What’s cooking at IFEX 2018

IFEX, Northern Ireland’s premier food, drink, retail, and hospitality event, returns to the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast from March 20-22, 2018.

IFEX, Northern Ireland’s premier food, drink, retail and hospitality event, returns to the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast from March 20-22, 2018. Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer, along with our sister publications Licensed and Catering News, and Neighbourhood Retailer are the proud media sponsors to the event.

With thousands of visitors expected to attend, it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated industry events of the year. As a biennial event, IFEX 2018 is the only chance within the next two years for buyers to meet with over 200 suppliers and manufacturers, watch hundreds of chefs compete, and network with thousands of industry colleagues.

Toby Ward, managing director, Fresh Montgomery said: “IFEX is well-established as the biggest event in Northern Ireland for everyone who works in or supplies the hospitality and food sectors here. Once again this year, we are delighted to be working with leading Northern Irish trade publications such as Licensed and Catering News, Neighbourhood Retailer and Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer to ensure that all the good news from IFEX 2018 reaches the widest possible audience.”

Event specialists, Fresh Montgomery, has worked hard to create an exhibition that is set to be even bigger and better than previous shows and one which delivers exceptional value to both exhibitors and visitors alike. The Great Taste Market, showcasing the finest in award-winning products, is returning, and IFEX 2018 is set to become a ‘one stop shop’ for discovering and tasting some of the best food and drink products that Northern Ireland has to offer.

IFEX visitors, will meet a huge number of exhibitors at this year’s show including big brand names in foodservice, such as Lynas Foodservice, Henderson Foodservice, Stephens Catering Equipment, Bunzl McLaughlin, Flogas, Hugh Jordan, Golden Glen Catering, Nestle (Ireland), Galgorm Group and Musgrave MarketPlace –  who will sit alongside successful local companies such including Morelli’s Ice-cream, Suki Tea, Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, S.D. Bells, Papas Mineral Company and Yellow Door.

IFEX has once again partnered with The Guild of Fine Food to introduce the Great Taste Market to the show, showcasing the finest in speciality foods from a variety of Great Taste winners from across NI, ROI and GB.

NEW for 2018 is Street Food International: Set to sizzle, Street Food International will see teams of invited competitors from Northern Ireland’s catering colleges produce and serve a range of exciting modern street food style dishes.  Supported by Department for the Economy each team will cook up innovative, high quality ‘al fresco’ street food dishes that will be served to pre-ticketed diners during lunch service at IFEX.

In addition, the Edible Art display area will showcase competitors’ static submissions featuring hand-crafted works in fat, chocolate, marzipan and other foodstuffs.

Introducing Meat@IFEX

Meat@IFEX is a brand-new butchery and meat expo, that will sit alongside IFEX at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. For the first-time in history, the World Butchers’ Challenge will take place in Northern Ireland, and will be housed within Meat@IFEX.

Organised in-conjunction with Butchery Excellence International (Ireland), Meat@IFEX is set to host international delegates from across 12 countries as competitors compete on the global stage for the biggest prize in butchery – being named ‘Best Butchers in the World’.

Butchers from across Ireland will compete as ‘Team Ireland’ – sponsored by Kerry Group, McDonnells Queen Street and Spice O’Life Ltd – and they will be pitted against teams from throughout the globe.

Celebrating the Best Product of the Show

To recognise the excellence of the products on display, IFEX will be seeking out the ‘best of’ to be awarded with the prestigious Product of the Show Award.  Judged by an independent panel of industry experts, including Adrian McLaughlin, General Manager of Carton House and Chef Jack Duffy, this award will highlight the most innovative and high-quality product at IFEX across all categories including catering equipment, grocery, sustainability and technology.

If you are in the foodservice, catering, retail or hospitality industries, IFEX is the must-attend show for the industry. Advance registration is free via the website: IFEXexhibition.co.uk.