Basel – the meeting point for professionals from the hotel and catering sectors

Published on 11/28/2013 by Corinne Moser

Igeho, Mefa, Lefatec and the Salon Culinaire Mondial closed their gates yesterday evening. Over a period of five days, 75 781 professional visitors (2011: 74 727) from the hotel and catering sector, the care sector (including homes and hospitals), the meat trade and from food manufacturers and retailers kept themselves up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the sector. The gratifying visitor numbers confirm that the innovation exhibition of Igeho is the undisputed meeting point for professionals from the hospitality and catering sectors. Mefa, the specialist fair for the meat trade, and Lefatec, the newly launched specialist fair for food production, both benefited from the significance of their big sister and enjoyed the contact with a large number of key opinion leaders – given that some 70 percent of the visitors who came have direct decision-making competence.

The new positioning concept has proved successful
In 2013, Igeho and Mefa, and with them Lefatec, heralded in a proverbial new era. The new hall complex at Messe Basel provided a dignified setting for the three trade fairs held in parallel and certainly served to enhance them. The new "Avenue" positioning concept, where stands with a maximum height of 4 metres are located in the centre of the hall, and stands up to 9 metres high are placed on the left and right-hand sides, has proved successful. In addition, exhibitors and visitors alike appreciated the generously-dimensioned yet, at the same time, compact presentation all under the same roof, and felt that the visitor flow had been guided in the ideal manner. The high satisfaction of the professional visitors is reflected in their intention to attend Igeho | Mefa | Lefatec in 2015 too. More than 80 percent of those present said that they would be coming to Basel for the fairs the next time round. They are being staged again from 21 to 25 November 2015.

The highlights of the specialist fairs at a glance
Particularly positive feedback was received from the professional visitors on the Igeho sections of "Food and Drink", "Restaurant and Hotel Equipment", "Specialities, Delicatessen and Wines", and the "World of Coffee". "Restaurant CH", the gastronomy concept run by next-generation chefs, also attracted high numbers of visitors. The multi-faceted offerings were rounded off by a large number of accompanying events, specialist meetings and the presentation of the host region of Appenzellerland.

The highlights of Mefa 2013 were the quality competition organised by the Swiss association of the meat trade (SFF), the Swiss Championships for the best retail-specialist and meat-specialist apprentices and the Swiss Championships in meat platter presentation. The legendary "Metzgerstübli" made for a good atmosphere with the live music it provided every evening, including long after the fair had closed for the day.

Lefatec made an excellent impression with its special display of Swiss cheeses designed to resemble a marketplace, under the title “La sélection de fromages helvétiques”. Selected Swiss cheese makers presented their specialities for tasting and also offered them for sale. The broad range of packaging solutions on offer for foods at Lefatec was also very much appreciated by the just under 22 percent of professional visitors from the food industry. The exhibitors stress the importance of the launch of the new food production platform and attach decisive importance to Lefatec for the further working of their market.

The results of the Salon Culinaire Mondial
At the renowned Salon Culinaire Mondial team-cooking competition, ten national teams with more than 60 members, 17 regional teams with 118 members, 72 individual visitors and dozens of helpers competed virtually round-the-clock for medals and titles in the categories of "Culinary Art" and "Pastry Art" as well as in the hot show kitchen. It frequently happened that the chefs were on their feet for more than 30 hours at a time in a bid to provide visitors to the fair and the 22-strong jury with a show of superlatives – something which they certainly succeeded in doing.

Even before the competition started, it was clear that the race for the podium positions would be a very close one. The jury thus had its work cut out accordingly. The jury rewarded the performance of the Culinary National Team of Hong Kong with two gold medals and thus selected it as the overall winner – the "Culinary World Master". The national team from Switzerland came second, while third place went to Team Singapore.

The results of all the other categories are posted on www.salonculinairemondial.ch.

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