Last week we visited Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2018 in snowy Glasgow to see what’s new, talk to the food producers, distributors and the people in the know to bring you 10 Speciality Food Products You Need On Your Shelf This Year.
It’s been a good few years since we last visited the show. In fact, you may have noticed but it’s been a fair few years since WBC exhibited at trade shows at all. That’s not because we have nothing new to show you. Quite the contrary, but trade shows are massively expensive as you know, and like many of you out there we decided to tighten our belts a bit and focus on developing new ranges that you told us would help you sell more and display better.
This year, we’re taking it up another notch and bringing you some brand new designs, particularly for the food catering, display and merchandising markets. And we can’t wait to show you them. And instead of doing the big shows that many around the country don’t always have the luxury of getting to, we’re hoping to get out on the road this year and travel across the UK to smaller more intimate trade shows and association groups, to meet you wherever you are. So watch this space
Scotland’s Speciality Food Show 2018
SSFS has been running for a decade now, and having joined forces with Speciality Food Show Edinburgh, it’s created Scotland’s largest trade sourcing event for the speciality food market. With a launch gallery for young companies just starting out, a craft gallery and the best product awards judged by industry experts from the National Trust and Top Drawer it can be a great place to get inspired for the year ahead.
Sods law, Scotland was caught up in a snow blizzard on day one. I was reliably informed that this had a significant impact on the footfall, with many of the trade shows visitors coming from gift shops and food emporium across the highlands of Scotland. They just couldn’t physically get there.
The thing about trade shows…
The thing about trade shows is the more you go to them, the harder it is to find that extra special something that jumps out at you as unique.
I decided that from the time I entered the building, i’d only report on businesses that either A) aesthetically appealed to me. Literally stopping me in my tracks with a unique or attractive way to display their products. I included really great packaging in this too B) Those with products that genuinely tasted out of this world. C) companies whose personalities demanded you gave them your attention. I’m referring to those manning the stands with some kind of penash or bonafide interest in what they’re selling. You’d think that was a given, but it’s not.
The 10 businesses chosen below, offered something to me in one or a combination of those ways. And their products are HOT right now too, so look them up and get them in your store today.
Disclaimer: I received nothing by way of pay off, goodies, or extra special loving from any of these companies listed.
1. Merchant City Brewing Company
One of the first stands we came across, clean modern branding that instantly appeals to the craft drinks market, that’s so big right now. No messing. Does what it says on the tin – this is Glaswegian Craft Beer, no more, no less. These newcomers to the market have only recently started trading and in their own words “want their beers to reflect the quality, character and diversity that makes up the best of Glasgow’s Merchant City.”
We wish them all the best of luck in the coming year. Go lend them your support.
2. Primrose Kitchen
Note to exhibitors – don’t try so hard. Be yourself; smile and make eye contact. Don’t ogle people’s name badges as if making a mental note as to whether their important enough to engage with.
Primrose Kitchen got this bang on from the start. Not only did the product totally stand out to me; Goji, black pepper & Lemon Granola?? I mean come on. We’re sold. But right there exhibiting it, biggest smile on the planet was Primrose Matheson, the products maker. Double Whammy. Primrose Kitchen are veterans in the industry, and their cereals will slow your life down and inject it with goodness. If you’re not stocking their cereals already, don’t wait too long.
Ok so we cheated a little bit. Stopping by our friends at Cotswold Fayre stand, and asked Regional Account Manager, Rachel Burberry what’s new on their shelves that you should keep an eye out for. The next 3 products are Cotswold’s hot tips for what’s selling well this season. Click on the images to buy the product from Cotswold Fayre.
3. Eat your hat
4. Kante Avocado Oil
5. World of Zing
6. Aye Love Real Food
A family business whose only aim is to make food that make both them and their customers happy – can’t say fairer than that. They discovered they were pretty good at making Scotch Eggs and it’s now their main product. Thank goodness that they did, I have a weakness for scotch eggs and these don’t disappoint.
7. The Whisky Sauce Company
I do love condiments it has to be said and this company state they are proud to be Scottish (have yet to meet a Scot who isn’t), use only 100% natural ingredients, and are true masters of their craft. Packed with flavour, these guys have a different days of the week. But what really caught my eye was the branding and packaging, slick, current, and trendy. The branding colours reminds me a little of those Nespresso coffee pods you get.
8. Sechuan Buttons by Koppert Cress
Koppert Cress win hands down for the most bizarrely exciting tasting product I’ve ever eaten. Ever. And that’s saying something.
Electric daisy, buzz button, toothache plant … the Szechuan Button is an edible flower that goes by many names, all of which point to its uniquely “electrifying” properties when chewed on. Which of course I did of course, and it tastes like a 9-bolt battery! The flower provokes a multi–sensory experience, including mouth tingling, numbness and increased salivation making it an unusual surprise in both food and drinks. Spice up your cocktails people!
9. Little Dippers by the Little Herb Farm
Last time I checked I couldn’t find these on their website, so it may be that they were only showcased at the Scotland show. In any case, they come highly recommended by distributors the Cress Company as a great seller for your shelves. They’re like baked wafers that come in various different flavours and you’re mean to dip them in sauces. Take my word for it, skip the sauce – you could eat these on their own as snack and die a happy man.
Saving the best for last, I don’t really know where to start with these guys. They are everything you want from a visit to a trade show. A product that leaves you wanting more, sold by a character that makes you instantly forget you’ve been on your feet for 4 hours. Raunchy by name (wouldn’t be too surprised if also by nature) these guys have character in buckets and cakes to back it up.
RAWNCHY is a pioneering food brand that creates a stunning range of raw desserts. And get this, All RAWNCHY’s products are dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free, 100% plant based and organic. VEGAN, KOSHER and HALAL. Plus all of RAWNCHY’s packaging is recycled or biodegradable. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Skip the website and go straight to their instagram page, that’s where all the action is!