Pacific flavours lift food show experience

All the eight companies that exhibited and sold their wares in the Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) Pacific Hub stand at last week’s Auckland Food Show have reported positive experiences.

Foodies thronged PT&I's Pacific Hub featuring eight Pacific companies at the Auckland Food Show last week.
Foodies thronged PT&I’s Pacific Hub featuring eight Pacific companies at the Auckland Food Show last week.

The Auckland Food Show (AFS) is a consumer show that connects a large number of exhibitors with thousands of dedicated food lovers in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. More than being just a trade show, the AFS is more about brand building and dealing with retail clients with direct sales achieved at the booth itself.

“Our exhibitors have all reported very favourable sales at the show. We created a facility called the Pacific Hub that hosted eight companies. This clustering initiative attracted other Pacific companies to exhibit in the same area as well, creating a unique Pacific flavour at the show,” Michael Greenslade, PT&I NZ Trade Commissioner said.

PT&I’s participation in the AFS is part of its annual Food & Beverage programme. This year it kicked off with 12 companies participating in the Fine Food NZ show followed by last week’s AFS.

The Pacific Hub at the AFS had a distinctive design and saw continual activity with visitors thronging the stands, sampling and buying product while also engaging in conversations with the exhibitors. New Zealanders, who have always felt a special connection with the Pacific Islands, were keen to hear stories about the places and the people where the products came from and how they were made.

rsz_img_5250The eight Pacific Island companies that participated were Papua New Guinea’s Banz Kofi; Niue Vanilla from Niue; C-Corp’s Solomons Gold chocolate and cacao nibs and from the Solomon Islands; Samoa Breweries’ Vailima Beer and Pacific Oil’s CocoSina coconut oil from Samoa; three companies from Fiji: J Punja NZ Ltd with bottled water, wraps, biscuits and other products; Carpenters Fiji with bottled water and FMF Foods Ltd with a range of biscuits.

For most exhibitors, participation at the show was much more than merely selling product. “They were equally interested in establishing online networks, collecting direct, face-to-face feedback, finding new distributors and establishing commercial trade links,” Mr Greenslade added. “All of the exhibitors are engaged in post Food Show discussions, which we will be closely monitoring. It is quite likely that further announcements of outcomes will be made shortly.”

Pacific Periscope will be profiling each of the eight exhibitors in forthcoming editions.

Celebrity Pacific chef Robert Oliver’s live cooking show accompanied by star Samoan entertainer Cindy provided an additional dimension to the Pacific flavour at AFS.

More than 30,000 people attended the show over the four days, according to AFS organisers North Port Events.

Summing up his comments on the show Trade Commissioner Greenslade said, “PT&I is delighted to support Pacific island companies attend these events and it was particularly pleasing to hear from participants for many of whom the food show was the biggest, best and most professionally managed show they’d attended so far.”

For more information email Joe Fuavao, Trade Development Manager PT&I NZ at joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

For more pictures of the Pacific Hub at the food show, please visit our Facebook page.

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