Warsaw Food Expo 2018 – a taste-full event
Although a relatively new project, Warsaw Food Expo has already made its mark in the category of industry fairs held in Poland. Its business-to-business meeting zone gathered the biggest ever in Poland number of foreign importers and retail and HoReCa buyers (hosted buyers) to conduct individual business-to-business meetings. Overall, in the course of three days of the fair there have been over 600 meetings between food manufacturers from Poland and beyond and importers from over 15 countries as well as over 10 buyers representing Poland’s retail chains and HoReCa market.
Mr Krzysztof Jurgiel – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development presided over the fair’s opening ceremony. It was also attended by representatives of government institutions working in the field of agriculture, including executive agencies involved in export promotion, as well foreign delegations, diplomatic corps and heads of food industry trade organisations.
The event featured close to 200 food manufacturers and processors as a showcase for their product offer, with distributors and retail representatives also in attendance. Therefore the wide range of products on show was truly remarkable. The fair showcased food industry products of the fruit and vegetable, meat and fishery, milk, pastry and bakery, wine, spirits, potato and starch, oil and fats sectors.
All the foodies visiting the fair could also feel satisfied – the regional food specialities from certain regions of Poland and Europe were available for tasting with the possibility to place orders with manufacturers from countries beyond Poland, including: Italy, Portugal, Great Britain, Latvia, Belarus, Vietnam, Bosnia-Herzegovina, South Korea, Austria, Turkey, among others. Foreign manufacturers showed interest in establishing business relations across Central and Eastern Europe, with Poland, due to its geopolitical location, seen as an excellent hub for market expansion. The booths presenting Polish voivodeships (provinces) and geographical areas proved a major attention-grabber with the visitors. This was the case with the booth showcasing the Lubelskie region – the honourable patron of the event, but also for the presence of other regions crucial for Poland’s agricultural sector such as Podlasie, Masovia or Wielkopolska (Greater Poland).
The big market players were also represented. The booth presenting healthy snacks proved particularly irresistible. The manufacturer of this delicacy – Sante – exhibited at the event as the fair partner. Sante also staged the children’s and parents’ cooking competition ”Cooking on Mum’s Day with SANTE”.
The event would not be complete without individual business meetings between food manufacturers and importers – retail chains and distributors from abroad. The B2B meeting section was attended by buyers from a dozen or so countries, including Egypt, UAE, Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, China, India, Mongolia, Lithuania, Belarus, Iran, Serbia and US. The business-friendly environment of the talks yielded delivery contracts signed already at the fair.
Also, this year’s edition of Warsaw Food Expo hosted panel discussions on topical issues most relevant to food inustry. They were co-organised with fair partners and the panellists representing the leading retail chains, research organisations and academia, processors and manufacturers. The debate co-organised with POHiD (Polish Trade and Distribution Organization) focused on responsible food management in retail chains while the debate co-organised with Polish Federation of Food Industry and chaired by Prof. Antoni Pluta (Faculty of Food Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences) addressed the latest trends in food manufacturing – opportunities for market expansion.
Cooking workshops and demonstrations held by All-Poland Association of Chefs and Patissiers provided the opportunity to expand one’s culinary expertise. Furthermore, well-liked media celebrity chefs – Robert Sowa, Pascal Brodnicki, Agnieszka Mielczarek and Robert Makłowicz gave a dedicated lecture on the ongoing evolution of Polish cuisine. Under the Cooks without Borders project, chefs and cooks from various restaurants in Warsaw joined forces to prepare the finest delicacies, while Kevin Aniston used his own inimitable pitch to invite the public to visit the stand.
Overall, three days of Warsaw Food Expo 2018 saw close to 7000 food industry professionals vist the fair.