Food & Drink Expo 2014, The NEC, Birmingham, 24-26 March 2014

For two decades Food & Drink Expo has provided a vibrant platform to touch, taste and experience an exciting and eclectic mix of undiscovered brands and household names alike – and the 2014 show will be no exception.

In 1994 when Food & Drink Expo first launched, Starbucks had yet to hit the UK, sushi was almost unheard of and British food was still seen as inferior to its continental cousins; fast forward 20 years and the country’s food and drink landscape is almost unrecognisable. Food & Drink Expo has played a vital part in this evolution, helping launch some of the brands that have become ubiquitous in every shopping basket.

Food & Drink Expo 2014, incorporating Farm Shop & Deli Show, will once again provide the number one route to the UK food and drink market, helping hundreds of companies showcase their wares. Corkers Crisps, Lee Kum Kee, Pidy, Delicioso, Petty Wood and Bridor represent just a snapshot of the exciting brands that will be at the show. Buyers and decision makers across the whole industry, from grocery, wholesale and speciality retail to foodservice and manufacturing, will converge to uncover the hottest trends, latest product launches and the industry’s vision for the future.

In recognition of the increased popularity of local and regional produce, for the first time this year there will be a dedicated Regional Quarter, enabling visitors to source products from specific parts of the UK. Food & Drink Expo is working closely with all UK regions, including Heart of England Fine Foods, Wales The True Taste and Deliciously Yorkshire, to ensure some of the most exciting and up-and-coming brands in the UK’s larder will be exhibited within this regional showcase, including: Scotland’s St. Andrew’s Farmhouse Cheese Company; The Real Norfolk Cake Company from East Anglia; and Northern Ireland’s Irwin’s Bakery.

To feed even the hungriest of minds, the Brainfood Factory seminar theatre will once again be packed full of masterclasses, interviews, panel debates and product demonstrations from some of the industry’s most sought after names. Market trends, research and issues affecting visitors’ businesses, across the whole spectrum of the industry, will be explored in the seminars.

In addition to this, the Great New Idea Award, where exhibitors put forward their most creative ideas, will run again. Visitors are invited to select their favourites with the winner crowned at the end of the show.

Jack Halliday, Food & Drink Expo 2014’s event director, said: “This year’s show will be packed to the rafters with brands that are guaranteed to give visitors food for thought in more ways than one. We aim to provide a taste of what is to come in the industry over the next year, both through the new product launches and through our engaging seminars and masterclasses that highlight forthcoming trends and innovations.

“The industry’s decision makers should not be questioning whether they can afford the time to visit the event in 2014 – they should be question whether they can afford not to.”

Farm Shop & Deli Show – one of the UK’s most respected speciality food and drink trade events – will be incorporated within Food & Drink Expo 2014. Visitors will be able to source artisan produce from respected brands such as Olives Et Al, Fosters Traditional Foods, Lakeland CCs, Anthony Rowcliffe, COOK and JCS Fish to name just a few.

Visitors can learn from the speciality food industry’s leading lights in Farm Shop & Deli Live, where the live seminar sessions are guaranteed to provoke and inspire. In the Dragon’s Pantry, daring entrepreneurs will pitch their new product ideas to an expert panel of judges, while the winners of the Farm Shop & Deli Awards, in association with Olives Et Al, will also be announced at the show.

Food & Drink Expo, incorporating Farm Shop & Deli Show, is co-located with National Convenience Show and Foodex. It is a trade event and strictly no under-16s, including babes in arms, will be permitted entry to the show.

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