The Big Top 40: Unveiling Innovative New Products at the UK Food & Drink Shows

UK Food & Drink Shows

The UK Food & Drink Shows are back and a whole host of fantastic new products are set to be on show when they return to the NEC, Birmingham later in April (25th – 27th).

The event, which unites four shows under one roof in a three-day period, is a must-visit occasion for the industry. Food & Drink Expo, National Convenience Show, Farm Shop & Deli Show and The Forecourt Show gather together to show off some of the most unmissable, pioneering new products of the year.

We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting products to be seen at the shows.

Food & Drink Expo

Magic Field Co. Ltd (Stand L221) will be showcasing its Authentic Thai Cooking Kits and Pastes, a wide range of easy-to-use cooking kits to get the perfect authentic Thai taste every time. All Magic Field Co. Ltd foods have been awarded the Thailand Trust Mark, a symbol of excellence and trusted quality.

Threesixty Design (Stand L231) worked with Premier Foods on their important move with Batchelors into the flexitarian market. The recently launched meat-free pots offer a quick meal solution for vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians in an under-served category.

The Buyers Discovery Club (Stand K209) has just introduced its Online Portal – an automated ‘match-making’ platform that has been launched by food consultancy The Good Food Group in a bid to partner the UK’s leading retail buyers with up-and-coming brands. Designed to help buyers save time, the ‘first of its kind’ introduction portal helps to connect brands with buyers in the healthy snacking, free-from and vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) markets.

Footprint Sustainable Food Trays are the top focus for those looking for plastic alternatives. R H Packaging Ltd (Stand K191) has put this to the forefront with its 100% recyclable and compostable Fibre Board Coated Trays which maintain shape and rigidity in the harshest moisture-laden retail food environs.

Certified B-Corporation Mindful Chef (Stand L237) always has health top of mind. On the stand at the show, its Berry Granola has an extra refined sugar-free* boost from Yacon root as well as gluten-free oats, linseeds, pumpkin seeds and strawberry pieces – the health kick is in action!

Keeping up with healthy food trends, East Coast Bakehouse (Stand P220) has launched two new ranges. It's Vegan/Plant-Based Cookies are Vegan Society approved, contain no Palm Oil, and offer a source of fibre. As consumers look to reduce their sugar intake without compromising on taste, it has also responded by launching a sugar-free range of biscuits and cookies.

The Fynoderee Distillery’s (Stand M150) Manx Dry Gin Elder Shee Edition is distilled with Elderflower and is a celebration of the Isle of Man’s tangled tales of the mythical faeries who reside within the magical “Tramman” - the Manx Gaelic word for Elder Tree. Head to Stand M150 for a taste of Manx summer.

Gastro-Cool wants to make POS marketing easier with its innovative Round Fridge / Can-Cooler (Stand M219), which can be branded with your own design. With LED interior lighting, a catchy décor, transparent lid, integrated fan, mobility wheels and manual temperature settings – it has it all!

Elakkia (Stand N166), the UK’s largest manufacturer of Sri Lankan food will be offering up its tasty range of snacks, including Chickpeas with Turmeric and Sea Salt and Murukku with Coconut and Tellicherry Pepper. The different varieties all offer an authentic taste of Sri Lanka.

Victus Emporium (Stand P203) will be showcasing its MSC-Certified Cantabrian Anchovies. Fished on small day boats on the north coast of Spain, the fish are hand graded, de-boned and filleted before being packed into our easy seal Kilner jars and topped with olive oil – a labour intensive process that ensures quality is not compromised at any stage.

National Convenience Show

America’s No.1 selling iced tea and juice brand AriZona Beverages (Stand M50) is unveiling a new flavour for the UK market at this year’s show. It is celebrating its 30th anniversary and launching an African Rooibos Red Tea – the brand’s first. This new Red Tea has been created with the help of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom Foundation.

Creating an interactive customer process in an intuitive way has been the focus for Pan Oston B.V (Stand K60) which will be exhibiting its highly customisable ESSENCE Self-service Solutions. With a modular and component-based design that can be tailored to align with customers’ needs, the ESSENCE is the most flexible self-service solution on the market, ready for checking out, self-order, registration and much more.

Chicago Town Pizza (Stand G51) has created a product with a vital role in unlocking more day parts and driving meal deals with their new self-serve quarter slice holder. With a perforated bag allowing the pizza to breathe while still retaining freshness, it can be displayed flat or upright and achieve up to three hours of hold in leading heating merchandisers.

With 100% recyclable packaging and carbon-neutral credentials, Candy Can (Stand M50) is debuting its sparkling candy flavoured drinks. Containing zero sugar, preservative-free, and available in a range of six fun flavours, the range includes Marshmallow, Bubble Gum, Sour Apple, Birthday Cake, Rocket Ice Lolly and Cotton Candy. Coming to 300 Sainsbury’s stores this May – stop by the stand to be the first to try these out!

