With the SA Cheese Festival in the Spotlight, cheese lovers enjoyed a selection of more than thirty tons of cheese, new product offerings, exquisite entertainment and of course good food, wine and music.
Cheese was the focus of the 2016 festival and visitors could taste and buy the widest variety of cheese, from well-known types like cheddar, gouda and feta to the more exotic, hand-made boutique- and artisanal cheeses. The range of cheese was further extended with national and international cheese brands and festival goers could also chat to the cheese makers about their unique products or visit the Milk Factory, where the cheese making process starts.
Festival goers enjoyed a wide variety of over 400 cheeses, ranging from national cheese brands to unique artisanal cheeses. It was encouraging to see new brands featuring at the festival, as this platform gives great exposure to new brands and creates awareness amongst consumers.
Cheese lovers had an unbelievable taste sensation with innovative food pairings presented by culinary artist and celebrity personalities. The theme also inspired exhibitors to present creative products at the festival. By public vote, Kasselshoop Cheddar Melts was announced as the Most Innovative Product at the 2015 South African Cheese Festival.
An event of this magnitude, attracting thousands of people over a three day period, is a major boost for the local economy and impacts much further than the festival grounds. Visitors from outside the Western Cape borders impacts positively on the tourism industry in the Province.
The success of the 2015 SA Cheese Festival culminated in a Platinum Award for the Best Exhibition in Southern Africa from EXSA (Exhibition & Event Association of Southern Africa).
More than 32 000 cheese-loving visitors enjoyed the unparalleled variety of cheeses and other deli products at the 13th SA Cheese Festival presented at Sandringham from 26-29 April.
With ‘Edutainment’ being the buzz word, celebs could be found in the Gourmet Maze introduced by Checkers, while winners and runners-up of the MasterChef SA and kykNET Kokkedoor programmes, made sure that the Afrox Cooking Pot burst at the seams with visitors wanting to know more about the versatility of cheese.
The challenge for any organiser presenting an event of this magnitude is to ensure that returning visitors experience something new each time, and that logistics continue to improve to grant visitors a superb, safe and stress-free experience. Feedback from the dairy industry is that the festival indeed draws the limelight to cheese for the month of April and that especially small boutique cheeseries gain invaluable exposure during the four days.
Thousands of fun loving foodies once again descended on the SA Cheese Festival over the weekend of 26 – 28 April in search of the perfect cheese. The ideal picnic weather, some 400 cheeses to choose from and the who’s who of the food world sharing their culinary secrets, contributed to an unparalleled autumn outing. The extended Friday night opening hours made up for the fact that the festival had to take place over three days. 27 500 cheese lovers still attended the event.
The surface allocated for the festival measured 34 034m² and the floor space for stands 5 294m²; formal demos took place in four different theatres; an exciting cheese carving competition with big prizes to be won, attracted scores of participants every day; and once again parents could relax with their purchases while the kids were entertained in the Kiddies Corner and DStv Kidzone or at the Milk Factory. The SA Cheese Festival has become a hot topic during April as ‘cheese month’ and received over R24m worth of media coverage.
The 11th SA Cheese Festival was a resounding success with more than 32 000 visitors experiencing a symphony for the senses with 35 tons of cheese to taste and purchase. The new layout on the 26 800 m² area, ampel well marked parking and lots of gourmet food, live music and enough seating in the leisure area, pleased visitors. And … for the third time, the SA Cheese Festival has been named Southern Africa’s Best Trade and Consumer Exhibition for events of 12 000m² and more by EXSA (the Exhibition and Event Association of Southern Africa).
Family and friends had a great time tasting new products as well as old favourites. Kids shed their energy in the Wilde Fruit Juices kiddies corner, jumping, playing and performing behind the karaoke microphone at the DStv Kidzone. The three food theatres were packed with visitors wanting to know the latest trends in cheese, wine and fashion. The 2012 Cheese Festival introduced the first cheese carving competition that attracted a lot of attention.
