Last year, more than 400,000 people attended the Ekka.
In fact, over the past three years, the Ekka has attracted 400,000+ attendees every time. Back in 2011, 145,000 of the event’s famed strawberry sundaes were sold. In the same year, 185,000 of the ever-popular dagwood dogs were sold and, of course, consumed. Last year, sales of strawberry sundaes sat at 133,000.
In total, there are more than 350 different showbags on sale most years; 79 food and wine vendors (based off most recent statistics); approximately 40,000 oysters are eaten each year; and with over 400,000 patrons and 400 retailers, the Ekka is Queensland’s largest temporary marketplace.
With numbers like these, organising and running the Ekka requires a substantial amount of planning, co-ordination, logistics and, of course, storage of produce and goods.
Maintaining fresh food and produce
When it comes to event such as the Ekka, a large focus is placed on keeping food and produce fresh. When you have 400,000+ patrons walking around expansive show grounds in temperatures that average 23 degrees during the day, then food and beverages are two things that will no doubt be in great demand. Unsurprisingly, food/beverages have the biggest sales throughout the Ekka, and caterers need to ensure that all of the 400,000 patrons can safely consume their food/beverages without succumbing to food poisoning or other food-related illnesses that can occur due to poor food handling and/or storage practices.
For most foods, controlled temperatures are a must. This naturally makes mobile cold rooms an appealing investment for any food server or catering group. Walk around the show grounds of the Ekka and you’ll see plenty of mobile cold rooms populating them. With this year’s Ekka occurring across two full weekends (as well as the public People’s Day holiday), the number of attendees could potentially trump past years, meaning there will be an even greater demand for strawberry sundaes, dagwood dogs, oysters, and a whole host of other food and drinks.
While there are no clear numbers for the total amount of food and drink consumed during a single Ekka, it’s safe to say the amount is huge. Back in 2009 alone, 6.5 tonnes of strawberries were used for the famed strawberry sundaes. If that amount of strawberries can be used for one Ekka, then you can only begin to image how much food is sold and consumed throughout the 10-day event.
Mobile cold room rentals are a cost effective way for food servers and catering companies to protect their produce and keep it fresh, be it for events such as the Ekka or otheriwse.