HL Display will be showcasing its Sigma Shelving for Fresh Produce (Stand L110), a modular merchandising system tailored to create stunning visual displays and abundant presentations to showcase more variety of produce without the need for a large inventory that can be lost through shrink. Key for driving sales, it showed up to 30 percent sales increase in test stores.

Charlie’s Organics (Stand M50) is a carbon-neutral, healthy soft drinks brand that launched in 2021 in the Netherlands and will be making its debut in the UK at the National Convenience Show. By using aluminium cans, instead of plastic bottles, each container is endlessly recyclable, and Charlie’s Organics has partnered with the charity Trees for All which plants forests around the world to counter climate change and offset carbon emissions.

Epicurium (Stand G119) has added multiple innovative new brands to their range, adding to the 150 specialist brands already available for Independent Retailers. Nuud is a pioneering plant-based chewing gum that is 100% plastic-free. Using a sustainably harvested tree sap, only plant-based ingredients, containing no plastic wrapping and with its compostable and biodegradable wrapping, the gum looks to support retailers by offering a more sustainable range.

 After taking Denmark by storm, Food Union (UK) (Stand M98) is bringing its low-calorie ice cream – Underground – to the UK. With natural, high-quality ingredients and bold, full flavours, this tasty dessert allow consumers to satisfy their cravings without compromise.

Bounce Back (Stand A59) has created a little boost to help you bounce right back from the stresses of everyday life. Formulated by a leading British Life Sciences Company, and incorporating the latest advances in nutrition, Bounce Back is a range of scientifically formulated health and well-being drinks that work in harmony with your body’s restorative processes while you sleep. They’re all enriched with tailored nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Smart Soda UK Ltd (Stand D20) will be showcasing its On-the-Go Healthier Drinks Station, offering the world’s first in-store, on-the-go healthier drinks touch screen dispensers. Delivering vitamin-infused, flavoured sparkling alkaline waters and sodas made with reduced British beet sugar or no sugar at all. All drinks are vegan, antioxidant-rich, gluten-free and can be boosted with unique functional shots – energy, immunity, relaxation.

Farm Shop & Deli Show

Bumble Wrap (Stand E189) will be showcasing its brand-new Bumble Bags, made out of beeswax. With great designs and easy to use, it ensures that your food is kept fresher for longer, and great for sandwiches, salads, and vegetables.

Plastic waste is one of the world’s biggest environmental concerns, as starkly highlighted by the Blue Planet TV programme. Complete Coffee Ltd and Sucafina UK (Stand G131) are leading the way with innovative, new ideas for coffee packaging options. They have five great products to help you move toward a plastic-free future: Metal Lids for Glass Jars, Metal Overcaps for Tins, Alternatives to Composite Containers, Alternatives to Laminated Film and Paper Coffee Jars.

Vegware (Stand B163) has the solution to packaging with its Vegware packaging – completely made from vegetables – how sustainable! Its packaging is designed to be commercially compostable with food waste providing a practical solution for single-use food-contaminated disposables, allowing the hospitality market to achieve its sustainability goals.

Heating up the place, Truffle Guys (Stand F126) has its Incredibly Addictive White Truffle Hot Sauce on show. If you love hot sauce and you love truffles … you will love this. With a 3/5 spice level, this little bottle packs a punch! It is made with a fine blend of spicy Cayenne Chilli Peppers and European White Truffles, offering a mouth explosion like no other.

Focusing on gut health, Glenilen Farm Ltd (Stand C128) will be showcasing its Gut Health Kefir 350g. Made with a few simple ingredients including fresh, local milk and 14 strains of kefir cultures, it is packed full of protein to sustain you throughout the day.

Trupayments (Stand C120) Clover Epos Solution is a state-of-the-art business solution that enables you to manage your business more effectively. Giving customers the power to manage and streamline their operations, helps to overcome various challenges, increase revenue, and save time.

Bramble Foods (Stand Q250) is introducing its brand-new barbecue pouring sauces – just in time for the barbecue season! With six pouring sauces to choose from, there will be plenty of flavours this summer - Indulgent Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup, Smoky Blueberry Ketchup with Bourbon and Chipotle Chillies, The Ultimate Brown Sauce with Birdseye Chillies, Spicy Lime Ketchup with Tequila and Jalapenos, Fiery Caribbean BBQ Sauce with Rum and Scotch Bonnet Chillies, and Fiery Bloody Mary Ketchup with Vodka and Naga Chillies.

ALT. Drinks (Stand H230) will be celebrating in non-alcoholic style at the show with its Alcohol-Free Sparkling Organic Chardonnay. A crisp and refreshing non-alcoholic sparkling white wine made with 100% Chardonnay grapes from sandy and calcareous soils in southern Spain this extra dry wine have crisp acidity & strong effervescence, hints of green apples & citrus peel accompanied by a floral aroma.

