Foodpro 2023 has wrapped for 2023 showcasing more than 400 innovative exhibitors in the food manufacturing space.
Visitor foot traffic was strong and constant throughout the hugely successful four-day B2B event held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 23-26.
The most populated industry sector at the show was meat and seafood with visitors’ areas of interest comprising of plant equipment, ingredients, food science and technology, processing and packaging, packaging materials, logistics and handling, IT and digital factories, and government and business services.
Around one third of visitors this year were top CEOs, business owners, general managers and directors, alongside others in food production roles. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive with the vast majority of exhibitors say they were highly satisfied with both the quality of visitors and opportunity to meet the right buyers.
Event and product manager, Felicity Parker, said the event, the largest and longest running food manufacturing show of its kind in Australia, was once again a great success.
“Considering foodpro, which runs every three years, was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, there was a real buzz around the show this year,” she said.
“It was the first time we’d exhibited in Melbourne for nine years and industry was more than ready to welcome us back. We were also the first Australian event in the international calendar to showcase the latest developments in food manufacturing from overseas as well as locally.
“This year’s theme was Invest with the Best and we were thrilled foodpro attracted so many industry professionals with real buying power who came to see trusted suppliers, and seek out new equipment, innovations and products to create efficiencies to remain at the forefront.”
In a first, this year the Victorian Government was foodpro’s principal partner. The event was officially opened on the second day by MP Bronwyn Halfpenny, parliamentary secretary for Jobs, shortly before the doors opened. Ms Halfpenny attended on behalf of Ben Carroll, Minister for Industry and Innovation.
Speaking in front of a packed crowd, Ms Halfpenny said, “The Victorian Government has established food as one of the key five areas that is vitally important to Victoria. We understand that isn’t easy for businesses small and large in this area, so we are pleased to partner this event to help put Victoria on the map for the food and beverage industry.”
Speaker sessions at the Product Innovation Stage by Wiley, and the Smart Food Lounge by Schneider Electric, were constantly packed on each of the four days with visitors keen to hear the latest trends, predictions and business processes from some of the nation’s most learned experts.
New show initiatives included The Sensory Experience which highlighted exhibitors unveiling new tastes, flavours, colours and experiences, and the Sustainability Spotlight showcasing suppliers leading the way in mindful manufacturing.
Also at the show, the Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology (AIFST) held their annual convention featuring 50 scientific and food industry speakers from across the agri-food sector. Association partners Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) also hosted two training courses.
The expo continues to grow each year and will be back for 2026.