off.

The Catering Equipment Expo proved to be the place to get a great deal on the latest products. A range of catering equipment was on display, from cookers to fridges and those strange-looking but essential items that only a cook can recognise. Among the exhibitors was Rational displaying its SelfCooking Center and VarioCooking Centers. 

Food Glorious Food

Food and drink, obviously were plentiful with over 400 suppliers exhibiting at this year’s event. New products included Drunken Dairy Ltd’s selection of booze-infused dairy and free-from ice creams and vegan sorbets. The Handmade Cake Company launched its Vegan Belgian Chocolate Cake, specially designed to be 100% vegan.

The Restaurant Show 2018 celebrated its 30th birthday with an abundance of products, seminars and events aimed at anyone involved in the catering industry. Visitors were delighted with the range of advice and new initiatives aimed at maintaining the restaurant industry’s standards in the modern world, with everything needed to sustain a successful business under one roof at Olympia.

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Published Date: 9th October 2018
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02 
Oct

The Food Entrepreneur Show 2018

Food Entrepreneur Show 2018 logoExCel London was the venue for the Food Entrepreneur Show 2018, taking place last week, 26-27 September.

Innovation has always been the catchword for this Show. Exhibitors, seminars, live demos and new features all showcase the latest in the food industry. Billed as the number one event for business growth and expansion in the food profession, the Show was well attended by a range of food and drink entrepreneurs striving for success.

The Show ranges from the food demo arena to the franchise area, where there were businesses opportunities for sale aplenty. From sustainability through to plant-based sustenance to plastic straws, it seemed there was no subject matter left unturned.

The Delivery Zone focused on the increasing demand for delivery with more restaurants providing this option to their customers. The zone highlighted the many suppliers of the transport to get food to the customer. It also included new packaging methods to keep the food safe along the way.

Advanced technology

The Show had discussions touching on a variety of contemporary issues. Many of these featured advances in technology as a baseline. For instance, the discussion on how to leave better feedback at a restaurant brought up digital comment boxes, such as Blurtbox. This is an intuitive app that allows guests to log in and leave private, anonymous feedback. The restaurant can then respond to these in real time. The app is centred upon the massive impact of smartphone usage, which is perfect for the modern consumer.

One of the most interesting and modern issues featured street food. A street food trader was frustrated with the outdated process of finding a pitch so he founded StreetDots. This has resulted in a network of premium trading pitches or ‘dots’ to be booked via an app. The technology gives traders the freedom to trade with no long-term commitment.

Staff retention

Another seminar covered the way technology helps retain staff and customers, as what happens at the table is key to their satisfaction. Customers want their order to be taken quickly and accurately. Staff want to be equipped with technology that works quickly and efficiently making their jobs easier. The forum suggested many ways to improve the service, for example by centralising customer information, analytics and marketing database in one system. Or investing in intuitive touchscreen interfaces, making them easier for staff to use and which are less likely to cause problems for customers.

Technology and innovation were at the forefront of the Food Entrepreneur Show 2018, with ideas and advice on how to ensure that the catering industry is up to date with new ideas and techniques to keep up with modern demands from discerning customers.

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Published Date: 2nd October 2018
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08 
May

Food & Drink Trade Show 2018

Food & Drink Trade Show 2018 logoThe sun was out and the town of Malvern was buzzing for the Food & Drink Trade Show 2018. The spectacular Three Counties Showground hosted the event, one of the most picturesque venues in the country, nestled at the bottom of the Malvern Hills.

The show was billed as a “unique blend of inspirational speciality food and drink products” with exhibitors coming from both the UK and internationally. There was plenty on show in all categories: fresh fish, patisserie, confectionery, the list was endless.

New for 2018 was the opportunity for buyers to see a selection of products exclusively from the three counties of Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. The producers from these regions showcased their regional products to the hordes of visitors who attended the show. Existing suppliers mingled with new exhibitors, with nine newcomers this year, who had never before exhibited at a trade show.

Newbies

One of the newcomers was Colcombe House Cider, an emerging craft producer founded by Kier Rogers using apples hand selected from single estate orchards. The company feeds the trees with organic seaweed to help encourage growth and minimise stress.

Healthy Recipes exhibited MezzeSoul, a fresh pomegranate juice sauce brand. MezzeSoul pomegranate products are based on the legacy of Lebanese cuisine and are made entirely from natural ingredients with no artificial colourants and no preservatives.

