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Meet The Brightest And Best New Challenger Brands At Food Matters Live 2019

Published on Oct 18 2019 5:00 PM in A-Brands tagged: Food Innovation / ExCel London / Food Matters Live 2019 / Challenger Brands

From the UK's largest gathering of innovative ingredients to the best new future brands, Food Matters Live 2019 is an essential event for food and drink professionals.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the packed two-day event on 19-20 November at ExCeL London.

With a focus on healthy, natural, better-for-you and clean label products, Food Matters Live 2019 also serves up live theatre attractions, unique business opportunities, and an inspiring seminar programme.

New for 2019, is the prestigious 'UK Future Brands' pavilion, featuring an impressive line-up of new challenger companies.

Future Trends

Running alongside the main ingredient exhibition, featuring hundreds of innovative products, is the 'Innovative Ingredients Live' theatre, where industry insiders will introduce new nutritional science ideas and emerging ingredients.

Speakers include Aaron Ferguson from The Ingredients Consultancy, who will demonstrate how Japanese flavour sensation Shio Koji is made, how it is applied, and how it helps with tenderisation and salt reduction.

Joining him is Francesco Majno, the co-founder of Crické, which makes sustainable protein snacks from crickets, and Neil Robson, co-founder of Rebel Chocolate Limited and creator of a new functional range of high-quality chocolate bars with 50% less sugar compared to traditional bars.

With the ever-changing consumer demand for plant-based, healthy and sustainable food items, the new 'Future of Retail Trends' live theatre will take a fresh look at the challenges for retailers and manufacturers.

To reflect these consumer-driven market trends, Food Matters Live 2019 has carefully curated the new 'Plant-Based Pavilion', 'International Brands' and 'Country Pavilions', where buyers and NPD professionals will discover a world of different flavours, products, and ingredients.

Brands With A Bright Future

Earlier this year, the new Food Matters Live 2019 'Future UK Brands' competition set out to find the UK's most promising food and drink start-ups.

Hundreds of challenger brands participated in the contest, and a team of influential buyers has selected their favourite products and companies with the potential to take on the big brands.

The judging panel included Paul Hargreaves, chief executive of Cotswold Fayre; Olivier Sevenou from pladis Global; and Wan Mak from Sodexo UK & Ireland.

Hargreaves said the competition for start-up companies is fierce and the competition is an opportunity for challenger brands to be noticed by influential buyers.

He explained, "True innovation is hard to come by. Many new products are simply a re-hash on an old idea. However, over the last two to three years, it seems that more innovation is happening, particularly in the environmental area, with packaging, vegan alternatives to meat, etc."

Judge Olivier Sevenou said the quality of entries showed "how vibrant the UK start-up platform still is. The best entries showcased great innovative thinking looking for first-mover advantage in emerging consumer trends, as well as creating clear USP at the core of their propositions."

New, innovative beverage brands performed strongly in the competition.

Companies such as Cannasa, which produces a botanical drink made with hemp-derived CBD, impressed the judges with its great-tasting and amazing looking hemp drink that people can use on social occasions as an alternative to oils or vapes.

Ötzibrew, which was founded just two-years-ago in Belfast by entrepreneur Tricia McNeilly, has a clear ambition to find a healthy alternative to coffee with a medicinal mushroom beverage Chaga made out of pure Siberian birch tree.

Another exciting range is the recovery drinks produced by Antidotefuel Ltd. Acknowledging the fact that everyone overindulges once in a while, the company created a range of overnight recovery drinks made from natural products including milk thistle, ginger root, green tea, and prickly pear.

Innovation First

The ‘UK Future Brand’ judges were also looking for companies that were genuinely innovative with their products.

One of the ‘bang-on-trend’ companies is the London-based Chief Chocolate Officer, which offers chocolate bars flavoured to match various wines.

Each chocolate bar has been created to complement specific grapes including 'Pear & Elderflower' with Sauvignon Blanc or 'Blueberry, vanilla and black peppercorn' with Cabernet Sauvignon.

Elsewhere, Better Nature Foods has created innovative vegan products using the Indonesian staple, Tempeh. The fermented soybeans offer a versatile, nutrient-rich and sustainable source of protein and fibre.

Healthy Convenience Food

The ‘UK Future Food’ judges also selected companies which help busy families put healthy nutritious meals on the table.

London-based Family Secrets offers healthy food with authentic global flavours. Its range of low-fat, low-salt, and low-sugar meals and sauces can be cooked from frozen and taste delicious.

Another winner is Fodilicious, a company offering alternatives for people with food allergies and intolerances. Its range of 'Free From' convenience food caters to a wide range of diets: gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan options, low calorie, and is the UK's first low FODMAP-certified meals and snacks.

Companies selected to be showcased in the ‘UK Future Brands’ pavilion now have a unique opportunity to impress the buyers and distributors, said judge Olivier Sevenou.

"New companies' success will likely be built on finding the right partners to help them grow," he said. "To be showcased in the UK Future Brand pavilion at Food Matters Live is a great opportunity to gain a high level of visibility with a large range of stakeholders."

Meet The Buyers

The event will also host the unique 'Match - Meet the Buyer' service, aimed to allow innovators to connect with manufacturers and buyers.

For ingredients innovators, it is an opportunity to meet NPD and innovation teams from key manufacturers including Allied Bakeries, Britvic, Danone, Genius Gluten Free, Hovis, Innocent Drinks, Kraft Heinz, PepsiCo, Premier Foods, and Quorn.

Creative food and drink producers will have access to buyers from retail, foodservice and distribution networks, including AB Hotels, CAMRA, Costco Wholesale, Harrods, Marks & Spencer, Marstons Pubs and Bars, Pizza Hut, Starbucks Coffee Company, Tesco and more.

This dedicated networking opportunity is available to pre-book at www.foodmatterslive.com/match.

To register for this year's edition of Food Matters Live, click here.

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