Key food and drink buyers from businesses including Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Macknade, Harrods and more are set to take to the stage at Speciality & Fine Food Fair 2021 covering topics including conscious consumerism, effective marketing, and deep dives into trends such as plant-based foods and sustainable business practices.
This year’s event, which takes place at Olympia London on 6-7 September 2021, is the first major post-lockdown trade event for the fine food and drink sector, and will be showcasing over 350 exciting producers.
The content at the Fair will be split across the main Food for Thought stage and the Inspiration Bar in association with Mixology Group (located within the Drinks Cabinet area) over the two days of the show. Special evening opening hours on Day 1 (6 September) will invite VIP visitors to stay for a celebratory drinks evening and a further chance to check out the Fair’s producers.
In addition to the wide range of content on offer across the two days of the Fair, this year’s event will also see the presentation of the inaugural Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards, the return of Pitch Live and guest presentations from British Charcuterie Live and the Farm Retail Association.
Highlights of the programme include:
• An insightful trends series from thefoodpeople Co-Founder Charles Banks. Taking place across both days of the Fair, the ‘Trends Unwrapped’ series takes a detailed look at the rise of plant-based, sustainability trends and health & wellbeing before concluding with a 2021 trends report in partnership with Good Sense Research.
• The pros and cons of own-brand products. Food buyers from Fortnum & Mason, Harrods, Daylesford and more discuss the process of working with producers to create white-label products, and how to establish and strengthen these vital relationships.
• Fresh food overhaul: making local work for you. Speakers from the Tried and Supplied, Veg Power and more tackle the question of partnering with local producers and the benefits of stocking local, seasonal produce.
• Cutting edge: the view from the frontline of food and drink innovation. Across the retail and foodservice spectrum, innovation and ability to adapt and evolve have been key to surviving the past 18 months. This session brings together speakers at the forefront of innovation across processing and packing, foodservice, hospitality tech and more, including the Founder of Sourced Market, and Executive Chef at award-winning bar The Lexington.
• Conscious consumerism: identifying and responding to customer needs. Hosted by A Plastic Planet, this session looks at consumer expectations around sustainability practices, and how to build sustainability into every part of your business, from suppliers to packaging to community engagement.
Over at the Inspiration Bar, Mixology Group will be leading a number of drinks-focused thought leadership sessions, where buyers can discover how to optimise visual merchandising for drinks, how to make the most of the low and no boom, how to upsell classic spirits and what to stock when it comes to the busy world of gin.
The Sustainability Zone, built by PALLITE, will invite visitors to check out some of the producers leading the way when it comes to operating in an environmentally conscious, sustainable and ethical manner.
Event Manager Philippa Christer commented: “Speciality & Fine Food Fair has always been a hub for fine food and drink retailers and wholesalers, and this year more than ever it’s a chance for the industry to come together to discover exciting new products and to learn from the experiences and knowledge of their peers.
“This year’s content programme is packed with big industry names and timely discussion points after a period of huge change for the sector. We’re thrilled to be hosting this reunion for the food and drink community and can’t wait to see everyone back at Olympia London in September.”
Check out the full list of speakers and sessions at www.specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk.