GTCO Food And Drink Festival 2022: An Exhilarating Culinary Adventure
By – Yemisi Suleiman
After a two-year break orchestrated by COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Food and Drink Festival powered by the Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) PLC, returned with an exciting line up of activities.
For three days, exciting food lovers and shoppers who were apparently delighted at the return of the annual food fair, trooped to the Water Corporation Drive, Oniru, venue of the event in celebration of all things delicious with family and friends. Aimed at promoting Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the 5th edition ran from April 30th to Monday, May 2nd, 2022. Tagged, “Authentic Nigerian food” the free-to-attend three-day festival, featured over 150 free retail stalls, showcasing everything from the best of Nigeria’s street food, to bite-sized gourmet treats, indigenous drinks, traditional snacks and more.
As is the tradition, the open field was saturated with fresh farm produce from the farmers’ market, as well as exciting street food booths, all occupied by attendees.
Speaking about the event, the GTCO Chief Executive Officer, Segun Agbaje noted that Africa’s history and rich cultural heritage is beautifully reflected in its cuisines. The primary objective of the GTCO Food and Drink Festival, he says, is to showcase our diversity as a people, whilst, delivering a sumptuous culinary experience to food enthusiasts across the continent.
“As our contribution to the development of local SMEs, we want to see our retail customers who also own small businesses thrive by giving them more opportunities to connect with consumers from around the world.
“At GTCO Plc, we are committed to offering our customers and communities great experiences with every interaction and will continue to promote viable enterprises particularly in the food and fashion industries, given the massive capabilities and countless multiplier effects inherent in these critical industry segments”, he added.
Apart from the food stalls and exhibitions, the three-day festival featured masterclass sessions with carefully selected facilitators ( renowned chefs) from around the world who brought to fore their experiences in the international food business, as well as the business angle of food.
Children were not left out as well, as there was a well-fitted play area designed to add another layer of excitement and keep them meaningfully engaged while parents shopped.
With the number of local and international vendors at the event, the GTCO Food and Drinks fair was no doubt an exhilarating culture-filled culinary adventure. Whether you are into sweets or savory, traditional or continental, or fusion of more than one, there was something for everyone. And, as the event came to a close on the third day, first time vendor, CEO of Yange Yogurt, thanked the organizers for an impartial selection process. “I hope to be here again next year if the opportunity is granted to us. We are so grateful to the GTCO. Everything was just fantastic at promoting SMEs through this initiative.”
For two-time participant and CEO of T-Crown Food and Processing, Temilade Agunbiade, the fair created more patronage and visibility for her brand even as she hopes to go global. While thanking GTCO for the initiative, she described the food and drinks fair as “a great way of giving back to society and we appreciate it.”