We have clocked up a fair few air miles this year with shows in the US, Middle East, Asia and Africa as well as our European favourites. With UK food and drink exports being one of the most important sectors for UK business (worth £12bn in 2014) it is little surprise that we have seen growing exhibitor numbers year on year.
2015 was an 'Anuga' year and we had the largest group of UK companies on the pavilion since we began in 2008. It sold out fast in all sector halls and initial feedback from exhibitors is that it was good for business with many companies meeting potential business contacts from all over the world including China, Uraguay, Canada, the Middle East and parts of Africa to name a few.
Asian shows featured high on the agenda this year with groups going out to FHC in Shanghai, Seoul Food, Foodex in Tokyo and Hofex, Hong Kong. Asian markets can be tough to crack and these long haul tradeshows are invaluable to getting your products in front of the right audience to help grow your export business in the region. Several UK companies successfully found distributors and are now selling into new markets as a direct result of exhibiting at shows further afield.
The draw of the Fancy Food Shows in the US is always strong with our high-end and gourmet UK producers. The US is the 5th largest export market for the UK food and drink. 29 companies exhibited with us at US shows in 2015 and we expect to see a rise in that number in 2016 with a new show added to our programme, Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago.
The UK confectionery and snacking sector is one of our strongest exports reflected in the year upon year sell out at ISM in Cologne taking place at the start of the year. One of our favourite shows on the calendar (and nothing to do with the copious amount of sweets treats being displayed!) ISM has become the annual meeting place for the industry. Greater demand for the sector elsewhere has seen us take a small pavilion out to Sweets and Snacks Middle East for the first time this year (rebranded as Yummex for 2016).
We have also been very busy building stands for our clients at shows where there are no UK pavilions. We have built independent exhibition stands at IFE, Seafood Global Expo, SIAL China, Speciality Fine Foods IFE, Caffe Culture, Lunch!, IDDBA (USA Dairy show). Please do get in tocuh if you are interested in finding out more about our stand build service.
As well as tradeshows to keep us busy, we also run the award winning Exeter Festival of Food and Drink - a three day foodie event promoting South West food and drink. Open to the public, set in the heart of Exeter this event sees the whole team don high-vis vests to make it all happen - everything from marquees to masterchefs, bins to bands, tickets to tastings and cleaning to catering.
Our last event of 2015 is the FDEA Network Forum taking place in Central Hall Westminster on 10th December. It's a great way to round off the year and a chance to mingle with industry colleagues and hear from experts in export. Find out more here www.ukfdea.com
Our 2016 programme is already well underway with several shows already sold out. If you are thinking of exhibiting anywhere in the world, please do get in touch with us to see how we can help firstname.lastname@example.org With only 10% of UK food and drink SMEs currently exporting, there is a a vast amount of opportunity out there!
See you in 2016!
PS8 is the Department for International Trade's Trade Challenge Partner for food and drink
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