general-1IFE, the largest and most prestigious food and drink event in the UK, is returning to London on 13-16 March 2011.

Thousands upon thousands of never-been-seen-before products will be launched into the UK arena, all hoping to catch the attention of the hordes of trade buyers expected to grace the aisles at this year’s show. Dubbed the country’s premier food and drink sourcing event, IFE11 is expected to be the talk of the industry when it opens its doors to the trade in March.

The biennial show, which saw over 1200 companies exhibit and 22,395 visitors from 83 countries pass through its doors in 2009, will attract key decision makers from some of the UK’s leading retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and foodservice operators. Stand space has already been booked by some of the biggest players in the food and drink industry including Cadbury, Bernard Matthews and Brtivic to name a few.

The 2011 show has some great new additions to the already exciting line-up of event highlights. The English Regional Kitchen is being launched off the back of rising consumer interest in food provenance. The feature will be put together by the Regional Food Alliance and will showcase the very best local produce the UK has to offer, prepared and cooked by top regional chefs.

Elsewhere, The World of Oil will tap into rising consumer demand for high-quality oils with visitors being given the chance to sample some of the finest varieties exhibitors have to offer. These two new features join the already popular The Skillery, Meet the World, New Product Zone, The Stage and Key Buyer Initiative.

Building on the success from 2009, IFE will once again play host to a unique and high-profile Key Buyer Initiative throughout the show. Senior buyers from the UK’s leading retail and foodservice outlets have confirmed their participation with representatives from Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Brakes, 3663, Compass, Musgrave Foodservices Ireland, Elior, Sodexo and Aramark all set to hear pitches from exhibitors on their latest products to be launched.

IFE will also be joined by sister show, Pro2Pac, which focuses on the packaging and processing side of the food and drink industry by showcasing some of the latest innovations to streamline manufacturing operations.

Exhibitors at IFE 2009 were overwhelmed by the opportunities offered at the show, with Emma Stocking, Commercial Manager at Innocent Drinks commenting, “the access to buyers is great and lots of people are willing to come and chat to us, especially around our new launches. It’s great to have everyone in one place.”

Wendy Rowan, from fair trade chocolate supplier Divine, also exhibited at the 2009 event. She commented: “Our stand was extremely busy, which was fantastic. We saw all the key buyers and had some great leads as a result of exhibiting.”

Christopher McCuin, Event Director, commented: “The next edition of IFE is going to be the most talked-about event in the food and drink industry calendar in 2011. Key retail buyers from across the world will be in attendance as well as top buyers from the wholesale, foodservice and manufacturing industries. We have a host of exciting new features that really capitalise on current consumer trends and we are hoping this will make for an even more informative show for both exhibitors and visitors alike.”

For the first time in its history, IFE will be updating and engaging with visitors on the latest show developments through Twitter and on LinkedIn. Industry professionals can take part at @IFEexhibition on Twitter or through the IFE11 LinkedIn Group (www.ife.co.uk/linkedin) where they will also be able to discuss the future of the food and drink sector, and suggest ideas for the 2011 event.

For more information or details on exhibiting at the show, contact the IFE Team on +44 (0)20 7886 3092.

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