10 Reasons to Visit Food & Drink Expo

Registration is now open for Food & Drink Expo; the flagship event for retail, wholesale and foodservice audiences, returning this March (30th-1st April, NEC Birmingham).

Visitors keen to experience 2020’s most comprehensive deep dive into the trends, products, challenges and opportunities that will set the agenda for the coming year;

can go to: www.foodanddrinkexpo.co.uk today to register for their completely free badge.

With the show’s dateline fast approaching, we provide a tantalising glimpse of just some of the highlights that visitors can expect to see.


#1. Hear from Game Changing Start-ups

The show is a dedicated platform for the burgeoning start-up companies that will dominate the market in the coming years. There will be multiple chances to hear from the entrepreneurial geniuses behind the brands on The Grocer’s ‘Talking Shop Live’ Stage throughout the three days.

An exciting panel session powered by Young Foodies’ Rise to the Challenger campaign, will highlight how small and medium food and drink businesses drive growth for everyone, and what the industry can do to support them. Visitors will also get to hear the benefits of accelerator programmes with leading start-ups, retailers and investors.


#2. Find out the Word on the Streets

With MCA’s 2019 Eating Out Report suggesting that turnover was estimated to grow by 7.6% by the close of 2019, street food has outgrown traditional markets and transformed former retail spaces into sought-after destinations. From market halls to upmarket malls, it’s a sign of quality and sophistication for savvy consumers everywhere. Visitors can find out what’s next for this exploding market in a lively debate featuring expert analysis from Mark Laurie Director of the Nationwide Caterer’s Association (NCASS).


#3. Innovative Ways to Give Surplus Purpose

As consumer and government pressure mounts, the race is on for businesses to find sustainable and cost-neutral ways to reduce waste. This debate chaired by food and drink broadcaster Nigel Barden and featuring FareShare – a redistributor of surplus food to charities and communities – will provide expert guidance and advice on finding the right solution while helping to enrich local communities. One not to be missed!


#4. Cascara: The Forbidden Fruit That’s Causing Coffee Shops to be Raided

With a massive interest in innovative ingredients that help the industry collectively re-think waste, it’s no surprise the word ‘Cascara’ (the dried outer skin of the coffee cherry that’s often discarded) is being spoken with greater regularity. The fact it’s in EU legal limbo (with past raids on coffee shops) adds a frisson of excitement, but this is an ingredient with potential. An expert panel including Joel Jelderks from Caskai, a producer of premium Cascara products, will put visitors in the know.


#5. Learn How to Decode Gen Z

Generation Z (and Generation A) have a new relationship with food. They care about nutrition, are sugar/fat aware, worry about sustainability and gain inspiration through peers on social platforms like Instagram and YouTube. Chloe Combi is a writer, speaker, consultant and sought out expert on youth issues; she will be taking a deep dive into the top trends and demonstrate how to capture a dynamic market hungry for fresh approaches and the cult of the ‘new’.


#6. Lifting the Fog on Food Trends with a Former F1 Pit Master

Marc Priestley is a motivational speaker and presenter, once known for his work in F1 as a crack race mechanic. Here, he will be on hand to moderate an expert panel including Andy Upton, MD and founder of FireStorm, Jennifer Creevy, Head of F&B for WGSN and Rich Ford, Strategy Director for SHERLOCK, advising retailers on how to keep up to date with fresh trends. The panel will also explore top tools and products retailers can use to find their next shelf superstars.


#7. Innovation, innovation, innovation!

The Food & Drink Expo show floor will be alive with almost 50 new product launches, with exhibitors including Bridor, Campden BRI, Radnor Hills Mineral Water Co., The Vegetarian Society and Coffee Central, bringing their latest new innovations and initiatives to the show floor.

To see more of what’s on offer ahead of the show and plan ahead, visitors can go to: www.foodanddrinkexpo.co.uk and select the ‘Innovation@’ product category, which aggregates each and every new launch at the show.


#8. Get a Handle on Low2No

Visitors will be able to get the lowdown on the expansion in Low2No alcohol sales via an eclectic panel of insightful experts, influencers and industry leaders. Expect laser guided analysis to help visitors capitalise on this exciting new sector. On hand will be author, chef and broadcaster Richard Fox, Chloe Combi, Founder of zero alcohol innovators, Infinite Session, Chris Hannaway as well as Emily Foster, Founder of nutrition marketing consultancy, Glowing Potential.

#9. Find Out Where We are Right Now with the Queen of Breakfast

What matters most to the food and drink industry right now? Journalist Louise Minchin will be asking industry heads, including CEO of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation, Ian Wright, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UK Hospitality and CEO of Retail Economics, Richard Lim, for their insights on pressing issues and key trends across the landscape. In a fast-changing business world this state-of-the-industry debate will help visitors discover a more profitable way forward in 2020.


#10. Don’t just take our word for it...

These delegates took a day out of their busy schedules for The Food & Drink Expo and couldn’t be happier that they did.

“So many food brands SO passionate about their products, it’s been fabulous!”

Emily Foster, Founder and Dietitian, Glowing Potential

“In these amazing buildings, you will see what the industry is all about, from the small artisans to the big manufacturers – they’re all here! You can’t afford not to come; this is so special…”

Nigel Barden, Food & Drink Broadcaster

“This is a time of reinvention for retailers and there’s nowhere better to come than somewhere like this, to see that reinvention, to see the new products, to see the new ways of displaying products, to look at a lot of the new services and the new tech offers and go back and think again about how you are going to develop your business over the next 5 or 10 years…”

Lord Mark Price, Former MD of Waitrose


The UK Food Shows unite five co-located shows under one roof, covering the complete supply chain in three comprehensive days of insight, innovation and inspiration. Food & Drink Expo joins Foodex, The Ingredients Show, National Convenience Show and Farm Shop & Deli Show, to create an unmissable proposition for progressive food and drink professionals across the industry.

While the content of each co-located show has been tailored to meet the exacting requirements of its respective audience, The UK Food Shows are united by four overarching themes: Health & Nutrition, Sustainability, Technology and Consumer Insight; issues faced unilaterally that will filter down into every part of the show discourse.  

The UK Food Shows are a product of the award-winning team at William Reed.