CATEX 2017 saw almost 12,000 visitors descend on the RDS, Simmonscourt, making it the biggest turnout for the exhibition to date. With footfall up by almost 10%, exhibitors reporting that substantial business was done and overwhelming positive feedback from visitors and exhibitors alike, CATEX 2017 really did serve up a show that will benefit all of those involved in the months and years ahead.
Organised by the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance, Larry Smith, Chairman of IFSA comments:
“IFSA, alongside our industry partners, has worked hard on this show for the past two years. Our goal was to make CATEX 2017 as good as it could be and the vibrancy and atmosphere over the three days was incredible.
Exhibitor stands were both impressive and engaging, with CATEX sponsors, Calor revealing a brand-new look and Bunzl offering up innovative business solutions and cost saving ideas.
From delivering on-stand masterclasses to showcasing efficient technologies, the quality of exhibitor stands throughout the show was striking. Exhibitors’ efforts to showcase their businesses in the best possible manner really added vibrancy to the event and for visitors, they came hungry sampling some of the thousands of quality food and drink products that were on offer.
Maureen Gahan, Bord Bia’s Foodservice Specialist, visited CATEX and comments:
“I was really impressed with the calibre of exhibitors at CATEX and the overall positive atmosphere at the show. Any of the food and beverage suppliers that I spoke to were delighted with the numbers of visitors and the opportunity to connect with key trade buyers.
“The foodservice market in Ireland is now worth €7.5bn and forecast to grow to over €9bn by 2020, offering a viable route to market and major opportunities for suppliers providing innovative products and solutions to meet changing consumer needs, and CATEX was a great place to showcase this”.
DAY ONE: Minister for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, officially visited CATEX on opening day, 21st Feb, and met with some of the 250 plus exhibitors.
Minister Creed praised the quality of local produce on show and welcomed the large crowds on the first day of the event, “The foodservice and hospitality sectors are vitally important to Ireland’s economy. To see the vibrancy and level of business being done here today is really positive.
“From large foodservice businesses to speciality suppliers in the Chefs’ Choice area, CATEX is helping to generate business for exhibitors and visitors alike, and with all-industry support, I hope that the buoyancy evident at the show will continue to deliver for the foodservice and hospitality businesses in the months and years ahead.”
A hotly-anticipated feature of CATEX 2017 was the Euro-Toques Ireland Chefs Masterclasses. Many of Ireland’s top culinary talents took to the stage for live demos and to share their tips with a packed audience, notable chefs included: Gearoid Lynch, Ed Cooney, JP McMahon, Graham Neville, Andrew Rudd and Gareth Mullins.
During the exhibition, rising stars in the industry were identified, new champions in their field were awarded and renowned industry experts were recognised for their contribution to this diverse sector. CATEX 2017 was Ireland’s showcase for local excellence and across the three days’ top awards were given to those who excelled in their fields:
The Irish National Cocktail Championship was won by Ilario Alberto Caparo, with his delectable drink entitled ‘The Boss’, using Moet & Chandon Champagne, Elderflower Liquor & Grey Goose Orange Vodka. Ilario, who beat of stiff competition from 22 of Ireland’s most talented and creative mixologists, will now go on to represent Ireland at the 2017 World Cocktail Competition in Copenhagen.
Niall Wynn, from Proper Order Coffee Co. stirred it up to be named the Avonmore Irish Barista of the Year. As Irish Barista Champion, Niall will go on to represent Ireland in the World Barista Championship in South Korea this November. Reda Matiejune, won the second major barista prize at CATEX, to be crowned Irish Cup Taster Champion 2017. Scoring an incredible 8/8, Reda will be representing Ireland at the World of Coffee Championships in Budapest, 13th – 15th June 2017.
One of the main events - the Chef Ireland Competitions – was oversubscribed with over 250 student and culinary chefs taking part, and many spectators cheering on their favourites.
Taking home one of the biggest awards at CATEX was Tobias Streitenberger, Head Chef at Mulroy’s, Castlebar who was crowned the Dalata Hotel Group Senior Chef of the Year.
Mariana Sweeney from Baxterstory was crowned the Dalata Hotel Group Junior Chef of the Year.
With over 250 companies showcasing innovative products and services, visitors had a wealth of new products to see, taste and explore. With everything from homemade yoghurt to revolutionary new cleaning equipment, CATEX 2017 really did deliver a vast array of products under one roof.
“Glastry Farm now has all-Island distribution and we are really delighted with the positive response to our products and the excitement generated with visitors. We’ve made some excellent and concrete leads at CATEX over the three days,” commented Will Taylor, from Glastry Farm.
New names were a welcome addition to the show and attending for the first time was PERK!ER. Founder Ann Perkins comments: “CATEX has been a very successful show for us – we launched our brand PERK!ER into the Irish market at the CATEX show, received amazing customer feedback and major orders from a wide range of valuable foodservice companies”
Returning to CATEX after a very successful 2015 was Around Noon. Emma Donnelly, Marketing Manager at Around Noon adds: “CATEX is the first event where we’ve showcased our new brands – Sweet Things and So Natural – and we’ve had incredible feedback. Over the three days, we met many potential new customers and have been able to spend time with existing customers so CATEX has really delivered for us.”
Paddy O’Connell from Paddy O’s Cereals says: “This is our fourth CATEX and it’s been the best show for us by far. We’ve made lots of new solid contacts and have been showcasing our extended range to existing customers, securing additional sales.”
CATEX took place on the 21st – 23rd February 2017 at the RDS, Simmonscourt. As THE trade event for the food, drink and hospitality industry, CATEX returns in 2019! Register your interest now – www.catexexhibition.com
PLANS FOR 2018: Next year, Food & Bev Live returns! Taking place on the 6th and 7th February 2018 at the Citywest Events Centre, Dublin, the two-day expo is the event to showcase your business, products and innovations. Contact EventHaus on 01 846 0020.
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