Food and Drink Expo 2016
Published: 08 Dec 2015
For those of us on the hunt for food jobs in the UK, food is the centre of our lives. Our families benefit from our culinary excitement and our interest in creating new meals and trying new ingredients. We go further and further afield in order to broaden our knowledge of food and to learn new skills we can use in the industry. One of the best places to explore food and ingenuity is the Food and Drink Expo 2016. You can pack your bags and take your colleagues to look at what is happening in the food industry at this trade only professional event.
The Food and Drink Expo is a biennial event devoted to innovators looking to showcase their products. It's a chance for these producers to introduce themselves and their foodstuffs to the consuming public—up close and personal. It's the moment they see their marketplace in person! Decision makers from every level in the food industry are also present, giving talks, presentations and running workshops to help educate people on the direction the industry is moving in. The Expo is hailed as “three days of innovation, inspiration and theatre” and is now so popular that attendances rise every time the event is held. The hottest trends are discussed and dissected so that manufacturers can take full advantage—and give the consumers what they want.
The Expo begins on Monday 18th April and runs to Wednesday 20th April 2016. However if you wish to visit you have to register online here before the end of 2015. This is because the Expo is such a success for those showcasing goods—competition is friendly, but fierce! Several innovators found their food jobs in the UK by attending or showcasing at the Food and Drink Expo. In 2016, it will be held in Birmingham at the NEC and will also include the Farm Shop & Deli Show as part of admission.
If you have a product that you'd like to exhibit at the show, you're in luck—the Expo encourages “small artisan producers” to showcase just as much as the bigger companies. Confectionery, baked goods, dairy and ethnic food and drink are all welcome, but notably items for use in the industry are also sought after. This means engineers can present new ideas for use in food safety, hygiene and packaging, all just as important in the food industry as the actual food nowadays. There is also scope to discuss patterns and plans in logistics, a growing challenge globally as food consumption outstrips production in many developing countries. In western economies elements like recycling and carbon footprint reduction are also vital, and have a place at the Expo.
In the UK, the food industry is worth an incredible £197 billion and occupies over 80,000 different sites and locations across the country. This is because the UK is generally acknowledged to have undergone a kind of 'food revolution' since the latter half of the 20th century—when British food was universally mocked and despised for its low quality and limited selection. Critics believe that this was a kind of hangover from the rationing and simpler recipes that continued after WWII and meant while food improved in the USA and in Europe it was “boring, bland and boiled” in the UK.
This couldn't be further from the truth nowadays as finally the UK has caught up with the rest of the developed world. Even outside the major cities the quality of food has improved—due in part because expectations have become higher. The British public no longer accept sub-standard fare so willingly.
One of the best aspects to the Food & Drink Expo 2016 is that it will give small producers a chance to meet with industry buyers from major supermarkets and suppliers. This could mean the difference between a cottage-industry project to a lifetime's career! If you are serious about food jobs in the UK, the Expo is definitely the place to be.