Innovation is one of the main attractions of an event such as Food & Drink Expo and many companies will be using the show to launch their new developments.
Visitors will be able to see for the first time a range of products from UK and international companies, some following predictable trends and others blazing a trail of new thinking and design.
Some of the more unique products that will be launched at the show include a desalinated deep sea cooking water from Japan and Lady Bird Bio Beer, which is set to make its way to the UK from India in the off-trade in the summer.
Brewed in India by Khoday Breweries and distributed by UK-based Gohel Enterprises, the 5% abv Lady Bird beer is a premium lager with extracts of aloe vera and the herbs phyllanthis niruri and ashwagandha, which are purported to have medicinal qualities that can alleviate asthma and arthritis as well as lower the potential for a next-day hangover.
Other unusual product launches will be those from The Organic Yorkshire Hemp Company, which will be parading its products such as pasta, tea and oil. According to MD Paul Jenkinson, who will be explaining the benefits of the crop at the exhibition, hemp is a wonder food.
The company is even putting hemp into milk, which it will be testing at the show.
Ako Kasei will be marketing its deep sea cooking and drinking waters. According to the company, its desalinated deep sea waters, which flow at a depth of more than 200 metres, are rich in magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus and silicate, making them ideal for drinking and for cooking with. Also on show will be Welsh-based Radnor Hills Mineral Water, which will be officially launching its soft drink Ju Fru - a combination of still Welsh mineral water with 25% natural fruit juice, available in lemonade and orange & passion fruit.
House of Westpahalia will launch a new range of pies, such as steak & ale, chicken & bacon and raspberry under the Ye Olde English Pie brand and will be holding tastings. Sempre Viva Iced Yoghurt will also be offering tastings, and head of marketing Katie Chadney says it will be launching at least one new flavour at Expo.
Bakemark continues its tradition of launching new products at exhibitions and will be unveiling licensed doughnuts and cookies. The products, which it is tipping to be this year’s bakery bestseller, are being kept under wraps until the start of Expo and will be on show alongside its existing products, such as Readi-Bake cookies.
Gordon’s Fine Foods is being less secretive and has announced the launch of a range of premium mustards, sauces, jellies and chutneys as well as some products for Christmas 2006. These include Dijon Mustard with Chablis, Mint Sauce with Aged Balsamic Vinegar, a Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Leaf jelly, a Caramelised Red Onion Chutney and a Brandy Butter.
Visitors will also get a taste of Kremezzat’s five wellness drinks called Pharaoh’s Drink, the first fish pie in Pieminster’s range, three flavoured drinks from Villa Soft Drinks and organic aloe vera and Omega-3 yoghurts from the Food Doctor, among others.