AAA2208

If you are an independent retailer or a supplier, the UK Food & Drink Shows is a must-attend event for gaining industry knowledge and inspiration.

The event, which will take place at the NEC, Birmingham from 29 April to 1 May, encompasses food development, manufacturing, grocery, hospitality, specialist retail, forecourt and convenience retail, wholesale and foodservice.

Expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors, it combines six shows:

  • Farm Shop & Deli Show
  • Foodex Manufacturing Solutions
  • Food & Drink Expo
  • National Convenience Show
  • The Forecourt Show
  • The Restaurant Show

By registering for any part of UK Food & Drink Shows, organised by William Reed, which publishes The Grocer, attendees gain access to all five shows.

With content theatres packed with panels, interviews, presentations and demonstrations across the three days, here is a sample of those that independent retailers and suppliers won’t want to miss:

Monday 29 April

The Coronation Food Project: A King’s mission

10:30am - 11am
The Grocer Stage
The Coronation Food Project, in partnership with FareShare, seeks to tackle food waste and food insecurity rescuing surplus food and redistributing it to those needing it most while reducing carbon emissions.

 

Meeting the needs of consumers in the specialist retail sector

11:15am - 12pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
In this session, leading retailers from across the sector discuss the changing needs of consumers, the outlook for the future and how these operators are adapting.

 

Staff wellbeing: Creating an inclusive culture that allows colleagues to thrive

11:15am - 11:45am
The Grocer Stage
This session looks at the challenges colleagues face across the industry, what businesses can do to create a more inclusive culture, and the impact it can have.

 

James Cosmo: From Game of Thrones to Storyman whisky

1pm - 1:30pm
The Grocer Stage
James Cosmo, star of movies including Highlander and Troy, and Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch in TV sensation A Game of Thrones, has partnered with Annandale Distillery to create whisky brand Storyman. In this session he sits down with The Grocer editor-in-chief Adam Leyland to discuss his career, the food and drink industry and the vision behind Storyman.

James-Cosmo-in-front-of-STORYMAN-promotional-banner

 

Dragons’ Pantry

1:15pm - 2:15pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
Brave entrepreneurs meet the fearsomely experienced industry ‘dragons’ to make a 15-minute pitch. Success could bring a new listing and coverage in The Grocer, while everyone gets insights into what works in store.

 

Food to go: The trends to watch out for in 2024

1:45pm - 2:15pm
The Grocer Stage
The fight for market between c-stores, supermarkets, bakeries, coffee shops and fast-food outlets is intensifying. Join food and drink insight experts Lumina Intelligence to understand the latest trends impacting the UK food to go market.

 

The key to building an award-winning store

2:30pm - 3pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
Farm Shop & Deli Retailer of the Year James Cunningham of Cunningham’s Butchers, Food Hall & Steak House talks about what makes his business stand out from the crowd, his views on the future of the industry and how Cunningham’s is adapting to the challenges the sector is facing.

DSC_4065

 

Britain’s Best Cake 2024

3:15pm - 5pm
The Grocer Stage
New for 2024, Britain’s Best Cake is a competition for professional bakers, judged by professional bakers and industry experts. Similar to British Baker’s Britain’s Best Loaf competition (see below), sweet treats battle it out in several categories, with the winners announced at 5pm.

 

Farm Shop & Deli Retailers of the Year

3:15pm - 5pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
The 2024 awards recognise the speciality retailers leading the sector in customer service, innovation, community involvement as well as initiatives aimed at retaining, rewarding, and empowering staff.

Tuesday 30 April

A force for good: Why sustainability matters and how you can do your bit

10:30am - 11am
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
This expert panel discusses consumer expectations around sustainable practices. It looks at how retailers are driving change and the impact it has had on their business.

 

Diversity and inclusion: How far have we come and where do we need to get to?

10:30am - 11am
The Grocer Stage
Leadership across the industry still doesn’t accurately reflect the wider UK population. This session features some of the pioneers paving the way for greater ethnic diversity across the UK grocery sector.

 

Supplying wholesale: Dissecting your biggest route to market

11:15am - 11:45am
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
In this session, leading wholesalers discuss the channel in depth and what they are looking for when deciding whether to list a product or not.

 

Dragons’ Pantry

12pm - 1pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
Brave entrepreneurs meet the fearsomely experienced industry ‘dragons’ to make a 15-minute pitch. Success could bring a new listing and coverage in The Grocer, while everyone gets insights into what works in store.

 

The female leaders shaping the UK food and drink industry

1pm - 1:45pm
The Grocer Stage
In this session we will hear from influential, inspiring women leaders that are paving the way. Learn about their journey, what they have achieved and be inspired to make a positive change in your business.

 

Planet Organic: Looking to the long-term

1:15pm - 1:45pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
In April 2023, Planet Organic was saved following a rescue deal led by the chain’s founder Renée Elliott. In an interview with The Grocer editor-in-chief Adam Leyland, Renée discusses the specialist retail sector, the changing needs of consumers, the turnaround at Planet Organic and what the future looks like for the business.

293537_reneelliott_257445

 

Social media food & drink trends: What’s hot now?

2:45pm - 3:15pm
The Grocer Stage
In this session you will gain insights on what’s capturing an audience’s appetite on social media and how to strategically allocate your resources for maximum impact. Learn how AI is being used and what you can do to get views.

 

Britain’s Best Loaf 2024

3:15pm - 5pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
Britain’s Best Loaf returns for 2024, with judging taking place on the day. The team at British Baker come together to announce the winners of Britain’s Best Loaf live at the show across a variety of categories including innovation, sourdough and gluten-free.

 

Where next for plant-based?

3:30pm - 4:15pm
The Grocer Stage
A panel of experts debate the future of the plant-based category, identifying the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Wednesday 1 May

Steve Dresser: Grocery trends from across the world

10:30am - 11am
The Grocer Stage
Join ‘the man supermarket CEOs turn to’, Steve Dresser, for a trip around the world as he explores some of the key trends impacting grocery retail in other countries. What can the UK learn from our global counterparts?

 

The impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the specialist retail sector

10:30am - 11am
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
To what extent have inflationary pressures impacted specialist retail? In this session, experts unpick the consequences of the challenges the industry faces, how the industry is adapting and the outlook for the future.

 

The marketplace model: Making it work for everyone

11:15am - 11:45am
The Grocer Stage
In this session, we explore online marketplaces in more detail. Are they what consumers need? Are they a viable option for smaller businesses?

 

Cassandra Stavrou: Healthy snacking Properly

12pm - 12:30pm
The Grocer Stage
Cassandra Stavrou, founder of Proper Snacks, is interviewed by The Grocer editor-in-chief Adam Leyland. Cassandra and Adam discuss the current state of the UK food and drink industry, her career, and the rapid growth of Proper, what’s next for Proper and the challenges and opportunities on the horizon for the industry.

 

Dragons’ Pantry

12:15pm - 1:15pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
Brave entrepreneurs meet the fearsomely experienced industry ‘dragons’ to make a 15-minute pitch. Success could bring a new listing and coverage in The Grocer, while everyone gets insights into what works in store.

 

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Loving Food, Hating Waste

12:45pm - 1:30pm
The Grocer Stage
Writer and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall sits downs with The Grocer editor-in-chief Adam Leyland to discuss his mission to bring us better, healthier, more ethically sourced food.

Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall

 

Farm Shop & Deli Product Awards: Meet the Gold winners

1:30pm - 3:30pm
Farm Shop & Deli Stage
Join us as some of the Farm Shop & Deli Product Awards gold winners take to the stage to showcase their products, giving you the opportunity to try for yourself and ask any burning questions you might have.