Busy times

This is always an interesting time of the year in the foodservice and shopping industry, especially now I am in Germany. Both ICSC RECon, held in London at the beginning of March, and INTERNORGA, held in Hamburg, take place within a few days of each other and you need all your stamina and resources to do both successfully. The team at #WeLoveFood was at both events and to be fair they are very different.

One is a single day event in London at the Business Design Centre in Islington, where Developers and Landlords take spaces to promote their projects and activities, as well as other partners and service providers being in the hall. It is not a huge event, but it is London, so it does have all the main names there. Not only are they there, but they are relaxed and want to talk. Then, two days later, we arrived at the monster show that is INTERNORGA, which is, without doubt, the most concentrated group of operators in one place in Germany. At both fairs the ECE team had made lots of bookings, so there was a steady stream of meetings happening throughout these two with for example Merlin Entertainments, Wagamama and Pret A Manger.

At INTERNORGA the #WeLoveFood team had a stand in the tent, where we were able to meet amongst others with experts from Elior Group, a foodservice company, OhJulia, a restaurant offering authentic Italian food and Cotidiano, a restaurant based in Munich and famous for its breakfast . The content at the fair was amazing, with so much insight into our industry, I guess the point of all of this is that we are a property company, but we need to take our unique food proposition, #WeLoveFood to the market, so that our operating partners, tenants and potential partners can understand what we are doing.

When you do both events in the same week, it brings into sharp focus the differences in the markets in England and Germany at the moment. In the UK, the foodservice market is saturated in many places, sales levels are wobbling and there are real concerns around rising costs. They have had a series of insolvencies and administrations which is not good. In contract, in Germany, there isn’t an over-provision and we are benefitting from the German consumer wanting to be more adventurous with food and drink and their leisure time. This means there is a lot of potential here, but we must watch out for the over-supply issue.

I love my home country, but I am enjoying being in Germany at this exciting time!

About Jonathan Doughty

Jonathan DoughtyJonathan Doughty became known in 1993 as founder and Global Managing Director of Coverpoint Foodservice Consultants based in the UK. One of Jonathan Doughty's outstanding abilities is to design new dining areas and food courts for new and existing shopping centers. He and his team will analyze the potential of ECE's around 150 portfolio centers for new and refurbishment food projects and implement them.

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