Africa’s Big 7 is part of Retail & Hospitality Week 2017 at The Gallagher Conference Centre, Johannesburg for June 25-27, which brings together the continent’s biggest retail products show SAITEX and The Hotel Show Africa 2017, the internationally successful hospitality brand, launching in Africa this year.
The food industry is one of the most powerful in economic terms…What are the actual situation and the future expectations?
Requirements are changing though and the 2017 show will reflect that – from a new focus on specialist ingredients, flavours and food trends to the latest production and technology-driven processes.This year’s show will be brought into line with buyers’ needs offering essential information, live demonstrations and discussion with a bit of inspiration too. The rebrand and repositioning are reflected in everything we do in terms of content, visitor & exhibitor engagement, show collateral and website.South Africa has a diverse and thriving food and beverage sector successfully serving all price sectors and offering choice and convenience, from its supermarkets to its restaurants.
Why is South Africa the best place to organise a trade fair like this one?
We decided to invest in South Africa because it offers a strong gateway to sub-Saharan Africa. It has good infrastructure, a stable economy and is one of the region’s most developed nations in international business terms. The country also has an established exhibition and conference sector and some good venues.
We have other shows across the continent but Africa’s Big 7 is well known and with the changes implemented this year, we believe it offers the finest platform for the sector.
Besides the products, Africa’s Big Seven offers technology solutions…what are going to be the main novelties in this edition?
Drought hit southern Africa hard, we have exhibitors specifically addressing that and also exhibitors who are targeting the growing middle class, consumers who have greater expectations from their pre-packaged food and choice expectation.From an entertainment perspective, there are few trade shows that match food and drink for the sheer fun that can be had – everyone eats and everyone drinks. So, special features at AB7 2017 include Café Culture featuring competitions and barista expertise with a healthy blend of mixology, and The Ultimate Hotel Chef Challenge 2017, which will bring together sub-Saharan Africa’s finest in a showdown worthy of Africa’s premier food show.
We have exhibitors who will offer demonstrations in a dedicated show area too from clever ingredients to smart packaging solutions and, of course, The Food Forum conference programme offers a strong line up of international speakers thanks to dmg’s international reach.
Could you highlight some of your conferences in this year?
The Food Forum 2017 is a three-day conference focused on key issues across the food sector – from new developments and trends in the restaurant and hospitality sector on day one, through to the manufacturing and processing industry on day two and on the final day, the focus falls on farming and agribusiness. Each day is themed and targeted at specific areas of the industry focused on the key issues but mindful of the special requirements of the sub-Saharan sector.
Importantly this year, attendees also gain career-enhancing recognition for attending the Food Forum 2017. Each session earns Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation for attendees. CPD has been operating around the world and we’ve introduced it to South Africa in 2017. CPD benefits the employee, the employer and ensures dmg conferences are of recognised international standard.
The Food Forum first day is focused on ‘market perspectives and growth strategies’, where delegates include executive chefs, heads of f&b as well as individuals responsible for sourcing and buying. The day starts with Wendy Albert, the CEO of the Restaurant Association of South Africa, with an overview of South African food retail and restaurants looking at key drivers and trends for the future.