Exploring New Trends At IFE 2019.

Heather Mills, Owner-founder of VBites Foods, talks about the role of protein in plant-based product innovation at Talking Trends on the first day of IFE 2019

Day 1, Sunday, 17th March, 2019 – London ExCel

The inaugural day at the 21st International Food & Drink Event [IFE] 2019 proved to be a huge success as crowds flocked to the showcase of 1,350 innovative, global and cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers.

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. The food & drink industry’s biggest event of the year, IFE 2019 focuses on innovation and up-and-coming food & beverage trends.

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 flavours.

Buyers discovered the health benefits of the fermented, slightly effervescent kombucha, a sweetened tea that in its raw form has been credited with boosting immunity and improving digestive health. Also on the menu was a punchy wasabi starter by Nick Russell of The Wasabi Company; a delicious Middle Eastern-influenced main course by Tony Kitous, and an exciting African twist on a chocolate brownie with Tokunbo Koiki, who shared her story and the history behind Nigeria’s favourite flavours.

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 – complete with delicious samples, infused cocktails, fresh botanicals and live storytellers. While over at the DIT International Trade Hub, energy was focused around the Exporting is Great campaign and Exporting programme, 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 customer, and create effective content in a Social Media Masterclass.

At The Hub, the event’s networking space for exhibitors and visitors, debate centred 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, panellists discussed the opportunities presented to the artisan and speciality food markets.

Speaking about the first day of the event, Soraya Gadelrab, Event Director for IFE, said: “The first day of IFE 2019 has been an extraordinary celebration of 1,350 innovative, global and cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers. Buyers and businesses have engaged in a fantastic range of talks, industry debates and innovative product tastings. We’re looking forward to another exciting day tomorrow.”

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