27 Nov 2014
In its opening year, Food Matters Live 2014 attracted thousands of attendees from the fields of food and drink manufacturing, foodservice, retail, research, nutrition, public health and policy. Across the three days there was standing-room only audiences in the conference and seminar sessions and a vibrant, busy exhibition showcasing the latest innovations in food, health and nutrition.
The inaugural Food Matters Live event successfully gave visitors an unrivalled educational programme of information, new experiences and the opportunity to forge new contacts.
Speaking from the event, Professor Susan Jebb, Chair of the Department of Health Public Health Responsibility Deal Food Network commented, “there is a great mix of people here from across industry, academia, and public health. That is really important because no one sector is going to be able to tackle this issue on their own. I am a real advocate for having the conversation, for understanding what each group is doing and the barriers they face, and for really thinking about how we can work together more productively.”
Highlights from the exhibition floor (which featured over 200 exhibitors) included innovation in healthy ingredients from companies such as GNT International, Roquette, Lonza Ltd and Univar and leading food and drink manufacturers including the likes of Warburtons, Amy’s Kitchen, Linwoods, Coca-Cola Great Britain, Kellogg’s and Arla Foods.
Also located within the exhibition, The Drink Well and Evidence Base attraction proved very popular, with visitors keen to hear major brands reveal the science and strategy behind product reformulation, ingredient functionality and taste. The line-up of speakers included nutrition experts from Iglo Group, NESTLÉ, The a2 Milk Company and Tropicana.
The Enterprise Zone, sponsored by the Unilever Foundry, held the interest of visitors and industry commentators, who were able to meet some of the most innovative start-ups showcasing new healthy food and drink concepts and services. Visitors could see and taste a diverse number of new products including chilled protein drinks and a revolutionary range of vegetarian sausages. They were also able to explore the appeal of edible insects and potential of novel 3D printing technology.
A dedicated Research Pavilion, sponsored by Tesco Food Academy, hosted the food sector’s leading research organisations, including the Institute of Food Research, the Functional Food Centre, the Food Environment Research Agency, the National Centre for Food Manufacturing, the Universities of Nottingham and Leeds, and TNO.
Two dynamic visitor attractions highlighted innovation and challenged consumer attitudes to food. Alternative Edibles, sponsored by The Wellcome Trust, included a live food science show and encouraged visitors to taste and explore future nutrition sources - from seaweed smoothies to live crickets. It also hosted a demonstration of the 3D printing Insects Au Gratin project from London Southbank University. Catering for Health, sponsored by Ingredion, was a hub of healthy cooking demonstrations featuring award-winning chefs showcasing how to create healthy and nutritious dishes across a range of foodservice settings.
The Food Matters Live conference and seminars gave visitors unrivalled learning opportunities, through an impressive free education programme. Over 100 unique sessions featuring 420 speakers over the three days attracted a wide and influential audience from across food, health and nutrition.
Food Matters Live 2014 was endorsed by the Association for Nutrition as a CPD learning opportunity, and the CPD Certificates of Attendance were in high demand from the thousands of visitors in attendance eager to add their visit to their CPD portfolio.
Briony Mansell-Lewis, Food Matters Live Director said, “our main objective was to create a cross-sector event, bringing together key stakeholders to make the important connections between food, health and nutrition. We are delighted that exhibitors and visitors turned out in such high numbers to take part in the inaugural Food Matters Live.
“Our top priority is now to build on the success of the event last week and to work closely with our exhibitors, speakers, visitors and supporters to further develop Food Matters Live in 2015”.