Moveena Nutrition  showcased healthy nutritious snacks handmade with 100% natural ingredients only, without any sugar, in a range of flavours such as Cranberrynutty, Walnutberry and Linseed fruity. Gluten and nut free and vegan options are available.

Finally, we must mention Welsh comapny Tast Natur . They create artisan botanical syrups from foraged and homegrown plants to add to food and drinks. The syrups use seasonal plants and are created in small batches, so new and exclusive products are continuously created throughout the year. Flavours include Lavender Latte, a Nettle G&T or a Rhubarb Prosecco.

Chef Demonstrations

In addition to the exhibitors, there was a range of chefs preparing dishes to delight the senses on the Love Food Roadshow‘s demonstration kitchen. Hosted by Celebrity Chef Felice Tocchini, the kitchen featured informative cookery demonstrations. These included “A Taste of the Three Counties – Belly of Gloucestershire old spot pig, Worcestershire honey, Hereford cider and The Taming of the Forest of Dean – Wild garlic gnocchi with roasted belly of pork, and wild garlic greens.”

For catering businesses in the north of the region served by AC Services, we recommend considering seeing whether next year’s show will build on the Food & Drink Trade Show 2018.

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Published Date: 8th May 2018
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24 
Apr

Five Shows in One

Farm Shop & Deli Show 2018The Farm Shop & Deli Show 2018 took place last week at the NEC and was co-located with four other events – The Food & Drink Expo, The Ingredients Show, Foodex, and National Convenience Show.

A total of over 1500 exhibitors attended the whole event. They represented the whole spectrum of the food and drink supply chain, from retailers to manufacturers.

There is an increase in demand for locally farmed and sourced produce. According to one report, retail sales are expected to rise to £4.2bn from £3.6bn by 2021. Therefore, the popularity of the Farm Shop & Deli Show 2018 was extremely high with visitors already relishing the idea of artisan products. And the show did not disappoint.

The Farm Shop & Deli Show is the sector’s leading event for delicatessens, farm shops, garden centres, restaurants, food halls, butcheries and bakeries. Hence hundreds of companies showcased their best wares.

Live Events

The Farm Shop & Deli Live stage offered an all-star speaker line up. Each session was curated to cover relevant trends within the sector, such as the importance in terms of adding value of sourcing local produce and stocking identifiable brands. Topics ranged from food waste to the booming trend of free-from foods.

The Dragon’s Pantry offered daring entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their best ideas to a panel of industry experts. New products and ideas were pitched. In return, experts offered professional advice on the best way to market and refine the offerings.

According to Farm Shop & Deli Show 2018 Commercial Manager, Dan Eversfield, “artisan food continues to be one of the success stories of the UK food and drink industry, driving growth in this sector. British food and drink exports grew by 8.3% year-on-year to £4.9bn, with international retailers looking to take advantage of the UK’s food and drink manufacturing expertise. When you also take into account the weaker pound, products from these shores are in demand and we expect this year’s event to be a hive of activity with buyers joining from around the globe.

Cross country representation

This year, 25 countries were exhibiting in the overall Food and Drink Expo. They were from Canada, China, Cyprus to Iceland, India and Iran with nine featured pavilions. These include Taste of Nova Scotia; Taste Cork; Food & Drink Wales; Scotland Food & Drink; the Italian Trade Commission; Orkney Quality Food; and Chambre D’Agriculture De Dordogne, as well as Dadao TONGTU (Beijing Expo) and Iran International Exhibitions Co.

The 5 shows return in two years time at the same venue to offer unparalleled networking opportunities as suppliers, retailers and manufacturers from across the industry gather in the heart of Birmingham. 

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Published Date: 24th April 2018
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13 
Mar

Hotelympia 2018 Show Report

Hotelympia 2018Hotelympia 2018 took place at ExCeL London last week (5-8 March). The Show has the accolade of being one of the oldest; being at the forefront of the industry for over 83 years. This year, Hotelympia brought together four new shows. This created an umbrella platform for all those involved in the pub, hotel, restaurant, casual dining and contract caterers.

The four shows are:

  • Interiors and Tableware Show,
  • Hospitality Tech Show,
  • Foodservice Show and
  • The Professional Kitchen Show, 

The Professional Kitchen

This Show displayed the very latest catering equipment, with key senior buyers viewing the goods on offer, from kitchen designers to operations managers, executive chefs to managing directors and distributors. The equipment ranged from appliances for large mass catering kitchens to the newer trend of micro size kitchens.

