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Informa Connect Expands in Foodservice Market with Winsight, National Restaurant Association Show Acquisition

image of people on the show floor at the National Restaurant Show, which was acquired by Informa

CHICAGO — Informa announced on May 18 that it has reached an agreement to acquire Winsight for an initial enterprise value of $380 million, payable in cash. The deal includes Winsight’s substantial data and research insights arm Technomic and the iconic National Restaurant Association Show, along with its substantial B2B media portfolio. Winsight CEO Mike Wood will continue to lead the business, which will become part of the Informa Connect division.  

Stephen A. Carter, Group Chief Executive, Informa, said, “Following on from the acquisition of Tarsus, we are delighted to further expand our B2B portfolio through the addition of Winsight. Alongside technology, life sciences and aviation, this now adds foodservice to our roster of category-leading B2B businesses with scale, international reach, and an increasingly diversified service offering spanning live and on-demand events, specialist data/research, specialist media and related B2B digital services.” 

Informa Connect currently owns and operates Catersource, the leading B2B live event for the catering business in the United States. Their portfolio of specialized media brands in the food service media brands vertical include Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality, Food Management and Supermarket News. 

“At Informa, our purpose is to champion the specialist. This new combination of Informa’s existing foodservice assets with Winsight’s outstanding media, event and data assets provides the capability to create even more market-leading products and services that will better serve the needs of the foodservice industry and its customers. We are very excited to be bringing together such well-respected, market-leading brands and the talented teams that support them, to facilitate the creation of even greater customer value and exciting new growth opportunities for all,” Informa Connect CEO Andrew Mullins said. 

The foodservice market is on its way back to business in a post-pandemic era. The National Restaurant Association 2023 sales forecast for restaurants is $997 billion. This rebound was reflected in a strong post-lockdown 2022 National Restaurant Association Show which spanned 595,375 nsf, saw more than 50,000 attendees and more than 1,800 exhibiting companies, according to Trade Show Executive.  

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“Our rapid recovery to pre-pandemic performance levels is a testament to the essential qualities of our products and services, and the caliber of our employees,” Wood said. “We are excited to build upon this momentum as part of Informa, whose global reach, existing market presence and growth-minded philosophy will only allow us to do more and better for our clients.” 

Initial registration numbers indicate The National Restaurant Association Show is poised for a 15% increase in attendance and a remarkable increase to more than 659K nsf for the 2023 show, which runs May 20-23 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. In fact, this year’s show will welcome 2,100 manufacturers and suppliers who will showcase their products and services. Eight hundred of these are new to the show, a 61% increase over 2022’s first-time exhibitor total.  

The trade show has a long history of success and has won many accolades. In 2018, the it swept multiple TSE Grand Award categories at Trade Show Executive’s Gold 100 Awards & Summit winning the coveted Greatest Trade Show of the Year, Most Innovative Show and Most Impressive Surge in Sponsorship Sales. The show has appeared on TSE’s Gold 100 rankings 13 times.  

“Each year, the National Restaurant Association Show becomes the epicenter of the foodservice world, attracting the brightest minds and boldest ideas,” said Tom Cindric, President of Winsight Exhibitions. “From the vibrant show floor to the captivating keynote speakers and the groundbreaking FABI and KI Awards to the immersive chef and beverage demos, this year’s show promises an unparalleled experience that will ignite passion, foster collaboration and propel our industry forward.” 

Now poised for additional growth under the Informa Connect banner, international expansion of the show may be on the horizon. Cindric served as Vice President of World of Concrete at Hanley Wood prior to its acquisition by Informa in 2014 for a cool $375 million. Under Cindric at Hanley Wood/Informa, the World of Concrete expanded to Mexico and India, and entered into international collaborations in countries including Brazil, China and France. 

Reach Tom Cindric at  

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