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Food and beverage buyers from Africa target Africa’s Big Seven Expo

Thousands of food and beverage products in over 400 categories were on show at AB7. Thousands of food and beverage products in over 400 categories were on show at AB7.

For more than a decade, Africa’s Big Seven (AB7,) a food and beverage trade show in Africa, has provided the best networking platform and product showcase for producers, manufacturers and suppliers to penetrate lucrative African markets. AB7 2014 takes place from 22 – 24 June at the Gallagher Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

Vibrant economies in Africa are spawning a rapidly expanding, younger middle class population with more disposable income and a taste for new products. There is a growing demand for a wider variety of foods and flavours, which overseas and local suppliers are eager to oblige.

Record African Participation

“The past three years has seen a rapidly increasing number of exhibitors and visitors from African countries taking part in AB7,” says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services (EMS,) organisers of this world renowned event.

“Last year we had over 16,000 visitors to AB7 and the co-located SAITEX, with 27 African countries represented.”

African visitors arrived from Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

High Quality Visitors

“Visitors are decision-makers; last year’s show statistics indicate almost 60% of visitors were owners, managing directors or directors of companies with purchasing authority,” adds John Thomson.

“AB7 is a multi-sector food and beverage expo comprising seven focused segments, and many African visitors and exhibitors are able to do all their business at AB7. AB7 and SAITEX offer an online Business Matchmaking service enabling show visitors and exhibitors to profile, pre-select and pre-schedule business meetings with potential partners before the event. It’s easier and more cost-effective to spend three days at the event meeting close to 1,000 companies from 51 countries than to travel to those different countries to do your business,” says Thomson.

AB7 enables visitors to check out the latest products, services and technologies, interact with potential suppliers, agents and distributors and keep an eye on their competition.

Success for Exhibitors

Carlos Goncalves, Business Manager for Gallo Oils, says his stand generated over 10 leads per day at AB7 2013.

“AB7 is very positive for us. It’s a well-organised show with great quality visitors, and we established contacts with South African companies and others from Namibia and Botswana.”

Lawrence Contey of Ghanaian lime oil manufacturer Madisa thoroughly enjoyed his first time at AB7, gaining about 15 solid business leads from companies in Botswana, China and South Africa, all eager to distribute his products. 

“The show was very encouraging and offered a fantastic chance to showcase our products,” said Contey. “I definitely want to come back next year.”

Justin Machila, Managing Director of Zambia-based Lihulo Enterprises, was delighted at the results of participating at AB7 2013. The company produces Chalimbana groundnuts and sugar beans.

“Our expectations were more than met,” said Machila. “We had a lot of visitor interest in our products and some bought products from us at the show. We also got to see the many exhibitors from all over the world showing a wide range of products, especially in value adding equipment. We also learnt a lot from our competitors.”

Africa’s Big Seven takes place from 22 to 24 June at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand. Thousands of food and beverage products in over 400 categories were on show at AB7.

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