IFE, International Food and Drink Event 2023
The international food and drink event is a place that should not be missed if you are a food manufacturer or work within the food and drink industry. It is a place where different food and drink industries come together to showcase the achievements that they have made throughout last year and even during the pandemic. It is also an opportunity for companies to demonstrate new products which will be coming out soon, and should consider. One of those ideas is what food manufacturers can do help improve our current climate. With the climate crisis a constant topic on everyone's agenda, this was something that was addressed at the event.
The Food and Drink Event is across two days which has stalls, workshops and places where you can make purchases on subscriptions amongst other items, learn about up and coming trends from the workshops, find out what companies have on sale which you can purchase, but also for organisations to network from food industries around the world. For example at one of the stalls I noticed the Institute of Food Science and Technology. They are an organisation that supports food manufacturers to ensure that they meet CPD (continuing professional development) requirements and strongly encourage networking to share ideas and roles, and areas of development. IFST members also cover a range of careers including Food Chemists, Food Scientists, Food Safety Advisors, Food Nutritionists amongst other relevant jobs. Other stalls that were there that I visited was a food company called Graze. Graze are a healthy snack company that have been around for a while. They have stocks in Tesco and Sainsburys which I have noticed. Prices starts from I think £1.50 upwards which depends on the size and the flavour of the item. I have been a fan of Graze for a while and regularly purchase the cocoa vanilla oats, the blueberry lemon oats and also the cherry bakewell. As you can see on the pictures I personally think these are a better option than going for a pack of sweets or chocolate. The sugar content in these are lower, in comparison to the the sweets and chocolate.
Going back to the food and drink event, Graze were holding a stall. I was excited to see them and was keen in particular to explore their new options that was going to be coming up soon. I was told by the exhibitor that there were focusing on the packaging of the items, and making this a bit larger. I was also told that they made this that way to target more pubs to distribute their products. I think that this is a great new venture for Graze, because if consumers want to be more healthier in a pub, rather than consume crisps (which can contain more salt) or pork scratchings, Graze would be a better choice. Nuts are fantastic for fibre, but also they contain a range of vitamins and minerals like zinc, vitamin E, Vitamin B6 as well as Folate. Vitamin E is great for supporting with healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin B6 is great for the development of the nervous system, but also to help to improve the immune system. Zinc also supports with the development and running of the immune system. Although nuts does contain high amounts of fat, these are good fats which are great to remove bad cholesterol from the body. Nuts contain HDL cholesterol (high density lipoproteins) which studies show that they can help to reduce the chances of having heart related diseases, like heart attacks and strokes.
I also had the chance to attend one of the workshops that was being presented. I went to a particular one called trends and innovation, where they were discussing ways to encourage consumers to consume more frozen items, especially frozen fruit and vegetables. They felt that frozen items is not as popular in comparison to purchasing from fresh. With the cost of living crippling families it was a great topic to raise awareness of the consideration of improving frozen food marketing.
Overall it was a fantastic day, there were other great stalls that were there. I will definitely recommend going if you are part of the food manufacturing family, and hopefully I can go back next year.