On 22nd October 4 members of the Collective Purchasing team ventured to the Hilton at the Ageas bowl in Southampton to attend the Bidfood winter food show.
Upon arriving Burt’s crisps, Honeybuns, proper corn and Cadbury greeted us! We indulged in some tasters (the Jim bean BBQ crisps from Burt’s crisps and all of the gorgeous gluten free goodies from Honeybuns were delish!) and took full advantage of the samples being handed out!
The main room
We then headed into the main room where there were loads of suppliers including;
- The Snaffling Pig company, who think the humble pork crackling is AWESOME. Their obsession has led them to launch a range of frankly delicious porky based items! On their table they were showcasing their piggin’ awesome advent calendar which we were very excited by! We also received a bag with a selection of flavours to take home and enjoy. These tasty snacks would make a great addition to any business looking for a more unique savoury snack!
- Innocent smoothie, who had a game of ‘smoothie pong’ set up; which of course we had to have a go on. We were given a selection of their new smoothies ‘Innocent Plus’ to try; a rainbow selection of juices, packed full of goodness and vitamins. They also have a wide selection of other drinks including dairy free options and coconut water. Perfect for the more health conscious customers out there.
- Moving Mountains® have created the most impactful food inventions of the century; plant-based meat that requires less land, water and produces less greenhouse emissions than what comes from producing a regular portion of animal meat. Moving Mountains® products are popular meat substitutes not just for vegetarians and vegans; but for flexitarians who have mixed feelings about their overall meat consumption. With texture so akin to animal meat, their mouth-watering meat substitutes converted us to their products!
Of course, as it was a Bidfood food show there was plenty of offerings from them. All four of us made a beeline for the dessert section and were treated to numerous options. After we headed to the next stand where they were showcasing their vegan and gluten free selections for Christmas. It was here we discovered Banana Blossom; a plant based protein is also known as ‘banana heart’. It is a purple skinned flower, shaped like a tear that grows at the end of a banana cluster. Traditionally used in south-East Asian cooking, it is now been seen as a fish substitute. They explained that this is because of its chunky, flaky texture. Although we didn’t get to try it; it was interesting to hear about it and I am sure we will see more of it in the future!
Whilst there we also had a great chat the guy from Simply Puree; a leading manufacturer of texture modified and specialist diet meals for the healthcare sector. They were showcasing their dishes for patients with swallowing difficulties, which in a care setting can be quite common. Click here to read a blog we wrote on puree food last year.
The dishes come in varying levels of texture depending on the residents needs. Ranging from level 6 which is soft and moist and can be broken down into pieces with a fork; all the way to level 3 which is a pureed food consistency, and requires no chewing. It was really interesting to chat to the company and see some of the examples of dishes that our customers use.
All in all it was a great day, in which we got to try some amazing food and potentially create some lasting relationships. Being able to experience the range that Bidfood is offering for Christmas and the range of products they sell year round means we are able to pass that knowledge onto our customers; hopefully encouraging them to try new products. Thank you to everyone we met and spoke to.