Tag Archives: Show report
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
It 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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hotelympia 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
In 2017, 67% of PUB17 visitors were either owner, director or manager level. While 86% of visitors claimed direct purchasing authority.
So when the doors opened last week, there were high expectations for 5000+ visitors from across the pub industry for PUB18.
The show is the only one dedicated to the UK pub industry. Since its inception in 2015, it is the perfect opportunity to meet with suppliers and learn about current and future industry issues.
New and Old
PUB18 featured some familiar favourite titbits, including the WSET Taste Table, which offered hands-on tastings. Also returning was the Pub Garden, an ideal spot to meet and network with those in the industry.
New for 2018 was the Pub Trends theatre, set to highlight what your pub must stock for the coming year. Also debuting was the New Brew Area, where the newest drinks and innovations were on show.
The seminars and talks were extremely well attended and offered real insight into improving trade and turnover. The PUB18 ‘Debate: Reasons to be Cheerful’ set out the challenges the pub industry faces in 2018. A panel of senior figures looked at the current climate in the sector, and suggested areas where operators need to focus their energies.
Leading chefs and operators then shared their ideas in the ‘Specials Board Standout: Driving your food offer forward’. Here, suggestions included how to make a pub’s food business stand out from the crowd and how to maintain and drive profitability in a world of rapidly increasing food costs.
Food and Drink
Millennials featured in an intriguing talk entitled ‘Last Orders at the bar? – Turning Millennials back onto the on-trade.’ Statistics suggest that millennials are abandoning the century-old tradition of going down the pub. Multiply UK has created a report titled ‘The Millennial Hangover – Why generation Y is not getting on with the on trade‘ which formed part of this interesting presentation.
The questions posed were simple: “why are bar visits and alcohol consumption on a sharp decline among younger audiences? Who are these Millennials, and what do they value? Most importantly, what can brands and businesses do to target this reluctant yet strategically crucial audience?” The debate raged about how to entice Millennials back!
According to the Beer & Cider Academy, “any day of the year is a day for beer and the different seasons offer an opportunity to showcase the myriad hues, flavours and characteristics of the nation’s favourite alcoholic beverage.” Hence the ‘Taste of Summer’ showcased the beer styles synonymous with the summer months and suggested complimentary food choices.
Finally, CAMRA Good Beer Guide’s Roger Protz suggested how to use the industry traditions to harness the 13M foreign tourists who visit UK pubs annually!
All in all, there was plenty of food for thought and the organisers and visitors were delighted with the outcome. PUB19 takes place 5-6 February 2019 at Olympia London so make sure you book a place for next year.
BREAKING NEWS! Mary Berry has been spotted chatting with Marcus Bean, Nadiya Hussain and a whole host of other top chefs. But rumours of a rival show to the Great British Bake Off have, were quashed as the chefs were united at the annual Good Food Show Birmingham NEC from 30 November – 3 December 2017.
With four days of live entertainment, shopping, innovative products and cooking demonstrations galore, over 450 exhibitors took part. They were joined by an exciting menu of top chefs and cookery experts. Mary Berry, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr, James Martin, The Hairy Bikers, Raymond Blanc, Anjula Devi and Nadiya Hussain were in attendance bringing demonstrations and advice to the masses who came through the halls.
The Big Kitchen super-theatre was the highlight of the Good Food Show Birmingham. Here the celebrity chefs cooked festive recipes and warming winter foods. This year brought a new element to the first day. Visitors who had booked the session, were able to enjoy a free Eat Like a Local session.
New for this year was the Friends and Family Festive Kitchen, hosted by Chris Bavin. Live cookery demonstrations and inspired recipe ideas gave plenty of thought for the Christmas period. These included ideas for a Caribbean Christmas and the perfect Christmas dessert.
There were plenty of other opportunities for the public to hone their cookery skills in the Skills School. On offer were masterclasses in Naked Cake Decorating with Sophie Godwin and a Sourdough Workshop with the BBC Good Food cookery team.
There was also the chance to learn a range of knife skills from the Zwilling professionals. This included different sharpening techniques, which type of knife should be used, how to use a knife for specific techniques and how to master the pinch grip.
Finally in the Skill School was the Sipsmith Gin Tasting. Historically, alcoholic tipples were almost exclusively served warm as a cosy way to get through the long, cold nights. The Sipsmith masterclasses offered tips on serving the ideal hot G&T.
Whisky and Northern Ireland Highlights
There was special interest in The Whisky Blending Lab from The Whisky Lounge. Blended whisky has apparently been ignored for far too long. So the idea was for visitors to construct their very own blended whisky. Those who took part not only blended the whisky but named it and walked away with a labelled bottled miniature!
Our final highlight was the Taste the Greatness of Northern Ireland Sampling Theatre and Pavilion. This was hosted by chef, Paula McIntyre, alongside a selection of producers. According to the showguide “Northern Ireland is a place of greatness because of a deep down determination to make the best of everything they’ve got. That same determination has taken hold of producers, processors and restaurateurs alike and is winning awards and international acclaim by producing world class ingredients and causing an explosion of authentic producers.”
Perfect for getting us in the mood for Christmas, the Good Food Show Birmingham returns to the NEC at the same time next year.