This week the entire food and hospitality industry will be coming together for the first major tradeshow in Sydney for over three years, with the huge Foodservice Australia exhibition running from Sunday to Tuesday at the International Convention Centre.
Event Director Tim Collett says ‘it has been a long wait but finally the industry is coming together to talk about the future. A lot has happened over that time and this will be an amazing opportunity for all those operators to catch up with the trends and see where the industry is heading’.
The show will have over 400 exhibitors showing the latest food, drink and equipment. Visitors will be able to literally taste the new ideas and try out the gear.
Collett says automation is a focus this year. He says ‘every business is struggling to find staff and that is driving investment in retail and catering equipment that saves time and money. Chefs can now talk to their ovens over their phones. When they walk into a new kitchen they download all their recipes and processes. Point of sale systems are also getting smarter every month.
Making life easier on the food side is also convenience and prepared products. Collett says “if the kitchen is short on skilled staff these products can make up the difference. The quality is now right up there with freshly prepared products and the rising cost of labour means they are also price competitive.”
Another strong trends is plant-based foods. Collett says ‘this category has moved beyond the vegan niche and is now mainstreaming. In addition to the meat substitutes like burgers and mince we are now seeing brand new plant-based products. Consumers are demanding these products on menus and retail shelves. You need to keep to date’.
In addition to all the exhibitors there are a series of special events running on the show floor. They include the Café School and Sweet Spot Theatre which have free workshops running right through the day. Visitors can also watch the finals of the Chef of the Year Competition and the ACF Restaurant Challenge.
For those who want a bit more there are three professional conferences running alongside the show. On Sunday it is the new Australian Chef Conference; on Monday it is the National Restaurant Conference and on Tuesday it is the Aged Care Catering Summit. These events are designed to improve the business bottom line as well as careers. Tickets are still available with details on the website.
Foodservice Australia runs from 23-25 October at ICC Sydney. Entry to the show is free but you must register online and you must work in a food or hospitality business. That includes cafes, restaurants, bakeries, commercial kitchens, caterers, convenience stores and supermarkets. General public including children will not be admitted.
For more information and free registration visit www.foodserviceaustralia.com.au