Tech platform Product Guru launches virtual food and drink trade show

An online platform that has been called Tinder for retail buyers and product suppliers is launching a virtual alternative to food and drink trade shows – and has already signed up the likes of Oxfam, Tesco and Waitrose.

Founder Simon Coyle ran several food and drink firms for 20-plus years. Picture: Studio Cee Photography.
Founder Simon Coyle ran several food and drink firms for 20-plus years. Picture: Studio Cee Photography.

Glasgow-based Product Guru, which describes itself as a product discovery platform letting brands showcase their products to retail buyers, is behind new offering The Pantry Live. The online event will be held on 5 and 6 October, enabling suppliers to showcase their products in a virtual exhibition hall and network with industry experts.

The tech platform said that for many food and drink suppliers, trade shows are crucial for lead-generation within the sector, “and with in-person events continuing to be pushed back to next year, Product Guru spotted an opportunity to pioneer a new digital experience”.

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The virtual exhibition hall will be an extension of the company’s software platform, which has been designed to make it easy for buyers to identify suitable suppliers and view their products in one place.

Names to have given their backing to the exclusive virtual event include GS1, the Fairtrade Foundation, The Vegan Society, and the British Soft Drinks Association. Buyers confirmed for The Pantry Live include WH Smith, Lidl, Scotmid, the Co-op, and Holland & Barrett in addition to Oxfam, Tesco and Waitrose.

Exhibitors are also eligible to apply for an exclusive Meet Your Match: Product Pitch session, where brands will be matched with a panel of buyers and given the opportunity to do a short pitch.


Attendees and exhibitors will also be offered the chance to hear from 30 prestigious speakers, and attend exclusive virtual sessions such as masterclasses and discussion panels on topics including local sourcing and current food trends. Online tasting tours and buying events will also be available, and the event will end with a virtual awards ceremony.

Product Guru founder Simon Coyle said: “Our hope is that this event will help create a space for talented and deserving food and drink producers to get themselves out there. The Pantry Live shows how we can adapt to an increasingly digital world.”

Sara Cunnew, buying manager at Oxfam, welcomed The Pantry Live opening up more chances for Oxfam buyers to source new products. “It’s so important for us to keep growing our retail business to contribute to Oxfam’s work and sourcing products online at The Pantry Live will support that aim.”

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