This April, crowds once again descended on the NEC for the latest edition of the Food & Drink Expo, the UK’s premier event for the national food & drinks sector held biennially in Birmingham.
Expecting to receive around 30,000 delegates across the three days of the event, the Food & Drink Expo saw some 1,500 exhibitors set up shop to showcase a broad swathe of product offerings, representing the diversity of the British food and drinks scene. While the majority of companies exhibiting were UK-based, the tradeshow also had a degree of international representation, with manufacturers attending from as far afield as Canada, China, the UAE, Hong Kong, India and South Africa.
Among the highlights at this year’s event was the launch of The Ingredients Show, a section devoted to food ingredients and related solutions, as part of an umbrella of five different events under the Food & Drink name. As in previous years, the flagship show was co-located with the processing, packaging and logistics show Foodex, the convenience-oriented NCS, and the Farm Shop & Deli Show, showcasing the latest in artisanal and speciality food and drink products.
Elsewhere, some 250 expert speakers and presenters took to the stage in a series of live events, tackling a wide range of topical issues ranging from the obesity crisis to the rise of automation in the food industry and the challenge of reducing packaging waste.
Out on the show floor, a focus on health & functionality, a predilection for vegetable and savoury flavours and the inexorable rise of ‘snacking’ and ‘grazing’ proved to be the dominant innovation themes, particularly among the newest products that exhibitor companies were looking to bring to market.
Read more about Food & Drink Expo 2018 in the next issue of Gama News.