Sunday, March 3, 2024

F&B innovations and the impact of AI to top the agenda at IFE 2024

The seminar programme is now live for IFE 2024, part of Food, Drink & Hospitality Week, taking place on 25-27 March at ExCeL London.

For over 40 years, IFE has been a must-attend trade event for retailers, wholesalers, hospitality professionals and more to learn about the latest new trends and products in UK and international food & drink.

In addition to thousands of products from across the UK, IFE has representation from over 50 countries around the world including pavilions from Turkey, Thailand, France, Sri Lanka, Poland, China, Ecuador, Algeria, Hungary and Cyprus.

The Future of Food

On IFE’s Future Food stage visitors will have the chance to hear from leading industry figures including retailers like Co-Op and Ocado, sustainability pioneers such as Abel & Cole and Rubies in the Rubble and innovative insight partners including Tried & Supplied, IGD, European Food and Farming Partnerships and Avocado Social.

Kelly Orme, Buying Manager – Community Buying at Co-op, who will be taking part in a panel titled ‘Navigating the startup scene: Advice from those in the know’, comments: “Startups are an important source of innovation and fresh ideas in the food & drink industry. I’m looking forward to joining this panel at IFE 2024 and discussing how retailers can support and mentor suppliers as they scale and further develop their product ranges.”

Ed Ayton, Sustainability & Ethics Advisor to Abel & Cole and panellist on the session, ‘Sustainability pioneers: Global food and drink companies setting the standard’, adds: “Our team always comes back from IFE buzzing with new ideas and networks, so I’m delighted to be taking part and supporting the programme this year.”

Day two of the show will see IGD curate a fascinating day of content on the Future Food stage, with sessions covering everything from economic forecasts for food & drink retail, sustainability, health, international retail and an exclusive case study with a key client of IGD.

Sarah Baldock, Marketing and Communications Director at IGD, says: “As IFE’s Insight Partner we can’t wait to welcome industry to ExCeL London for Food, Drink & Hospitality Week. IGD will be taking to the Future Food stage to offer retailers and suppliers a wealth of insight to help them identify opportunities over the coming year and beyond.

“Our combined team of retail, shopper, health, sustainability and economics experts look forward to helping delegates get closer to the UK market within an international context, and our exhibition stand on the show floor will offer a space for those vital one-on-one conversations. We’re delighted to be partnering with IFE this year to help delegates get the most out of their visit. We look forward to seeing you there!”

Other sessions taking place on the Future Food stage include a discussion on putting customers at the heart of wholesale hosted by the FWD, a social media masterclass from Avocado Social, insights into retail’s evolution in the age of AI by Sabine Benoit, Professor of Marketing at The University of Surrey, a session on female-led food businesses hosted by Women in Food and advice on how AI could enhance the buyer journey.

Trends & Innovation

IFE’s sister event IFE Manufacturing focuses on the world of food & drink product development and this year the show’s Trends & Innovation Platform will play host to a range of discussions on everything from food science to sustainable packaging to the factors that ensure success for startups.

Mark Thompson, Co-Founder of Edinburgh-based insight and innovation company TRKR, and panellist for the session, ‘Ultra Processed Foods: What is all the fuss about?’, says: “I’m looking forward to attending IFE Manufacturing and sharing my thoughts and views on the topic of ultra-processed foods.

“It’s an important topic as whilst many of the foods that fall under the umbrella of ‘ultra-processed’ are everyday staples for most consumers, a loaf of bread for example, the very fact that these items are part of our weekly diet means that as an industry, we need a measured and informed approach to tackling their uptake.”

The Trends & Innovation Platform will also host the award ceremonies for the World Food Innovation Awards, in partnership with Foodbev Media, and the inaugural IFE Manufacturing Ingredients Awards, in partnership with the Institute of Food Science and technology (IFST).

IFE and IFE Manufacturing take place alongside The Pub Show, HRC and International Salon Culinaire as part of Food, Drink & Hospitality Week, the UK’s biggest celebration of industry innovation. To view the show’s full seminar programme visit ife.co.uk/seminar-programme.

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