With food and drink PR a key specialism at JAM, @JaimeGee takes a look at what emerging trends will be hitting our kitchen cupboards in the near future.
All in the name of research, and maybe a little gluttony, we regularly attend food exhibitions in the UK and abroad. Last year I hot footed it over to Dubai to experience Gulfood, the leading international trade show for the food and drink industry. Click here for a little reminder of a very memorable visit.
NRB is the largest trade exhibition for the northern hospitality industry, attracting a good variety of exhibitors, along with leading chefs who cook up a storm in live demonstrations. This year’s Chef Live featured no less than eight Michelin stars from across the UK and Spain including Daniel Clifford, Nacho Manzano, Nigel Haworth, Michael Wiganll and Kenny Atkinson. There was even a guest appearance from Manchester United Assistant Manger, Ryan Giggs, who rustled up a sausage. No joke.
The booze quarter seemed a little bigger at NRB this year, with some new brands and drink concepts emerging. A particular favourite was Znaps, a new range of flavoured vodkas presented in stunning bottles.
Coffee remains popular, and rightly so in my book. No coffee, no work! The Broderick’s Coffee stand was fit to burst with coffee lovers keen to sign up to Broderick’s vending services. Come to think of it, I should really look into installing one at JAM towers. That and Znaps vodka!
Down at IFE there were over 1,100 companies from 55 countries exhibiting a wealth of goodies, including speciality and regional foods, cheese and dairy, meat and seafood, world foods, bakery and confectionery, ingredients, health and wellbeing, and drinks of all varieties.
All things coconut remains very popular – coconut water drinks, flavoured dried coconut snacks, coconut milk shakes, coconut frozen yoghurts, along with coconut baking products, as an alternative to standard flours and sugars.
Popcorn is still all the rage with some interesting flavours emerging, including my favourite, Tabasco. Jimmy’s Pic N Mix popcorn bar was also a fantastic concept.
On the go snacking is getting rather interesting, with the likes of Whitworths introducing a range of snack packs and shots all under 100 calories. I highly recommend the Toffee Pecan Shot – delicious!
Parents will be delighted to hear that children’s food and drink has some truly solid nutritional credentials. Quinola Kid’s Meals are ideal for busy parents, who don’t want to compromise on the health and wellbeing of their family.
And if you’re looking to get more fibre into your little ones, Nairn’s new Astro Bites will do the trick!
And back to the adults – you must try Smith and Sinclair cocktail confectionery. Delightful little alcoholic sweets!
We PR birds couldn’t resist the lure to freeze, squeeze and enjoy with Köld Cocktails. Frozen Cosmo’, anyone?
And for the ale aficionados, hop on over to Pokertree Brewing Co, who believe there is no love more sincere than the love of great beer. We couldn’t agree more.
Our next outing in search of new trends in food and drink will be this September at Lunch!, the contemporary food to go show. We’ll let you know what to stock up on.
And finally, here’s a childish image taken at IFE. It’s the simple things.