On the Rational stand, Rational‘s expert chefs prepared different meal occasions with the SelfCookingCenter and VarioCookingCenter,  offering samples and live cooking demonstrations. The company also showcased its specialist accessories including the Multibaker, the grill and pizza tray and the cross and stripe grill grate.

Foodservice and Hospitality Tech

The Foodservice Show was extremely well attended. Visitors were presented with hard-to-find speciality ingredients and craft drinks as well as leading food brands and franchises. In fact, the Foodservice Show had more food and drink exhibiting companies than any other UK hospitality event.

The Hospitality Tech Show revealed how technology is revolutionising the hospitality sector. It showcased solutions and latest innovations to improve all aspects of the industry from back-room operations to enhancing the customer experience.

The Interiors and Tableware Show

Interiors and Tableware catered for every front-of-house need for a wide range of establishments from restaurant groups, bars, cafes and spas to holiday parks, schools and offices with the latest designs and products.

Another popular section was the Salon Culinaire which offered four days of sculpting and cooking.  Categories here included wedding cake design, sugarcraft showpiece, sculpted novelty cake and best decorated Easter Egg! There was also a category for best sugarcraft on a hat which attracted some amazing entries and lots of attention.

Hotelympia 2018

Along with a host of headline speakers holding seminars on a variety of relevant subjects, Hotelympia 2018 also hosted The World Food Innovation Awards. These are designed to celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global food industry. As the longest and most established awards scheme in the industry, these awards were gratefully received by the eventual winners.

Finally, the Women in Hospitality day was a huge hit. This celebrated the successes and the challenges and opportunities facing women in the hospitality industry. As well as discussions on the contribution made by female hospitality entrepreneurs it also introduced some potential future stars.

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Published Date: 13th March 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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27 
Feb

2018 Source Trade Show

2018 Source Trade ShowThe Westpoint Exhibition Centre in Exeter was the setting for the 2018 Source Trade Show which took place on 6 and 7 February. This prestigious show gave visitors the opportunity to escape the big cities, where the majority of trade shows take place, and travel to the beautiful West Country and the historic city of Exeter.

The 2018 Source Trade Show was exactly as described. A venue that allows owners and managers the opportunity to source whatever they need for their premises, whether it be food ingredients, staff or equipment. As with previous shows, representatives from the pub and bar industry, the public sector including schools and hospitals, supermarkets, hotels and farm shops attended the Show.

Food and Other Stuff

Over 250 exhibitors from Taste of the West, the South West, and beyond also attended the show. 17 newcomers all from the South West exhibited at a trade show for the very first time. 83 companies also braved Source for the first time. Exhibitors comprised key South West, UK and international food and drink producers, as well as service providers.

Newcomers are more than welcome at the Source Show as the organisers explain. “We offer them special rates, or a leg up as it were…one of the biggest challenges new companies have is actually getting their products to market and the Source also connects them with distributors, who in turn get the chance to add exiting new products to their ranges.”

Visitors were able to source more unusual local products and meet face-to-face with local producers and learn the provenance of their products. The organisers wanted to present the show on all sensory platforms – taste, smell, presentation, packaging, a feat they managed admirably. Food was not the only attraction. Visitors also took advantage of other goods on display from kitchen equipment, EPoS systems, uniforms and tableware.

The Demonstration Kitchen was a huge and popular success, boasting “inspirational chefs, masterclasses, talks and more!” Perhaps the most popular area was the artisan section. But there was a massive presence from local, regional and national manufacturers and regional food and drink producers.

Key Exhibitors

Some of the most popular producers included ice-cream makers, Dartington Dairy . It uses sustainable farming practices and innovation to produce their range of goats’ milk ice-creams. Their latest offering is Kefir, a super tasty cultured goats’ milk drink.

Healthy Recipes Ltd introduced MezzeSoul, a fresh pomegranate juice sauce brand which brings the heat, warmth and soul of the Mediterranean into the UK. JEAM Super Mixes is a range of award-winning, nutrient rich organic bread mixes, organic, nutrient rich and delicious. The chosen ingredients are sourced extremely carefully and are all tested thoroughly before committing to production.

And of course we should mention Rational UK. They were showing off the latest advances in their Rational oven range at the 2018 Source Trade Show.

The next year’s show is already under planning. To book your place, visit the Source Trade Show website

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Published Date: 27th February 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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