The Source grows from strength to strength

The Source trade show delivered even more this year! Last year’s show was the biggest ever…and this year’s was bigger still. And busier! Visitor numbers were up around 10% and there were more exhibitors than ever before, covering the whole of the market, not just speciality food and drink but everything from raw ingredients to high quality food service products, furniture to EPoS, kitchen design to business services.

Amongst the familiar names exhibiting at the show were A David & Co, Abbotts (S.W.) Ltd, J & R Foodservice, Qtos Catering Equipment, Pubstuff, T Quality, Elizabeth Shaw Confectionery, Luscombe Drinks, Good Game, Diverse Fine Food, Chunk of Devon, & Lovington’s Ice Cream
“This was our second year of exhibiting, we rebooked last year pleased with the results achieved and this year we are already 30% up on last year’s show!” Alan Lederberger MD. A&O Foods Ltd.
“First time of showing and we have around 130 leads to work on after the show as well as good orders taken on the day”. Scott. Fair Farmers UK.

The show is a great route to market for Newcomers, new companies from the South West such as Gin Jar, Beyond Sauce, Frandie Macaron, Beyond Sauce, & Sweet Cumin that had never done a trade show before. Twenty two of them took advantage of this opportunity to meet potential new customers, as well as possible distributors.

@beyondsauce: “Thank you @SourceFoodDrink potential backers, film maker, suppliers, manufacturers and big stores want us! 🙂 wowee”

“There was a real buzz on site this year throughout the two days! We were so pleased that such a lot of business was conducted; not only between buyers and exhibitors, but also amongst the companies taking part. Highlights for me included the new demo theatre stage, which was a really great enhancement, and the number of Newcomers, offering buyers something unique and different.” Mike Anderson.

Visitors from farm shops, delicatessens, pubs, hotels, universities, tourist attractions and holiday parks attended, both from the local area, and further afield, including international buyers from Hong Kong! Bourne Leisure, Duchy College, the Exeter Chiefs, Farrington’s, the Forestry Commission, Longleat Enterprises, Tescos and Fortnum & Masons were among the many companies attending Source to meet existing contacts, source new suppliers, and network with colleagues.

The post-show survey carried out by Hale Events, who organise Source, showed that 70% of visitors found 3 or more new suppliers at the show, with 62% placing orders at or shortly after the show. More good news – 92% would probably or definitely recommend the show to colleagues or contacts within the industry.

“It was a fabulous show. Well laid out and well organised.” Jeannie, Pork Heaven From Devon.

“I use the show as a barometer of what is going on in the West Country’s food production industry and see what new developments there are and new producers on the scene. I also like to observe what marketing and image ideas companies have.” Walston Poultry Farm Ltd

“It’s a good opportunity to meet local suppliers and see what they have to offer. This year’s show was the best yet, from our point of view.” Steve Goodden, Trenchermans of Dorset.

“A great way of keeping in touch with local suppliers and updates – all under one roof.” Maddie Page-Dove, Meet Devon.

The Demo Kitchen was as popular as ever, with the new look stage really enhancing this feature. The audience enjoyed demonstrations from leading chefs such as South West Chef of the winner Jamie Rogers, Matthew Norton from River Cottage Canteen, and Richard Hunt from the Devon Scone Company. It was great to see chefs showing off their skills, inspiring with their recipes, and even better to get to sample the results!

The West Coast Tourism Conference, which runs alongside the show, was also the largest and busiest ever. 400 people attended from the region’s leading tourism businesses, learning from a wide range of speakers and topics and also having the opportunity to attend the show.
With plans to develop and extend the show for next year, it looks like Source 2017 will surpass everyone’s expectations once more!

Next year’s Source trade show will take place at Westpoint, Exeter, on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th February 2016. You can keep up to date with news about the show at or why not follow the show on Twitter at @SourceFoodDrink?