international excellence Jamaica is taking part for the first time with a bid to make its cuisine the next food sensation in the UK; but many other countries are also showing off compelling products Expo is becoming a major international event in the world food and drink exhibition calendar. This year's show has attracted more than 60 exhibitors from 14 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, America, the Pacific Rim and the Caribbean. As well as the large number of overseas companies exhibiting individually, there will be nine country pavilions, including Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Tunisia, Jamaica and the US, plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many exhibitors are launching products, providing trade buyers with a unique opportunity to source products that have not been seen before in the UK market. Jamaica is participating for the first time to promote its new Flavour of Jamaica campaign. "We will be doing a soft launch of this campaign," says the country's trade commissioner Diane Edwards-Gleede. "Flavour of Jamaica will position Jamaican cuisine as the next food sensation in the UK. "We are presenting new products at the show, in particular a range of Jamaican patties ­ our fast food ­ accessible to the UK consumer market for the first time in their authentic form with a true flaky pastry crust. "Pot of Gold Jamaican ackees, part of the national dish, and callaloo, our version of spinach, plus a range of Grace Jamaican sauces will also be on display." The patties will be featured by Port Royal Patties, while the ackees and callaloo can be found on the stand of Agriventures which grows them in its own orchards in Jamaica and is the country's largest exporter of these products. Tropical flavoured soft drinks will be displayed by the Jamaica Drinks Co and Grace, Kennedy & Co will launch healthy carrot based tropical fruit drinks as well as new Caribbean cooking sauces. In addition, Jamaica will be theming the drinks party for exhibitors with rum punch from J Wray and Nephew and Red Stripe, the Jamaican beer. "We look forward to creating a real buzz at Expo this year," says Edwards-Gleede. Germany will have the largest international presence, with 14 producers on the stand of its marketing organisation CMA featuring everything from fresh juices, dairy products and high quality meats, to beers, confectionery and condiments. Exhibitors include Dan International with its premium fruit and vegetable juices, and Stute Foods which is launching energy drink Red Z plus an isotonic drink, as well as featuring its juice range. German beers can be sampled on The Branded Drinks Partnership's stand. Fruit juice also appears in Ragolds' innovative Juiceful confectionery which consists of candy rolls filled with juice and vitamins in eight flavours. Others showing confectionery include Orion Confectionery and John Moore International. Germany is renowned for its quality dairy produce and the exhibition will offer the chance to see soft, deep frozen, baked, sliced and grated cheeses from Alpenhain Camembert and Golden Acre Dairy Foods. The House of Westphalia will be featuring Little Swallow, the bestselling natural yogurt in the health food market, and IDB Deutschland & Co will be showing Butter Rosettes flavoured with seasonings and in organic varieties. Meat, in various formats, will be featured by Nietfeld Feinkost which does vacuum packed and pre-prepared turkey roast and pork shanks, Reinert, which has 150 types of chilled meat and salamis, and Heidemark Turkey Specialists. The Horrelin Group, one of Europe's largest speciality producers, will be a rich source of delicatessen products. Pizza manufacturer Wagner Tiefkuhlprodukte is launching three varieties of bruschetta, plus microwave and oven bake wraps. Moving away from food, Sudpack UK is offering the chance to see its award-winning self-venting barrier film developed for Eatwell which helps deliver restaurant quality hand-held snacks straight from the microwave. Belgium will have four companies on its pavilion, and a further four exhibiting individually. Potato products, such as french fries, flakes, roast, tortillas, wedges, croquettes and kids shapes will be a big feature, as well as pre-cooked beef from South America. Egypt's pavilion of four companies will display biscuits and confectionery, rice, vegetables, pickles and jams, while Tunisia's pavilion will concentrate on dates, one of the country's major crops. The five exhibitors in the US pavilion will feature an eclectic mix ranging from prunes (Taylor Bros Farms) and barbecue sauces and salsas (Skylark Trading) to big name US grocery brands (Americatessan and American Market Place). Plus, the US Department of Agriculture will be present to help trade buyers with their US sourcing requirements. Among US companies exhibiting individually will be the American Pretzel Co which plans to run a pretzel speed-eating competition to show how safe the country's most popular snack is to eat. Five Dutch companies will be showing a mix of traditional and innovative products, ranging from potatoes, roux and bouillon, sponges and tarts, crispbreads and Gouda snacks, to savoury pastries, mayonnnaise and dressings and detox herbal teas, plus Asian and Mediterranean ready meals. Among them, Baarssen Ocean Gourmet will be launching a new range of speciality frozen fish and offering samples to taste. Seven French companies will be exhibiting poultry including Barbary ducks and guinea fowl, liqueurs and fruit brandies, stocks and sauces, plus pâtés, desserts, patisseries and speciality breads. Among French exhibitors will be Patisseries Gourmandes, a leading French brand now making its first step into the UK market and Delice de France featuring a new range of English savoury pastries and American cheesecakes. Spain's three exhibitors will be showing long life desserts, juices and Mediterranean vegetables preserved in oils, garlic and herbs, while two companies from Italy will feature regional speciality olive oil, pasta, vinegar and condiments, as well as Shark AG, Europe's number two energy drink. New alcoholic drinks will come from Romania and Australia. Independent Distillers is promoting its fruit flavoured Vodka Cruiser, the Aussies' favourite premium packaged spirit which comes in 11 flavours. It is also launching Lemongrad, claimed to be the first bag in the box ready to drink vodka-based drink, and several vodka drinks in cans. Romania's Global Spirits Co is launching its vodka and gin ranges. From the remaining countries there will be mineral water from India, Sarawak pepper, cashew nuts and spices from Malaysia, and chocolate covered croissants from Greece. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}