Food show proves a tasty success!

On Sunday 24th and Monday 25th February we held our 21st food show for caterers. Held at The Shepherds in Carlisle, we welcomed over 600 of our customers to the much anticipated show over the two days.

Customers travelled from far and wide to take advantage of money-saving deals from over 60 national and regional suppliers. Suppliers were showcasing their product ranges and many new product launches were on display. Household names such as Heinz, Whitby Scampi and Nestlé were in attendance alongside an array of regional suppliers from Cumbria, Northumberland and Scotland.

New regional suppliers attend the show …

The show saw the launch of premium brand ice cream from the Handmade Ice Cream Company. Steven Darvill the brainchild and owner of The Handmade Ice Cream Company praised the food show saying: “Working with Pioneer is a fantastic way of reaching new customers across the north west of England and southern Scotland and the show has given me an opportunity to speak with these customers face-to-face. We have had an amazing amount of excellent feedback about our products and I have genuinely enjoyed the show!”

The Handmade Ice Cream Co is based in Ulverston and uses only the best ingredients for its quality produce which is exclusively available into the hospitality trade through Pioneer Foodservice. In acknowledgement of its ongoing support and promotion of local entrepreneurs and business owners, we recently picked up regional and national Family Business Awards.

The show also was the first appearance for Cumbrian brewer Ben Clementson of Brack n Brew. Their quality ales have proved a hit with our customers since their launch back in June 2018; in both our foodservice and retail businesses. Ben was kept busy throughout the show saying: “It’s been a huge success for us and it great to put faces to names of existing Pioneer customers and reaching new. Our ales are not only proving to be a hit with Cumbrian customers, Northumberland customers have shown a great interest in the ales too. The show is a great vehicle to spread the word of great local produce.”

Our Manager Director, Graham Jenkins says: “This was our 21st show and we were immensely excited about this year’s event – we think it’s been the busiest and best so far. The event brings together our suppliers and customers to celebrate our passion for food.

“We were also honoured when the Mayoress of Carlisle, Councillor Jessica Riddle, visited the show. I accompanied her and she thoroughly enjoyed meeting our suppliers and sampling some of the excellent produce on offer.”

Veganism proves a hit with customers

We are proud to be a supplier of new product innovation and are always keen to be at the forefront of trends to ensure our customers are always ahead of the game. Veganism has seen a huge gain in popularity and much of the new product development on show at the event was aimed at those following a plant-based diet.

Paramount 21 is a global food producer well known for keeping ahead of food trends and their vegan and gluten free dishes certainly went down well with Pioneer customers. Debs Casey-Smith, Senior National Account Manager with Paramount said: “Veganism has certainly arrived in Carlisle! Our vegan chip shop bites was just one of our vegan products which was a hit with all visitors. Even those who hesitate to try vegan foods can’t believe the quality of produce available now. It has been a super show, one of the busiest. I’ve been at Pioneer shows for many years now – you can’t miss the Pioneer show!”

Graham Jenkins agreed with Debs saying: “The demand for vegan foods has certainly grown and we think it’s here to stay as more people follow not only vegan but flexitarian diets. Our buying team works hard to source innovative, tasty new products which tick all the boxes for a wide range of diets.”

It’s not just our customers who enjoy the show!

Andrew Keen who runs the House of Meg tea rooms situated in Gilsland, visited the show to take advantage of the deals and to sample the new products showcased. Andrew is a loyal customer of ours and says: “I’ve visited every show since I opened 12 years ago and each time the discounts can’t be missed! I love the new products on show and they definitely help me in my menu development for bistro nights at the tea room. I’ll be taking on board the new trends shown here today.”

Graham commented: “It’s rewarding to meet our customers who enjoy our show, take advantage of the offers and sample new products. Our hard work doesn’t finish when the show is over, we will continue to supply and source quality products at the right price for all our customers as we approach our 142nd year of trading.”

We are now planning our next food show for 2021 – so we’ll see you there!