12 August 2019, 15:59 PM
Exploring sustainability and free-from

Speciality & Fine Food Fair returns for its triumphant 20th anniversary at Olympia, London this September. As the leading event for the industry’s artisan producers, this year’s event promises to reveal a wealth of exciting new products and brands, as well as uncovering key trends shaping the sector. As sustainability and free from continue to grow - here are some highlights to seek out at the show:

Sustainability - There is No Planet B
More and more producers are seeking to minimise their environmental impact, with many placing sustainability right at the heart of their business ethos. Shore, the Scottish Seaweed Company (Stand 4542) is launching a puffed snack made with 100% sustainable seaweed. The harvesting of this nutritionally rich crop is not only good for the coastal environment; it’s also beneficial to the economy of local rural communities. More generally, sea-veg is very on trend as a plant-based source of protein with many additional health benefits.

Chloë Stewart, the founder of Nibs etc. (Stand 4726) is ‘on a mission to redefine the concept of waste’ by making nourishing, sustainable snacks from ingredients that would normally be thrown away. A key ingredient in her granola is fruit and vegetable pulp, collected from juice manufacturing partners.

The Ethical Dairy (Stand 2010b) has created a business model based around treating its animals, the land, environment and the people who work there with respect and kindness. The founders strive to demonstrate that ‘cow with calf’ dairy farming is both viable and sustainable at scale. Two Farmers (Stand 4610) are a new crisp producer who aims to protect the countryside by introducing a 100% compostable bag derived from sustainable eucalyptus pulp, plant-based foil and biodegradable ink. The crisps are made using potatoes grown, harvested, stored, cooked and packed using renewable energy generated on their Herefordshire farm.

Free From & Better for You
A quick look at the breakdown of exhibitors within specific product categories gives a fascinating insight into other trends that are influencing the speciality market. Products classified as either free from, organic or health related, combine to make up the biggest single group on the SFFF website with 68 exhibitors representing 9.7% overall. Companies offering vegan and vegetarian alternatives make up 7%. Within the Discovery Zone, which showcases start up brands under three years old, the percentages are even higher. With free from, organic and health products accounting for 22% of exhibitors and plant-based alternatives making up almost 16%.

OGGS (Stand 4536) create egg and dairy free alternative cakes made with Aquafaba, an all-plant liquid egg substitute, made from chickpea water. Grecious’ (Stand: 4527) product range includes Organic Wholegrain Tahini which is benefits from being high in good fats, antioxidants, fibre and proteins.

Another producer promoting nutritious seeds and ancient grains is Fire Grain Freekeh (Stand 4531). From seed to fork, the family owned business, plants, harvests and produces freekeh the authentic way, by burning green wheat and rubbing it clean. The result is a grain that has amazing health benefits and delicious smoky flavor. Elsewhere, Zepice (Stand 5023) offer Mauritian inspired spice blends to be used for authentic marinades or curries.

Positive Kitchen (Stand 5012) is a plant-based food innovation company that ‘thinks about food differently’. Their ethos centres around creating food charged with goodness and maximum taste using minimal ingredients. Additionally, The Brook’s (Stand 4518) mission is use their restaurant experience and translate it into making plant-based dining simple, accessible and tasty. Using the finest ingredients, they create premium quality frozen food such as Persian Khoresh and Jackfruit Rendang for retail and foodservice operators.

Speciality & Fine Food Fair Ambassador, Paul Hargreaves comments on the rise of plant-based; “Within the next five years Generations X & Y will tip over into 50% of consumer spending. A higher percentage of these younger generations are either meat-reducing or complete vegans. What has changed recently is the reason for consumer’s decisions to reduce meat or become vegan. Years ago, this was more to do with animal well-being, which is still a factor, but more people now are choosing to be vegan due to the high carbon impact of farming animals. Methane is up to 30 times more damaging than CO2.”

Head down to Olympia
With 700 producers on display, Speciality & Fine Food Fair represents the ever-changing face of this thriving industry. With such a diverse range of exhibitors to visit, the Fair continues to appeal to professionals across all sectors – from independent retailers, supermarket buyers, hospitality in its multiple guises, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. It’s an essential day out to source new products and discover the trends that matter.

Portfolio Director, Soraya Gadelrab, comments; “For the past two decades Speciality & Fine Food Fair has provided an invaluable platform for some of the UK’s most pioneering artisan brands. Over the years we’ve watched many of our fledging exhibitors from the Discovery Zone flourish. Every year brings new trends and innovations - it’s what’s keeps the show so fresh and makes it absolutely unmissable. We look forward to welcoming visitors in 2019 to celebrate our special 20th anniversary edition.”

Speciality & Fine Food Fair takes place at Olympia, London between 1st - 3rd September. Register online now for your free ticket for the hottest food and drink experience in the UK. specialityandfinefoodfairs.co.uk