It has been a whirlwind of a year, and while many would probably like to forget 2020, its impact will be felt for years to come. While there have been many noteworthy events this year, the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the food and beverage industry is huge. The pandemic changed the way consumers shop, socialize, entertain and more—which is why it will be the biggest driver of food and beverage trends next year.
Products that promote health and wellness, escapism and value will be in the spotlight because they provide relief from many of the challenge’s consumers are facing in wake of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of having a healthy immune system. Immunity benefits continue to resonate as people look for ways to support their immune systems and protect themselves from illness. Research shows that demand for healthy food and drinks has increased as COVID-19 has made healthy eating a higher priority to reducing the risk of chronic diseases. The desire to stay healthy will keep consumers engaged with immune-support products, even after the pandemic has subsided.
The switch to online shopping has also had an impact on the industry, with many retailers and hospitality businesses having to start selling online for the first time. This will have an impact on the products offered and the way they are sold.
With the reopening of the exhibition industry a number of high-profile consumer and industry food and drink shows are being held in the upcoming months. Alan Jenkins of Quadrant2Design said “It’s an exciting time, the industry has experienced a great many changes over the last year, these shows will be a chance for businesses to demonstrate how they are keeping pace with the innovations”.
The UK Food and Drink Shows – 5-7 July 2021, NEC Birmingham
The UK Food & Drink Shows are an opportunity to celebrate the return of exhibitions across food development, grocery, manufacturing, specialist retail, wholesale and foodservice. Organizer William Reed has worked closely with the Association of Event Organizers (AEO) in developing the industry wide AllSecure Standards, designed to provide the highest levels of hygiene and safety, allowing its shows to operate effectively and safely according to Government and local authority guidance. It comprises of 6 shows:
The Food and Drink Expo
The Food and Drink Expo brings together retailers and big buyers under one roof. It’s a time of reinvention for many retailers, this show will give them a chance to demonstrate how they are adapting to the current climate.
Foodex is where processing, packaging and logistics sectors meet. It offers an opportunity to find out what matters most in the food & drink industry right now. Delegates can see new product innovations and watch competitions between butchers and bakers.
The Ingredients Show
The Ingredients Show is where food, drink and nutra development meet. Visitors can discover the latest ingredients, services and solutions on the show floor; get face-to-face with new and existing suppliers and hear from the foodnavigator and nutraingredient editorial teams.
The Farm and Deli Show
The Farm and Deli Show is where the specialist retail sector meet. Visitors can set their taste buds alive with craft beer and cheese tasting; discover practical advice on improving their profits and carbon footprint; watch the farm and deli awards being given out; and meet new and existing suppliers.
The National Convenience Show
The National Convenience Show is where the convenience retail sector meet. This gives visitors the chance to discover new products and innovations within the industry; get shopper insight and business inspiration; and meet new and existing suppliers.
The Forecourt Show
The Forecourt Show is where the fuel and forecourt sectors meet. Delegates can source the latest forecourt products to give their sites the retail edge. They can get expert knowledge on making more profit through smarter store layouts, clever up-selling techniques and better customer service.
The Specialty and Fine Food Fair – 6-7 September 2021, London Olympia
Specialty & Fine Food Fair is the UK’s leading showcase of artisanal food and drink. It is the home of fine food & drink discovery for buyers from across the retail, hospitality, foodservice, manufacturing, import & export, and wholesale sectors. Visitors can find new product inspirations for their businesses and learn the latest trends from top industry experts. Over 700 producers can connect with over 10,000 industry buyers, see 200 new products, 200 great taste award suppliers and attend 50 knowledge sessions.
International Food and Drink Event – 21-23 March 2022, London Excel
For more than 42 years, IFE has sat at the heart of the food and drink community, welcoming retailers, wholesalers and foodservice professionals to taste, test and source products from a global list of producers. IFE brings you over 70 talks, interactive workshops, panels, advice to go hubs and so much more, so visitors can stay up to date with the latest industry trends and leave with the tools they need to progress their businesses.
BBC Good Food Show –25-28 November 2021, NEC Birmingham
Visitors can Look forward to the ultimate festive foodie day out packed full of fantastic shopping from hundreds of artisan producers and big brands, recipe inspiration and top chefs and experts cooking live. Top chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Tom Kerridge, Mary Berry, Ainsley Harriott, Rick Stein and the Hairy Bikers will be among the experts performing cookery demonstrations and signing books.
The Allergy & Free From Show – 9-11 July 2021, Excel London
The Allergy and Free From Show is the world’s largest freefrom celebration, where visitors can see thousands of products, from household names to exciting start-ups, all looking to show what they have to offer. There will be learning experiences and fun activities for everyone, with cooking classes, seminars, expert advice, skin consultations and more.
Low2Nobev – 9-10 July 2021, Truman Brewery
With the current trend for low and no alcohol beverages, Low2NoBev Show is a brand new – and unique – dedicated trade event to give the sector its own voice and support its future growth. From low-abv beers, ciders, wines & spirits to premium soft drinks, cordials and mixers, it will be the must-attend event for anyone who sources and buys low and no-alcohol beverages
With the pandemic changing the way consumers shop and causing a surge in demand for healthy, immune boosting food and drink, the sector is experiencing many changes. The upcoming food and drink shows will be an opportunity for suppliers to showcase their new products and innovations and buyers to source new ranges.