Firetree Chocolate (Stand B217), the UK’s super-premium vegan-friendly chocolate brand is delighted to announce the launch of its first-ever limited-edition range, The Innovations Collection. The Innovations Collection will have five new flavours to choose from, including a melt-in-the-mouth gluten-free oat milk bar. With ethically sourced, rare cocoa beans from remote volcanic islands in the Dominican Republic, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, the brand is disrupting the current luxury chocolate category by tapping into the demand for a healthier, natural and sustainable alternative to those currently on the market.

Baked In (Stand B158) is showcasing its Bottles of Cookie Mixes – in two sizes.

Its 1 Litre Bottled Cookie Mixes makes 16 delightfully moreish American-style chewy cookies, and its 500ml Bottled Cookie Mixes makes 10. Stored in a reusable glass bottle and suitable for vegetarians, these beautiful bottles make the perfect gift for just about anyone - baking beginners and pro-chefs alike!

The Forecourt Show

RONPOS Inc (Stand M19) is showcasing its Backend Management and Fuel Ordering App. Backend Office Management assists in managing inventories with a comprehensive back-office system which allows for better control of stocks, promotions, royalties and accounts. The Fuel Ordering App will be the way to go in the future in purchasing fuel from the kiosk or even getting snacks, drinks, necessities, etc from C-stores in the convenience of your vehicle.

GripHero (Stand K40) has a hygiene front of mind with its GripHero R100 (100% Recycled plastic) gloves. Made from 100% recycled open-loop plastic, reducing their CO2 footprint by 94% compared to standard gloves, they are uniquely ATEX Certified anti-static, for safe use in the fuelling zone.

Catering for guest needs whilst opening marketing avenues is where Evolve ODM (Stand J21) leads. With its GDPR Compliant WiFi, offer guest WiFi networks and opens up opportunities; leading people to spend longer on-premise and showing professional landing pages. Granting access to a wide range of data that help retailers learn more about customers in real-time, drive your marketing strategy and push targeted and relevant marketing to customers to grow your brand.

Keen to show off its market-leading cash handling products, Volumatic (Stand E49) has a range of products – including its CountEasy Touchscreen Currency Scale and CounterCache Classic Secure Storage Device – to help retail owners discover solutions that will allow their business to count cash with ease, store cash securely, eliminate forgeries and errors and make end-of-day processes more efficient.

TSG (Stand G31) has the answer to changing business needs and consumer demands with its Self-Pay Checkout. The fast-paced nature of self-checkout solutions makes the retail experience quicker, giving customers the option of avoiding long queues elsewhere. It’s an ideal solution for retailers looking to modernise and optimise stores on their forecourt.

Dover Fueling Solutions UK Ltd (Stand H31) has created an industry-first cloud platform. DFS DX™ connected solutions platform differentiates businesses, optimising a site’s assets across the forecourt and enhancing customers’ experience by winning trust through a frictionless forecourt experience. Five core solutions empower fuel retailers to identify fuel loss in real-time, optimise dispenser uptime, increase sales through targeted advertising at the fuel dispenser, centrally manage point-of-sale solutions and control an entire fleet fuelling enterprise from a single cloud-based interface.

Keeping up with the latest trends, Petroassist UK Limited (Stand M40) has its new Hellonext - Efficient EV Chargers for multiple applications on stand at the show. Offering a great user experience and maximum charging quality and security, Hellonext EV chargers are the perfect fit for commercial charging. With power options ranging from 7kW to 180kW, they offer features such as smart charging and load balancing and enable simultaneous charging outputs for maximum efficiency.

Loyalty programs are always a winner for visitors. Gulf (Stand H40) is introducing its much-acclaimed award-winning forecourt loyalty platform Oomph, known for driving up dealer revenues and strengthening customer retention on forecourts across the UK. An easy-to-use platform that can be integrated with existing EPOS and provide dealers with the tools to delve deep into the shopping baskets of customers, its versatility extends to the point of purchase where customers are rewarded with points redeemable either in-store, to support local charities or enter a ‘big ticket’ monthly prize draw.

Electrajet (Stand M29) has the most complete Jet Wash solution on the market to offer with its Premium Jet Wash. The latest in wash technology, features include iron extract wheel cleaner lance, snow foam lance, reverse osmosis wash mode, LED advertisement screen and 7 wash modes in total.

Sturdy Products UK Ltd (Stand K09) is exhibiting its STURDY Tidystore Plus, an ideal storage system that can be used for many different applications within all areas of industry. Secure and lockable the unit is ideal for the storage and display of a wide range of products that can be made visible to the public, making it perfect for use in garage forecourts and shop fronts.

Andrew Reed, Managing Director Events & Exhibitions comments: “The amount of new products, innovative thinking and original ideas set to be on show at the UK Food & Drink Shows later this month is staggering. Come with an open mind about what you might find because there’s bound to be something new, exciting and different around every corner.”

With expertise spanning 160 years, William Reed is the multi-award winning brand behind the UK Food & Drink Shows. Encompassing four key sectors across the industry, the shows are unrivalled in their ability to bring people together, build and foster better relationships, discover business-building insight and celebrate innovation.

This article and many more can be found in the April Supermarket News magazine HERE.