TV chef and restaurateur Rick Stein will be chairman of the judges for the Ideas to Dine For product competition for next year’s Food & Drink Expo and Food from Britain has agreed to be a sponsor.

Stein will head the panel in search of the best food and drink products from the UK, which must be exhibited at Expo 2004.

Show director Andrew Reed said Ideas to Dine For was launched at the last show in 2002 and helped exhibitors to get their products in front of the buyers at the show as well as raise their industry profile. He added: “We expect to attract more entrants than ever, which will in turn set a new precedent for the winning products.

“We are delighted to receive support from Rick and from Food from Britain, whose involvement will help us in promoting some of the very best UK manufactured produce.”

Food & Drink Expo will be at the NEC, Birmingham, from March 14 to 17 and will run alongside the Convenience Retailing Show.

Both are organised by William Reed Exhibitions, a subsidiary of William Reed Group, which also publishes The Grocer. To enter contact lynne.parrott@william-reed.co.uk or telephone 01293.