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We chat to Nick Sarnadas, event director of Food & Hospitality Africa, the largest pan-African food, drink, and hospitality trade show, to find out what's on the menu this year.
Tell us about Food and Hospitality Africa 2017
Food & Hospitality Africa will be better than ever in 2017, with significant additions and improvements that will offer added value for both exhibitors and visitors. We have evaluated every aspect of the first F&HA which took place in 2016 and have pulled out all the stops to make the 2017 show even better – this year there are five shows co-located at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand from 7 to 9 May 2017.
Food & Hospitality Africa: The largest Pan-African food, drink and hospitality expo.
Hostex is where the who’s who of the hospitality and foodservice industries have been coming to do business for the past 30 years. This is where general managers, F&B managers, chefs, housekeepers and buyers from renowned organisations such as Air Chefs, Anglo American, BCE Foodservice Equipment, Bidvest Foodservice & Catering Equipment, Department of Correctional Services, Hilton Hotel, Michelangelo Hotel, Nestle, Nespresso, Ocean Basket, SA Navy, Spur, Sun International, Shoprite, Tsogo Sun, Unilever Food Solutions, Vulcan Catering Equipment, Wimpy as well as Woolworths source, network, learn, buy and experience new products and services.
IFEA is an expo that gives buyers the opportunity to see what the South African and international food and drink industries have to offer.
Tea & Coffee Africa creates an aromatic platform for producers and distributors of hot beverages to introduce their products. Visitors got in on all the action at the Speciality Coffee Association of South Africa (SCASA) Gauteng regionals and national finals of the South African Barista Championships.
New addition, The Drinks Cabinet where producers, brewers, distillers and brand owners engage with thousands of industry decision makers from restaurants, hotels, pubs, bars, cafés as well as the continent’s leading retailers. This was introduced in line with the constantly evolving and ever-growing drinks market on the African continent.
And our second new addition, for the hotel, restaurant and guest house market, Contract Furnishing Africa is being introduced, which will cover all furnishings for retail stores, hotels of all sizes, guest houses, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Visitors can expect to see indoor and outdoor furniture, décor, lighting, linen, towelling, floor coverings, wall coverings, interior design, and guest amenities.
F&HA offers more value in terms of features for our visitors. We have such a lot happening that visitors can benefit from – leading culinary competitions, demonstrations in the Skillery by the SA Chefs Association, pizza creations in the Global Pizza Challenge, baristas in the Barista Championship, innovative products in the new products display, Tea & Coffee Africa, culinary art displays by SA Cake Decorators Guild, and more.
What is Fresh Montgomery’s role in the event?
Fresh Montgomery, a leader in the food and hospitality trade show space, runs trade shows around the world and brings with them a wealth of knowledge, brand equity and key relationships on a range of leading food and drink events worldwide. The expertise they add to our show and into our strategy gives us the edge, to host a truly world-class event.
What is the F&HA/Hostex method and why has it proven to be so successful in your opinion?
The key really has been industry-wide support - the show delivers value to an industry that sees the show as its show, and has continued to do so for many years. The show is a platform where the industry comes together, from a supplier side to the visitor/buyer side. We love to hear stories from exhibitors that say they secured a deal with this or that group and vice versa from industry figureheads that came to the show and were able to source a product they had been looking for or had been in a presentation that offered them immense actionable intelligence that they can use in their respective jobs
What is the value of a pan-African food, drink and hospitality trade show?
South African sales of locally manufactured food and beverage were R424-billion in 2015. What is the value of a pan-African food, drink and hospitality trade? If we represent a small percentage of this market, we are able to provide food, drink and hospitality businesses an opportunity to take up a piece of this pie (or a bigger piece). We do so by connecting the industry on an annual basis, where they can see new developments, trends, products, services and in general keep abreast of developments within the industry.
What has changed in the African food and hospitality landscape since the launch of the trade show and what effect do these changes have on the event itself?
I’d say the biggest change has been the focus of South African businesses focusing on the continent of Africa more and more. On the flipside of that, international businesses are focusing more on Africa as well (and South Africa in particular). These changes have meant that South African businesses need to be more competitive in the market to protect market share and this conversely means that we are seeing in some cases more participation from local companies to stay relevant and competitive. This focus on the continent means we have had to focus more on bringing in African visitors and buyers to our trade show to be able to deliver value to the exhibitors.
What do you wish for F&HA 2017 and beyond?
I wish every success to our exhibitors, and my wish for visitors is that they take in the experience we have created for them and derive value, now and for the foreseeable future, from what they saw and experienced at F&HA 2017. This is what gives us meaning. So, my wish for the future would be that we are able to continue to deliver this value and create a show that is both meaningful and valuable to the industry for the future.
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