The UK Food Shows return this March (30th-1st April, NEC Birmingham) with a remit of providing 2020’s most comprehensive deep dive into the trends, products, challenges and opportunities that will set the food and drink agenda for the coming year.  

The event unites 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.    

 

Farm Shop & Deli Show

Bringing together the great and the good of the speciality market to celebrate the very best of British produce, Farm Shop & Deli Show is where established players mix with burgeoning entrepreneurial brands to create a showcase like no other. 

Throughout the three days, Farm Shop & Deli Live will be home to a comprehensive programme of demonstrations, interactive live debates and tastings, all focused on improving the bottom line. 

Trends, trade secrets, testimonials and the influence of technology to reach and engage customers will be high on the agenda. Visitors will also have the chance to network with successful deli owners and learn how to grow and protect brand equity.  

Stage highlights will also include Dragon’s Pantry – a new product showcase where daring entrepreneurs pitch to a group of ‘Dragons’, offering the tantalising prize of a potential listing. 

Last but not least, the event will see the presentation of 2020’s Farm Shop & Deli of the Year Award, recognising excellence in the speciality retail market.                                                            

The awards, held in partnership with The Grocer, have been launched to recognise the very best standards in speciality retail and to celebrate the highest levels of service, product knowledge, initiative, innovation and community involvement.  Finalists will be announced at the beginning of March, but only one will receive the coveted crown. 

With an exhibitor list that reads like a who’s who of the speciality market and includes Goosnargh Gin, Teapigs, Cook, Crosta & Mollica, Nairn’s Oatcakes, Salty Dog Brands and Sipsmith, to name but a few, Farm Shop& Deli Show is a must-attend for anyone with a keen interest in the rude health of British speciality food and drink.   

 

National Convenience Show 

The meeting place for likeminded convenience retailers hungry for everything new in a market worth some £47bn*, returns in 2020, with key issues such as crime, technology, political engagement, sustainability, plastics, CBD, health and wellness, food-to-go, social media and the ban on menthol cigarettes, set to be tackled head-on. 

The Retailer Hub will be the place to find business inspiration, bringing together a selection of leading suppliers, retailers and industry experts to share cutting edge shopper insight and business advice, alongside practical demonstrations. 

Crucially, the show offers 2020’s most compelling opportunity to see and sample literally hundreds of business-changing products under one roof. Exhibitors such as Booker, Phillip Morris, Eat Natural, General Mills, Juul, Nisa Retail, Grenade and Weetabix will be bringing their latest, greatest innovations to the show floor and offering advice to retailers.  

 

The Ingredients Show

Probiotics, prebiotics, microbiome, gut health, sports nutrition, active nutrition, maternal and infant nutrition, personalised nutrition, medical nutrition, healthy aging, digital and wearable technologies, botanicals... The Ingredients Show is the place to see some of the big topics affecting and shaping the industry deconstructed, debunked and debated.

The Ingredients Education Lab will feature a programme of content curated by leading titles Nutra Ingredients and Food Navigator, allied to an exhibitor list boasting names such as FrieslandCampina Ingredients, HB Ingredients, Agrofusion and Caldic (UK) Ltd. The show, now in its third year, pledges big names, ground-breaking innovations and lively presentations and is set to deliver on that promise.  

  

Food & Drink Expo

For the past 26 years, Food & Drink Expo has been the flagship event for retail, wholesale and foodservice audiences focusing on finished products, and in 2020 the show returns, revitalised and ready to tackle the key challenges affecting the sectors.      

The Grocer Magazine’s Talking Shop Live is where these key themes will be debated.  Grocer editor Adam Leyland will host several high-profile keynote speakers, alongside masterclasses, plenary sessions, live interviews and panel discussions centred around hot button, state-of-the-nation issues. Insightful input from MCA and HIM! will also help frame the debate and offer the most up-to-date market data and trends. 

Exhibitors including Bridor, Campden BRI, Radnor Hills Mineral Water Co., The Vegetarian Society and Coffee Central, will be bringing their latest new products and initiatives to the show floor.   

 

Foodex

It’s no exaggeration to say that manufacturing is on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution, centred on technology, automation and sustainability. As the UK's premier trade event for food and drink manufacturing, processing, packaging and logistics, Foodex will be the place to learn more about ‘industry 4.0’ and meet the innovators – speakers and exhibitors – helping make sense of it all.  

Foodex Centre Stage will welcome lively debate and interactive masterclasses featuring leading speakers from across the industry, while the Foodex Competition Theatre will host one of the biggest dates in the butchery calendar – Premier Young Butcher 2020, while introducing a brand-new awards scheme.

Premier Young Butcher 2020 takes place on Tuesday the 31st March and is recognised as one of the most demanding UK butchery craft skills competitions on the circuit. Open to 18-28-year-old young butchers from across the UK, the five-hour competition with six categories including Ready to Eat, Stuffed Roast, Seam Butchery, Barbecue, Kitchen Ready and Display, has in the past proven to be a useful step toward talented 

butchers going on to compete at WorldSkills UK Butchery and the World Butcher Challenge. The closing date for applications is Friday 1st February 2020, application forms can be requested by emailing: roger@nationalcraftbutchers.co.uk.

Held for the very first time, the Craft Butcher Awards in association with National Craft Butchers (NCB) are set to showcase the skills of the 21st century craft butcher in product development and innovation. 

Covering Barbecue, Charcuterie, Kitchen Ready, Meat in Pastry, Ready to Heat and Sausage categories, competitors will have the opportunity to demonstrate traditional skills in manufacturing as well as originality and innovation competing for Bronze, Silver and Gold awards. 

Also taking place on the Foodex competition theatre, the search for Britain’s Best Loaf culminates in a live judging session, followed by a glittering awards presentation. Already a key date in the baking industry calendar, the impartial stamp of excellence takes in categories including Gluten Free, Innovation, White and Wholegrain with two categories for Sourdough –  Traditional and Commercial (sourdough produced by the addition of cultivated yeast and/or the addition of a commercial sourdough product) reflecting its now stratospheric popularity with British consumers. 

 

*Source: IGD