After being rescheduled due to Covid last year, Fine Food New Zealand was back with a bang with more than 6,000 visitors attending the three-day event held in mid-June at the ASB Showgrounds in Auckland.
And the story of the returned show’s success are in the numbers.
81% of visitors attended Fine Food New Zealand to source new suppliers, products, and services. Early survey results confirm their intentions, with the average visitor spend exceeding $3,072 (a 25% increase on 2018’s $2,447).
On the flip side of that coin, exhibitors on average reported sales of $109,925 for the coming 12 months as a direct result of their presence at Fine Food New Zealand. Feedback is highly encouraging, with Darren T. noting “I came to Fine Food NZ 2021 with a purpose and this was fulfilled in one day. On top of that, I found suppliers I had never heard of and have already contacted 24 hours after the event.”
Hisham S added, “Before attending I was somewhat struggling to find the right profile companies I wanted to work with. I managed to connect with at least eight new potential suppliers.”
Over 200 exhibitors took advantage of networking opportunities to forge valuable contacts and trade deals, and learn from food industry experts in the popular SilverChef Seminar Series.
Dedicated areas explored by visitors and where brisk trade was done include; liquor area The Best Cellar, and Artisan Alley where small-batch, traditional, high-quality goods were gathered in one space. Exhibitors also took the opportunity for long-overdue catch-ups with industry colleagues at the Networking Bar and the Meadow Fresh Café.
Unox, commercial oven supplier for gastronomy, baking and catering cooking sold 95% of the equipment on their stand by the end of day three. Hayley Williams, Unox Marketing Communications & Events Manager said the company is already locked in for 2023. “We thoroughly enjoyed exhibiting at Fine Food New Zealand. Our live cooking presentations always attract good attendance and this year we showcased some world first technology that brought many visitors back several times to have another look and to show their colleagues.”
Thieves Tea is an exciting new company that has been in operation for only a year. Co-founder Sally Miller described the business as a “post-Covid pivot from sustainable travel to sustainable tea. We were Impact Tea originally, but this month rebranded as Thieves Tea to represent each of the stories our tea tells. The name comes from a time when workers from the plantation would pocket the leaves and take them home and then hand grind them, so our signature tea is a hand-ground black tea.”
Sally said they exhibited at Fine Food New Zealand this year because they’re now set up for retail and wholesale sales, after starting out by producing gift boxes of teas and being stocked in a couple of cafes. “Fine Food New Zealand was a great platform for us to be able to share some of our story, and importantly our quality tea, with potential customers and distributors. We found the XPO Exhibitions team and all the other vendors to be incredibly supportive of us as a new product and exhibitor at the show. We had some great feedback on our branding and the innovative products we had on display.”
Cartel Food is a Martinborough Mexican food business, founded by Jason and Melissa Philips. Jason loved eating burritos when growing up in California but noticed there were no chilled or frozen burritos available to buy from New Zealand supermarkets. Their range of frozen burritos has recently been joined by their latest offering – a meat-free, dairy-free, vegan burrito.
Melissa said they had a fantastic experience exhibiting at Fine Food NZ. “The attendees that XPO had invited were all on our target list for potential business, so we had them all at one venue. Most importantly, we managed to meet all of those key people and have generated some really promising leads that will further grow our business. Not only did we generate more business, we also gained a lot of knowledge from broadening our industry network. A very worthwhile show to be part of.”
Fine Food New Zealand will return to Auckland 25 – 27 June 2023.