14 Nov 2018

Should supermarkets stock vegan burgers in the meat freezer? Which countries are winning the battle to reduce sugar in food and drink? Is the mass market ready to eat insects in the name of sustainability? And what will Brexit really mean for the food and drink industry?

These questions and many more will be debated by influential speakers from across the sector at Food Matters Live, which returns to ExCeL London from 20-22 November 2018, attracting thousands of visitors from across the global food and drink industry.

As health and environmental demands drive food and drink innovation, Food Matters Live will explore what the future holds, with an unrivalled education programme fronted by key players from business, politics, health and science.

Conference debates will cover some of the big issues facing the sector, including whether government calorie-cutting targets can curb the rise of obesity, the potential for veganism to go mainstream and what food might look like in future - from "multi-sensory" eating experiences, complemented by colours, sounds and textures, to 3D printed meals.

Speakers for 2018 include Blue Planet II executive producer James Honeyborne, who will discuss how to build on the show's impact on plastic waste awareness and top chef Tom Kerridge, who lost 11 stone in three years, on how the food and drink industry can help change dietary behaviour. Poverty campaigner Jack Monroe, former No 10 policy unit chief Camilla Cavendish, McDonalds UK chief executive Paul Pomroy and Public Health England chief executive Duncan Selbie are also among more than 40 conference speakers.

Meanwhile, experts from the food and drink, nutrition and health sectors will share insights and innovation in a series of seminars covering retail trends, sustainability, nutrition, tackling obesity, the future of free-from products, packaging and marketing.

Seminar topics include: whether people are ready to eat insects as a sustainable protein source, how mums' shopping habits are reshaping the children's food aisle, the future for appetite-suppressing foods, nutrition's impact on mental health and the boom in vegan and free-from foods.

And, four months before the UK is due to officially leave the European Union, amid warnings about the potential impact on the £28.8bn UK food and drink industry, Brexit will feature in both conference and seminar programmes, from how it could affect nutritional labelling to scenarios for standards and trading and whether it could foster innovation - or threaten it.

Food Matters Live also includes a wide-ranging exhibition featuring hundreds of businesses, ranging from major food and drink manufacturers to the newest food entrepreneurs, as well as live attractions and business networking opportunities.

New attractions for 2018 include Food Futures Live, which will offer a glimpse of the newest food tech and innovations from 3D printed fresh food to those tackling challenges like food waste and single-use plastic packaging.

Briony Mansell-Lewis, Food Matters Live Director, said: "Food Matters Live is the UK's largest and fastest-growing event showcasing how the food and drink industry is innovating in the face of health and wellbeing trends, environmental concerns and government initiatives to curb obesity.

"Seven months after the introduction of the soft drinks levy, four months ahead of Brexit and amid growing demand for sustainable products, allergen-free food, meat alternatives and natural 'clean label' goods, it comes at a pivotal time for the industry - the UK's largest manufacturing sector.

“We’re delighted once again to welcome so many experts to share best practice, forge collaborative relationships, find solutions to challenges and explore new ways of working with colleagues across the food, nutrition and health sectors.”

Food Matters Live is on at London's ExCeL from 20 to 22 November 2018, is free to attend if you pre-register, including entry to the conference, seminars and visitor attractions. Register at www.foodmatterslive.com

Notes to editors:

Now in its fifth year, Food Matters Live takes place on 20-22 November 2018 at ExCeL London.

Register yourself and your colleagues for this unique event, which is free to attend if you pre-register and brings together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government, and those working in nutrition and health at https://food-matters-live-2018-visitor.reg.buzz

In addition to an extensive exhibition, Food Matters Live offers a multi-stream seminar programme and main stage conference, featuring hundreds of speakers covering wide-ranging topics – from the latest food and public health policies to the future for the free-from food and drink market, latest trends in sustainable retailing, packaging design and exemplar brand strategies.