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AB7 organisers look to SA companies to fill last eight stands at food and beverage expo

“There are only eight stands left, and I would love to see some dynamic South African companies grab these stands at Africa’s biggest food and beverage trade expo. Over the years, our research has shown that most international visitors want to see and source more South African products,” says John Thomson of show organiser Exhibition Management Services (EMS).
“AB7 2015 has started off with a real ‘bang’. With four months still to go till show time, we have been inundated with enquiries from trade visitors all over the world wanting to register to attend AB7,” adds Thomson. “In addition to the thousands of visitors from 44 countries that regularly attend, we have had calls from potential new visitors in Finland, Greece, Cameroon, Canada, Egypt, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan taking the total up to 55 for now”

Visitors want more South African products
“The biggest misunderstanding of Africa’s Big Seven is that South African companies and manufacturers see it as a domestic expo, when in fact, it attracts more international visitors than other events in Africa. There’s a long list of regular South African exhibitor companies that have enjoyed excellent business from making international sales at the show,” says Thomson.
AB7 has delivered excellent success for exhibitors over the years:
1. Zoomaratic Beverages signed a big trade deal at AB7 2011, resulting in the export of 40 000 boxes of fruit juice to Tanzania. Its presence at AB7 increased business volumes tenfold. Company owner Raj Vala reported much valuable feedback from Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, and in fact signed a sales agreement shortly after that show.
2. McKinley Chocolates, a small chocolatier based in the tiny town of Clarens in the Free State, gained valuable leads from five airlines, four national hotel chains and six international hospitality groups at AB7 2013. Owner Gavin Boyd reported an offer from an India-based company to relocate his business to cater for their 400 million annual client base. Since then, the company has exhibited at AB7 every year.
3. Turkish exhibitor Istanbul Gida/Ulker signed major deals at AB7 2014 for 23 containers of biscuits, chocolates, cakes and crackers worth $997,000. Bulent Erata, the company’s regional sales representative for Africa, said AB7 was a very encouraging development for his business in the southern African market.
What are visitors looking for?
At last year’s AB7, visitors reported there were not enough exhibitors of manufacturing equipment, baking equipment, coffee products, health products, packaging equipment, and wine producers, and catering equipment at the show.
“If you are a South African producer of any of these products, AB7 is the perfect platform to showcase your business and products to regional and international buyers. Book your stand at AB7 now, before it’s too late. There are only eight stands left,” saysThomson.

Made-in-Italy Pavilion at Africa’s Big Seven

In other AB7 news, Kölnmesse Italy, organiser of the Anugafoodtec show, and Fiere di Parma, organiser of the Cibustec show, will jointly stage an Italian Pavilion at the expo this year.

“Kölnmesse and Fiere di Parma have a long history of cooperating in joint projects to promote agribusiness around the world,” says Thomson. “With successful shows in China, Japan and Thailand, they are now focusing on African markets in partnership with EMS. AB7’s first ever dedicated Technology Pavilion is a prélude to the European/South African consortium staging a yearly food industry event in the region from 2016.”

“AB7 is a massive opportunity for Italian companies to exhibit in South Africa, the premier gateway to sub-Saharan markets,” says Lara Marsilio of Kölnmesse Italy. “African economies are seeing average growth of 4.7% compared to significantly lower growth rates in Europe, Japan and the US.”

For more information contact Lineke van der Brugghen, EMS, [email protected]