Despite challenges faced by the New Zealand food service industry, operators continue to exhibit exceptional resilience and adaptability. Their unwavering spirit, coupled with a burning desire to serve returning customers, has paved the way for a remarkable revival in the wake of the last few years.
As evidence of this revitalisation, the upcoming Fine Food NZ trade event, scheduled for June 25-27 in Auckland, serves as a vital barometer for the industry's health at the same time reinvigorating the restaurant & cafe sector.
According to Deb Haimes, Sales & Event Manager for the event, the overwhelming interest from sponsors, exhibitors, and delegates is a clear indication of the industry's robustness and its upward trajectory.
"Our industries have endured trying times, but the surge of enthusiasm surrounding the event signifies that we are leaving the worst behind us and moving forward with renewed energy," says Deb Haimes.
The Fine Food New Zealand event has already garnered participation from over 250 exhibitors, with delegate registrations surpassing 5,000 for this exclusive trade-only affair. This impressive response, indicative of the industry's eagerness to forge ahead, presents a stark contrast to trials of the last few years.
Source: Fine Food NZ
Supporting this optimism is the 2022 Hospitality Report by the NZ Restaurant Association, revealing annual sales for the year ending September 2022 rebounded to a record high of $13.38 billion, surpassing pre-pandemic trading levels by 7.7%.
Notably, the catering sector, devastated by event cancellations, experienced a sales increase of 8.4% compared to 2021 for the same period. These encouraging figures highlight the pivotal role played by the hospitality sector in attracting international tourists and enriching the lives of every New Zealander.
Beyond its local impact, the Fine Food New Zealand trade event is drawing international attention from suppliers in the food, beverage, foodservice, equipment, and packaging industries seeking to enter or expand their presence in the thriving New Zealand market.
Simultaneously, it offers a platform for international merchants interested in introducing Kiwi products to distant markets and customers.
An excellent example of New Zealand's innovation capturing overseas interest are a range plant-based products organisers believe are destined for exciting futures.
Given the multitude of opportunities, Haimes encourages smaller producers to attend the event or consider exhibiting. She emphasises that Fine Food New Zealand presents a unique platform where business transactions unfold on the exhibition floor. International visitors actively seek exceptional Kiwi products and explore prospects for expanding into their respective markets.
Fine Food New Zealand enjoys the support of esteemed partners such as Tasman Liquor, Service Foods, Anchor, Gilmours Wholesale Food & Beverage, NZ Chefs Association, Bidfood, the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, FMCG Business, Hospitality Business, Baking New Zealand, and Restaurant and Café.
'Together, let's celebrate the remarkable rebound of an industry that continues to create and serve food customers love and enjoy. Join us at this prestigious gathering of industry professionals and experience firsthand the resilience, passion, and unwavering commitment by the New Zealand food service industry', says Deb Haimes.
The highly anticipated exhibition takes place at the Auckland Showgrounds from June 25-27. Trade delegates can attend the event for free by registering online by CLICKING HERE.