STOCKING local products is one of the easiest ways for a c-store to give itself a point of difference. Whether it’s a shop in a tourist area, where visitors are keen to buy confectionery and drinks as gifts to take home, or a district that is particularly proud of its cakes or sausages, a shelf of interesting regional goodies can make a business look switched on and connected to its local area.
It’s a trend that’s big in restaurants, where there’s now a tendency to name the diver who collected the scallops and the hen who laid the eggs! But mainstream consumers are also keen to cut down on their food miles and support the local delicacies that make their dinner tables distinctive.
Sourcing unusual niche products, however, can be a time-consuming and confusing business.
That’s where Scotland’s Speciality Food Show comes in. To be held in 2015 at Glasgow’s SECC on 18-20 January, it’s a one-stop shop for the kind of special products that can give a shop the edge.
“Having grown over 30% in the last two years this trade show attracts both artisan producers and traditional Scottish companies who all produce delicious products,” a spokesperson explained. “With over 140 exhibitors attracting over 4,500 visitors, it is the only fine food trade show north of the border so is a must visit event.”
New faces will make up around one third of exhibitors, and half of all the exhibitors are from Scotland.
It’s the first time, for instance, that the Audrey Baxter Signature range of curds, jams and soups will be on show at the event. Other newbies include Eden Brewery from St Andrews, The Little Herb Farm, Hamlyns of Scotland with its oatmeal products, Mara Seaweed’s healthy sea condiments, Cocoa Chocolate and the Arran Butcher.
Orkney has been building a reputation as a foodie haven for many years and it has its own dedicated section at the show. Called the Orkney Aisles, the section will showcase Orkney Creamery, Jolly’s of Orkney, Barony Mills, Argo’s Bakery and Orkney Islands Smokery.
Summer Harvest’s award-winning rapeseed oils and dressings come to the SECC show with a new look.
Laura’s Chocolates, Walkers shortbread, Mrs Bridges jams and chutneys, Brodies Chocolates, Puddledub Pork, Cairn O’Mhor drinks, Kwan’s Kitchens Chinese sauces and Gardiners of Scotland are also returning.