The UK’s largest Food and Drink Event (IFE) is returning to London this March. Making its mark IFE promises to deliver the latest and freshest product innovation to an estimated 27,000 visitors.
With over 1,200 exhibitors showcasing their products across nine sections, including: Specialty and Regional Food from Britain and Ireland, Cheese and Dairy, Meat and Seafood, Walk the World, Bakery and Confectionery, Ingredients, Health and Wellbeing, Drinks and General Food, it is certain there will be something to grab the interest of every visitor to the exhibition. With plenty of new product launches including Pip n’ Nut – smooth peanut butter, Jools – a green tea infused soft drink, a delicious range of world inspired children’s dishes from Mini Nom Noms, IFE 2015 is not to be missed.
Co-located with Waste-Works and Pro2Pac at London’s ExCeL between 22-25 March 2015, IFE will play host to over 80 industry-renowned chefs in The Skillery and keynote speakers at The Hub. Talented chefs including Simon Jenkins, Rob Kennedy and Christopher Basten from the Craft Guild of Chefs, will demonstrate their culinary know how throughout the four day event’s packed agenda.
IFE’s Hub will be the place to go to stock up on industry knowledge, with an enviable line up of guest speakers addressing the latest industry topics. James Walton, Chief Economist, IGD will explore what the changing economy means for retailers; while John Whitehead OBE, Director, Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA), will share his insight on the UK’s relationship with the food and drink industry.
IFE’s program of events at the Hub will also include seminar and Q&A sessions; these will offer the opportunity to find out about upcoming industry trends from industry experts across a variety of sectors in New Products Live.
Exclusive to IFE, the ‘Meet the Buyer’ programme offers exhibitors the chance to secure face-to-face meetings with some of the country’s biggest retailers and food service buyers including Fenwick, Wyevale Garden Centres, Amazon.co.uk, Bidivest 3663 and British Airways. This unique opportunity is only available to IFE exhibitors and offers them the chance to market their products to the industry’s leading buyers on a one-to-one basis.
Head of Food for DHL Supply Chain, Lynne Waite provides the food for BA short and mid-haul flights as well as Virgin Trains. Lynne who has previously been involved in the ‘Meet the Buyer’ programme comments, “From an exhibitor’s perspective Meet the Buyer is a fantastic opportunity. To have a private meeting with the buyers from some of the UK’s largest industry brands and showcase their products with the passion and enthusiasm that only they can do, these chances don’t come around often. For me it’s a great way of sourcing new and innovative products.”
As well as a stellar line up of key note speakers and high profile chefs, IFE has partnered with some of the industry’s most influential associations including the British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF), Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) and the Food and Drink Federation (DSDA).
Show Director Chris McCuin comments “We are excited to have onboard some on the most trusted and renowned associations, we are working together to provide both exhibitors and visitors a wealth of industry knowledge as well as making sure that everyone gets the most out of this years event. With the associations, we have created an agenda of seminars, talks and demonstrations that will leave visitors and exhibitors inspired. We are extremely proud that IFE 2015 has been endorsed by such high profile associations and truly value their support”.
One such association is the BFFF who have supported IFE since the inaugural show in 1979. Chief Executive of British Frozen Food Federation, Brian Young comments “BFFF sees IFE 2015 as a really important opportunity for the food industry and in particular, frozen food, to come together and share information about current activities and future trends”.
The BFFF’s signature IFE Ice Wall will also be returning, the Ice Wall has been created to demonstrate what frozen food is really about, and the fact that even some of the freshest food is frozen.
IFE will boast a range of new features including the Artisan Food Market, The Small Producer Village and Gourmet Drinker, giving smaller producers the opportunity to exhibit at one of the world’s most renowned international food and drink events; subsequently allowing contract caterers to sample and learn about products not currently, widely distributed -offering a great chance to discover unique opportunities in this fast growing market and offer distinct offerings by workplace, education or other outlets. In addition to some of the finest produce and brands, IFE will also showcase the latest technologies to influence and shape the industry.
Also new for 2015 is the launch of the first IFE World Food Innovation Awards. Like IFE itself, the awards will be a celebration of everything new and exciting in the world of food. The judging panel will recognise sixteen areas across seven categories including, Finished products, Ingredients, Packaging, Brands, Manufacturing and Processing, Sustainability and Marketing.
All entrants will automatically be entered into a special category for a chance to win the Fresh Ideas award. Judges will be looking for the most innovative idea within the food industry this year.
Nominations for the IFE World Innovation Awards close on the 25 February 2015, with the finalists and winners to be announced at IFE 2015 at London’s ExCeL Centre on 23rd March 2015.
With a range of networking opportunities available to both exhibitors and visitors, IFE is definitely the place to be to secure lasting industry contacts, while those who prefer to be wined and dined can enjoy discussing the latest industry topics at the IFE Gala Dinner in association with the Food and Drink Exporters Association and hosted at the Old Royal Navel college in Greenwich on Monday 23rd March.
Make sure you register now to attend Europe’s leading industry event. To find out more visit the new look website www.ife.co.uk and follow the action on Twitter @IFEexhibition using #ife15.