General Industry

What’s Cooking At IFEX 2018

By Dave Simpson
What’s Cooking At IFEX 2018

IFEX, one of Ireland’s premier food, drink, retail and hospitality event, returns to the Titanic Exhibition Centre, Belfast from Tuesday 20 – Thursday 22 March 2018.

As a biennial event, IFEX 2018 is the only chance within the next two years for buyers to meet with over 200 suppliers and manufacturers, watch hundreds of chefs compete, and network with thousands of industry colleagues.

With the addition of Meat@IFEX, which will be home to the World Butchers’ Challenge skills event, and news that the Great Taste Market, showcasing the finest in award-winning products, is returning, IFEX 2018 is set to become a ‘one stop shop’ for discovering and tasting some of the best food and drink products that Ireland has to offer.

Indicating that the demand and anticipation for IFEX is high, both exhibitor numbers and visitor pre-show registration figures are incredibly strong.

IFEX has once again partnered with The Guild of Fine Food to introduce the Great Taste Market to the show, showcasing speciality foods from a variety of Great Taste winners from across NI, ROI and GB.


For small producers, the addition of the Great Taste Market at IFEX provides the perfect platform to connect with key buyers, make valuable contacts and increase awareness of their products; and for visitors, they can discover a range of artisan products that could be of benefit to their businesses moving forward.

Meat@IFEX is a brand-new butchery and meat expo that will sit alongside IFEX at the Titanic Exhibition Centre. For the first-time, the World Butchers’ Challenge will take place in Northern Ireland, and will be housed within Meat@IFEX, where visitors will include butchers, meat merchants, processors, chefs and many more.

Organised in-conjunction with Butchery Excellence International (Ireland), Meat@IFEX is set to host international delegates from 12 countries as competitors compete on the global stage to be named ‘Best Butchers in the World’.

Butchers from across Ireland will compete as ‘Team Ireland’ - sponsored by Kerry Group, McDonnells Queen Street and Spice O’Life Ltd - and they will be pitted against teams from Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, USA and reigning champions, France.

It’s expected that the addition of Meat@IFEX and the World Butchers’ Challenge will deliver another rise in visitors to the show – which saw a 22% rise in number at the last IFEX – and around 500 of those will be international. Collectively the shows are set to be home to over 6,000 foodservice, retail, hospitality and butchery professionals over the three days.


To find out more about Team Ireland, or to register to visit IFEX and Meat@IFEX then visit or follow along on social @IFEX_NI / #meatatIFEX

Commenting on the upcoming event, IFEX Event Manager Caroline McCusker said, “With an exciting mix of exhibitors, hundreds of talented chefs and live competitions, if you’re a stakeholder in the food, drink, retail and hospitality industries, IFEX is a show not to be missed.”

Advance registration is for IFEX is free via the website:

Opening hours of IFEX 2018 are:

Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 10:00 – 18:00 Wednesday, 21 March 2018, 10:00 – 18:00 Thursday, 22 March 2018, 10:00 – 16:00

Follow IFEX on twitter @IFEX_NI or via or join the IFEX NI Group on LinkedIn.