We recently took a little trip to London to check out all the latest food trends in the city and while we were there we headed along to the IFE 2017 (The International Food & Drink Event) – the UK’s largest food and drinks show. The event is a hive of activity, it attracts about 30,000 attendees from around the globe and has upwards of 1,400 companies exhibiting.
A Bit About the IFE
IFE 2017 was held in the ExCel Exhibition Centre in central London. The event runs every two years and it’s definitely not one to be missed.
The show was split into 9 areas: Bakery, Cheese & Dairy, Drinks, Great British & Irish Food, Grocery, Health & Wellbeing, Ingredients, Meat & Seafood and Snacks & Confectionery.
A perfect event to keep on top off all the exciting things happening in the food industry.
New at the 2017 IFE line-up was a ‘Food and Drink Trends Trial.’ We put on our comfy walking shoes and started to do some exploring – here’s some interesting things we spotted along the way…….
What Caught our Eye
A major focus at this year’s exhibition was on ‘Free From Foods’. Free-from was one of the hottest trends across 2016 and will continue to grow in 2017, with brands launching exciting and innovative products. This is a trend that we’ve definitely seen becoming more popular in our own Culinary Innovation Centre lately.
There were lots of fantastic products on show from avocado oils to dairy-free ice cream, vegan jerky, quinoa crisps and puffed chickpeas from the Hippea brand – to name just a few. Soupologie is the UK’s only superfood, vegan and free-from soup collection. Their focus is having a high veg content in their soups.
We tasted some delicious dairy free, organic ice-cream at the Nude Spoon stand, hot to trot chocolate – and together – it’s to die for!
Health Food’s on the Up
We visited several stands where the focus was on products aimed at promoting health and wellbeing. Equinox Kombucha has created raw, organic sparkling energy drinks full of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids and live bacteria. Nutristrength, produce clean-living nutritional products, showcased a range of protein powders produced using goat and sheep whey, and even peas.
We’ve seen a big increase in demand across all our companies for health foods particularly when it comes to ready to cook meals.
Time for a Snack!
Along the same theme, a huge focus in the snack sector was natural, wholesome products that were less processed, promoting positive benefits such as high protein and more fibre – again tying back into the healthier lifestyle trend.
There were several stands promoting high protein products in the form of flapjacks, muffins and protein balls.
Something very interesting was Mindful Bites – a snack range inspired by mindful eating. These snacks are engineered to improve your everyday performance, by delivering an optimised nutritional boost for your body. They use carefully selected nutrient-rich, non-toxic ingredients and premium superfoods to deliver the vital nutrients your body needs for optimum wellbeing every day.
Mindfulness is a technique used for improving mental health and diet is a big part of the technique. We thought it was very interesting to see food products being tailored to this market.
British & Irish Food Section
We spent time exploring in the Great British and Irish Food Section. We found there to be a very strong marketing focus on storytelling, the background of the brand and product and also the ingredients being used.
After speaking with a lot of the companies exhibiting here, it was clear they were focused on using good quality food ingredients in their products, something that’s extremely important in the industry today.
Food for Thought!
We had a brilliant trip and picked up lots of great ideas – we can’t wait for the IFE 2019. If you want to talk to us about any of our products please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team.