The good food show is a pinnacle for any foodie, they come around twice a year and throw on a lavish array of new foods, new drinks and celebrity chefs. Indulge the senses and dive into anything you fancy. This year I was allocated a space as part of the press, one of my vices as a blogger.
A typical ticket costs £18 for entry. They have VIP & Luxe tickets up to £90 per person, so depending on what you want out of your day you can induldge in a little extra, from spacious eating areas to fast track tickets to the supertheatre (where the celebrities bake along live). I am not new to the NEC by any means, It’s a huge space for blogging events and collaborations so I attend the NEC 4-5 times a year. However, this is my first food-show so I was excited to see what it had in store for me.
Saturday November 27th
The event opened at 9am and It was busy from the onset. People were flooding the stalls to see what goods they could get their hands on. There were people handing out samples, offering a detailed insight to their products. There were hundreds of brands selling unique gin flavours, each offering samples. You could easily get drunk on the amount of samples you could get your hands on. Two per stall and 100+ stalls? I mean that’s a recipe for a good night out. Next were the sweet teas, all sorts of flavours and capsules. Then came the cake sections, muffins, cupcakes and grandious occasion cakes.
The day was categorised between the 3 different stages. The good food stage where celebrities would come and do small talks throughout the day (see picture). Then the super theatre where the best and most popular bakers, chefs and celebrities would do cook along live sessions for an additional cost of £20 per ticket. Then there was the winter stage that was for brands and products to show off what’s new. they had multiple brands on throughout the day but heavily featured lakeland – the sponsor. The whole place was full of smells and sounds of people have a great time and generally it was a really great atmosphere.
However, I was dissapointed.
This year (or perhaps every year?) they seemed to have a limited stock of actual food products. The stalls were filled with Gin, vodka and tea. Not to say I’m not a lover of those things. I’d drink gin every day just ask these guys, but when it comes to a food show I was expecting more of a variety. Specifically speaking I was expecting
‘Good food’ – For me that means; new innovative products. Vegetarian and vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free alternatives to products already on the market. New kitchen equipment we haven’t seen before or even just new appliances. But there wasn’t any of it, well.. perhaps one or two things. I saw a vegan chocolate stand, a ‘chewable’ vitamin blend which aided digestion and a spinach pasta by seeds of change
which were new on the market (which we bought and had for dinner on Sunday evening – it was delicious )but other then that I was really disappointed. I wanted elaborate foods and products but all I found was the same thing I can see on the food network.
Perhaps it’s because I went in as a health food blogger. I went in expecting to see all of the healthy alternatives I look at daily. This site is the base of operations so to speak – I look at new foods and equipment regularly to incorporate into my cooking and my recipe development so I expected to see some of those at the show. The latest spiralizers, dehydrators, kitchen gadgets for fresh food preservation. Anything like that would have tickled my fancy but I didn’t get anything.
So what do they think consumers want?
It seems to me that they were targeting people with sugar obsessions. Everything was glazed, coated or baked with unhealthy products. I understand that the average attendee wants to see new cakes and baking equipment but only giving them that creates an unhealthy atmosphere where that’s all they see it’s all they think of. Essentially what I’m saying is… People will only want to create sugary fatty products if that’s all they’re allowed to do.
Why not create a show that promotes healthy ways of cooking and creating new alternatives to the old (and unhealthy) traditions we already have?
Not to mention the fact that even the products I would have purchased were marked up in price! I have been looking for a pie pan for mini-tarts recently and Paul Hollywoods tray was £9 in Lakeland only a few days before the show. Whilst in there I spotted it for £12! Then again I saw the incredible dark chocolate marshmallow bars that were £1.90 per bar where you can buy 4 in a pack costing 80p each on their own site. They’re gorgeous!
Overall it was great day out, we tried a few things and we saw Mary Berry who was delightful as she seems on tv.Laughing at her own silly jokes and talking to the audience as though it was a room full of her friends.We waiting until 2 to see Micheal Roux JR (not going to lie,I cried when he came out from behind the stage). From my view I could see him bobbing about being silly and I was just so elated to see him in person. Probably the only time I’ll ever get to do so. It’s not so much that I wanted to hear what he was saying, most of his history I already know. It was just to hear and see him in person.
Did you visit, what was your experience or if not..what would you have wanted to see most?
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