July 23rd, 2015
For all grocery industry professionals, the Grocery Innovations Canada 2015 event (GIC), held on September 28 and 29 at the Toronto Congress Centre, is an opportunity to showcase innovative projects and products and see what others in the industry have been working on.
For independent grocers, especially, GIC 2015 is an ample and exciting opportunity to showcase your ideas, to see how they stack up to the rest of the industry, and to network with others in your field. Get your brand out there by setting up a booth now!
Hosted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers (CFIG), the event is open to all exhibitors from every part of the industry – independent, corporate, and franchise grocers are welcome to display booths and mingle with others in the industry. There is something for any food or beverage processor at this event. You should strongly consider attending this year’s event!
2014 Innovative Products
Last year’s event featured a number of innovative products, ranging from artisan meats and cheeses to sustainable and environmentally friendly storage solutions. The winners, many marked by an ethical and sustainable philosophy of design and production, were all diverse and unique. Some of the winners of 2014 include: Honibe dried honey lozenges (from Island Abbey Foods), The Green Lid compost bin (by Autom River Inc.), and a seaweed-based Kelp Caviar (produced by I-D Foods).
As you can see from this list, environmental innovations were at the forefront of many food processors this past year. As sustainability is the hot topic of the grocery industry these days, a trip to GIC 2015—either as an attendee or an exhibitor—offers you a unique opportunity to learn about new sustainability practices, such as organic farming, while exhibiting your own unique products and approaches.
Grocery Innovations Pavilions
A new feature of GIC 2015 is the new organizing of the booth pavilions – over 65,000 square feet of floor space, dedicated to grocery industry exhibitors, is broken up into six pavilions within the Toronto Congress Centre. The pavilions are as follows: local Ontario foods, bakery and confectionary, HMR and food service, health and wellness, small processors, and global gourmet and specialty.
No matter what part of the industry you work in, there will certainly be something worthwhile to discover! Exhibitors and attendees alike will find many opportunities to network within the industry, particularly with the “big three” grocers in Canada of Loblaw’s, Metro, and No Frills. Food processors can also display new products and learn something new about food production and the business of food.
Grocery Innovations Keynote Speakers
The theme of this year’s GIC is “connecting the industry,” so be sure to catch some of the keynote speakers and morning workshop sessions to get the most out of the GIC’s conversational atmosphere.
One of the many workshops to look out for is a workshop on how to compete as an independent grocer, facilitated by Sylvain Charlebois; writer, academic, and former associate dean of the University of Guelph’s College of Business and Economics. Workshops like these are valuable for not only independent grocers and producers, but also anyone else in the industry. Making valuable connections is important for everyone!
Who knows? You may even close a deal – last year, a poll found that 80% of exhibitors last year closed a deal either at the trade show or as a result of attending. This event is an exciting, informative, and potentially profitable occasion for Ontario food and beverage processors. If you haven’t attended yet: why not? You could find your next big sale there!