The Jamaican High Commission in the UK hosted a “Meet the Buyer event” earlier this month to facilitate better recognition and accessibility of Jamaican food brands in the UK.
On 7 April, some of Jamaica’s best businesses based in the UK took centre stage as part of the inaugural ‘meet the buyer’ event hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in the UK and supported by Jampro – the Jamaican Government trade and investment arm.
At a time when the UK food industry continues to mature and people’s palates continue to evolve and crave more international cuisines, reintroducing some of the very best Jamaican food brand businesses based in the UK makes good business sense.
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Some of the food brands showcased at the event included luxury food brand Marshall and Brown and London based importer and distributor of Caribbean food and drinks brand Michaels Caribbean Imports, as well as producers of a wide range of food brands, based in Jamaica, including Tijule, Sankhard Company, Pure Chocolate, Temper Tantrum, Benlar Foods, and the Jamaican Tea Company.
The UK consumer has a real appetite for authentic and premium products and Jamaican foods have seen accelerated growth within this market, which is set to continue, according to recent studies by Mintel.
This event gave invited retailers and buyers from across the UK unique access to meet authentically sourced, original Jamaican food brands to make the distribution of authentic Jamaican products accessible nationwide.
Speaking on the overriding objective of the event, High Commissioner His Excellency Seth George Ramocan proudly stated that this is: “Jamaica, creating a more authentic ethnic food experience for customers.”
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Explaining the importance of having events like this, Marshall and Brown founder Dr Carlton Brown said:
“As a luxury Jamaican brand, we know that retailers sometimes find it challenging to differentiate between authentic Jamaican products that they place on their supermarket shelves and assimilated versions. This event is important because it provides retailers with a unique opportunity to access authentic products directly with those buyers that support and work directly with Jamaica. We are proud to be one of the key exhibitors at this very important event for the Jamaican Diaspora.”
Jamaican-born Nicole Bowen is the founder of Mickles which recently launched in the UK. She added:
“This is an important step for authentic brands to be seen and supported at events like this, as it provides our customers with confidence that they are dealing with locally sourced products from the Caribbean. This feels like history in the making, and I look forward to seeing Mickles products stocked and available to customers across the country.”