The home of innovation

Food Matters Live 2020 – a new year and an exciting new direction for the UK’s most prestigious food and drink exhibition

In 2020, Food Matters Live will look to inspire and influence the future of nutritious, sustainable food, drink and nutraceuticals in one of the most luxurious and exciting event spaces in London.

The two-day event on 13-14 October will take place in the prestigious O2 InterContinental convention centre. It will combine the UK’s largest curated ingredients exhibition with thought-provoking conferences and inspirational seminars, which take a fresh look at the future of food and nutrition and technical innovations in sustainable new product development.

Business and networking opportunities will be at the centre of Food Matters Live 2020 with a tailored ‘Meet the Buyer’ programme enabling business connections in one-to-one sessions, private meetings and social networking settings.

Food Matters Live director Briony Mansell-Lewis said: “After six years Food Matters Live has established itself as the UK’s leading food and drink exhibition and we are excited to give our partners, exhibitors and visitors the very best of the event in a new five-star setting.

“The exhibition, seminars, conference and matchmaking opportunities will be enhanced with a wide range of other exciting opportunities, including customer innovation days, new networking opportunities, and private dining experiences.

“Innovation remains the cornerstone of the food and drink industry, and we will continue to celebrate the very best and brightest new companies and producers with an enhanced Awards and Future Brands competitions.”

A different experience
At the very heart of Food Matters Live 2020 will remain the UK’s largest ingredients exhibition. The new O2 InterContinental space will focus on healthy, natural, better-for-you and clean label ingredients and will offer exhibitors more opportunities to showcase their innovative ingredients. The curated event will provide enhanced business opportunities and allow companies to make even more connections with customers.

The 2019 event also saw a record number of business opportunities set up by the ‘Match – Meet the Buyer’ teams. More than 300 networking meetings were arranged between producers and buyers from across the food, drink and nutrition sectors and in 2020, this will be enhanced by the new set up. The Match Lounge will be at the very centre of the curated ingredients exhibition and will host the Meet the Buyer programme.

2019 exhibitors are already building on the leads and opportunities they made at Food Matters Live. Nadia El-Zanfaly from Volac International Ltd said: “We were impressed by the quality of visitors and leads captured from the event. The organisation and the pre-event coverage was also very good, so overall, really well done!”

One of the largest stands at Food Matters Live 2019 was Food Innovation Wales, which had 17 companies represented. Business developer Paul Roberts said all the companies reported: “very, very good leads from buyers from distributors, from ingredient producers and so forth – everyone seems really happy”.

And start-up companies were also impressed with the contacts they made at Food Matters Live 2019. Kelly Barfoot, co-owner of VegBread said it was “very different from the normal B2B events that we go to… and our product has gone down really well, so it’s been really, really good for us”.

Inspirational learning opportunities
With more than 10,000 people attending Food Matters Live 2019 there was standing room only during the outstanding educational programme and exciting live attractions, featuring the Future of Retail Trends and Innovative Ingredients theatres.

Enhancing the seminar experience is central to Food Matters Live and will continue to attract a diverse cross-section of visitors. Mike Rogers, co-founder of gut health company Troon, said: “What’s really interesting and different from other trade shows is talking to scientists and nutritionists about our products.

“There’s a really nice mixture of the trade side, which is people wanting to come and buy your product, but also the influencers and people who are going to influence the influencers if you like with the seminar talks.”

Celebrating innovation
One of the highlights of 2019 was the UK Future Brands pavilion, which showcased some of the most exciting and innovative new brands in the country. Hundreds of start-ups and challenger companies entered the competition and a panel of prestigious buyers looked at each and every one, considering whether they had the potential to be the UK’s next big brands.

Winners included Fodilicious, which makes free-from convenience food and founder Lauren Leisk said Food Matters Live 2019 had been a great experience: “It’s really increased our exposure as a start-up in the free-from industry, and we’ve made a lot of contacts and got a lot of insight into the industry.”

Black Bee Honey was also chosen as one of the Future Brand winners and co-founder Paul Webb said it was a great networking opportunity: “It’s good from our point of very because it’s so diverse, so we’ve had a lot of very interesting conversations, which differ from the traditional trade shows that we’ve done. We’ve been talking to different types of companies about ingredients or collaborations, which is a bit different, so it’s been quite interesting to have a different mix of people.”

In 2020 Food Matters Live will build on this success and host a series of Brands of the Future competitions as well as the prestigious Food Matters Live Awards. The winners will be announced in receptions taking place throughout the two days.

Food Matters Live 2020 will return next year on 13-14 October, at the O2 InterContinental convention centre. www.foodmatterslive.com/2019