First stop in the New Year must be Scotland’s Speciality Food Show in Glasgow, which is a mecca of fine food and drinks produced by artisan creators from far and wide. But this is a Show that is not just about buying but has so much more to offer with awards, workshops, networking and talks among the many added extras.
Nothing beats the actual face-to-face interaction that visits to Trade Shows facilitate, where buyers can meet with suppliers, taste the products, check out the packaging and understand if it’s something their customers will go for. On the back of another bumper tourist season in Scotland there’s every reason to come and source products before the competition beats you to it.
The Jan 2020 Show is already well over three quarters full, and the range and quality of the exhibitors is staggering. On trend this year are delicious soft drinks catering for the non-drinking market, such as the Paisley Drinks Company, Cushiedoos, Alba Cola and Summerhouse drinks. Every fine food outlet and farm shop is well aware of its eco credentials and there is an increase in non-plastic alternative producers such as Ecobags, B plastic free and Bumblewraps.
Food from the regions has always been popular and new for this Show is Flavours of Fife with at least 11 companies such as Coul Brewing, Lindores Abbey, Rumburra Scotland, Christopher Trotter and Burntisland Fish Co. Orkney, Shetland and Northern Ireland will all also host large stands brimming with innovative products.
This Show aims to inspire with its Launch Gallery – a hotbed of originality and innovation where young producers will showcase their wares, such as Woodmill Game, Badachro Distillery, Smoky Barrel Jerky, Grace Chocolates changing lives and Isle of Mull seaweed.
The Show informs with its new ‘Talking Shop’ area, where industry experts will impart gems about retailing, instruct on how to improve your retail business and entertain with some light-hearted sessions. Adding to this mix the very popular Nessie’s Den is back, where a handful of exhibitors will present their products to the panel of retail experts for their feedback. Scotland’s Speciality Food Show is a social hub – there are plenty of networking opportunities, be it around the Best Product Award areas, or by making use of special Show discounts in local eateries.
Linda Finlay from The Smiddy Blair Drummond said: “Every year there are more and more great products to try and stock and interesting talks to hear. The selection of suppliers is great and offers a huge variety of products for all visitors. It is so important to have a show for Scotland, showcasing all our delicious foods and wonderful products and even better that not much travel is involved for many of the visitors.”
Show Director Mark Saunders added: “The aim of this Food Show is to ensure we are a one-stop Show for all independent retailers, both food and gifts, in Scotland and northern England. Here they can be inspired, place orders and ensure they are ahead of the game for the coming season.”