November 12, 2009
The fall is a fairly busy time for industry trade events in Canada, and October this year was no exception. In the past month, the ATS team attended two noteworthy industry trade shows, both of which highlighted key trends occurring in the Canadian and international market. The ATS team attends these shows to interact with industry and see what's occurring in the market place, such as the issues and trends affecting the Canadian industry. We remarked this year that some more recent trends were able to buck the recession's effects quite well, while some products essentially disappeared. Overall we found some truly remarkable products that should be leading the way in food trends in the coming year.
As always, we will be sharing our experiences at these shows in key reports that are currently under way, and combining our experiences with events from April 2009 through March 2010 to bring you reports highlighting the big trends for the year.
The Ethnic and Specialty Food Expo (ESFE), held in early October, is now in its fourth year, and the show proved once again to be a key forum for Canadian businesses to showcase their innovative products and make connections with buyers. Hosting over 70 exhibitors, the show featured new and returning food and beverage products from the Canadian retail market. The ATS team performed an evaluation of key trends that affect the national and international ethnic, specialty and organic food markets. We were able to identify new innovative products present at the show and emerging developments in the industry, and of course future reports will share these developments with you. Look for the ESFE report in late November or early December.
Events like Ethnic and Specialty Food present a unique opportunity for Canadian producers to meet with Trade Commissioners, discuss potential markets, get an assessment of their product's viability and more generally meet an excellent reference and contact point. At this year's event the department brought in four Canadian Trade Commissioners who hosted one-on-one business meetings between Canadian suppliers and American buyers. Exhibiting at a Canadian trade show is always an excellent way to meet buyers, evaluate competitors and get an overall sense of the sector, but promoting at an event that has Canadian Trade Commissioners conducting out reach activities is a real bonus, and one not to be missed.
The ATS also sent representatives to the Grocery Innovations Canada 2009 trade show in late October. This event is a showcase of supermarket trends and new food and beverage products; essentially what we'll see on shopping shelves in 2010.
While experts argue over whether the recession is still in force or slowly waning, we were interested in what might have changed from 2008 to 2009, and where grocery trends were heading for 2010. The resiliency of the grocery market as a whole and strong turnout for the event (more booths and better attendance than 2008 at first glance) was hopefully a good indicator for the grocery industry for 2010.
As kind of a sneak peak of what we saw, the two shows both boasted a healthy presence of Caribbean styled foods, and an abundance of healthy snack options. Grocery Innovations in particular highlighted products focused on children, healthy snacks and new school lunch options which focused on being healthy, allergen conscious and more importantly interesting to kids.
Look for trend and new product reports from these shows to appear on the ATS site before January 2010, and keep an eye out as well for the 2009 edition of our annual Canadian Foodservice and Retail Grocery Trade Shows: 10 Key Trends report, summarizing the major trends of all the Canadian trade shows that the ATS team attends throughout the year.
These Blogs have led to quite a few new enquiries, and we are committed to sharing universal or relatable comments, so please get involved. Send us your questions relating to countries, markets, products, opportunities or access issues and we will work to get them answered and discuss the issues that are front of mind in the sector today.
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Until next month.
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