Almost 32 000 visitors celebrated the 10th SA Cheese Festival at a brand new venue, Sandringham, with more cheese and other exhibitors than previous years. The layout consisted of four sections, the Dairy Square, Carnival Park, Meander and Waterfront. In the intimate and interactive atmosphere of the DStv Food Theatre and the BBC Lifestyle Network workshop several culinary greats shared their secrets and showed off their skills with a host of awe inspiring demonstrations. Kids loved the fun activities at the Wilde Fruit Juice Kiddies Corner and DStv Kids. In the largest ever air cooled Checkers Cheese Emporium, visitors did not only taste cheese and other delectable products, but approximately 8000 fans of the Checkers line-up of hosts including Nataniël, Brümilda van Rensburg, Shaleen Surtie Richards and the Giggling Gourmet, Jenny Morris, sat down at the Living Table.
Thousands of cheese lovers from far and wide celebrated the good life at the 2010 SA Cheese Festival over the long weekend. The festival kicked off with a bang on Saturday 24 April and kept its momentum until the very end of this four day event. Highlights included the quirks and culinary skills of celebrities such as Nataniël, Soli Philander, Diaan Lawrence and Jody Abrahams who drew capacity crowds to the Checkers Theatre and Cooking Pot, the 200 000th visitor, the wide variety of sumptuous cheeses, creative related products as well as a fun filled programme of events and entertainment for young and old.
Part of the success of this event rests on the limiting of visitor numbers per day. This was the last time the SA Cheese Festival was presented at Bien Donné, as the 10th anniversary of this sought after culinary event will be celebrated at Agri-Expo’s farm Sandringham on the N1, halfway between Cape Town and Paarl.
The strict limitation on attendance numbers and the fact that no tickets were sold at the gates, enhanced the enjoyment of the public. Despite rain on Saturday, the festival drew almost 29 000 visitors and on three days tickets were sold out (8 000 visitors are allowed per day). The festival had the most exhibitors ever, the most new small cheeseries and a record number of tasty related products.
The fun menu for the young ones also grew to include entertainment with favourite cartoon characters, music and games. And the cherry on top: the Festival was once again named the “best exhibition for trade and consumer in Southern Africa in the category 12 001m² and over” by EXSA.
Size does matter! This one was the biggest festival in the seven years of its existence in all respects: number of visitors, number of exhibitors as well as the utilisation of the extended space at the venue.
Checkers came on board as the new main sponsor and kept their advertising promise by bringing a ‘World of Cheese’ to the Festival dished up by outstanding chefs and celebrities. No less than 48 demonstrations kept packed audiences riveted in the Surepure Cooking Pot and Absa Cheese and Wine theatre.
The judges were as happy as the 26 000 visitors (despite pouring rain on the first two days)! The Festival received the EXSA award for “best exhibition for trade and consumer in Southern Africa in the category 12 001m2 and over”.
Visitors had more than 400 different cheeses to choose from and the Absa Cheese and Wine Route replaced the Workshop.
Agri-Expo found the winning recipe: a good balance between happy exhibitors and number of visitors. The media embraced the Festival and gave exposure worth R19,5 million.
Two new additions, The Mall and the Fair Cape Alfresco Corner, with fresh milk and entertainment for the youngsters, gave visitors a still wider scope of enjoyment.
Still the Festival grew and drew more than 26 500 visitors. Due to the overwhelming interest in the festival the organisers took several precautionary measures to ensure a pleasant experience for every festival goer. The Absa Cheese Workshop was expanded and sponsors and media representatives were treated in the Simonsig VIP tent.
The Festival boasted a new identity and logo and 22 000 people came to taste and enjoy. The visitor numbers were monitoblue to improve the flow of people and to enable the small cheese makers to cope better with the number of tasters.
The width of the passages in the Emporium was doubled; a Cheese Market and Market Square with 26 exhibitors were introduced; the Gourmet lane now housed 31 top restaurants and wine cellars and the Milk Factory and Kiddies Corner were enlarged. A Cheese Workshop was added, housing 150 visitors at a sitting, for six sessions per day.
20 000 people visited the Festival which was now held over 4 days. The Emporium and Gourmet Lane were doubled in size, 19 illustrious chefs participated in the kitchen and the Milk Factory was added.
The 1st South African Cheese Festival was held at Bien Donné under the Agri-Expo flag for the three days of 26 to 28 April. 12 000 people arrived to inspect the newcomer on the gourmet scene. The Festival boasted a Cheese Emporium, Gourmet Lane, Celebrity Chefs’ Kitchen and Kiddies Corner.