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Foodstuffs Expo brings big local boost

New Zealand’s largest business-to-business show has returned to Hamilton, and it’s set to inject $5.3 million into the local economy.

The Foodstuffs Fresh and Grocery Expo has returned to Claudelands Events Centre, a venue run by Hamilton City Council’s events arm H3.

The product-packed show opened on Wednesday 12 May and runs for two days. It’s the biggest expo in Foodstuff’s 15-year history, back in the city for the first time since 2014.

With more than 300 exhibitors and 5000 visitors expected, it’s also the country’s largest business-to-business food show.

The ripple effects for the city are huge. 

At least eight Hamilton-based companies will be providing services for the occasion, creating employment for more than 100 people.  

And leftover food from the expo will be donated straight to local food rescue service Kaivolution.

Council’s General Manager of Venues, Tourism and Major Events Sean Murray said such conferences have a staggering impact on the local economy, with guests and exhibitors splashing out on accommodation, eateries, and shopping. 

“Our figures show that conferences like this bring in an average of $533 per expo visitor, for each day that the conference is running.

“It’s a massive deal for Hamilton. We know it’s the largest conference of its kind in New Zealand.”

The team at H3 has proven the service they provide is second to none, Murray said.

“Events and conferences of this scale help Hamilton to become a destination city. Each time we get a chance to show what we can do – the team pull it off.”

The invite-only expo, which has taken over all event spaces at Claudelands Events Centre, is a chance for suppliers to directly meet and showcase their products to Foodstuffs’ members. It’s also a chance for store representatives to source new product for their local stores. 

The expo will also involve an on-site gala dinner and awards evening for 700 guests.