B2B Taste market to strengthen the local economy
by: Gaël Staelens, Hogeschool Vives
Many small and medium-sized producers of farm and regional products are not strong enough to deliver large quantities of their products to institutional kitchens or food processing companies. That is why, among others, the Centre of expertise for agro- and biotechnology of VIVES, Inagro, EROV, PCG and POM West Flanders joined forces to investigate how local farmers and farm companies can strengthen their own sales and how they can jointly deliver local products to institutional kitchens.
The B2B Taste market took place on March 18th 2019. To prepare the food producers, they were given professional advice from a consultant on how to best prepare for the exhibition. The exhibitors were given tips on how to make contact, starting conversations, smile and actively listen to and look at opportunities together with their potential customers. In other words, to emphasize that local and regional products are made with a lot of passion. If you can convey the love for the craft to your visitors, they will value your products even more.
Results from the B2B Taste market
More than 100 local exhibitors participated in the Taste market. Tastings were provided for all visitors. The visitors came from institutional kitchens, retail and restaurants. The exhibitors with the same range of products were grouped at the fair. The visitors were immersed in a taste bath of dairy, drinks, vegetables and fruit, fish and meat, sweets and savory. The exhibitors and visitors were very pleased with the fair and gave an average score of 81.3/100 for our taste market. Almost all exhibitors indicated that they have made at least ten new contacts. Many of them even 20 or more. Several exhibitors confirmed that their new contacts were of interest to their business. A request from the exhibitors for the next event was an even greater presence of distributors and wholesalers.
In a next edition we will invest more in marketing the event to distributors and wholesalers, to make more of them to attend the fair. We will consider whether the producers also next time should be grouped by their products. Some of the exhibitors indicated that it would be nice if all the stands were mixed up. They believe that visitors would then look more for the various products. This will of course become more difficult if the taste market will get even bigger.
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