Which will be the most important food industry trade shows, Post Corona?

While the Corona Virus has clearly shown that no-one in the marketing industry has a crystal ball, the limited physical contact it caused, the changing shopping habits and the need to share war stories from decimated industry sectors is safely predicted to make attending the next round of food industry trade shows more important than ever.

This concise insight article aims to provide guidance to cautious food and drink brands nervous of losing their valuable listings – or more optimistically, to inspire ambitious brands who are focussed to achieve new growth, within this new emerging retail landscape.


(Feb 2021 Edition!)


5. PLANT BASED WORLD (15-16 Oct 2021)

This popular event will be the first big test of a large scale food industry trade show, post corona (PC). As such, it will set an important benchmark for both the ability and appetite for attending busy trade events in the UK after social distancing has been repeatedly drummed into us all.

Plant Based World Conference & Expo is the only professional 100% plant-based event for foodservice, retail, and healthcare professionals, distributors, investors, manufacturers, and the plant-based influencer community. Join the only entirely plant-based B2Bevent in Europe dedicated to connecting plant-based brands with a mainstream audience of retailers, food service professionals, and community influencers!

The expanded need for retailers of all types to stock a much wider range of clean-living health food brands reflective of the ever increasing audience of ‘woke’ shoppers who are keen to maintain a healthy diet. This event is a huge opportunity for these brands to win new listings while older outdated brands get de-listed and make way for the new wave of consumer demand.


4. LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL (23-26 Sept 2021)


Given the near catastrophic dire-straits that the entire food service and coffee shop industry is in, following its ongoing enforced closure, the shear commercial necessity to create new growth will be an incredibly stronger driver to get their industry back on track ASAP making this event number four of the top five trade shows to consider, PC.

It’s a bit of a hybrid event, attracting circa 70% trade and 30% coffee loving public. As such, it’s an ideal opportunity for creating sales deals to suit each audience! Make sure you attend with your game plan for show deals to win new trade listings – and satisfy the taste buds of curious consumers.


3. THE LUNCH SHOW (23-24 Sept 2021) 

While the Corona Virus showed that working from home can work in many situations, all parents of young children who have been home-schooling, will know just how vital external offices are to creating a productive, commercial working environment!

With so many city centres being decimated with food service operators boarded up and high street convenience retailers at stand still, their rapid renewal will be a pivotal driver for supporting and feeding the countless thousands of city centre business that fuel the UK’s core economy. Every square inch of their shelf space needs to work harder for them than before, making them open to new innovations that help them achieve this shared economic growth.


2. INTERNATIONAL FOOD EXHIBITION, IFE (28 Febuary- 2 March 2022)

The UK’s biggest scale food and drink trade show happens every two years at what was recently the UK’s largest emergency field hospital: AKA London’s Excel. This behemoth sized event is safely scheduled far enough beyond the reach of Corona Virus to be one of the safest options for its mass scale audience reach that it reliably pulls in.

Following the global pandemic, it’s not just the UK that has been affected. IFE’s international audience attracts buyers, brand owners and distributors from all continents, so is ideally positioned for being the catalyst event for achieving your brand’s global growth goals as all countries work to repair and re-build both their air-travel and retail industries.


1. NATIONAL CONVENIENCE SHOW, NCS 2021 (5 – 7 July 2021)

With most of the major supermarket chains struggling to cope with queues of shoppers to prevent over-crowding, the smaller scale convenience retailers have seen a huge uptick in sales that has been sustained for the following months as shoppers turned to localised trips during lock down.

This year, all four retail focussed events come together under one roof: (1) NCS for independent and convenience retailers, (2) Food & Drink Expo for a broader mix of wholesale, food service and retail, (3) The Farm Shop & Deli Show for food service, speciality and fine foods and (4) The Forecourt Show for service stations.

Following its reschedule from April 2020, it has now moved to July 2021 in what will make for a very busy and productive period immediately following lockdown lift off!



While life and retail is still undeniably different to what we have ever seen before, it will be the brands who have the courage to plan and exhibit that will make the fastest growth when the restrictions are lifted in June.

With virtually no physical contact since March 2020, these food industry trade shows will be vital at rebuilding personal relationships, telling war stories, presenting innovations, attaining new listings – and winning the battle for whatever the new ‘normal’ landscape of retailing looks like.



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