It is only in India that sometimes regulations can seriously get in the way of commerce as was the case at the recently held International Food and Drinks Expo at Pragati Maidan in Delhi. The Delhi Excise Department issued new norms preventing wines and alcoholic beverages registered in Delhi in the current excise year from being displaced in exhibitions. Nevertheless, visitors found the exhibition valuable.
Still, IFDE went ahead with the exhibition and its accompanying Sommelier Competition which attracted a steady stream of visitors who came to taste, discover new wines in the Indian market and strike business deals. This isn’t the first time that strict regulations have hampered commercial activities and it certainly won’t be the last. The Indian Grape Processing Board had taken out a large stand and Sopexa had a presence too along with wineries from Australia, South Africa, China, USA and Italy. While the wine piece of the exhibition wasn’t very large (the wine industry is still recovering from a recession) several visitors commented that it was a productive and useful exhibition for them. The three-day international trade fair registered over 100 international and local suppliers from around 13 countries.
Exhibitors were able to market their products and get direct feedback from representatives from The Claridges, Trident, Oberoi, Ashok, Radisson, The Imperial, Air India, Reliance, Dominos, Café Coffee Day, Ikea, M&S, Carrefour along with host of other hotels, restaurants, retailers, institutional caterers and importers. Live cooking demonstrations on the stand of the gold sponsor, Opera, proved very popular with attendees to the event as Italian celebrity chef Andrea Golino created exquisite pasta dishes and risottos.
Summing up the overall sentiment of exhibitors, The SCS Group said “We made good contacts and it was a lovely experience”, while Beverage Holdings commented that “the exhibition for us has been a great success. Modular tanks gained “some really serious enquiries from local manufacturers and gained knowledge on the India Food and Beverage industry”. Chaski International commented on the “great attendance and lots of good business leads too”.
Also included as a part of IFDE was a Sommelier Competition organized by Sommelier India contributor, Magandeep Singh. With Kavita Faiella (Aman Resorts), Angelo D’Ioia (The Oberoi) and Dirk Reinhardt (The Claridges) judging, the competition sought to identify the best Sommeliers in the country. The sommeliers were asked to pair food with wine, answer a series of questions and explain their pairing choices. The judges were also judging them based on their confidence, passion, commitment and pronunciation. Shubham of Aman Resorts won and Rachna, from the Trident, Gurgaon, took second place.
The 2nd International Food & Drink Expo India 2010 will take place from 2 -4 December
2010 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.