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February 23, 2015

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Updates F&B Options in Response to New Study

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has developed a five-year road map to enhance its food and beverage options in response to conference trends, event diversity and an increased need for retail offerings. The food service at the MCEC reportedly generates 40 percent of the Centre’s revenue.

Recent market research undertaken by MCEC showed a number of key industry findings including:
·         A growing trend in either reducing or cutting out pre-packaged international conference catering.
·         Consumers driving the need for locally sourced produce, supporting local suppliers and reducing carbon footprint.
·         Reduced budgets yet there is an increase in demand for more interactive, interesting food experiences.
·         An increase in dietary requirements and lifestyle choices putting extra demand on menu creation and food production.
·         ‘Fashionable’ food culture has become an important part of the customer experience.
·         Catering revenues are decreasing while retail revenues are experiencing growth.
“In response to these findings, MCEC has embarked on a ‘retail revolution,’ which includes the creation of a Retail Catering Guide explaining MCEC’s diverse retail offering including the venue’s cafés, fixed kiosks and 10 pop-up outlets,” MCEC Director of Food and Beverage Marc van der Meer said in a statement. “It also includes the planned refurbishment of MCEC’s two on-site cafes to align with Melbourne’s popular café scene...In developing our five-year strategy, we’ve looked closely at food and beverage trends as a whole, and within business events specifically, including consumer behaviors, budgets, lifestyle and more.”

In addition, MCEC has launched a revised Menu Planning Guide with more than 20 percent of its catering menu items newly developed or recreated based on current food trends and lifestyle preferences, including a new High Tea concept and MCEC’s live cooking station menus.

Both new retail catering and catering offerings are being showcased during the Asia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo (AIME) with Globe Restaurant Two featuring Made retail pop-up outlets ‘Burgers and Bites,’ ‘From the Streets’ and ‘Provincial Kitchen.’ MCEC is offering a complimentary taste of items from its new Menu Planning Guide at the Melbourne stand (E702) on the show floor.

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