The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) 2019 has approached key industry topics such as food management, but also trends that fuel the future of the industry.
The event took place in London, UK, March 17-20.
Buyers from across the globe turned out to meet exhibitors face-to-face, taste new products before they reach the market and broaden their knowledge through thought-provoking content.
Highlights included the brand-new Tasting Trends street-food style station where visitors can see and taste the food of tomorrow. Visitors enjoyed watching pioneering chefs cooking up new dishes that are already causing a stir within the industry, plus some new, unfamiliar combinations and flavors.
As part of the Food is Great campaign, Defra revealed its experiential Taste & Tales Wall, showcasing the heritage and exporting experiences of leading food & drink brands. While over at the DIT International Trade Hub, energy was focused around the Exporting is Great campaign and Exporting program, including the introduction of a ‘new to export’ area which offered carefully selected UK companies the opportunity to display their brand to IFE’s international audience.
Leading influencers from the food & drink industry stepped onto the Talking Trends stage to share their stories and expertise on hot topics that included a definitive look at the future of the food & drink industry and clear advice on how to grow brand awareness, engage the customer, and create effective content in a Social Media Masterclass.
At The Hub, the event’s networking space for exhibitors and visitors, debate centered on The Future of Retail. The lively conversation featured expert opinion from Hugo Horlick of RootLabs, Ingrid Caldironi of plastic-free shop Bulk Market, James Lowman of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and Rodney Hoinkes of global events company Fresh Montgomery.
Plus, as Brexit negotiations continue in Westminster, industry leaders debated the impact on food & drink prices, supply chains, and trends, as well as what Brexit could mean for British business. In particular, panelists discussed the opportunities presented to the artisan and specialty food markets.
Trends That Fuel the Future of the Industry
The second day of the biennial event was extra special as the 2019 champions of creativity were revealed at the World Food Innovation Awards, courtesy of FoodBev Media and IFE. The winners were:
- Best Sustainability Initiative: Stixfresh USA, Inc. – Stixfresh
- Best Sustainable Packaging: Garçon Wines – flat, sustainable wine bottle with game-changing transit case
- Best Plant-based Product: Food for Progress – Pulled Oumph!
- Best Packaging Technology: Stixfresh USA, Inc. – Stixfresh
- Best Snacking Innovation: Plant Pops – Popped Lotus Seeds
- Best Street Food Brand: Food for Progress – Pulled Oumph!
- Best Organic Product: PLAYin CHOC – PLAYin CHOC Kids
- Best Marketing / Engagement Campaign: Jellybean Creative Solutions for Porky Whites – SAUSIES Awards
- Best Manufacturing or Processing Technology: Amyris, Inc. – No Compromise Sweetness
- Best Packaging Design: Garçon Wines – innovative, eco-friendly, flat wine bottle
Highlighting how trends evolve into lifestyles, the rise of plant-based eating was the hot topic at the Talking Trends stage as Ella Mills of Deliciously Ella fame, joined representatives from The Vegan Society, Planet Organic, Speciality Food magazine, Stem & Glory and Wicked Kitchen / Wicked Health to discuss how this meat-free movement is shaping the future of the industry.
Eating with Your Eyes – How to Appeal to the Instagram Obsessed also proved a crowd draw. Hosted by Cat Jennings, Director of Foodservice & Hospitality at Speed Communications, the session gave useful advice on how the industry can keep up with the ever evolving and changing landscape of social media.
Meanwhile, The Big Debate at The Hub had a strong export & import focus with discussions covering everything from opportunities in China to the impact of Brexit.
Soraya Gadelrab, Event Director for IFE, said she was thrilled at how the event was progressing: “We’re halfway through what is truly an extraordinary showcase by the hottest producers in the food & drink industry right now. IFE only happens every two years so all those involved are making the most of every opportunity to brush up their knowledge, try new products and get to grips with the latest industry issues.”
Food Management at IFE 2019
More work must be done to avoid food waste in the UK, industry leaders at The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) 2019 discussed yesterday.
One-third of all food in the world is either wasted or lost each year, with the UK also wasting a significant proportion. Through better food management, pooling of resources and educating consumers from a young age on how to reduce food waste this could be avoided according to the speakers including Ben Elliot, Food Surplus and Waste Champion at Defra, and Laura Winningham, CEO & Co-Founder of charity City Harvest.
Speaking at the IFE 2019 Big Debate on how food & drink professionals can make the most out of the food they buy, Laura discussed how food waste is also an environmental issue: “Since its inception, City Harvest has rescued almost 1,600 tones of food, the equivalent of almost 3,800,000 meals served to those in need. During this time 6,200 tones of greenhouse gas emissions were prevented by diverting edible food from the landfill where it would otherwise decompose and pollute the environment.”