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      • The Speciality & Fine Food Fair – can you afford not to be there?

      • Who doesn’t love a trade fair? Getting away from the daily grind(er), a chance to network and source new suppliers, to explore revolutionary concepts and find out what’s trending in your sector. On Sunday 1st September, Monday 2nd September and Tuesday 3rd September, the Olympia in Kensingston is hosting the Speciality & Fine Food Fair, this year celebrating its 20th anniversary. While owners of mobile coffee vans and mainstream cafés may shrug, this food festival ought to be one of the year’s calendar highlights for speciality coffee shops and independent restaurants. Some businesses maintain their market position by sticking with the menu and ingredients which loyal customers have grown to love; others seek to evolve continuously, moving with trends and embracing new flavours and concepts. If your business falls into the second type, can you afford not to be at this event?

        Travel aside, the event is completely free to visit. We think that, at the very least, attendees may find fresh inspiration among the flavours, dishes and even stand and brand designs they’ll find among the 500+ exhibitors. From confectionary to cheese, Caribbean to Cornwall, coffee to kimchi, there’s an extraordinary array of products from around the globe, and the exhibitors include everyone from start-ups to wholesalers and distributors. All anxious to win over new customers.

        Talks and discussions scheduled over the three days include food and drink trends, the meat-free movement, sustainability, sales, marketing and business advice.  The sessions need booking, though, so do check the calendar on the event website to secure your place.

        There’s also a live kitchen, with cookery demonstrations and food tasting, a discovery zone dedicated to displaying start-ups, and a bar where you can explore interesting food and drink couplings.

        If you’re always on the look-out for ways to catch local customers’ attention, for differentiators between your restaurant and the others on your high street, for accompaniments to serve with your artisan coffee, we think it’s well worth making it to this event next month. And if it’s not quite right for your business model, do check our coffee shop marketing calendar for other trade events held throughout the year.