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3rd 'Food Expo Greece' Showcases Mediterranean Foods

The third Food Expo Greece took place near Athens, attracting 970 exhibitors, 153 of them exhibiting olive oil, plus 55,000 trade visitors, including 1,200 from 55 countries outside Greece.

3rd 'Food Expo Greece' Showcases Mediterranean Foods
Mar. 30, 2016
By Lisa Radinovsky
3rd 'Food Expo Greece' Showcases Mediterranean Foods

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The third Food Expo Greece took place near Athens March 19 – 21 and, accord­ing to expo­si­tion orga­nizer Nikos Choudalakis, CEO of Forum SA, the event has become the lead­ing food and bev­er­age trade show in South­east Europe,” offer­ing the largest selec­tion of PDO and PGI prod­ucts ever assem­bled on Euro­pean soil.”

Held a short shut­tle bus ride away from the Athens Inter­na­tional Air­port at the 55,000 square meter Met­ro­pol­i­tan Expo site, this year’s Food Expo Greece attracted 970 Greek and inter­na­tional exhibitors, 153 of them exhibit­ing olive oil, plus 450 hosted buy­ers and 55,000 trade vis­i­tors, includ­ing 1,200 from 55 coun­tries out­side Greece.

Hosted buy­ers were rep­re­sen­ta­tives of food and bev­er­age com­pa­nies who par­tic­i­pated in the Food Expo Hosted Buyer Pro­gram. The pro­gram cov­ered air fare and hos­pi­tal­ity for the 3 days of the show. Buy­ers attended 6,750 sched­uled busi­ness-to-busi­ness (B2B) meet­ings with exhibitors in a spe­cially designed meet­ing area.

The FOOD EXPO offered sev­eral themed events to high­light the culi­nary and nutri­tional value of Greek food and bev­er­ages, their dom­i­nant posi­tion in the food pyra­mid of the Mediter­ranean diet, and their export­ing poten­tial in the global mar­ket,” accord­ing to the Expo’s web­site.

One of these events, the Mediter­ranean Food Expe­ri­ence, was a three-day gas­tron­omy fes­ti­val in which famous chefs from Greece, Cyprus (this year’s part­ner coun­try), and Spain used their local prod­ucts to cre­ate tra­di­tional dishes for assess­ment by an inter­na­tional com­mit­tee of experts. A movie-the­ater-sized screen show­cased the cook­ing as well as inter­views about the prod­ucts, and prod­uct sam­ples were offered to the audi­ence.

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For the sec­ond time, the Food Expo was also accom­pa­nied by an inter­na­tional trade fair for wine and spir­its, the 2nd OENOTELIA, which fea­tured 150 winer­ies and dis­til­leries from Greece and Cyprus. Other events pro­vided Greek food and bev­er­age indus­try pro­fes­sion­als with use­ful infor­ma­tion: a series of sem­i­nars on such top­ics as mar­ket­ing, export­ing, and dis­tri­b­u­tion; a food and bev­er­age man­agers’ con­fer­ence; and a dis­cus­sion of Tech­nol­ogy and Inno­va­tion in Food Pro­cess­ing.”

Vis­i­tors seemed pleased with this year’s Food Expo, cit­ing numer­ous new con­tacts and pro­duc­tive B2B meet­ings with buy­ers. Michael Thomas, a Greek Amer­i­can buyer from Geor­gia, told Olive Oil Times he was sur­prised at how well the Food­Expo was orga­nized, adding that he hopes for some­thing even big­ger and bet­ter next year.

Ioan­nis Kam­pouris, man­ag­ing direc­tor of E‑LA-WON, and Antoine Tsat­saris, head of exports at Pelas­gaea S. A., both com­pared the FOOD EXPO with the ANUGA and SIAL trade fairs. Tsat­saris reported that about 70 per­cent of last year’s B2B meet­ings at the Food­Expo resulted in orders for his com­pany, and he is hop­ing for the same this year, since he spoke with buy­ers from Europe, China, USA, Mex­ico, and Tai­wan.

Constantinos Papadopoulos with Maria Spiliakopoulou at her Oliorama stand

Maria Spili­akopoulou, a new­comer to the FOOD EXPO who founded Olio­rama last year and has already attended the New York and San Fran­cisco Fancy Food Shows, said she liked the Athens FOOD EXPO very much, since many buy­ers from the USA, Canada, Aus­tralia, and Europe approached her there.

Effie Stavropoulou of Kanakis Olive Oil was at the Food­Expo for the third time. She com­pli­mented the orga­niz­ers on doing a really nice job this time,” adding, every year they’re get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter. The hosted buy­ers and B2B meet­ings are a good idea, very well orga­nized, with the meet­ings on time, no delays, very good con­tacts and con­ver­sa­tions with poten­tial clients. We are really happy with this expo,” includ­ing its 3‑day dura­tion, which she called ideal.”

Greek olive oil com­pa­nies exhib­ited hun­dreds of high-qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oils, early har­vest, organic, con­ven­tional, PDO, and PGI, many in beau­ti­fully designed con­tain­ers, plus some unusual prod­ucts. For exam­ple, Ladolea’s new Organic Sweet Vine­gar with Berg­amot is (accord­ing to their Face­book page) a unique com­bi­na­tion of red vine­gar and grape syrup from the famous Agior­gi­tiko’ grape variety…flavored with nat­ural extract of berg­amot peels,” for a sur­pris­ingly dif­fer­ent taste in vine­gar.

Along­side its very high-phe­no­lic extra vir­gin olive oil, Yanni’s Olive Grove intro­duced a new prod­uct that proved extremely pop­u­lar with Amer­i­cans and Scan­di­na­vians: a high-energy, low-fat, low sodium healthy sweet/sour/salty snack with no added sugar. This unusual com­bi­na­tion of seed­less dried olives, nuts, and fruits in a small reseal­able pack­age can be eaten as a snack or added to sal­ads.

Some com­pa­nies, such as Cre­tan­thos with its 100-ml bot­tle of early har­vest extra vir­gin olive oil, and Karpea with a 30-ml bot­tle of their extra vir­gin, offered pack­ag­ing for hotels, restau­rants, and air­planes. Con­stan­ti­nos Papadopou­los intro­duced spe­cial new stain­less steel bot­tles designed to pre­serve the trea­sure that’s inside” — his early har­vest Mytho­cia extra vir­gin — for peo­ple who really know” about high-qual­ity olive oil, as Eva Papadopou­los told Olive Oil Times.

E‑LA-WON offered some of the tasti­est olive oil snacks — includ­ing their extra vir­gin oil with a bit of choco­late mousse, an unex­pect­edly won­der­ful com­bi­na­tion, and one of the most strik­ing prod­ucts at the FOOD EXPO: E‑LA-WON Lux­ury extra vir­gin olive oil with edi­ble gold flakes float­ing in the liq­uid gold.


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