With the FoodFirst Trade Show only one month away, anticipation is building. With exhibitors from all over the country already having booked their spots and industry figures securing their tickets, this event will be the key addition to the foodservice calendar.

In light of excellent feedback from previous exhibitors, the 2018 exhibition has been extended with more interaction, engagement and information that will provide attendees with not only a reason to attend, but to stay longer. The one day only event will be strictly trade visitor s only, all requiring registration, unlike other trade shows where the public is admitted. The FoodFirst Trade Show will play host to an international contingent as well, with a large group from Australian foodservice distributors NAFDA making the trip across the Tasman.

As the media influencer in the b2b foodservice sector and a strong supporter and promoter of artisanal products, Restaurant & Café magazine is proud to partner with FoodFirst to launch Inspire+, an exhibition space for artisanal producers. Buyers know that trends are usually spotted amongst these smaller innovators, however, other food exhibitions are too expensive for artisanal producers and therefore these existing shows become stagnant, offering little of new value or interest to returning attendees. Inspire+ will bring the best in innovation in food and foodservice technology.

Also generating excitement is PITCHme, will offer the opportunity for suppliers to pitch their brand to a panel of buyers and influencers in the foodservice industry, with a total buying power of $2 billion. The panellists have the option of taking up the product, but more importantly, will give feedback and advice on the product.

Shaun Sullivan, owner of Penguin/Allround understands the unique nature of PITCHme. “Foodservice is dynamic always changing, consumers and chefs are always looking for what’s new,” he said. “PITCHme will help them understand were the market is trending.” Sullivan will be looking for people and companies who are prepared to back themselves in their business not just in passion but financially. “It needs to be different and stand out above the rest, not only in usability and need but in quality too.”

Joining Sullivan on the PITCHme panel is Byron Le Roux (head of food and coffee, No. 8 Retail Group), Danielle Lendich (CEO Wendy’s), Neil Brazier (executive chef, Sky City), Tony Green (GM sales and marketing, NAFDA Australia), Rose O’Keefe (buyer, Foodchain) and Jon Hassall (GM Foodco).

The entries have been flooding in thick and fast for the Vitasoy Espress Yourself Latte Art competition, with the People’s Choice Award voting kicking off on social media. Vitasoy Espress Yourself at the FoodFirst Trade Show will see the three judged finalists go head-to-head in a live latte art competition. The winner will take home $5000 cash, with second and third place receiving $2000 and $1500 respectively. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will also walk away with $1500. Judges include Takahito Koyanagi, a well-known competitor and judge on the latte art circuit with seven years’ experience as barista and coffee trainer and an expert judge for the National Hospitality Championships in Barista and Latte Art, and Patrick Yuen, a barista judge at the Auckland National Salon/NZ Hospitality Championships and other regional competitions since 2011.

“Vitasoy is delighted to be involved with the vibrant coffee culture in New Zealand through our partnership with the Espress Yourself competition,” said Chris Gillard, general manager of Vitasoy. “We can’t wait to see some of the creations.”

Coffex Coffee New Zealand manager Shamsi Röck is also keen to see the competition get underway. “We wish each competitor the best of luck, and look forward to seeing them there on the day,” she said.










NZ Chefs is also supporting the exhibition and will have a championship team on site as part of the Yes Chef area. Yes Chef will see live demonstrations by three well-known chefs using common ingredients in unique ways. Manuka smoked streaky bacon, potatoes and cheese will all undergo a transformation from the supposedly banal to the sublime as New Zealand’s top culinary talents get their hands on them.

The FoodFirst Trade Show will gather New Zealand’s leading foodservice companies under one roof. This unique trade event will provide guests with the tools, ideas and networking opportunities you need to build your restaurant, foodservice or hospitality business.