Lancashire’s first Taste Exchange a resounding success
Delicious event bursting with business opportunities
Lancashire’s first ever ‘Taste Exchange’ has been declared a resounding success, described as the ‘best food and drink show I have ever attended’ by several of its exhibitors.
Organised by Marketing Lancashire, and held at Barton Grange Hotel, the open event connected makers and producers of Lancashire’s finest food and drink with key chefs, buyers and wholesalers in the North West.
Over 30 Lancashire producers showcased their wares to over 80 influential players in the food industry including buyers from Booths supermarket, wholesalers Delifresh, Cleggs, R Noone and Sons, as well as top chefs from Hipping Hall, Freemasons at Wiswell, The Midland, The Cartford Inn and the soon to open Moor Hall.
Ruth Connor, Chief Executive of Marketing Lancashire said “Our aim is to raise the profile of Lancashire food and drink and make the county a must-visit foodie destination. Marketing Lancashire’s first Taste Exchange felt like a real step change with producers, chefs, buyers and retailers all doing business, tasting and learning more about the quality produce made here in Lancashire. The food and drink sector is incredibly important to the local economy and events like Taste Exchange help build valuable partnerships that contribute to future success and sustainability.”
Producer Angela Edney from Bowland Brewery said “The Taste Exchange was a brilliant event, well attended with existing and new customers, with great opportunities for new business. Being able to have a proper chat with key buyers and chefs is a rare thing and was extremely valuable.”
Paul Ainscough from FatJax Chutney said “I have met people today who I have wanted to get in touch with for over two years. It’s been a brilliant opportunity and I’ve made some great new contacts.”
Chef Steven Smith from the Freemason’s at Wiswell said “Lancashire has an abundance of quality produce to offer, as yesterday's Taste Exchange amply demonstrated. It was great to meet everybody, look at ways of working together as well as providing the opportunity to showcase the county and what we have to give. I came away with some fantastic gin from Batch Brew, based in Burnley, who I wasn't aware of before!”
Greg Stephenson, PR & Marketing Manager with Wildsmith Hotels, said: ‘’I attended the inaugural Marketing Lancashire Taste Exchange event on Monday and really had my eyes opened as to the wealth of produce available in the county. Quality produce was certainly in evidence, with everything from premium gin, cordials, beer, seafood, milk, ice creams, vegetables, cheeses and meats on offer. I have already made a point of contacting colleagues across our three hotels in Lancashire and Cumbria to highlight several products sampled at the Taste Exchange. I think this type of event is a fantastic way of highlighting what a region has to offer and to that end I look forward to working more closely with Marketing Lancashire to showcase the area’s foodie offering in the coming months.’’
Maggie Noone, Sales Director of wholesalers R Noone and Sons, added, “It was an excellent event, the quality of the producers was second to none. I didn’t realise there were so many great suppliers literally on our doorstep, and it proved a very useful networking event.”
Daniel Rich, General Manager of the Barton Grange Hotel, said: "The event was a real success and we were only too happy to play host to such fantastic food and drink companies that are based here in Lancashire and it's great to be working with Marketing Lancashire. There was a real sense of excitement about the products in the room, and all that Lancashire has to offer."
Group photo shows: Some of the 30 producers who attended the Lancashire Taste Exchange L to R: Paul Sheerin from Batch Brew, Gary Bebington from Smithy Mushrooms, Sean Fletcher from Old School Brewery, Rachel Dalty from Roots Crisps, Richard Pugh from Pugh’s Piglets, Abigail Forshaw from H&P Ashcroft, Emily Smyth from Butler’s Farmhouse Cheeses, Paul Needham from Lancashire Tea.
For more information please contact:
Anna Izza, Head of PR and Communications 01772 426 459
Laura Crabb, PR and Communications Executive 01772 426 456
Notes to Editors
- Marketing Lancashire is the Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for Lancashire, established (1st April 2012). Our activities in marketing and communications, commercial membership and place marketing are all designed to grow the visitor economy and develop the profile of Lancashire as the first choice destination to visit, live, study, work and invest in.
- Lancashire visitor numbers and value of food and drink sector
Lancashire welcomes just over 63 million visitors each year who contribute £3.67 to the local economy and support just over 56,000 jobs. Food and drink is worth around £734 million to Lancashire’s visitor economy, accounting for 20% of this tourism revenue and supporting an estimated 12,937 (23%) food and drink related posts within the sector. Its value has risen by £129 million (21%) over the last 6 years, from 2009. (Source: STEAM 2014)
- Taste Lancashire Campaign
Taste Lancashire is a dedicated food and drink guide on VisitLancashire.com, the official tourism website for the county, as well as a consumer marketing campaign to promote quality food and drink experiences and increase Lancashire’s 63 million annual visitors. Taste Lancashire also helps raise the profile of local producers and directs visitors to quality establishments that are proud to use local produce, through the celebration of internationally recognised food awards and quality marques, as well as the Taste Lancashire quality accreditation scheme.