Some of the team "forced" themselves to attend the International Food & Drink Event at ExCel in London a couple of weeks ago, while the rest of us held the fort back here in the lead up to Mother's Day. We imagine it was a tough task taste testing potential new products to include in our Gift Baskets and Christmas Hampers, but somebody has to do it eh?
The photography for our Christmas Hampers normally takes place in the Summer time, but this year we are aiming to have this finalised earlier and so potential new products need to be with us in April. Quite often companies find us first and send us samples, but we're taking a pro-active approach as we try to source more unusual and healthier options rather than more of the same traditional hamper products. Of course, traditional is still good too which is why we offer 2 types of gift - the more traditional food hamper and the more exciting gift basket.
Roma tells me that there was a real focus on healthier products at the exhibition, especially for certain diet requirements such as gluten or dairy free. Roma spoke with representatives of companies producing snack bars, children's jelly drinks, drinking chocolate, smoothie and healthy drinks and jelly drinks for children. Sometimes we get really excited about a potential new product but then find it doesn't work for gift baskets/hampers due to the size, packaging or chilled nature/short best before dates. A lot of exhibitors are now getting in touch with us to follow up and arrange samples/orders. Roma also said it was great to meet existing suppliers such as Ashbourne Foods, Coolmore and the Foods of Athenry, as quite often our relationship with suppliers is via the phone and email and we don't know them in person due to them being scattered across the UK and Ireland. Maybe I should volunteer to meet with our European suppliers!
If you're reading this and think you have a product which may fit the BasketsGalore range, then please do get in touch with us.