Thousands of industry professionals have converged on the Landmark Centre in Lagos, Nigeria for West Africa’s largest and most prestigious B2B food and drink exhibition and conference.
The Food West Africa event, which is promising to deliver an investment boost to the regional retail market, was launched today by GMO Chukwumah, Director, Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health in the presence of major dealers, distributors, wholesalers, restaurateurs and franchise owners from around the globe.
In excess of 6,000 delegates are expected to attend the three-day event, organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, and it is the only show in the region which has the support of multiple trade associations as well as NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control).
Ryan Sanderson, Exhibition Director, Food West Africa, said: “It’s been an incredible start to the second edition of the show. Not only is this proving to be a great chance for visitors to forge new business relationships, build their brand and find new distributors, but it is also enabling them to check out some amazing new state-of-the-art products, equipment and services on the market.
“We continue to believe in the incredible array of opportunities in Nigeria and are very proud to be serving the needs to the incredible size and scope of the food & beverage in Nigeria and greater West Africa. With our key strategic partnerships with the leading market groups, key government bodies and retail groups, Food West Africa is a must attend event if you’re looking to grow your distribution channels in this thriving region.”
The event highlights the importance of Nigeria as the hub of a burgeoning West Africa retail market. Nigeria is expected to witness sustained growth in value sales where the growing middle class is estimated to have a combined purchasing power in excess of N8.5 trillion.”
Such is the success of the show that this year’s edition has had to be staged at the Landmark Centre as it has outgrown last year’s launch show by 40%. More than the 150 businesses are attending from across the world – up from 140 last year.
Respected companies such as Al Rawabi, Arborea, Big Brands Group, Century Pacific Food, Red Bull Nigeria, Sun Mark and Nasco are all showcasing their exciting and innovative new products, services and equipment in an event space that spans 3,000 sq. m.
The exhibition is hosting 20 international country pavilions providing excellent opportunities for businesses to meet, network and establish ties in Africa’s largest economy – Nigeria. What is more, the event is proud to be staging the ‘Made in Nigeria’ zone which has brought 15 local SMEs to the event who are planning to make valuable contacts in order to grow their businesses in the Nigerian market.
The show, which continues on Thursday 18 May and Friday 19 May, also boasts strong representation in the energy drinks sector with Sun Mark & Bullet, FMCL & Red Bull, Foodcare & Black, among others. According to Euromonitor International, energy drinks continued to be popular in Nigeria, thus creating a market for consumers looking for a boost in their busy daily lives. Restaurants and fast food outlets are also key on-trade channels.
The event is also hosting a two-day multi-sector conference that will address the market’s challenges, opportunities and solutions. Topics discussed during the first day involved investment opportunities in food processing technologies, business competitiveness in Nigeria, and the role of agriculture extension in food security. A much awaited session at tomorrow’s (18 May) conference is hosted by Asiwaju S.K Onafowokan, National chairman of the National Association of Supermarket Operators of Nigeria (NASON) in Lagos, who will address how best for retailers and government agencies to work together.
Regional experts from domestic and international large-scale food companies, governments, local agencies and associations will be represented to give their insights into improved technologies and advanced measures to consolidate and implement best practice in food distribution retail in West Africa.