Expectations are high as the 2023 edition of the globally popular Food and Beverage West Africa Exhibition, referred to as FAB holds for three good days, from Tuesday the 13th of June to Thursday the 15th of June 2023 at the Landmark Events Centre, Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria.
Interestingly, that will be for the 6th time. According to Omonigho Itoya, on behalf of the organizers, the BtoB Events team this year’s exhibition will be the largest to date, and will be Nigeria’s first-ever 4- hall trade exhibition. The Food and Beverage (FAB) West Africa happens to be the premier food and beverage exhibition for the West African Sub-region.
As one who got a letter of invitation recently from the organizer and having attended some previous editions, including the history-making first one which yours truly wrote about in 2028, one can state it without an iota of doubt that it will certainly be a golden opportunity for investors, food entrepreneurs to meet with hundreds of international Food and Beverage suppliers. In addition will be leading distributors, importers, and retailers, looking for business partners, from across the globe.
For instance, for the 2023 edition over 250 exhibitors have already registered and are eager to enter the vibrant West African food and beverages market. It will similarly be a veritable avenue for the exhibitors to showcase their companies to over 4,500 food and beverage professionals from across West Africa.
Although the FAB 2022 saw just fewer than 5,000 attendees and 200 exhibitors, the atmosphere on the show floor was fantastic and it was great to see so many deals being done, and partnerships recorded and strengthened. In fact, the 2022 was the first year that BtoB Events partnered with the Food and Beverage Association of Ghana (FABAG) which saw a significant increase in our Ghanian visitor base. Efforts are on to grow and replicate similar ties across Benin, Cameroon, Togo, Senegal and Ivory Coast.
It is therefore, understandable why the host remains grateful to sponsors and partners such as Just Food, NASCO and Daffy. That is in addition to exhibitors, VIP’s, partners, visitors and suppliers.
It would be recalled that in 2019 Jamie Mill, managing director of BtoB Events Ltd, host of the inaugural Food and Beverage, West Africa Fair, stated the vision behind the annual FAB event. He said that the concept is to provide “a once-a-year opportunity for the food and beverage sector of West Africa to come together, network and forge new partnerships.” Added to this:” It is also used to discuss best practice and of course, do business.” That year it turned out that it hosted over 120 exhibitors drawn from five continents.
The event which was promoted online for weeks for interested participants to indicate their interest became a veritable platform for both the newcomers and established food and beverage companies to showcase their products to the world. It was also an avenue for Small and Medium scale Enterprises, SMEs to avail the customers what they have to offer them.
Of significance are the lasting lessons individuals and corporate organizations stand to gain from the event. One outstanding feature of the Fair was and remains the solid support it enjoyed from both the sponsors and partners.
Chief amongst these are the Gold Sponsors such as Just Food and NASCO. SPAR came in as Retail Partner while the likes of REFSPAN, NASON, Association of Food Vendors in Nigeria, Oke-Arin Traders Association as well as Ezickukwu Food and Beverage Association, Aba were the Show Partners.
Put simply, it is an opportunity to rebrand one’s company and its products not only to the West African sub-region but the world at large.
The online Media partners included Food and Drink Talk, Agro Nigeria, Malimbe, myfarmstock, Legit.ng, Coverine and African Business Central (ABC). Their support certainly made a much-needed difference.
On a personal note were the contacts made with major players in the food industry from across the globe. For instance, it was a great pleasure speaking with Naveed Arif, Director of Gold Crown Foods who was with the Marketing and Distributing Executive, Ruth Mwiti. They came all the way from Kenya to showcase various brands of tea. These ranged from black to green and mixed fruit tae. In fact, he reminded me that Kenya is the country that leads the world in the export of various brands of tea and coffee.
Going by nutritional facts, green tea is regarded as the world’s most beneficial beverage health-wise. Rich in bioactive compounds and antioxidants, it improves the functions of the brain making consumers smarter. It burns down fats, lowers the risk of some cancers including prostrate in addition to reducing inflammation of the muscles.
Of course, it is. For, in a quote that has become their moving mantra, “If you don’t eat your food as medicine, you will take your medicine as food”. Nutrition, they tell us affects the way we look, feel and our longevity here on Planet Earth.
Perhaps, that explains why Chi Farms Ltd was there to provide delicious chicken “from the trusted source”. They were presented in varieties of drumsticks, chicken laps, fillet, wings, thigh, dressed, smoked and gizzards. Delicious, your guess is s good as mine. And so were the sausages that came specifically tailored to breakfast, pepperoni, chicadella and onion beef burger.
Not left out was the Tropical Global Investment, TGI Group. It was a delight to have Mr. Govind Agarwal, the Marketing Manager on ground to talk about why the company is “your trusted food partner.” And why not? What with its colourful parade of Terra Chicken seasoning cubes as source of iodine.
Another unique aspect of the Food Fair was the wide spectrum of the industry that it covered. In fact, it was a pleasant surprise that AAUD Industry Nigeria came to provide consumers as well as food processors a wide range of food flavours. Well packaged and attractive were the beverage flavours, bakery and pastry flavours, ice cream, yoghurt and dairy flavours, confectionery, candy and jelly flavours. So also were the beverage concentrates, cake and bread preservatives, bakery and dairy ingredients and sweeteners.
To further delight the consumers, Fonterra was there with its nzmp milk powder offerings. From a humble beginning of over a century ago, the company now prides itself as the world’s largest dairy exporter across over 140 countries!
In the words of the company, “we are a corporative owned by 10,500 New Zealand farming families, supported by more than 20,000 Fonterra employees internationally”.
Back home here, Flour Mills of Nigeria, FMN with the Vision: ‘To be the leading food and agro-allied group in Africa’ and that goes by the pay off message of “Feeding the Nation, Everyday” had on parade several of its prime products. These included Golden Penny Prime Flour and Eagle Flour, spaghetti, macaroni, pasta, couscous, vegetable oil, pure soya oil, BAGCO and fertilizer.
Besides all these food products there were some food machine companies there to avail the customers of what they produce. JuiceTech Solutions was one of them with juice making machines that cost between N250,000 to N650,000.
The 2023 edition will therefore, be a great opportunity for Nigerian, nay West African food companies to showcase their products to the world. Grab it!