Back for its milestone 21st edition, The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) will be returning to ExCeL London on 17-20 March with an insightful and vibrant schedule of talks, tastings and trends forecasting

The biennial event is a must-attend for all those looking to explore a taste of tomorrow and will provide buyers with the chance to discover emerging trends; meet with thousands of international, future-focused brands; and hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks from key figures across the food & drink industry.

Taking place in London – the home of food & drink innovation – IFE 2019 offers a unique opportunity for both British and international suppliers to meet and connect with top retail, wholesale & distribution, import & export and foodservice & hospitality buyers all under one roof. With 1350 cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers attending from 111 countries, IFE 2019 is one of the only places to experience the best of what the food & drink industry has to offer across the globe.

2019 Food & Drink Insight
With a jam-packed line up, IFE 2019 aims to help buyers navigate the changing landscape of the food & drink market by exploring the trends which will shape the industry in 2019 and beyond. To help form the event agenda, IFE surveyed its network of members to find out which trends made the biggest impact on their businesses in 2018. Plant-based food & veganism, the free-from movement and booze-free beverages1 were listed as the top three trends that influenced the sector in 2018.

Looking at what’s on the horizon for 2019, IFE’s research also found that plant-based eating, sustainable packaging, gut-friendly foods and sugar-free are the most prominent trends businesses are looking to leverage in 20192 – demonstrating the affect consumers’ growing interest in health & wellbeing is having on the sector.

Talking & Tasting Trends
To delve deeper into these trends, prominent experts from the food & drink industry, including leading plant-based influencers, will take to the IFE Talking Trends stage throughout the four-day event to share their experiences, opinions and predictions. The impressive line-up includes Maria Antidormi, Insight Consultant at Anima Insight; Al Overton, Senior Buyer at Planet Organic; Derek Sarno, Director of Plant-Based Food Innovation at Tesco; and James Hacon, Managing Director of Think Hospitality. In addition, the Tasting Trends area – which is new to IFE 2019 – will provide a multi-sensory experience that will take visitors on a culinary journey as they see, smell and taste the food & drink of the future.

It comes as no surprise that plant-based foods remain the hottest topic, but the Tasting Trends feature will also highlight trends such as food that promotes good gut health (fermented foods), food with good fats (Omega 3) and foods that relieve stress (vitamised juices). It will also take a closer look at the new stronger spicy flavours coming through in snacks and confectionery, as well why the proportion of Brits drinking alcohol is at its lowest.

Trend Trails
To ensure visitors don’t miss out on key insights, back by popular demand are the Trend Trails. Designed to help visitors navigate their way around the event one key insight at a time, the Trend Trails will visit some of the most progressive brands in the plant-based, food to go, private label, circular brands and global innovations movements.

Speaking about this year’s event line up, Soraya Gadelrab, Event Director for IFE, said: “We have brought together a truly fantastic line-up of experts for this year’s event, to offer buyers the most up-to-date intel on the changing food & drink landscape and provide inspiration, ideas and tools to help businesses tap into upcoming trends. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to grow their business in 2019 and beyond.”

As the food & drink industry’s biggest event of the year, IFE 2019 has garnered interest from some of the sector’s leading brands. These include:

Brand Focus
Ape Snacks
Ape Snacks is a young and fast-growing business which operates across the UK and Europe. Formed in 2014, Ape Snacks has a mission to help people eat better. At IFE 2019, Ape Snacks will be showcasing the world’s first coconut puff and vegan cheese puff. Made with a mix of coconut and rice flour, coconut oil and all-natural seasonings, the range is packed with tonnes of flavour but none of the guilt – making them the perfect healthy snack!

Cream & Country Ice Cream
Bringing a taste of indulgence to IFE 2019, Cream & Country is a quintessentially British brand which creates deliciously quirky ice cream in a range of unique flavours, such as new forest gateau, English cream tea, sparkling wine & elderflower and rhubarb & ginger. Visitors to IFE will have the chance to sample Cream & Country’s new Scarlett ripple flavour, which is a twist on Eton mess with a blend of vanilla ice cream, meringue pieces and a swirl of red fruit sauce. What’s more, the product has been developed to support the Royal Hospital of Chelsea’s Scarlett campaign to raise money for Chelsea-based pensioners.

Land & Tide
Land & Tide produce ready-to-drink iced coffees using a unique cold brew blend with no sugar and incorporating plant-based ingredients, such as oats and rice. The start-up launched in August 2018 and will be sampling its Oat Iced Coffee and Oat Iced Mocha – its best-selling vegan coffees – at IFE 2019.

Yumello
Inspired by the Berber peoples’ sheer inventiveness and adventurous soul, Yumello celebrates the fierce, disorderly and bold flavours of the Atlas Mountains. Launched to the market in October 2018, Yumello combines simple ingredients mountain ingredients, such as cold-pressed argan oil, juicy dates and roasted nuts, to make its delicious nut butters. At IFE 2019, visitors to the Yumello stand will be transported deep into the Atlas Mountains via vibrant colours, Berber textures and plenty of jars of Yumello to taste.

For more information on IFE 2019 and to register for free, please visit: www.ife.co.uk
1 & 2 – Survey of 216 members of the IFE network, December 2018