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Food & Drink Expo set to showcase industry’s new epicurean trends

BIRMINGHAM, UK — From 16-18 April, Food & Drink Expo will return to the NEC in Birmingham, showcasing some of the industry’s hottest new brands and talent.

The show is set to offer advice from thought leaders and provide consultancy on some of the most pressing topical issues and trends from reducing plastic packaging to the incredible rise in consumers looking to include more plant-based food in their diets.

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A behemoth of the UK’s food and drink calendar, the exhibition promises an exciting speaker programme covering food waste, personal nutrition, brand building, how SMEs can thrive in a tough marketplace, provenance and food pairings.

The show will provide buyers from the grocery, wholesale, foodservice, manufacturing and speciality retail sectors with a wealth of information and product sourcing opportunities all under one roof.

Nearly 1500 suppliers will showcase their latest innovations to thousands of visitors across the newly five-strong co-located events. For the first time, this year Food & Drink Expo will run alongside four complimentary shows – Foodex, Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show and new for 2018, The Ingredients Show.

With over 100 live events and 250 speakers across the show portfolio, Food & Drink Expo retains its position as a show that owners and buyers in the food business can’t afford to miss.

The cross sector visibility at show offers a unique opportunity for buyers and business owners to not only learn from their business peers, but also to take inspiration from new trends impacting the industry.

Dan Dixon, Sales Director at Food & Drink Expo, said: “The show only takes place every two years but provides a unique, first-hand opportunity to see some of the most exciting and of-the-moment products on the market.

The event also affords buyers and representatives from foodservice and grocery industries the chance to meet the people behind these businesses.

In an ever more digitalised world, this is often an invaluable opportunity to understand product USPs, as well as offering the opportunity to build one-to-one relationships with key people.”

Pavilions and cross country representation

This year, visitors will be able to see and sample produce from 25 countries including Canada, China, Cyprus, Dubai, France, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. This provides an unparalleled opportunity to gain key insights and tap into global trends.

Helping buyers to identify unique products from around the world, the show will feature

nine pavilions. These include Taste of Nova Scotia; Taste Cork; Food & Drink Wales; Scotland Food & Drink; the Italian Trade Commission; Orkney Quality Food; and Drink Chambre D’Agriculture De Dordogne, as well as further flung Dadao TONGTU (Beijing Expo) and Iran International Exhibitions Co.

The Grocer Talking Shop Live

Alongside the exhibition itself, Food & Drink Expo will once again provide an insightful series of live seminars sharing the very latest food and drink trends, tackling industry issues and quandries and examining predictions for the future. The collection of sessions will be hosted by some of the food and drink industries movers and shakers. The event theatre will provide the opportunity to enjoy lively discussions hosted by high profile speakers and garner astute market insights and ideas to support growth.

Emily Foster from Glowing Potential will host a session on new health movement ‘personal nutrition’, discussing this emerging category’s potential with leading industry experts and explaining how to tap into this trend for successful personalised products, services and retail experiences.

Meanwhile Thea Alexander from Young Foodies will host ‘Supercharge your start-up’. For even the most exciting start-ups, achieving cut-through is tough. Thea Alexander, ex-Propercorn director and founder of Young Foodies, asks some of her favourite start-up founders how they’ve found going from nothing to becoming challenger brands. In particular, she digs deep on the day-to-day challenges, like talking to buyers, accessing data, and dealing with operations

The session on ‘One mission, many choices – the blurring lines between retail and foodservice, and the key consumer trends spanning both sectors’ is set to provide some factinating insights. MCA and HIM will combine to provide their expert views on foodservice consumers and retail shoppers and how they are essentially the same individuals, and are affected by the same trends when on a mission to purchase food, whether for in-home or out-of-home consumption.

Food scene stalwart and BBC Radio 2 presenter Nigel Barden will return to the show, hosting a session with the Happerley board on perfecting provenance. At a time when consumers have lost trust in much of the food they buy, full disclosure is a must for smart food producers. Nigel Barden will explore this hot topic with Happerley – the food provenance organisation, and the new standards they have implemented to benefit the industry and empower the consumer.

Food & Drink Expo is co-located with four other events – The Ingredients Show, which is new for 2018, Foodex, Farm Shop & Deli Show and National Convenience Show. Together they will bring together 1,500 suppliers from across the whole food and drink supply chain, from retailers to manufacturers, making it the place to do business in the industry.