At long last, the first trade show of the year with new design inspiration and innovative packaging ideas. But this event is SO very big that I could have quite happily spent two days sampling and chatting. Alas, my few hours there didn't really do it justice, but here are a few of the stands that caught my eye.
Riverford recipe box by Atlas Packaging
This kind of box design is more complex than it might look and the Atlas team have come up with a well thought through solution with some nice touches. The die is available for Atlas to use for other clients, so well worth checking out.
And the IFE World Food Innovation 2015
AWARD WINNERS were:
Mini Nom Nom's - healthy world food for kids
Lovely product, great concept, good story, and nice design. Please note, good photography really does go a long way when selling a product. It's a way of immediately capturing the essence of what you're selling - no words necessary!
Which stands drew in the visitors?
Of the bigger food and drink exhibitors, it was the market style stands which really seemed to draw me and other visitors in. Just like market stalls, the desire to go and taste was irresistible.
It was really clear that it's not by chance food markets have evolved into their existing successful format with open units and products free to sample - it's all geared up for maximum customer-product-salesperson engagement. If your product is as good as your customer anticipates, hey presto, job done.
IFE is all about sampling and getting as many visitors as possible to try your product so they can then spread the word in their circles. Every person you connect with could lead to that all important customer you've been working so hard to find. As I walked round, it was the stands doing active sampling who inevitably gathered the most interest.
My tips for successful IFE stand design:
- Maximise your event impact by giving your food samples to everyone and anyone who looks interested. Let them help themselves but also offer them out on trays. Why not let them take a sample home for later - as a perfect and most appreciated post event reviver.
- Raise up your counters - the higher your wares, the closer your product is to their mouths, noses and eyes! Plus, it encourages eye to eye contact with your sales team.
- Make sure your sales teams are happy, enthusiastic and talkative foodies. Give them the tools to help make that all important initial contact with the visitors - samples, leaflets, and more samples.
- Think of what makes your existing customers delight in your product and try to make sure your stand communicates that clearly. Above all, make sure your products are the hero, not the stand design. It's all about the product winning over your next potential big customer.
My favourite stands were:
The Chef's Deli with their enticingly displayed wares and high counter top showing off their meats – a great way to encourage eye contact with the sales person.
Harvey & Brockless Fine Foods also used the high countertop to good effect and their cheerful team really pulled in visitors for sampling while I was there.
Paxton & Whitfield had a relatively small stand area but it was a delight to see the cheese truckles [or as I like to call them 'chuckles'] stacked to make shelves – quite arresting.
Duke of Delhi chocolates caught me unsuspectingly on the last corner, at a bit of a traffic jam, and what delight it was. Fabulously exotic chocolate flavours with a crispy texture for people who like quality not quantity. Not surprisingly they are already in Fortnum's. Milk chocolate, cardamom and vanilla delhi mix bar - yum.
Ten Acre crisps and popcorn - see report from Lunch! 2014 - I'm still in love with these guys for their great tasting product, great brand and happy personality.
Watts Farm showed a beautifully lush union jack display made from fruit and veg promoting the NFUs www.votebritishfood.com. Those juicy strawberries looked heavenly...