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EXPO: Africa’s Biggest Food and Drink Show to Be Staged in July


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With nearly 600 international exhibitors, Africa’s Big Seven Food and Beverage Trade Expo is double the size of last year’s event, indicating a major upsurge in the continent’s food and beverage industries, says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the event.

“This year we’ve virtually doubled the amount of space sold to 10,200m² ,” says Thomson. Africa’s Big Seven (AB7) is a combined seven-in-one Food and Beverage Trade Show encompassing all aspects of the commercial food business, from farm crop to retail shop, with the entire food service trade and beverage industry in-between. AB7 takes place from 25 to 27 July 2010 at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, near Johannesburg.

“AB7 is the biggest food and beverage trade show on the African continent and its seven component shows provide a valuable product showcase and business networking platform for anyone who is even remotely involved in the food and beverage industry,” says Thomson. “With Africa’s consumer market growing at an annual rate of over 6 percent compared to only 2 percent in the United States and the European Union (EU), the continent offers significant potential for local and foreign businesses to expand their markets, especially in the food and beverage sectors.”

Worldwide food and beverage markets experienced a major downturn in 2009, but the outlook for Africa is very positive. This year the retail, food and drink industries are expected to bounce back, with its growth surpassed only by the automotive industry. This growth is confirmed by the latest figures released by Statistics South Africa, which state that the total income generated by the food and beverage industry for the three months ended April 2010 increased by 4.6% to R8.6 billion, compared with the three months ended April 2009.
“There are some interesting statistics for AB7 visitors to consider,’ adds Thomson. “The global Halaal market is important but often ignored, with a size estimated between $500-billion to $2-trillion a year. And South Africa’s combined fresh and processed food exports for 2008 were valued at over $6-billion, compared to China’s total of almost $40-billion. The latter comprises only 3.2 percent of the world market. The potential for growth in African food production and export is vast.”
AB7 covers the entire food and beverage supply chain from produce and products to processing, packaging, catering and retail merchandising equipment. The expo delivers an astonishing range of products and services to its visitors. Last year over 12,000 visitors attended the expos, and were exposed to thousands of products exhibited by 350 companies from 39 countries.

AB7 is not only a source of new suppliers to the major chains but is ideal for entrepreneurs, small business owners and independent retailers to make new business contacts; find new markets and customers, and gain insights into new trends in the world food industry. One of AB7’s fundamental component shows is Agri-Food, the ‘crop-to-shop’ exhibition featuring fresh produce and crop products and the processes of getting it to market.

DrinkTech Africa appears for the first time at AB7, and encompasses the entire beverage and liquid food industry; from materials, ingredients and finished products to processing and manufacturing equipment for filling, packaging and distribution. Finished products include non-alcoholic drinks, bottled water, carbonated drinks, beer, wine, spirits, milk and liquid dairy products, liquid food, fruit juices, energy and wellness drinks. The inaugural show includes a conference hosted by the SA National Bottled Water Association (SANBWA).

FoodBiz Africa first appeared at AB7 in 2008 and targets visitors from the food service and hospitality industries. FoodBiz Africa provides the biggest variety of food and beverage products, suppliers, service providers and retail and catering equipment.

Another major component of AB7, FoodTech Africa showcases the latest trends and innovations in manufacturing technologies, production, processing and packaging equipment, as well as new ingredients, additives and flavourings. Last year, $2.1 billion of the country’s $3.7 billion packaging bill was spent on food and beverage packaging.

InterBake Africa is another popular component of AB7, exhibiting a wide variety of baking ingredients, processes, equipment and shelf-ready products. The growth of in-store bakeries in supermarkets, convenience stores and forecourts has also led to a demand for these products.

The Pan Africa Retail Trade Exhibition is ideal for all buyers looking for retail-ready food and beverage products such as dry goods, groceries, frozen foods, convenience foods, home meal replacement kits, fresh produce and confectionery, beverages, liquor and FMCG.

Retail Solutions Africa features location kiosks, ATMs, EFT terminals and retail IT systems, security and cash handling equipment, shop-fitting, refrigeration, store layout, merchandising and display equipment, Point of Sale systems, back office software and lighting equipment.

The simultaneous hosting of the Southern African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX) alongside AB7 means that exhibitors and visitors can move between shows for an even broader perspective of the products and markets available.

The expo organisers offer a free and highly effective internet-based business matchmaking programme providing exhibitors and visitors with pre-profiled, pre-selected and pre-scheduled matchmaking meetings for all three days of the show. Visitors can enrol by pre-registering on, and can preview all exhibitors’ products on the same site.

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