The Internet economy has transformed the way we all do business, and eFood is becoming hotter than ever, affecting the way food companies trade with businesses and consumers alike. The Internet provides a great opportunity for building one-to-one relationships with consumers, but also means more competition in the marketplace. There has been a surge of food and beverage corporations trading online - with enormous success. Consumers are busy, and if they can shop from the ease of their own home or office, rather than battle with everyone else's trolley around the supermarket, kids screaming down their ear - which do you think they'll choose? This is also becoming the trend for trading business to business, saving time and money is certainly something they can't afford to miss out on.

The large supermarkets are battling against each other to provide the best service, the best range of products and a good level of interactivity. Ideally, customers want the same sensations as they do in the shop i.e.: touch, smell and sight. Safeway have carefully targeted their customers and are working hard at maintaining their loyalty. They have chosen the pervasive device and a collection service, having an easy to order system that is being welcomed by their customers. Waitrose have seen the benefits of forging strategic partners and thus are achieving a win - win situation and improving their ROI. Asda has understood the impact of trading online, and have worked hard to synchronise channels and avoid subsequent conflict. They currently have two operational warehouses in Croydon and Watford, and are planning to implement two more later this year. These warehouses allow Asda to have a presence outside of their normal catchment area - i.e.: Greater London, where there are relatively few Asda stores. The big supermarkets have come to a point where they know they should be trading online and are working hard at doing this effectively.

In contrast, there are some fantastic websites that provide food and beverages online - with no offline presence. Lastorders.com have finally found what every lad has been waiting for - cheap beer bought online and delivered to his door. They aim to be "the cheapest beer on the Web - if not we'll give you the difference in booze", James Oliver, Lastorders.com. Their site is highly interactive and already highly successful. SimplyFood, owned by Carlton Online is a successful portal, which owes much of its popularity to its choice of partners, providing consumers with everything they will ever need! Eggsbenefit have taken a different angle and target business clients, catering for all their daily needs.

Overall, there are a great deal of movers and shakers in the eFood industry, all of which are trying to get the edge over the other. And, with such a big market to target - how can they not all succeed?

Asda, Eggsbenefit, Waitrose, Lastorders.com, Safeway, Simply Food, UPS and Chateau Online and many many more will share their views and experience at eFood, an International 3 day conference held on 24-26th May at The Grand Hotel, Holborn, London. Over 12 case studies will tackle the latest issues and provide insight into how to succeed in eFood. To find out more, call 0500 821 057, look at the website http://www.iqpc.co.uk/biotech/efoodlondon or e-mail efood@iqpc.co.uk