'Great' Additions to IFEX 2020

The Trade event for those in the food, drink, retail and hospitality sectors –

Northern Ireland’s premier food, drink and hospitality event, IFEX, returns to the TEC, Belfast from Tuesday 24th – Thursday 26th March 2020, and with upwards of 7,000 visitors expected to attend, it’s one of the most eagerly anticipated foodservice events of the year.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, next year’s show is set to shine a light on the importance of IFEX to Northern Ireland’s hospitality sector and the role that it has played in the development of skills within the sector since the show’s first event, back in the King’s Hall.

Central to the long-standing success of Northern Ireland’s largest trade event is the International Salon Culinaire, headed up by Salon Director, Sean Owens. As the stomping ground for student and industry chefs, Salon Culinaire is hotly anticipated as THE place where the ‘best of’ culinarians in Northern Ireland are formally acknowledged. Aimed to raise the bar in culinary skills, across the three days of the show, over 250 professional and student chefs will compete in over 30 category competitions. Vying for the title of Chef of the Year, six Northern Ireland chefs will get hot under the collar, battling it out for the accolade that’s previously been held by Michael Deane, Chris Bell, Roisin Gavin and Paul Cunningham, and some of Northern Ireland’s most respected catering colleges will go head to head in Street Food International.  

An industry event, the show is retaining its excellent relationships with associations in the Province including Hospitality Ulster, the Federation of Small Business, Retail NI, Food Standards Agency, Restaurants Association of Ireland and The Guild of Fine Food.

Committed to serving up a great event is IFEX Event Manager, Caroline McCusker, who comments: “IFEX has retained its place as the biggest, most comprehensive tradeshow for the foodservice and hospitality sector – always building and evolving – and we’re extremely proud to deliver an industry event that puts skills at the heart of the show.

“IFEX is on course to become a sell-out event, with 160sqm of floor space sold to new exhibitors, and with IFEX enjoying a record attendance in 2018, we’ve high hopes for the 2020 event.”

Home to over 200 exhibitors across the three-day event, many new exhibitors will sit alongside some of the biggest names in foodservice including, Lynas Foodservice, Henderson Foodservice, Hugh Jordan, BD Foods and Stephens Catering Equipment.

Organised by leading events company, Montgomery Group (previously Fresh Montgomery) the trade expo has once again partnered with The Guild of Fine Food to introduce the Great Taste Market to IFEX, which will house many ‘great taste’ award-winning producers from across NI and ROI. From cheese producers to tea houses, the Great Taste Market has already attracted many leading names including S. D. Bell, Yellow Door Deli, Goodness Grains, Woodlab Distillery, Ballymaloe Foods, and Warbler & Wren.

For small producers the addition of the Great Taste Market at IFEX provides the perfect platform to connect with key buyers, make valuable contacts and increase awareness of their products. As well as the array of exciting food and speciality products on offer, IFEX has partnered with Hospitality Ulster to launch a NEW Drinks Zone.

Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster comments We are seeing a boom in craft products like gin, beer and more recently rum, where people enjoy sampling a wide range of different types of drinks, so this new offering at IFEX – the Drinks Zone – will showcase the newest drinks and freshest innovations all aimed at revolutionising the offerings available and make it easy for publicans to find something that will take their offering up a notch.” 

From showcasing the latest food and drink trends to industry leading technology, equipment and services, IFEX will feature a range of visitor attractions designed to inspire and engage and is THE must-attend trade event for 2020.

Secure your FREE space at NI’s largest attend event for the hospitality, catering and tourism industry. Keep your eyes peeled as registration goes live any day now!