HORECA®/GASTROFOOD/ENOEXPO® Trade Fair – the fair that makes you want to come back!
On 16–18 November, EXPO Kraków hosted the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD/ENOEXPO® Trade Fair – the largest meeting of the catering and hotel industry in Poland. More than 300 exhibitors, 8,843 visitors, training sessions, workshops, Master Class tastings, prestigious wine competitions and valued accompanying events, i.e. The Polish Roasting & Cup Tasters Championship and the Polish Venison Championship – this is how the three days full of impressions, new experiences and unforgettable emotions can be summarised in a nutshell.
Trade fairs as an important element of a company’s strategy
At the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD Trade Fair, exhibitors presented equipment for restaurants, cafes and other catering establishments as well as hotels and leisure facilities. For many companies, participation in the fair is a critical point in their marketing strategy, as the opportunity to showcase products and services to a broad audience helps save time and money. It also brings measurable benefits in the form of new contacts. The Trade Fair exceeded my expectations, as I had set myself up for minor-scale business contact and a smaller audience, but in the meantime, our offer attracted interest from large operators in the HoReCa sector. I was amazed by their presence at this fair, so I am glad. Above all, we wanted to present ourselves with a new brand on the market, and –I may as well admit it – also establish good contacts for the distribution of our products emphasised Przemysław Bekasiewicz, Business Development Manager, Florencja Dystrybucja, the exclusive distributor of Italian San Montana ice cream. The HORECA®/GASTROFOOD Trade Fair is prepared for professionals aiming to reach a specific customer. Thanks to the positive feedback from the exhibitors, it is safe to say that the objective has also been achieved in 2022. This year's edition, as every year, is excellent. It is important that the exhibitors here are professionals – they are professional companies with professional equipment, offering professional solutions. People who come here are looking for professional solutions, not the cheapest ones, and we offer such solutions – said Adrian Pittner in summation, Head of the Marketing and PR department, Kala Sp. z o.o. The quality of the acquired contacts was also noted by Marcin Wajda, Marketing Director, Winterhalter Gastronom Polska – The HORECA® Trade Fair this year, as in principle every year, is a vast, significant and very interesting regional event for us. A great advantage of the fair is the access to valuable people who focus on product quality, service quality, and the quality of their business, and constantly strive to improve it. Looking at the turnout, you can tell that there was interest. We certainly reached very concrete contacts, we had many talks. Several ready-made contracts are already on the table. I evaluate the fair positively.
United States Department of Agriculture Pavilion
On the first day of the fair, the American pavilion was officially opened with the participation of US Consul General Erin Nickerson, who emphasised while cutting the red ribbon together with the Counselor for Agriculture of the US Embassy Alicia Hernandez and the President of the Kraków Fair Grażyna Grabowska – The United States is delighted to have its pavilion at the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD Trade Fair again, after a break caused by the pandemic. It is proof of long-term relationships. Exhibitors present fantastic products from the United States, from beer and wine to dried fruit, nuts, and excellent beef. The Kraków Fair organised a great event. EXPO Kraków is simply fantastic and all the exhibitors are delighted with how well this fair has been prepared. We really look forward to further development of Poland's relations with the US thanks to all these goods imported from the United States. Poland is the largest market for US-produced food and beverages in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2019, the total value of food imported by Poland amounted to almost USD 26 billion, of which USD 512 million was the value of imports from the United States. The HORECA® Trade Fair was a fantastic opportunity to test products and establish new business contacts with American manufacturers.
Polish Venison Championships
The leitmotif of the demonstration zone at the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD Trade Fair was wild game cuisine. It was, therefore, no coincidence that the fair hosted the 3rd edition of the Polish Venison Championships organised by the Las-Kalisz Company. This is Poland's only cyclical culinary competition aimed at popularising venison in the HoReCa sector. The task for this year's participants was to prepare a starter of rabbit meat and liver and the main course of roe deer leg. Two-person teams consisting of a chef and an assistant cook had 120 minutes to compose both dishes (ten portions each). First place in the competition went to Jakub Żymelski and Bartosz Zajdel – representatives of the Antonińska Hotel & Restaurant and the Loft restaurant in Gostyń, who impressed the six-person jury of experienced chefs with their dishes. As Adam Chrząstowski – chef, culinary ambassador of the HoReCa Las-Kalisz brand, President of the Bocuse d'Or Poland Academy and Vice-president of the Polish Culinary Initiative emphasised – Venison is nature and health. Both venison and rabbit are natural products that we rely on because we are aware that they are the products of the future. Nutrition is going in this direction, and gastronomy is going in this direction. These are also our guests' expectations. It is the future and we stick to it. Adam Chrząstowski also appreciated EXPO Kraków for the possibilities offered by the facility –I recommend EXPO Kraków for organising such events. Two editions of the Bocuse d'Or, which I co-organised, were held here. There was the Hunting Fair, where we also had our stand as Las-Kalisz and our culinary presentations, and now the Polish Venison Championships were born here, and this is because it is professional here.
