This year’s Food and Drink Expo proved to be even greater than the last with over 1,500 exhibitors, 250 speakers and 100 seminars for guests to enjoy! Running from April 16-18 at the Birmingham’s NEC, the Expo was an amalgamation of five shows into one – including The Ingredients Show, The Food Ex, NCS Pro Retail show and the Farm Shop and Deli show.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time exhibiting at the three-day event, which brings together food and drink businesses – old and new – to gain industry insight and promote their produce. This time around, there seemed a wider variety of stalls with more international brands approaching the UK market. As always we’ve rounded up our favourite stands at the show, provided our predictions for upcoming industry trends and summarised some of the great talks that were held:
Key Industry Trends –
One trend that heavily dominated the show was veganism – we can’t say we were surprised! Following on from this, another popular trend was healthy snacking, with interesting snack alternatives including Nuto’s maple syrup and smoke paprika flavoured popped lotus seeds, Hippeas chickpea puffs, and high-protein snack bars such as Grenade’s ‘Carb Killa’ chocolate bars. Amongst these new trends, there was room for the more traditional home cooked treats we all know and love, our favourite was the Yorkshire Baker’s wide range of freshly baked pastries!
Top Talks –
Aside from all delicious food and exciting brands, we also enjoyed listening to a few of the interesting live talks during the show. Many of these talks discussed the new sugar tax, with a great debate chaired by BBC business journalist Steph McGovern covering what impact this could have on the industry. The ‘supercharge your start-up’ talk proved also very popular along with discovering the ‘secret ingredients for social media’. One curveball talk we loved was ex-Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson’s discussion on his award-winning cheese-making business Artisan Farm.
Our Super Stands –
We always enjoy walking around the show and spotting creative and quirky food and drink business stands. From the previously mentioned Yorkshire Baker’s delicious pastry, pasty and pie display to the crazy yellowness of Hippeas who had a branded yellow tuk-tuk. Ice Kitchen’s cool stand had us wanting to know more and Chum Fruit Bites stall also looked enticing! A special shout out has to go to Eco for Life and their cheery plant-based water bottle mascot who kept us entertained throughout the show!
From the food expo and beyond…
We can’t wait already for the next Food and Drink Expo in 2020 as we love having three days to really get stuck in to the show discovering industry insight and implementing all we have learnt in helping our client’s develop their brands.
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