BUOYANT MOOD AT SCOTLAND’S SPECIALITY FOOD SHOW
Attracting over 4000 visitors over the three days and a quarter more exhibitors than last year, the mood at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show and Scotland’s Trade Show was buoyant as exhibitors made a healthy number of orders and enquiries, and visitors were impressed by the quality and originality of the stands.
A larger Launch Gallery for young, innovative companies under two years old attracted many buyers into the Food Show with exhibitors such as The Wee Tea Company, Kwan’s Kitchen, Lov Sushi, Golden Age Honey and Considerit Chocolate, who all produce quality, fine tasting and packaged foods.
Complemented by larger fine food companies there were many new food and drink products or lines that appealed in particular to farm shops, butchers, delis, tourist shops and garden centres.
Catriona Farquharson from Finzean Farm Shop in Aberdeenshire said: “It is encouraging to see so many new products each year at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show. The variety and the quality of the products has increased considerably over recent years, especially as consumers become more discerning. It is always worth a trip to the Show to ensure we seek out these new, exciting products that appeal to our customers.”
Exhibitor Paul Hargreaves from UK food distributor Cotswold Fayre said: “This is our first time exhibiting here for a number of years and we have been delighted by the great interest in our products. There has been a very high quality of buyers and much better than years ago, as they are serious foodies who understand quality and artisan food. The atmosphere at the Show is warm and friendly making it an agreeable place to do business.”
Mark Saunders Director of the Show said: “Confidence is edging back slowly into the Scottish retail economy and we have witnessed a growing feeling of optimism at the Show. With Scotland’s Speciality Food Show run in conjunction with Scotland’s Trade Show we offer the ideal platform for all types of retail businesses to source not just food and drink but also gifts, homewares and clothing, allowing them to offer a more varied range of goods to their customers.”
Launch Gallery exhibitor Louisa Gonzalez from Golden Age Honey added: “Our honey is produced in a very natural way and this approach has attracted a huge number of buyers. They are looking for quality food, with a well-known and reliable provenance, both of which we have, which has meant we have sold out of our 2013 harvest.”
Michelle Mehaffey, Buyer from the National Trust for Scotland especially liked the Food Show: “It is very strong this year with some outstanding exhibitors. The quality of the products on display is second to none and we have sourced some delicious new lines.”
Stephen Brown buyer from Scotmid Cooperative added: “We are always keen to meet and explore how we can work with smaller local Scottish suppliers and Scotland Speciality Food Show gives the opportunity to do this and see some of the fantastic innovation within Scotland’s food industry.”
Key to the Show was the Seminar Theatre, which attracted many visitors with a varied line-up of speakers and topics. The keynote seminar on Scottish independence and its effect on business was debated by Ian Murray, Labour MP, who argued for the status quo, while Gordon Macintyre-Kemp, Chief Executive of Business Scotland, presented an equally forceful case for going independent. Other seminars included topics such as social media, future of retail, setting up a retail outlet, gift wrapping and growing your business.