'Delishops Discovers Live' initiative hailed a success

The recent Delishops (the unique online trade community designed to help food businesses buy and sell speciality food profitably) and Speciality Fine Food Fair collaboration, ‘Delishops Discovers Live’ has been hailed a success. The online initiative attracted over 285 buyers and 38 producers, cementing its status as the largest online meet the producer event of 2020.

Delishops founder, Charlie Turnbull

The live stream hosted by Delishops founder, Charlie Turnbull provided, buyers with the opportunity to directly connect with a producer, request samples and ask questions. Over 550 samples were sent out to enable buyers to sample as they watched online, and the response has been extremely positive with producers quickly reporting anticipated orders via this innovative new business forum.

The digital nature of the event made it an attractive proposition to a number of global brands and the producers / buyers definitely appealed to an international, rather than strictly UK audience Each participating producer was provided with an online ‘showroom’ within the Delishops Community from which they were able to share product news and images, as well as engage in conversation with any interested retailers

Buyers attending the Delishops Discovers included representatives from Booths, Ocado, Cotswold Fayre, Milk & More, Selfridges, Sainsbury’s, Farm Drop and Hider to name but a few.

“I was really pleased to take part in this event, which was really well organised and a lot of fun. We have had a great reaction to our products with lots of sample requests and follow-up interest after the event. It has been great to talk to potential new customers who saw the presentation and want to find out more, which is especially important as our products are new to the market” said retailer Alison, from Caviar and Cocktails.

“I thought the virtual supplier event was great and it could be the start of a new era of industry networking. It was very well organised and with the schedule sent ahead of time meant I could plan to see the suppliers I wanted to, and if I had time could drop in on supplier sessions I perhaps wouldn’t have thought about before - all from the comfort of my home as well! Samples were sent prior to the sessions as well so I could test and try them with the suppliers in real-time.

"It was a brilliant substitution to the cancelled trade shows and a real opportunity to meet new suppliers, something I didn’t think would happen in 2020. I would recommend this event to all foodservice buyers, and I look forward to the next one!” Commented Rebekah Chaplin, from Aramark.

Delishops Founder Charlie Turnbull said, “Running this event has been the most satisfying thing I have done in years. The need to keep the intimacy of people buying from people is at the heart of our business and this initiative has been a lifeline to producers who have lost out on the key trade show and consumer events planned for 2020. We have been overwhelmed by the response so far, with orders placed within hours of the presentations being completed. Being online is going to change our sector – both the way we buy and the way we sell – very fast.

The mantra of being “experiential” is going to go online too, as more delis and farm shops offer online tasting, learning and social experiences in food. Delishops will be at the heart of that as we integrate community and buying spaces just like the markets have for generations, but now doing it within a digital, rather than bricks and mortar-based space.”