PDO cheeses made a sensation in London, where Cheesenet, with aid from the European Union and the Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food, participated in IFE 09 – THE INTERNATIONAL FOOD & DRINK EVENT (ExCeL London) that took place between the 15th and 18th of March, 2009. The exhibition is organised biannually, attracting a large number of visitors and Food and Beverage professionals.
The exhibition is one of the largest in its area, attracting the best known retail, wholesale, distribution and F&B professionals. According to available statistics, some 24,146 commercial visitors from 101 countries participate, with 20,764 coming from the UK and 3,382 from other countries.
According to the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO), UK is the third most important food and beverage market in Europe, and fifth in the world.
Visitors and merchants were very interested in Greek PDO cheese products, including Feta. Cheesenet, in collaboration with HEPO, offered Greek companies the opportunity to open new communication lines with consumers, commercial agents and the media in the UK and abroad.
A number of events took place during the exhibition, including presentations, tastings and product samplings. These events aided Cheesenet’s aim of presenting Greek PDO cheeses to as wide an audience as possible.
Cheesenet’s modern stall invited visitors to sample Greek hospitality and witness the famous Greek cuisine. The stall was equipped with a plasma wide screen playing the documentary “3000 years of cheese technology” that informed visitors of Feta’s history. Furthermore, 2 infokiosks equipped with touch screens displayed the relevant TV spot and offered information on PDO cheeses and their production methods, along with more general information on Cheesenet and its activities. The information was available in 8 languages.
Cheesenet’s stall was also noticed by the media. HELLENIC TV, a cable TV mainly viewed by Greeks abroad, not only presented a special feature on Cheesenet’s presence, but also interviewed Cheesenet President Mr. P. Rapanakis, who explained the many advantages of Greek Feta and other PDO cheeses. Mr. Rapanakis also mentioned the Cheesenet campaign and its aims, stressing Feta’s positioning in the Gourmet market because of its high price and small available quantities. These qualities make it less suitable for the Retail market, where competition is stronger.