The international Food & Drink Event IFE at London’s ExCel opens this Sunday March 13 and will run until Wednesday 16.

This year organisers have invested an extra £500,000 in the show, much of which has gone into research on how to make the exhibition more relevant but money has also been spent on adding a number of new attractions for 2005.

These include Future@IFE - a forum in association with Mintel that will examine the latest trends within the food and drink industry, and also Chef@IFE: Inspiration, where experienced chefs will conjure up meals using the latest ideas and techniques. Chefs will also demonstrate producing healthy meals for kids and cooking with no salt.

Taste@IFE is another new concept for the show, and it will allow visitors to taste and compare similar products from different companies in an impartial environment.

The international pavilions have been revamped and rebranded as Walk the World, with 60 countries represented. Within this section there will be two new initiatives: Discover@IFE and Dine@IFE.

In addition to these new concepts, there will of course be the exhibitors, all 1,350 of them, covering an areas of 44,000 sq ft.

Andrew Evans, of Fresh FM, which organises and owns IFE, said: “Firstly, visitors come to an exhibition such as IFE because they want to se what is new. Secondly, they want inspiration.

“The rarest commodity people have is time. At least one day at this year’s IFE will provide a return that has not been seen before in the UK.”