Polish Coffee Championships in Kraków
For the first time, the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD/ENOEXPO® Trade Fair was accompanied by the Polish Roasting & Cup Tasters Championship organised by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) - a trade association integrating individual baristas and coffee shops, roasters, hotels, distributors and producers. The competition aimed to see who was the best taster excelling in skill, accuracy in distinguishing flavours and aromas and speed in determining Specialty segment coffees. The double title of Polish Cup Tasters Champion and Polish Roasters Champion 2022 was awarded to Aleksander Smęt, Roast Master at LaCava – Specialty Coffee Roastery. The whole event was accompanied by a fantastic atmosphere offsetting the stress of competition – Everyone is pleased to have been able to come here, get in and have it all look the way it does. The stage prepared for the Championships is one of the better-organised stages and venues that we have had the opportunity to see over at least the last four years of the Polish Specialty Coffee scene. We are delighted and hope that we will continue our cooperation - emphasised Aleksander Krzych, Member of the Management Board of SCA Poland, adding, We have chosen this fair, and EXPO Kraków to organise the competition, because the venue is the most convenient place for this, as it combines two worlds in one place. The fair is attended by people interested in gastronomy – those running it or planning to invest in this business area. Therefore, this is the most suitable venue for the championship, for we have the opportunity to showcase the highest-level work of specialists.
The whole world in one place
Thanks to the ENOEXPO® International Wine Fair, which has been accompanying the HORECA®/GASTROFOOD Trade Fair for 19 years, EXPO Kraków turned into a meeting center for the industry representatives from around the world for three days. At the largest event of this kind in Poland, it was possible to meet exhibitors from, for example, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Romania, Portugal, Slovakia, Ukraine, Hungary and Italy. There was no end to tastings and conversations.
The ENOEXPO® fair grows in strength year by year as participants appreciate the numerous advantages of the event: presentations of wines and other spirits from many countries, meetings and workshops conducted by well-known experts, Master Class tastings and prestigious competitions, such as the International Wine Competition for the ENOEXPO® Medal and the Polish Wines and Ciders Competition for the ENOEXPO® Medal. Exhibitors also know that the fair provides great promotional opportunities as many potential customers can be met in one place and at one time – We are at the ENOEXPO ® Trade Fair for the first time. There is a good atmosphere here, and there are many people from the HoReCa sector people involved in wine production, including importers and distributors, as well as wine connoisseurs and amateurs. Czech wine is in demand among Polish customers, but it still needs to be promoted a bit, and the ENOEXPO® Trade Fair is a good place for promotion. We want Poles to know that there are vineyards in Southern Moravia. They can experience a great wine-tasting adventure there and learn that these wines, not only winning awards but also appreciated by admirers worldwide, are truly outstanding concluded Filip Hlavinka, the owner of Grono Tour and a representative of Jedlička Vineyard (The Czech Republic). The ENOEXPO® Trade Fair also allows you to identify the Polish market and customer expectations – ENOEXPO® was validation for us that the Polish consumer, the Polish HoReCa industry and Polish importers liked the taste of our wines. Not only have we won awards in competitions, but also the end users, i.e., those who take our wines home, have confirmed that our wines are an excellent fit in this market. Semi-sweet and semi-dry wines were a hit. Romania primarily offers dry and semi-dry wines, but Polish consumers who came to the fair asked for many semi-sweet wines in our portfolio. So, they liked the labels and the look and taste of the wine. We believe that it was a great event because it confirmed that our products would find their way into this market. We are pleased and we hope to see you next year as well since you shouldn't start out in the export market and only work one year and then sit and just wait for customers to come. This is an effort that must last for a few more years – stressed Rares Florea, Country Manager of the Domeniile Averesti Vineyard (Romania). Many foreign companies also choose ENOEXPO® as the fair is visited by numerous importers. We're glad to be here. The fair is exciting. We have made many contacts. These three days have been hectic for us but we are grateful to everyone who has arrived here. We represent the Commission, which brings together about 80 manufacturers. A considerable part of these brands already have their representatives in Poland, and this fair is to present the wines of other distributors and expand the importer group. ENOEXPO® are a vital part of our plan that we implement throughout the year concluded Luís de Castro, President of the Wine Commission of the Tejo Region (Comissão Vitivinícola Regional do Tejo).
Although wine predominates at the ENOEXPO® Trade Fair, cider and craft beer producers also find their way to the event very well while taking full advantage of the opportunities arising from it. - Both my partner and Iare satisfied. In our opinion, there is a massive turnout of visitors and a great interest in wines, including Polish wines and Polish spirits. When presenting ciders, we also meet many interested customers. These are retail customers who want to try craft cider, which is not yet widely available, and learn howit , tastes, and we made the acquaintance of many potential B2B customers, i.e., distributors or wholesalers from Kraków and from almost every voivodeship in Poland summarised Piotr Kowalczyk, a fruit grower and Cydr Chyliczki representative.
Participants of the HORECA®/GASTRFOOD/ENOEXPO® Trade Fair received a solid portion of inspiration, contacts and knowledge. In the HoReCa sector, we know that appetite grows with eating, which is why the organisers, having finished one edition, are already thinking about the next one. The time will come for details, but it is worth marking 8–10 November 2023 on your calendars today.