Anuga. OMG. Karoline (with a K) told me it would be a great way to meet new clients and brush up on fmcg trends. And no, she wasn’t going to come with me. A two-star hotel (just 90 minutes away from Cologne by train), the highest of high heels (phenomenal mistake) and shortest of skirts (always a good choice) were prescribed for the trudge-fest round all 25 (or so it seemed) football pitch-sized halls.
So, three things are now clear. You’re not going to win any new business at an international trade show, especially if the only people you meet are sales directors whose gaze never strays above your chest. Secondly, the world doesn’t need any more olive oil brands. In fact, there are several thousand too many already (and they were all at Anuga). And finally, I may have lost my ‘longest legs in food and drink’ title to one of the innumerable promobimbos who - yes, in 2013 - demonstrated marketing working at its unreconstructed best. And no ‘pot, kettle, black’ comments please. At least I know something about the products I’m paid to promote.
Still, it wasn’t all foot pain and sexism. Nausea played its part too. A day’s grazing on pizza on a stick, black soy milk powder, banana ketchup, chilli mango prawns, and birch sap from Finland does strange things to the stomach (and the soul - I started dreaming about a career in psychiatric nursing. How nuts is that?).
Anyway, despite getting on so well with the folk from the Shenyang Auspicious Vegetable Oil Co and the team at Linyi City Kangfa Foodstuff Drinkable Co, as the plane touched down at City (I refused to fly from Luton) I vowed never to mention Anuga to anybody ever again.