A CHESTER-BASED food wholesaler is aiming for record sales as it launches its biggest ever trade fair.

The fast-growing Harlech Foodservice is forecasting sales approaching £1 million over the two-day Expo held at Llandudno’s Venue Cymru.

Over 120 exhibitors and crowds of over 2,000 are expected at the event on Wednesday, March 6, and Thursday, March 7.

The Expo is a highlight of the year for Harlech which has a base in Chester and will showcase the range of products it supplies to restaurants, cafes and even Premiership giants as well as to schools and hospitals, museums, and art galleries.

Harlech say the Expo gives suppliers the opportunity to talk directly to the customer, giving them a chance to tell the story behind their product to representatives from the tourism, leisure, education and health sectors across the North West, Wales and the Midlands.

Harlech will also unveil its latest Trust Our Prices range of deals for its customers with prices pegged from April on over 400 products. The company has also been buoyed by a £6 million expansion plan that will create 150 new jobs.

Head of Purchasing for Harlech, Josie Swift said: “We introduced Trust Our Prices last year, freezing prices on over 300 core products for the three months up to Christmas and New Year and it proved so popular we have done it again for January through March.

“Now we’re launching our third wave of Trust Our Prices and will be fixing our prices in June and it’s bigger than ever with over 400 products covering frozen, ambient food and non-food products.

“It means our customers in the hospitality and catering sectors can be confident that prices will remain pegged for the busy summer period.

“It means we’re saying to our customers in hospitality that they can go ahead and set their menus for the whole season because we can support you through those three months and their margins will remain the same.”

Harlech’s own stand will be at the heart of the event and will feature live cookery demonstrations and the chance to sample new products. This year’s event, free to people in the trade but not open to the public, will be spread across two huge rooms at Venue Cymru and many of the stands will feature their own cookery demos as well as the chance to sample the products on show.

Exhibitors will include food giants like Kellogg’s, McCains, Young’s Seafood, Doritos, Cadbury’s, Wafflemeister and Hellman’s as well as nationally known Welsh brands such as Jones Village Bakery, Edwards the Welsh Butcher, Llaeth y Llan Village Dairy and Radnor Springs, from Knighton, in Mid Wales.

There will be a big presence from across the border as Harlech extend its reach into the North West and the Midlands and also from South Wales where the company has a distribution hub in Merthyr Tydfil and ambitions to grow. While food and drink are the main components of the event there will also be an increased presence for suppliers of cleaning, accountancy and other ancillary services.

Josie added: “We’re also very excited about our own brand Country Range and are keen to showcase it to our customers. It’s a core range for every food service business.

“This is a key time for them when they’re looking to set their menus for the year and we’re doing our best to help them do that with a wide core range at a strong price.

“We have compared our prices to the competition so we know we’ve got a really strong price and our customers know they can rely on that staying the same for three months.

“We’ve done all that hard work, including on allergens so if someone walks in with gluten intolerance you will know what’s in the product and if it’s safe for them.”