I popped down the motorway to the Good Food Show in Birmingham on Wednesday on a bit of a spying mission to see which brands were putting serious money into the event.
The surprising thing was how few of the big brands had turned up. Nescafe Collections had some great experiential activity going on (and a very slick team delivering it) and Carte D’or and Muller were giving away free ice cream and yoghurt respectively like there was no tomorrow.
But apart from that it was like the World’s Biggest Farmers Market, with regional producers flogging product like there was no such word as recession. Some punters had even brought large wheelie suitcases with them to cart their purchases around. The only real brands that were doing well out of the shopathon were ones like Rachel’s Organic, who were doing a roaring trade in four-yogurts-and-a-little-coolbag for £6.
Red marks go to Country Life for having the most annoying sampling team I’ve ever met and Black Magic (the retro chocs) for spending (what was presumably a lot of) money on a branded seating area for sampling and then failing to actually brand it beyond a single cardboard standee. Also to swimmer Sharron Davies who was on the Bernard Matthews stand being ignored by everyone and looking bored.
I don’t think we’ll be recommending to our clients that they buy into the Good Food Show next year. Unless we can find a way of rebranding them as regional producers and knocking up some mini coolbags…