IFE, International Food & Drink Event, has announced an inspiring line-up of industry speakers for its return to ExCeL London on 21-23 March 2022.  

For over 40 years the show has been a hub of knowledge-sharing and thought leadership, and this year’s event is no different, with big name brands in retail and food & drink taking to the stage to share key insights and best practice.   

Monday 21 March

Kicking off Day One of the show is Cathy Capelin, Head of Health & Sustainable Consumption at IGD, who will be discussing how retailers and foodservice businesses can influence and change customer behaviours, particularly when it comes to steering them towards healthier and more sustainable choices.

The focus on healthy choices will continue as Laura Willoughby of Club Soda hosts a session on mastering the marketing the promotion of low and no alcohol products in the retail space, with panellists Rachel Hewlett of Shelf Now and Tom Ward of Wise Bartender. This will be followed by Anna Taylor of The Food Foundation as she leads a must-attend discussion on the UK’s National Food Strategy, and the responsibilities that food and drink professionals have for the health and wellbeing of future generations.

Day One will conclude with the announcement of the World Food Innovation Award winners, in partnership with FoodBev Media, which will be a chance to recognise and celebrate some of the most exciting companies and products currently operating in the industry.  

Tuesday 22 March

Day Two begins with an unmissable session from Charles Banks of thefoodpeople, as he takes a deep dive into some of the key sustainability trends in 2022 and beyond. This is closely followed by a panel on sustainability certification, hosted by HRA Global and featuring Tim Etherington-Judge of Avallen Spirits and John Steel of Cafedirect, all of whom will be discussing what it takes for food & drink brands to make the cut.

The afternoon will see marketing consultant Karen Fewell reveal the factors that influence consumer spending, both in-person and online, and how retailers can adapt their offering to maximise profit and engagement. This will be followed by an in-depth presentation from IGD’s Dan Gillett examining the challenges of introducing reuse and refill in retail.

Gillet commented: “While refill stations in food and drink retail are still a relatively new concept, IGD’s latest research into reusable packaging indicates that there is a real appetite from consumers to do more to reduce their environmental impact. This research is the first phase of IGD’s work into consumer attitudes towards refill and return packaging solutions and IFE attendees will have the chance to hear more about the work as it develops in 2022. Delegates will also have the chance to join in IGD’s ambition to halve the environmental impact of all packaging by 2030.”  

Wednesday 23 March

The third day of IFE will kick off with a must-attend session from Margaux Laine, Senior Analyst at Euromonitor. Non-animal proteins is a huge area of growth and new product development in food, as consumers are increasingly demanding alternatives to mainstream meat products. Laine will be examining the growth of this product category and how attitudes are continuing to evolve to non-animal proteins.

This session will be followed by ‘Serving the 24/7 customer’, where host Roseanna Evans of HRA Global will be joined by Ben Ebbrell of SORTEDfood and Matthew Nobbs of speedy delivery platform Gorillas, as they discuss the evolving needs and expectations of consumers.

The final day will conclude with a vital session on the industry’s journey to Net Zero and achieving greater sustainability in food & drink. Emma Piercy, the Food & Drink Federation’s Head of Climate Change and Energy Policy, will be joined by an all-star panel including Nestle Head of Sustainability Dr Emma Keller and Dr Stephen Mackenzie, Greenhouse Gases Speciality (Food) ay WRAP.

Piercy commented: “DEFRA recently stated in their 2021 Food Security report, the biggest medium to long term risk to the UK’s domestic food production comes from climate change and other environmental pressures – highlighting the imperative we face to address both the causes and consequences of climate change on food production and reduce emissions to Net Zero.

“This panel session will discuss key actions that are required across the farm-to-fork supply chain to meet the agreed industry ambition to reach Net Zero by 2040. A key focus of debate will be around food waste: a third of food produced is wasted globally contributing to c. 10% of global GHG emissions.”  

The full seminar programme for IFE, plus sister event IFE Manufacturing, can be viewed at ife.co.uk/ife-seminar-programme.

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