Informa Continues Expansion Into Specialist B2B Foodservice Market With Acquisition of Winsight for $380 Million
Leading international live and on-demand events, academic and digital services group, Informa, has further bolstered its position in the growing specialist B2B foodservice market with the acquisition of Winsight, a leading specialist B2B events, data and media group focused on the food and beverage industry, for $380 million.
The combination of Winsight with Informa’s existing B2B foodservice portfolio significantly enhances Informa’s established position in this large and growing marketing by bringing together leading specialist brands in live and on-demand events.
“Following on from the acquisition of Tarsus Group, we are delighted to further expand our B2B portfolio through the addition of Winsight,” said Stephen A. Carter, CEO of London, U.K.-based Informa group. “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.”
Based in Chicago, Winsight provides actionable information, market intelligence, professional events and media to the global restaurant, noncommercial foodservice, convenience retailing and grocery industries. The company offers a multi-channel portfolio of brands across research, data and analytics, events, websites, e-newsletters and content marketing solutions.
The company provides a range of specialist B2B services to the $3 trillion foodservices industry, including:
- Live and On-Demand B2B Events: The variety of specialist B2B events operated by Winsight includes the flagship National Restaurant Association Show, the world’s largest annual marketplace for foodservice professionals. The show attracts more than 30,000 attendees and 1,800 exhibitors annually and will further expand Informa’s portfolio of more than 85 tier 1 brands. Other B2B event brands include Food Service Technology Conference (FSTEC) and the Restaurant Leadership Conference.
- Specialist Data and Research: Through Technomic, which was founded in 1966, Winsight provides specialist foodservices data and insights, including the largest historic food service dataset and most respected industry forecasts. It also provides strategic consulting and advisory services to the industry.
- Specialist Media: The group also owns specialist media brands and proprietary digital media platforms that provide news and insights on all segments of the market and targeted lead generation for both supply-side and buy-side customers. Key media brands include Restaurant Business, Grocery Business, CSP and Food Service Director.
Informa intends to operate the Winsight brands alongside its own established foodservice media brands and trade shows, with Technomic becoming Informa’s first insights business dedicated to foodservice.
CEO Mike Wood will continue to lead Winsight, which will become part of the Informa Connect division, a content-led, live and on-demand experiences business that connects professionals with knowledge, ideas and opportunities through events, media and research. The division services an array of industries, including finance, biotech and pharma, restaurant and food, catering, event planning, pop culture, marketing, law, energy, HR, sustainability and construction.
“Our team is incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved since originally acquiring our founding brands in 2012,” Wood said. “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.”
He added, “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.”
According to Informa officials, Informa has been building a position within the broader food and foodservice market for some time. Within Informa Connect, it owns and operates the leading B2B trade show and conference for the U.S. catering industry, Catersource, alongside several other specialist B2B events such as CREATE. The company also reaches more than 1 million industry professionals through its portfolio of leading specialist media brands, including Nation’s Restaurant News, Restaurant Hospitality, Food Management and Supermarket News.
Within Informa Markets, the group has built a strong portfolio serving the Asian Food and Foodservice Market through brands such as Hotelex, Food & Hospitality and HOFEX. In addition, it owns and operates a range of live and on-demand B2B events across the broader food market, including National Products Expo, Supplyside West and Vitafoods.
“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,” said Informa Connect CEO Andrew Mullins. “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.”
Winsight will continue to operate business as usual through the rest of this year and will rebrand as Informa in 2024 once integration planning is completed.
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