By: Camille Duplechain and Joseph Stoddart
Summary of IFE
The IFE is a great way for small and large businesses to showcase their products, growth, and innovation to potential investors and buyers while accomplishing the task of growing their brands. Food and Drink professionals from all over the world come together to share and sample new products while building long lasting connections. Walking through the different sectors of the event, you could see the many characteristics of diversity and creativity through product innovation and brand demonstration.
Manufacturing and commercial appliance suppliers had a strong presence that created a widespread of modernization and transformation. Their presence supported the already growing hospitality and food service industry. Tech, design and décor, professional catering, and foodservice companies were present to advertise their services and methods.
The 2023 Seminar Programme had over 100 influential and qualified professionals across the foodservice and hospitality industries to give insight on new trends and methods to elevate one’s business or service.
Amongst the diversity in samples and creative output of products presented at IFE, we identified that sustainability and plant based products were at the center of foodservice, professional catering options, and seminar discussion topics. These trends represent a focus and change towards personal health and the environment.
Recognizing sustainability, we attended the “Low carbon solutions, is it right for your customers talk” and heard guidance, new perspectives, and innovative methods that support the improvement of recycling and what you can do to improve the environment. It was very insightful and we learned about the logistics of recycling different products and how labeling plays a large role in informative action.
Plant based products have gained traction in professional catering and foodservice options and have been at the forefront of opportunities to showcase that plant based meat and dairy products.
Something on everyone's mind this year was sustainability. Throughout the weekend various industry professionals made their way to the sustainability stage to discuss how businesses can work towards net-zero carbon emissions, barriers that new and small organizations face while working towards sustainability, and how sustainable food practice can improve the health and wellness of the nation. A highlight of these talks was a discussion between representatives from The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and The Environment about how standardising package labels can help consumers get their waste recycled more efficiently.
The organisers behind IFE also implemented new efforts this year to make the gathering more eco-friendly. For every exhibitor at IFE a tree will be planted across the UK by the charity Creating Nature’s Corridors. To prevent food waste, surplus food samples and snacks were donated to City Harvest. City Harvest is a charity that helps feed people across London by distributing surplus food to over 350 food banks, schools and community centers.