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North East foodie businesses encouraged to join FoodFest15

FoodFest15, a new food and drink initiative, designed to capitalise on Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink and attract more visitors to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, has been launched today (Monday 30 March 2015). To ensure that FoodFest15 is a success, organisers are appealing to more local food producers, restaurants, hoteliers and retailers to join the project.

FoodFest15 is a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce. Banffshire Coast Tourism Partnership, Visit Royal Deeside and VisitAberdeen. Marketing Director of VisitAberdeen Peter Medley, who is leading the project on behalf of the partnership says, “Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink is an excellent opportunity for local businesses to spotlight, promote and celebrate the quality and quantity of our natural larder and enhance our reputation as a foodie destination of first choice.

Food is a vital element in any break – whether for leisure or business - and FoodFest15 will help visitors find even more places to eat and buy quality food, as well as seeing the manufacture process in breweries and distilleries. As a proportion of the national average 'foodies' - those who show an interest in cuisine and dining-out - make up 28% of the population. This group is twice as likely to eat out on average as other groups. Two thirds of Scotland’s visitors think that quality food is an important factor when deciding where to go on holiday and UK tourists to Scotland spend £610million on food and drink, representing 20% of all their visit expenditure. We’re calling for everyone in the food and drink trade in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to be a part of FoodFest15, and use our great local produce to attract even more visitors to the north east.

“We are encouraging as many businesses as possible to join us in celebrating our seasonal produce in line with the Year of Food and Drink’s themed months throughout the year, such as Whisky Month in May and soft fruits and berries in July. We will also be highlighting the story behind our food and the people who produce it, as consumers prefer to buy food with an explicit local provenance.

“We have an exceptionally strong food product from farm to fork and we have the personalities behind the food we create. We hope more businesses will join the FoodFest15 project to place the northeast on the gastro tourism map. We’re particularly targeting visitors from Germany, Norway, Orkney, Shetland, those within a two hour driving distance from the area and key English cities with direct flight routes such as Bristol and Southampton.”

A new website has been created for the project – www.foodfest15.com – which pulls together all food and drink events taking place in 2015 including Taste of Grampian in June, World Whisky Day in May, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in July and Deeside Food and Fiddle Fortnight in October. It also features places to eat where the menus are guaranteed to have at least 40% of the menu ingredients sourced locally.

The promotional campaign for FoodFest15 includes online advertising, traditional advertising, direct mail, social media, press trips and brochures. Businesses involved in all aspects of the food and drink industry can find out more about the project and become a part of FoodFest15 by completing the ‘contact us’ page on foodfest15.com

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