Growing consumer demand for upscale, authentic goods means more retail companies will offer artisan and culinary products in 2017, presenting a golden business opportunity for Northern Irish food and drinks companies.
A one day Food Conference and Showcase at The Clandeboye Lodge Hotel, Bangor on 29 March will highlight how these businesses can continue to capitalise on such market trends, following the successful 2016 Year of Food and Drink.
The event, which is organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council, will feature synopsises by leading experts in the local and national food and drinks sector.
Among them will be entrepreneur James Averdieck, founder and managing director of Gü Chocolate Puds, a brand credited with revolutionising the quality of desserts and previously the fastest growing food company in the UK.
James built the brand from seed capital of only £65K, creating a business which was sold six years later for £32M.
“Within the UK food industry, it’s the entrepreneurial startups that are bringing the innovation and creating the new jobs,” he said.
“The conference is the perfect showcase for new ideas and a great opportunity to make new connections in the industry.”
Local tycoon, Bill Wolsey, managing director of Beannchor, one of the largest independent operators of bars, pubs, restaurants and night clubs in Ireland will also share his business insights.
Other speakers include Michele Shirlow, chief executive of Food NI; Alison Austin, OBE and Lynn Gilmore, Seafish NI